Sedona Panoramic

Sunset at one of America's most beautiful locations.  Image now in the Landscape/America's Southwest Gallery.  


Venus Transit 2012


We stayed in our own backyard for the 2012 transit, unfortunately the weather did not cooperate.  We had some plans to try some through the scope imaging, but clouds simply would not clear.  We had a very quick look at the first moments of 1st contact.  Can you see Venus nibbling away at the solar disk?  (Please click on image for full size).  Members of OVAS setup varying white filtered light and hydrogen alpha filtered light solar scopes at the observatory and near the High School football field.  But the clouds simply thickended moments after 1st contact.  

Here is Brent Maynard in the dome with the C14 imaging through a white light solar filter.  He captured a very nice nibble of Venus from the solar disk.  All images are clickable for larger versions.  




Rodger Blake with his arsenal of solar scopes and demonstrating his video gear.  It was great to see Rodger again with all of his astro-toys!




Here is my setup for the event with the Astro-Physics 130EDF and Mach1 mount with Canon 5DMKII camera.  It is always nice to give these special events a real-go effort even though the weather didn't cooperate.  We are ready for the next one in 2117!


Tonight's Moon

Finally some nice weather and a chance to get the scope out for some viewing and brief imaging.  Here is our nearest neighbor from tonight.  Please click image for higher resolution option from gallery.


The Camera is a Liar

I have often stated that the camera is a liar.  Why?  Well I must first establish that the real "truth" teller in all of this is the human eye and brain.  This can be debated, but for now please just accept this notion.  Now that we have established what is truth, it is quite simple to prove that the camera is a liar. Many "purists" insist on no "manipulation" of an image; simply let the camera record the "truth." Nothing could be further from reality.  There are many scientific differences between the human eye/brain interpretation of light and the digital sensor.  The purpose of this post is not to regurgitate what others have written, so I simply forward you to the fantastic webpage by Roger Clark where he addresses the differences between the human eye and camera sensors/lenses.  

I simply wanted to present an image that I recorded in the spring and demonstrate how the camera recorded the image and how my eye interpreted the scene.  The image is from Douglas Falls in West Virginia where we had our first "Flowing Water Workshop" in May.  The scene is a beautiful flowing stream in late morning.  The light is bright sun on the left side of the image and blue sky illuminated shadows in the lower parts of the canyon.  As you can see from the 3 images posted below, the camera simply cannot record the entire range of light with one capture.

 Douglas Falls OptimizedThere are two things that are important for the photographer to understand; how the camera is going to record a particularly beautiful but challenging scene and how to process the data afterwards so that the final image meets the interpretation of the photographer.  This is what we focus on in our workshops and post-workshop teaching.  The final image of Douglas Falls is posted on the left.  This is how I interpreted the scene that day and is much closer to "reality" than any of the 3 images pictured above taken by the camera.

Please click on the image or here for a higher resolution image. 


Mesa Arch Morning

Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National ParkMesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park is an icon of the southwestern landscape.  The early morning sun light reflects off of the deep canyon walls and provides intense illumination of the arch.  The arch with the window to the desert floor below is a site not to be missed if you are in the Moab, UT area.  

For a hgher resolution image please click on the image and then click on the thumbnail for best views.  Enjoy and take care.