Thursday, June 23, 2011
Well, how’s that for irony? I finally got around to uploading those pics I was talking about, and then I never got around to posting one. Whoops. Oh well, here you go, one day later than intended. And, as you can clearly tell, this is not a photo of the northern lights.
That’s because I didn’t see any northern lights.
Also, this is facing south-ish.
I was out looking for the northern lights, but I don’t think they were quite visible at my latitude. The forecast said they should be, but I was pretty close to the forecasted limit, so I don’t blame them too much. I know what you’re thinking though – why would I expect to see the northern lights from inside a big canyon? Yeah, yeah, I know.
The problem was, first I needed to find clear skies. And that turned out to be a lot more difficult than it should have been. The clearing that was forecasted (by a different set of forecast people) didn’t work out either, so I had to head about 3-4 hours east of Seattle before I could even see stars. I was at that point heading northeast from I-90, through Grand Coulee. That’s where I was when I took this. No northern lights, but a nice view of the sky. So I stopped to take a few pics.
Depending on how bright you have your monitor set, you can pretty clearly see the milky way here, and I believe some “city” lights (from the “city” of Soap Lake) down there at the bottom. This was a 45 second exposure, which I discovered was about as long as I long as I could go before the natural movement of the stars started showing up in undesirable ways. (Right, right, it’s not the stars that are moving, rather it’s the Earth that’s spinning. Shut up. The stars were moving relative to my point of view.) That was surprising to me. I mean, of course I know that you get a lot of movement in long exposures, but I figured I’d have to go an order of magnitude longer (like, say, 10 minutes or more) in order to actually see movement in the resulting image. But no, anything over a minute showed just enough blur to be annoying. I mean, sure, you can make cool pictures that have big long star trails. But in order for those to not suck, you have to have them be long enough to not just be mistaken for camera shake or for your focus being off. Plus, the effect was exacerbated since I was looking south. (Since the further away you get from the north star, the more movement you get.)
But anyway, here’s today’s picture. That’s all. Move along.
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 lens. 45s, f/3.2, ISO 800. Focal length: 11mm.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Yeah, I forgot to upload those pics again. Sigh.
So, instead, here’s a picture of Echo Lake, with Mt. Evans in the background. This is in Colorado. You can actually drive to the top of Mt. Evans, and it’s paved the whole way. That’s noteworthy, because you can *also* drive to the top of another sort-of nearby fourteener, Pikes Peak, but *that* road is *not* paved the whole way. Pikes Peak is right outside Colorado Springs, which is where I grew up. Now you know.
So, right, Mt. Evans is not Pikes Peak, so that’s the last mention Pikes Peak will get today. Mt. Evans is near Idaho Springs, which is a little ways up I-70, west of Denver. Echo Lake is on the way up, but it’s before the spot where you have to pay. Because yes, you have to pay to drive up Mt. Evans. It’s worth it though. If you’ve got an afternoon to kill, it’s a great way to get up into the high country. And you can get some really nice photos after only barely getting out of your car. My kind of place!
Canon EOS Rebel XT, Tamron 28-300mm VC lens. 1/60s, f/18.0, ISO 400. Focal length: 65mm.
Monday, June 20, 2011
Dang, dang, dang, dang. Dang. I’ve been meaning for more than a week now to toss up a picture or two from my northern-lights-chasing-adventure, but I keep forgetting to upload anything from my desktop machine at home. And now, it’s even worse, as I took some pictures of ladybugs this weekend that I was hoping to post, and I forgot to upload those too. Dang. Try again tonight, I guess.
In the meantime, here’s another shot from Whitefish Mountain Resort in Montana. This is a view over into Glacier National Park from the top of the ski hill, that’s why I labelled the post the way I did. Whitefish Mountain Resort (formerly known as Big Mountain), is, not surprisingly, just outside of Whitefish, Montana. It’s one of my favorite three ski hills in the world. Although, saying “in the world” is slightly misleading, as I certainly have not skied everywhere there is to ski. I *have* skied outside the US, so my opinion is at least an international one, but that was only just across the Canadian border in BC, so that’s hardly fair, even to the rest of Canada. But whatever, I still stand by my statement. This is one of my favorite three places to ski *IN THE ENTIRE WORLD*. Deal with it. Or, better idea, just go ski there. Perhaps it won’t become one of your three favorite places to ski, but you’re almost guaranteed to at least have a good time, and you’ll also get to try someplace new, which is also awesome. Unless you’ve been there before, in which case that particular incentive won’t apply.
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens. 1/500s, f/10.0, ISO 100. Focal length: 50mm.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
This is Diablo Lake (I’ve also heard it called Emerald Lake) in North Cascades National Park. It’s not a natural lake strictly speaking, as it is the size it is because it’s dammed (which you can just barely see on the far right edge of the frame), to generate power for the city of Seattle. Whether or not it was a (much smaller/shallower) lake before it was dammed is not something I know. Actually, it’s dammed on both ends, as the next lake up the chain, Ross Lake, which is a long, narrow lake that extends just over the Canadian border, is also created via dam, and spills into Diablo.
And yes, it really is that color. The water is primarily glacial meltwater, and as such it’s filled with all sorts of silt and mineralage, which is what makes it look all milky like that. We get a fair bit of that here in the PNW (like the White River which comes out of Mt. Rainier National Park – it’s only a little tiny river, but the water looks like diluted milk, kinda weird.)
So, have a great rest of the day and all that.
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 lens. 1/200s, f/8.0, ISO 400. Focal length: 11mm.