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About a week ago, I decided I wanted to try my hand at photographing the eclipse in a couple days. I went online to see what materials I would need.

Of course, you need solar glasses to look directly at the sun. And I also needed a way to protect the camera. I did not want to spend a couple hundred bucks on a solar filter that would fit my lens, so I bought a sheet of solar film and constructed my own filter.

Solar Glasses

Here are a couple pair of solar glasses --


They work well -- the sun turns into a dull yellow ball. You cannot see ANYTHING ELSE -- everything is all black (except for the sun) because the glasses block so much light.

Home-made Solar Filter for the Camera

The sheet of solar film arrived sandwiched between 2 pieces of cardboard.


I could have just used the sheet by attaching it to the end of the lens with a rubber band. But there was only 1 sheet, and I needed to do a practice run. So, I decided to cut it and some cardboard and make my own filter.

My first thought was to cut a piece of cardboard to the right size, then tape the film onto it. Here's the cardboard with the hole in it.


It didn't really work well -- it was too flimsy, and could fall off easily.


So I got a piece of paper -- one that was less stiff than cardboard, but still a bit stiff. And I cut a strip, which I wrapped around and taped 1 end of the strip to the other to make a kind of tube.

Then I taped the solar film over the end of the tube. I used a rubber-band to hold the tube to the lens.


That seemed to work well enough. It felt stable on the lens, and it made it through my practice session.

Camera Settings

First off, I decided on my camera settings:
 ISO:  100
 f/stop:  f/8.0
 Shutter:  1/500
 Focus:  Manual and set to infinity
 Bracketing: I bracketed up and down 2 stops, but having looked at the results, I think I will only go 1.5 stops during the eclipse.
White Balance:  I set this to what the camera calls "Sunlight", which is 5200K I believe.
 Intervals: I used the intervalometer to open the shutter every 10 seconds.  Because I was bracketing and using continuous mode, the camera took 3 shots every 10 seconds (1 normal, 1 under-exposed and 1 over-exposed).

To get that to happen, I set the LONG to 1, the INTVL to 10, and the N to 0.

Lens and Zoom 200mm lens with a 1.4 extender on a crop sensor camera...so what does that give me....200mm * 1.4 (extender) * 1.6 (crop factor), or about 448 effectively?

I'm not sure if that is correct...it's my guess at how it works.
Other Settings: I turned image stabilization off on the lens -- why have it on and lose f/stops when the camera is going to sit on the tripod?

I may have to change my settings on Monday as the eclipse gets near the 86% mark (which will be our max eclipse here).

Practice Session

One of the goals of the session was to determine how much time the sun would be in view of my lens -- with the lens zoomed in, how long would the sun stay in front of the camera?

Turns out..not long! These 2 images were about 5 minutes apart, which looks like the sun has moved about a 1/4 way across the screen (and down)...meaning, I'll only get 20 minutes of shots before I have to move the lens.


Which begs the question -- what exactly do I want to photograph? I really don't want to spend all my time fooling around with the camera during the eclipse -- I would prefer to watch it with my eyes through my glasses.

But I do want some photos, so I suspect I will aim the camera near the beginning of the eclipse...then move it to take some photos in the middle...and that may be all I take.

Here's the camera set up outside. Note how sharply angled it is! This was a time when I SORELY missed the articulating screen that my Rebel has! With this camera, I had to kneel and look upwards to see the screen!


After the Practice Thoughts

One of the nice things for me about photography is that there is always something else to learn to do.

Unfortunately, the weather forecast looks like we may have clouds on Monday so I may or may not get any eclipse photos. But just doing this practice session, and learning about solar film and camera settings for an eclipse has been fun!

Practicing for the eclipse on Monday....

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Had sorvete / ice cream with my Brazilian friend tonight -- it was fun...it has been several weeks since we had seen each other!

Got fairly close to a Goldfinch in the garden tonight...I think I could've gotten even closer if someone hadn't walked by on the sidewalk and scared him away!

Goldfinch eating Coneflower seeds in front yard

Bucket List

Jul. 8th, 2017 10:01 pm
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I need to visit Bisti again....This is how I remember it...
Last Bisti Pic...Panorama
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I am being very lazy on this long holiday weekend! A friend and I headed downtown to walk along the river yesterday --
The Cathedral Under the Bridge

Pic of a friend on the Canal Walk

RVA


And I got a few more Bisti images processed. This first one is a very short time-lapse. It takes A LOT of stills to make a time-lapse, and about 1/2 through, I kicked the tripod...so I had few photos than I needed.

I think you'll have to click on this to open it in Flickr before you can see the play arrow.
Bisti Shadows at Moonrise

This one is quite phallic, lol!
Bisti

Bisti

Solidão!

Jun. 28th, 2017 06:17 pm
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I tended to spend time by myself at Bisti. I liked the others in the group, but I wanted a lot of solitude...

This was during the blue hour after sunset....me by myself, wind, solitude...standing, thinking, taking pictures....
Bisti

I was and will always continue to be fascinated by these 'swirls', lol!
Bisti

Missing Bisti tonight...As I told my Brazilian friend -- "I'm feeling a lack of Bisti tonight!" Eu sinto falta de Bisti!

More Bisti

Jun. 19th, 2017 04:57 pm
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Alien Eggs --
Alien Eggs


One friend said it looked like a Dali. A sister said it looked like a set from the original Star Trek series...
Bisti


Milky Way --
Bisti Milky Way


The workshop instructor is in the background --
Bisti

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These are just a jumble of some of my thoughts and memory vignettes form the trip.

Flash of Light

We were out all night at Bisti 3 times. When you're out at night, there are distinct phases which happen during the night. How the night unfolds depends on time of year, weather of course, and the moon cycle. For us, the phases were: Sunset, Nautical Twilight, the dark time when the Milky Way is very visible, and then moonrise and finally the glow that indicates sunrise is approaching.

Moonrise always lit up the landscape to the point where we did not need our headlamps to navigate the hoodoos. You could just walk around in the dark, with no problem at all.

During the dark time one night, I was talking to the instructor, and there was suddenly a flash of light! The flash lit up the landscape the way moonlight does! My back was towards the flash, but the instructor said it appeared to come from one star in the sky.

He thought it was light from a supernova or something, with the light finally reaching us. The rest of the group (who were set up in a different place from me) also saw the flash, but their backs were to it as well.

I have not been able to find info on that anywhere online about it, and I have not reviewed my pics to see if my shutter was open during the flash.

Learned about Mongolia

One of the students was originally from Mongolia. She speaks Mongolian, of course, and I think Russian. She also is fluent-ish in German and English. I got to speak to her about where she grew up, and how Mongolian is written, etc.

A Little Cuddle

One of the folks at the workshop and I hug deeply whenever we see each other. This time there was more than a hug. We got some cuddling -- cheek to cheek (or beard to beard really). He was close to me, and leaned in to whisper something in my ear, so I put my arm around his waist and pulled him in for a cheek cuddle. It was nice.

TMI

One of the students provided WAY TOO MUCH information about his bodily habits. Do I really need to know that he gets sweaty balls? Or that he has hemorrhoids? Yea, so there's that.

Chaco Ancestors

Chaco Canyon came up in our conversations. One of the students had gone to Chaco (paid the permit, etc. etc.) for nighttime photography. While he was there, he and the ranger heard voices. He said it distinctly sounded like voices, and the temperature got cold. The ranger experienced the same thing.

I reminded me of when I was at Chaco (during the day), when I distinctly heard a child's laughter behind me. But there was nobody there. Here is is what I wrote about that experience back in 2015:
It is hard to put into words what I felt at Chaco. I certainly did not see it as just a set of ruins -- I sort of felt like I was intruding on the everyday lives of the people living there. But, of course, there were no actual people...but maybe impressions of people...or somehow I was intersecting from my time into the time when people were actually living at Chaco.

Not ghosts (which has a negative connotation anyway)...and not exactly spirits...just like I was there at the same time they were. It was an odd feeling, for sure!

When I was at Chetro Ketl, I swear I heard a child's laughter...I was taking pictures, and I looked up from the camera, expecting to see a child with his parents. But there was nothing but the sun and wind -- no child.

It was interesting to hear someone else having a similar experience!

Pack Weight

I was pleased with the weight I carried. Although I certainly love to hike, I'm usually only out for a few hours, so the water I carry is maybe a couple of biking bottles. I also never carry a tripod.

And I usually am hiking in a green area, so I carry a small water filter in case I need it. In the case of Bisti, there is no water...you have to carry it all, and we were outside about 11 hours, starting hot (85F) and then getting pretty cold (43F) at night. It's an arid area with no amenities, so you get dehydrated fast!

For the workshop, I carried 2.5 liters of water, a tripod, camera and 2 lenses, extra batteries, gadgets I need for shooting, food for dinner, and several layers of clothes -- for the big layers like my coat, I rolled them all together into a tube and tied them up, so that I just carried those with 1 hand - not on my backpack.

I estimate my pack was about 20 lbs, not counting the rolled up tube of clothes. And I did fine. I kept my knee wrapped, so it didn't cause problems. I did get a pretty bad blister, but kept that bandaged for the remaining hikes.

I was pleased with my own performance in carrying 20 lbs plus other stuff for 5+ miles!

MacBook Air

The little Air still worked very well! It's a 2013 model, so not new at all, but it performed better than some of the MacBooks and Windows machines there. I believe its performance is related to the flash memory -- there's no spinning hard drive on the Air -- just flash memory. I think that is why it is fast. I'm still really pleased with this little, light laptop!

Flowers

When I got back home, the flowers out front had exploded! I have a guy painting the trim on the house, and he said that it was like overnight! I also noticed I had 4" of rain in the rain gauge, so I suspect the rain is what caused the sudden bloom!



Time to go back to work...go back to reality! I am not prepared for that just yet!

karmicdragonfly: (Default)
I had a great time in New Mexico...

And I'm completely off schedule now! The week was spent in a nighttime photo workshop -- I've taken 2 previous workshops with this same guy -- where we stayed up all night taking night pictures. There were 6 in the workshop, in addition to the instructor.

Bisti was great! I miss it -- other worldly. I didn't take as many photos as I could have, because I tended to spend time lying on my back looking at the stars! I just couldn't help it! Where there is artificial light, you CANNOT see stars...not like this.

I'll be editing pics over the next few days...Here is the 1st post from the trip --
Bisti Badlands in New Mexico (Explored)
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I had a really nice night the other night with friends. We attended an event at a local bar to celebrate 'Negroni Week', where you bought a ticket which entitled you to 4 Negronis. They were not small -- maybe not full size, but definitely good sized drinks!

It was a fun night!



Taking pics of the moon the other night -
O sol nasce pra todos, a lua pra quem merece.


I just subscribed to Photoshop's free trial...but they only gave me 7 days when I used to be 30...I do not ever plan to subscribe long term to their software -- I only needed it for a class...it makes me think I should transition away from my old standalone version of Lightroom, so I'm not using Adobe products. Plenty of options for what I need -- Pixelmator, Gimp...and what did I see the other day 'Affinity'?
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No travel for me this holiday weekend...staying in town doing stuff...Yesterday, I took a walk downtown on Belle Isle..

I took the picture below on the island but did not post it at first because I couldn't decide if it was creepy or not. I see other folks online posting pictures of random people on the street -- I mean not 'street art', but photos of specific people they see around, and doing that always seemed a bit creepy to me.

So I sent the pic to a couple of friends, asking if it was creepy. And they both said it seemed pretty anonymous, so it was not creepy. I mentioned to one that the sunbather was center of attention in the photo, and that I was pretty close to him. That friend said the picture would not be as good further away.

Since they both thought it was fine, I went ahead an posted it!
Sunbather at the river

***
I met up with my sister today. She is changing careers and wants to open her own electrolysis business. She is going to school for it, including both classwork as well as practice. She needs 100 hours of practice, so I have been going nearly every weekend to her school so she can practice on me, lol!

And LORD KNOWS, I could use a bit of electrolysis on my back! I told my Brazilian friend about it after one session, and he asked if I was 'bald' -- careca -- but I misunderstood the word (I thought he asked if I was 'hairy'), so I answered como um macaco -- 'like a monkey!', lol...

***
Glad to get a bike ride in this morning. Still very short rides under 16 miles, but it feels great to be out on the bike!

***
I have just started talking to a guy in Brazil online. We have traded a few Whatsapp messages, text and voice. Now, he wants to talk directly on the phone, which is a bit nerve-wracking for me! He's cute...and has a nice voice. And really, if you can't flirt with a guy 6000 miles away, who on Earth can you flirt with, lol?

But it's so so hard to converse on the phone in a different language! We'll see. I told him maybe this holiday weekend. We shall see...

***
I bought a book for a friend for her birthday. Actually, I bought one for me and one for her, lol! Our gifts tend to have a theme, and that theme would be alcohol! It's a cute book! I like it -- it's about which plants are used to make cocktails and why, and it also includes recipes for the ingredients!
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1616200464/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

***
I have lavender growing outside, so I cut some, dried it and hung it in the kitchen --


***
Anyway, I think a friend is coming over for wine tonight...so far the weekend has been nice!

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This morning, I decided to try a recipe for a pancake made in the oven. Here is a recipe from online -- the one I used called for 3 eggs and 4 Tbs of butter (but I couldn't find the site for that recipe).

Easy and tasty with maple syrup!



I've still been playing with an app called 'Darkr', which is supposed to mimic old small, medium, and large format cameras, as well as mimicking how film was developed in an old-style darkroom. It's interesting to me, mostly because I never worked with a darkroom.

Here's a picture of a Coreopsis bloom from my front garden.
Coreopsis flower


Bike ride today and some yardwork. Otherwise, a pretty quiet weekend. The family did not get together for Mother's Day, but we should get together in a couple weeks for my Dad's birthday.

Park

Apr. 12th, 2017 07:44 am
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Had a hard day yesterday, but I needed to get some exercise, so I walked to the park.
At the park tonight

At dusk, I did notice that there were bats over the pond there. I was not able to get good photos...but I'm thinking of heading back over with a longer zoom lens -AND- some bug spray. The mosquitos were surprisingly thick (and the reason for the appearance of the bats)!
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I always enjoy the fire spinners when they perform at Gallery 5...dinner and time with a friend tonight was nice!

Fire Spinners at Gallery 5

Fire Spinners at Gallery 5

Fire Spinners at Gallery 5

The Age of Recording

Night

Fire Spinners at Gallery5
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It was a good weekend! Although no biking, I got some yard work done, got my Grandmother's lemon tree outside, had wine with 1 friend, dinner with another friend, and brunch with a third friend.

Not much on the camera side, except in the yard. I was pretty pleased with how this iPhone photo turned out -- just using the phone, and the built-in editing ---
Nature's Curves


Twice each year I move the lemon tree (in for Winter, out for Spring). And every year, it gets harder. One friend told me the tree must be growing, which was a much preferable answer than the sister who said I was getting older! The sister is, of course, correct, but I much preferred the other answer!

But it's outside once more!



I used the Canon with a macro lens to get a photo of a dandelion in the yard...then I ran it through Prisma for this effect --
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I got a message from my Brazilian friend that he had a bad night tonight. He said that sometimes he speaks English very well, and sometimes the words don't come to his mind.

I told him I had the same problem, and that it meant that we were both humans! And I told him it made me feel good that he had bad days because his English is SO MUCH better than my Portuguese that it made me feel better, lol!

I need to find a model that will tolerate me taking lots of pictures, lol! Right now, my model is me!


There's a guy who was in my ESL class, and I mentioned to him that I'd like to take some headshots of him if he wants to....He didn't say one way or the other, but I really like his sharp facial lines!
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...camera backpack!


I know that all photographers search for 'the one' -- and by 'the one', I'm talking about a backpack that serves the photog's needs!

Is it too much to ask for these?
  • Holds my 7D Mark II with a battery grip.
  • Holds a couple of other lenses.
  • WATER BOTTLE HOLDER, omg...why is this so hard to add to a bag? Seriously?
  • Holds my small Macbook Air.
  • Has space for underwear, socks, toothbrush, medicine -- all the stuff you take 'on the plane'
  • Has a place to put a tripod on the outside of the bag.
  • Holds all the extra stuff -- memory cards, lens wipes, extra batteries, etc.
  • Has a waist strap (a sternum strap might suffice).
  • Space for a sandwich and at least a couple liters of water.
  • Space to roll up my fleece jacket (or at least a rain jacket).
  • Is as light as possible.

Maybe I'm asking too much. I have typically taken my old 'bookbag' -- because I can put hand towels in it to cushion the camera and lenses, while also having space for everything else, including a small laptop. I just kinda wish it had a specially made space made for the camera and lenses.

That 1 bookbag has been around the world with me! Thailand, Europe, Brazil, the US, lots of places! And it is showing its age now.

Darkr

Mar. 21st, 2017 08:13 pm
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Selfie

I'm feeling better tonight than in a couple weeks! Damned flu seems to finally be lifting! I planted some stuff outside...and drank some wine...and took some selfies, lol!


This photo reminded me of words from that recent video -- 'your eyes drown me' -- so I labeled it so on Flickr (Seus olhos me afogam).
Seus olhos me afogam


Evening sunlight throught window blinds

Pumphouse

Mar. 18th, 2017 05:46 pm
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The local photo meetup group had an outing inside the Byrd Park Pumphouse today. It's not normally open, so I took advantage of the event.

In some places, it was as wet and dank as you might expect --
Wet, dank


The trusses made for some nice geometry --
Trusses

Trusses


The ballroom upstairs had these almost life-sized, standing cutouts. Not sure the purpose --
She looks sad!

Ballroom


It was a good outing, and I'm glad I went. It's also an indication that this illness is almost gone! Although I have to say, I came home and took a nap after the outing -- this on top of 8 hours of sleep last night. So I'm still recovering!
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I ran myself ragged getting some shots! Up and down the stairs. Up and down the stairs! 10 second delay. The multi-exposure photos didn't really pan out, so this is a single.


Sparkling Wine --

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"O seguro morreu de velho, mas o desconfiado ainda está vivo." -- "The safe one died of old age, but the suspicious one is still living."





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