Milky Way II

Milky Way II

Hoping to get back home soon to that beautiful dark sky in southern New Mexico …

E-M1.2 and Olympus 12mm f2 lens.  ISO 1600, f2, and 15 seconds.

 

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Milky Way – Olympus E-M1 Mk II

My First Milky Way - E-M1 MkII

We’ve recently moved to southern New Mexico where the sky is much darker than any place I’ve lived.  Light pollution is virtually non-existent.

One night after sitting on the deck with no lights on for about 30 minutes, I stepped out into the yard and looked up  … the stars took my breath away!  There were so many and they were so bright, plus the Milky Way stretched up across the sky, looking like a long string of millions of bright jewels.

So a few nights later, armed with the E-M1.2 and Olympus 12mm f2 lens, I gave it a try.  This is one of my better attempts at ISO 1600, f2, and 15 seconds.  I know I have a lot to learn about astrophotography, but I was happy with my first try.  There will definitely be more … 🙂

 

G.A.S. for an Automobile

V8 BiTurbo Mercedes Benz

What a beautiful car!  Normally, I prefer trucks and Jeeps when it comes to my own vehicle, but this one definitely caught my eye.  So I guess G.A.S. (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) can apply to things other than cameras.

A couple of days ago I took our car in for service, and while waiting to talk to the “service guy” I was parked right next to this.  It’s hard to tell from the photo but the paint is a matte finish in dark gray, and then of course there’s the yellow trim … racing stripes down the side and on the hood.  This is the Mercedes Benz V8 BiTurbo and it is a mean looking machine.  Of course it will set you back close to $100,000!  (Way beyond my budget.)  🙂

As soon as I finished getting my car checked in, I grabbed my Fuji X70 and snapped a few images concentrating mainly on the wheel detail.  That gold brake caliper is so gorgeous I would hate to ever use the brakes and get it dirty.  If you look closely, the silver part in the lower right is the disc which I was told is made of ceramic.

The beauty of this little X70 is that it fits easily into my jacket pocket, yet puts out those beautiful X-Trans images from its APS-C sensor.  Once again I’ve shown myself that the best camera is the one you have with you.  You never know when that next photo op will appear.

Olympus E-M1 Mk II Tips

I finally made the upgrade to the new Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mk II …

e-m1-mk-ii-oly-website

Last week I finally made the upgrade to the new Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mk II, and so far it’s everything I thought it would be. It’s fast – fast for Turn ON, AF, and Playback, and the Shutter Release feels almost instantaneous. It has great IBIS, and all the features we love about the OM-D line, plus some other great improvements. There’s an improved deeper grip and the menus are a little different, no less confusing than before, and still as deep and complex. But I do like it it and will soon be parting ways with my E-M1(Mk I).

I want to address a couple of the things that seem to be most confusing about this camera. I agree Olympus cameras can be complex and frustrating, even after four years of using and writing about them. But, they are still my overwhelming camera of choice. Partly for that very complexity that allows us so many choices and variations in camera setup.

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A Different View of Mt. Rainier

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Mt. Rainier through the HUD on a B737-800
In 2002, I was fortunate to be flying as a Captain on a Delta Air Lines Boeing 737-800 which was one of the first airliners to have a “heads up display” (HUD) for the Captain. This HUD is a piece of glass that hangs in front of the pilot, near the windshield, and displays all of the necessary flight data, including altitude, airspeed, heading.  The beauty of this system is that it allows the pilot to fly the airplane much more precisely than with previous instrument systems.  Plus, he can do that all while continuing to look out the front windscreen.
This image shows Mt Rainier, in Washington state, not long after take-off from Seattle. The HUD shows that we were climbing through 10,980 feet at a true airspeed of 311 knots and a heading of about 118 degrees. The small double circle with the wings sticking out each side shows that our current flight path will take us above and to the right of the mountain’s peak. Of course, we will turn back on course before we get too close to the mountain.

I made this image with my first digital camera, the Canon D30.

Respite

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Like a Leaf …

No doubt, life can be chaotic at times.  Do you ever feel like a leaf in a wild whitewater river, being swept along utterly out of control?  Just remember to look for a rock to cling to, a momentary respite from the maelstrom.

But life does go on, so catch your breath, rest a moment, and prepare for the next challenge that is sure to come.  And think how boring it would be without these trials to test us.

I found this scene in a small public park in Buena Vista, Colorado.

How To Catch a Bullet … updated

Update:  Yesterday, I accidentally posted this to Google+, so decided to just go ahead and update it.  See the bottom of the post for more info.

Okay, the title may be ever so slightly misleading … what I meant was how to catch a bullet inflight with a camera.  🙂

For some time now, I’ve wanted to try some sequence shots of a semi-automatic pistol in action.  This weekend provided the perfect opportunity while a photographer friend was visiting and we had a nice warm, sunny day.
(Yes, I know you can stop a bullet in flight with flash and trigger of some sort, but this was done the old fashioned way … pure luck!)

We set the camera at ISO 400 for a fast shutter speed of 1/6,000th of a second at f/3.3 using a fast 85mm lens on a Nikon D700.  Then while I did the shooting, my buddy took the photos.  Fortunately, I had the MB-D10 Multi Power Battery Pack on my D700 so the burst rate was up to 8 fps.  The pistol was a Beretta Px4 Storm, shooting .40 caliber S&W ammunition.

Continue reading “How To Catch a Bullet … updated”