Day 40 (9 Feb 2012) Hope

No, this post has nothing to do with inspiring you to any type of hope, unfortunately.  It’s titled that way because I’m hoping that my shot came out OK.  Why would I have to hope, you ask?  Good question.  It’s because that as I’m typing this right now, my camera is still processing the 11+ minute exposure I just completed.  I hope that the composition is good.  I hope the image is in focus.  I hope that it wasn’t over or under exposed.

Why would I leave today’s photo up to hope?  Well, I had not intended it to be that way.  I had picked out a great spot to go with the current conditions (near full moon, clear sky) that was along my way home from helping a friend pick up and transport an entertainment center they just bought (I’m that guy w/ a truck you hope will help you).  I set up the tripod, leveling the head, planned out a few angles to shoot the scene, put the camera on the tripod and turned it on.  I was left very annoyed when all it did was flash the dead battery sign.  My other battery was in my other bag in my other vehicle (the one I drive almost all the time).  So, I packed up everything and came home, more than a little disappointed in myself.

Being quite tired due to the time and how late I stayed up yesterday to get yesterday’s shot, my body wasn’t enjoying the 28F air too much, so I set up the camera inside (all but focus), pointed it at something I think will be interesting, used a flashlight to set the focus, and opened the shutter.  About 11 min later I went back outside and closed it.

The camera just now finished processing, so I’m headed to Lightroom to convert it and upload.

Ok, it’s uploading.  And it’s not terrible.  My composition could have been better, but I’m not complaining too much, as I didn’t want to spend a long time lying on the ground getting it just right tonight.  Exposure is good (adjusted a little), and noise wasn’t too bad (fixed a little, too).  Color was pretty good, IMO.  I was so tired, I didn’t even consider that I would have star trails, but, I managed to catch the North Star just barely, so I think it adds to it.  But this is just me rambling at after 11 pm.  Maybe I won’t like it as much in the morning.  But it is, what it is, so please share your thoughts on how I could improve on this for next time.

Moon Lit Tree and Star Trails

18 mm,11 min 28 sec, f/11, ISO 100, Canon 18-55mm kit lens (Moon Lit Tree and Star Trails)

Day 37 (6 Feb 2012) When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth

On my way into town tonight to lead a personal finance class I teach, I passed by The Dinosaur Place and saw the first sight and thought it was fun!  It may not be a work of art or my best photo, but I had fun taking it (I’ve always loved dinosaurs!) 🙂

The second photo I took at a pond near my house; normally this time of year it’s iced so thick that people are out fishing on it; right now it just has a thin sheet of ice, not even all the way to the edges all around.  But with the full moon, I thought it was nice to look at.

T-Rex Eatign the Moon

55mm, 1/25 sec, f/5.6, ISO 3200, EF-S 18-55mm IS kit lens (T-Rex is Hungry)

Lake House on Frozen Lake

40 mm, 30 sec, f/11, ISO 1600, EF-S 18-55mm IS kit lens (Lake House on Frozen Lake)

Day 30 (30 Jan 2012) Windsor Sky

As I was leaving work this evening, an hour later than normal, I glanced up from the road and saw a beautiful sky!  I drove a little out of my way to get away from the business park and found an open field where I could pull over, set up the tripod, and capture the sky.  Then I turned around and pointed at the traffic circle (round-about, for those from other parts of the country/world).  The surrounding towns put these in, most of which don’t have any other roads off of them, to keep the semi-trucks from taking a short cut through residential areas.  I’m not sure how well they work, ’cause I’ve seen tracks go over the top of them, or cutting the corners.  Problem not solved, and everyone has to deal w/ driving around these.  Gotta love government solutions (stepping down from my soap box, now).


18 mm, 30 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200, EF-S 18-55mm IS kit lens (Dusk in Windsor, CT)


18 mm, 30 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100, EF-S 18-55mm IS kit lens (Windsor Sky)


18 mm, 30 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200, EF-S 18-55mm IS kit lens (Dusk in Windsor, CT)

Day 29 (29 Jan 2012) Zooming Stars

Good evening!

I decided to try to have a little fun with tonight’s photo.  I’ve shot photos in the past where I zoomed while the shutter was still open, but never tried it on a longer exposure of stars.  It might be more interesting when there is no moon out (but I’m not staying up that late tonight!).

2012_Jan_29_Night Shots_008
18 –> 55 mm, 30 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200, EF-S 18-55mm IS kit lens (Zooming Stars)

Day 14 (14 Jan 2012) 13 Minutes In Heaven

13 minutes and 39 seconds to be exact.  That’s how long the shutter was open pointing at the North Star tonight.  It was great finally having a clear night I could do this!  I’ll be trying much longer times to see how long I can get the star trails.  The bright area in the lower left is light pollution from a nearby town.  It’s hard to avoid in New England 😦

Taking long night exposures is very time-consuming: first you have the actual time the shutter is open, then over twice as long (it seems) for the camera to conduct noise reduction processing.  But it’s worth it, IMO.  Enjoy!

2012_Jan_14_13 min exposure_001
20 mm, 13 min 39 sec, f/10, ISO 100 (Star Trails North)