Thielsen Stars

About an hour and 15 minutes prior to the image that I posted last, the hints of dawn were already visible.

After an hour of trying to get star images through the moving clouds, the first hints of light started at astronomical twilight.  This image unfolded half an hour later, just a few minutes before nautical twilight, as the sky really started to brighten directly behind Mount Thielsen.

The rapidly changing light was quite a treat, but nowhere near the treat as watching Jupiter (just left of frame center) rise in the eastern sky, visible well after sunrise.

Thielsen Stars

The surprise in this image was the airplane directly over the peak.  I don’t recall seeing it when I took the picture, but there were quite a few out that morning.  Their low rumble was the only man-made sound I heard for a few hours.

That alone made getting up to watch this worthwhile.

Fish Lake Moonrise

Early last week, there were a few very large flares on the surface of the sun.  Each larger than the one prior, the flares ejected enough energy towards Earth that there was a promise of aurora.  Some forecasts even had aurora visible as far south as northern California and Nevada.

Late Thursday evening, Goddess and I discussed the opportunity, and the likelihood that we’d be skunked, but it was a chance to get out into southeastern Oregon.  The part of the state that most folks out this way don’t talk about.

“Because there’s nothing there”.

Some folks just don’t know how to look at things.

After a long day’s drive to Steens Mountain, we got out there just in time to start setting up camp before it got dark.  After astronomical twilight passed, we had but 45 minutes before moonrise.  That was our window to catch a glimpse.

We noticed a very diffuse glow along the northern horizon, from northwest to northeast, but nothing that would stand out as a definite observation.  While taking pictures, I started to notice the moon rising to the east, some 20 minutes before we saw it.  It wasn’t really visible to the eye, but quite obvious on 15 second exposures.  The clouds over that direction helped with the effect.

Fish Lake Moonrise

The picture doesn’t do justice to the amount of stars we were able to see out there.

Our camp was at 7,400′ and, as is typical of a desert, very dry.  Unfortunately, there was quite a bit of smoke and haze in the area, thanks to the many wildfires burning in the surrounding states.  You can catch a hint of that smoke in the reds near the moon and along the ridgeline to the left.

So while the aurora was a wash for us, the trip wasn’t.  It’s an area I’ve been looking at for a while, trying to figure out a good reason to make a road trip out there.  Well, other than making it a road trip.  The promise of aurora was the trigger and even though we didn’t catch but maybe a hint, we’re glad for the trip.  Many firsts for Goddess (like driving alongside a herd of wild pronghorn antelope) and hopefully enough of a hint of the beauty and history that she’ll be willing to go back.

Speaking of hints, that tree line is a grove of quaking aspen.  Our campsite was among them and the mountain was covered in a patchwork pattern, each grove in a different stage of color, from normal summer greens to bright yellows to deep reds.  An autumn worth of color in one spot.

Perhaps I’ll share.

Wizard Moonset

Sorry for the slower posting lately.  There’s been quite a lot of work going on around here, most of it related to the photos.

I’ll post more on that later.  Perhaps release the whole kit and kaboodle, although if you have paid attention to how this blog is set up, you are seeing a part of it now.

But that’s not important right now.

The last post was the video of the moon setting over Crater Lake from our Canon G12, but here is an image from the primary camera (not a screen grab from the video).

Watching the moon set with this view was quite an experience, the scene that Goddess and I had planned to capture for a few weeks, putting all of the wheels in motion some 24 hours prior.

Even though this view is only two hours away.

Wizard Moonset

Thanks to The Photographer’s Ephemeris, I knew weeks in advance where I needed to be standing in order to position the setting moon over the peak of Wizard Island.

That meant that after the 90 minutes of images that comprised Charioteer, I could hop back in the car and drive Goddess and Skinny to the opposite side of the lake, get in position and take a nap for a couple of hours before I needed to set up the cameras and start capturing the scene.

It is a great thing to be able to plan those moments out.

And for those wondering where the reflection of the moon is, please keep in mind that from the summit of Wizard Island to the crater wall in the background is 1.25 miles (2km).  The angle just does not allow for a reflection.

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And just as a reminder, today (Friday, August 2, 2013) is the last day of voting for the Medford Mail-Tribune photography people’s choice award, where Charioteer is consistently bouncing between first and second place.  If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, please read here.

Thank you for your support!

Cold Phantom

Another from Monday’s overnight and sunrise session at Crater Lake.

Here is the Phantom Ship, a rock island in Crater Lake, remnants of the old lava flows from Mount Mazama, the volcano that exploded and collapsed, filling with rainwater and snowmelt to give us Crater Lake.

Cold Phantom

What’s with the odd color combinations, you ask?

Fair enough.

This image was captured about 30 minutes after sunrise from an overlook on the eastern side of Crater Lake.  The Phantom Ship is tucked close to the southeastern side of the lake, so it was still in the shadow of the crater walls.  Hence the cold, blue colors, since the only light on the rock face was from the blue sky above and reflected off the deep blue water below.  The golden hue is the reflection of the south wall of the crater, which was in direct sunlight.

And for a bit of scale, the tallest spire on the island is 170′ (52 meters)., while the island is some 500′ (152 meters) long.

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For those of you who have enjoyed the images, you may not realize that I do offer my prints for sale.

Each image is a click-through, meaning if you click on it, it will take you to another site.  For those I think enough of to offer as a print, which are not all of them, it will take you to my web site where you can purchase them and have them delivered directly to you.  Without watermarks.

Since I have not done a very good job of making this known, I’m offering two coupons valid for the rest of July, 2013.  You just have to browse over to my online gallery.

For purchases up to $300 (before shipping), the discount is 15%.  Just use the code 13Summer when checking out.

For purchases above $300 (before shipping), the discount is 20%.  Just use the code 13Summer20 when checking out.

Unfortunately, only one coupon is valid per order.

If you are considering prints (e.g., not canvas or framed images) I cannot recommend the metallic finish enough.  Seriously.  It adds a dimension to the images that cannot be matched in any other finish.  Almost three-dimensional, especially when it comes to portraits and landscape.  It is my go-to finish for any prints I order, especially for my family portraits.

While I mainly post landscape images here, I do have several other genres that I enjoy capturing:  Travel, Architecture, Nature, Street and Autos.  Each genre is available directly from my main page.

Thank you for your consideration.  And for stopping by to read my rambles.

Charioteer

Goddess and I had been discussing a specific photo shoot for a few weeks.  Specifically, a full moon setting over Crater Lake.

Basic in concept, a bit more technical in execution.

Especially since I’m technically-minded.

Meaning that I confirmed my shooting location down to 1/1000th of a degree, thanks to GPS.

That’s just what I do to make sure that I capture what I want.

In this case, I wanted to capture the moon setting over Wizard Island.

Thanks to The Photogrpaher’s Ephemeris, it was fairly easy to determine the spot that I needed to stand to capture the image that I wanted.

So it was planned, planned and planned.

But switching from a standard diurnal sleep schedule to one that allowed us to catch a moonset at 05:54am local time, some two hours away, took a bit of planning.

Luckily, our preparation sleep didn’t work out as planned.

So that meant that we started the drive to Crater Lake a few hours earlier than we had planned.  Which gave us the time to play a bit.

20 seconds at a time.

Charioteer

For those that keep track, that’s a 20-second exposure, two hundred times, at ISO800, with a 28/1.8 lens set at f4.0.  Stacked and processed.

So approximately 90 minutes of images to track the stars.

But what does “Charioteer” have to do with it?  It’s the Anglicized nickname of the constellation Auriga, of which its brightest star, just left of center, is rising from and to the right of the Llao Rock.  The star is known as Capella, third brightest in the northern celestial hemisphere.

Thankfully, we were helped by an almost full moon directly behind us, front lighting the all of the terrestrial features.  At the median time that the image was taken, the full moon wouldn’t be for another 10 hours, in the middle of the day.

That wouldn’t do.

But this will.

Oh, and for those of you that are curious about that bright streak in the lake, just lower right of Wizard Island, that is a pollen raft.  The pollen from the trees surrounding the lake will settle on the surface and the wind will push the particles together.  So you’ll often see expansive pollen rafts scattered about Crater Lake.  But the season has passed, leaving this one behind.

———————————————–

For those of you who have enjoyed the images, you may not realize that I do offer my prints for sale.

Each image is a click-through, meaning if you click on it, it will take you to another site.  For those I think enough of to offer as a print, which are not all of them, it will take you to my web site where you can purchase them and have them delivered directly to you.  Without watermarks.

Since I have not done a very good job of making this known, I’m offering two coupons valid for the rest of July, 2013.  You just have to browse over to my online gallery.

For purchases up to $300 (before shipping), the discount is 15%.  Just use the code 13Summer when checking out.

For purchases above $300 (before shipping), the discount is 20%.  Just use the code 13Summer20 when checking out.

Unfortunately, only one coupon is valid per order.

If you are considering prints (e.g., not canvas or framed images) I cannot recommend the metallic finish enough.  Seriously.  It adds a dimension to the images that cannot be matched in any other finish.  Almost three-dimensional, especially when it comes to portraits and landscape.  It is my go-to finish for any prints I order, especially for my family portraits.

While I mainly post landscape images here, I do have several other genres that I enjoy capturing:  Travel, Architecture, Nature, Street and Autos.  Each genre is available directly from my main page.

Thank you for your consideration.  And for stopping by to read my rambles.