Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Moon at Dusk

It rained the entire day today. However around 4 things started to clear up a little and there was a nice sunset. As I came home I saw and heard several birds hanging out in the backyard. Unfortunately by the time I got out there with my camera, they were gone. Hence the picture of the moon. One of the nice things about a day of rain is that it tends to clear the air of other aerosols. In fact if it were a clear night tonight I bet the viewing would be pretty good. I think the results are pretty good considering this was shot hand held.

Technical Specs: Canon 1D3, 300 f/2.8 IS + 2x TC, f/7.1, 1/800s, ISO 800.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Black Phoebe

I photographed his Black Phoebe yesterday morning at the Palo Alto Baylands. He was an active little guy but he did manage to stay still for a brief moment.

People are sometimes curious why I bother with bird photography. It certainly seems like a hassle, getting up at the crack of dawn, hauling all that gear in the cold. I do it for a couple of reasons:
                • There is beauty in everything and birds (and wildlife) are no different, hence its worth photographing
                • I find it very relaxing. Its great to spend a couple of hours with very few people just waiting for a bird to return to a particular spot or look in a particular direction. It has a Zen quality to it.

Technical Specs: Canon 1D3, 500mm f/4 + 1.4x TC (700mm equiv.), f/5.6, 1/320, ISO 800.

Friday, November 16, 2007

First Bird of Paradise

Kim has planted several birds of paradise around the yard (large ones in the back and these in the front). In the past week this one flowered, the first in our yard.

We will be in Jamaica next week for a holiday so there should be fun pictures when we return.

Technical Specs: Canon 1D3, 135 f/2, f/5.6, 1/160s, ISO 400.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Comet Holmes

Its been a pretty busy week. I've been recovering from my trip to South Africa and Kim's parents and Amy have been visiting. Before leaving for SA, I remember reading about Comet Holmes and how it unexpectedly had gotten a millions times brighter quite suddenly. I made a mental note to check it but totally forgot. I was reminded today when I saw Mike's Picture of the Week.

Along with photographing the comet, I also set up my binoculars in the backyard and everyone was able to get a peek.

Technical Specs: Canon 1D3, 500mm f/4 IS + 1.4x TC (700mm equiv.), f/5.6, 13s, ISO 3200.

Sunday, November 04, 2007


Another picture from the game drive through Kwantu last week.

Technical Specs: Canon 40D, 70-200 f/4 IS @ 200mm, f/7.1, 1/500s, ISO 400.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Pair of Elephants

Another shot from this morning.

Technical Specs: Canon 40D, 70-200 f/4 IS, f/4.0, 1/3200s, ISO 200.

Addo Park

I just got back from Addo Park and am now in Port Elizabeth. My series of flights to return home begins tomorrow. I took this picture this morning (went on an 6am sunrise safari). I'll add more as I get more chances (I'm finding it challenging to find reliable wireless internet here).

Technical Specs: Canon 1D3, 300mm f/2.8 IS + 1.4x TC, f/4, 1/1000s, ISO 1600.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Sunwapta Falls

This weekend Kim and I went on a trip through Banff and Jasper National Parks with my parents (I'm still in Red Deer visiting them as I write this). In addition to seeing various water falls, we also went up on the Columbia Ice Fields and on the Banff and Jasper Gondolas. This was taken on the last day during a quick stop at the Sunwapta Falls and Gorge. I had neglected to pack my tripod, so I had to rely on resting the camera at an odd angle on the top of the protective barrier. I think that without LiveView, it would have taken much longer to shoot this image (I managed to get this one my first try).

Technical Specs: Canon 1D3, 17-40 @ 19mm, f/22, 1s, ISO 100.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Full Lunar Eclipse

In the early hours of Tuesday morning this week, there was a total lunar eclipse. The eclipse started at around 1:50 am Pacific time and it took about an hour for the full eclipse to begin. I wasn't sure I'd be able to stay up, but somehow I managed. I grabbed a few shots of the moon during the partial eclipse and finally one shot during the full eclipse. It was late and I was tired so I just quickly grabbed a shot and went to bed. Unfortunately the shot is blurry from hand motion (I was too lazy to set up the tripod that late at night).

Technical Specs: Canon Rebel XTi, 300mm f/2.8 IS + 2x tc, various apertures and shutter speeds.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Scintillating Moon

I saw the moon rising this evening, turns out it is nearly full (the full moon is on July 30th), so I quickly grabbed my longest lens setup and snapped a few pictures. Just out of curiosity I placed one on top of the other to see the difference and was quite surprised by just how much scintillation there really is (if you click on the picture and open the original GIF, it animated to flip back and forth between two shots). The scintillation is caused by a few factors including aerosols in the atmosphere, wind, temperature gradients in the atmosphere. The somewhat poor resolution can probably also be explained by atmospheric variations.

Update: Google in their infinite wisdom doesn't allow animated GIFs (looks like it takes the first frame and converts to JPG). So I've hosted the animated GIF elsewhere.

Technical Specs: Canon Rebel XTi, 300mm f/2.8 IS + 2x TC, f/8 @ 1/200s, ISO 400.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Deer near Lake Shasta

On Saturday evening, after checking into our hotel, we went for a drive around the Lake Shasta area. We were mainly looking for potential places to do fishing from a dock or lakeside. On the way I spotted on location that was the head of a trail which promised bird viewing opportunities (Osprey and Eagles I believe). As we drove there was a deer on the path, so I quickly pulled over and decided to try my new 300mm f/2.8 IS lens. I was very happy with the performance of the lens on the 5D and this was one of the photographs I took. I was pushed to use ISO 3200 and was shooting wide open, so the IS saved me. Between the use high ISO and the AF performance I am really looking forward to the 1D3.

Technical Specs: Canon 5D, 300mm f/2.8 IS, f/2.8, 1/100s, ISO 3200.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Peace Lily

The Peace Lily is one of the few indoor plants that actually flower in low light. This is one of the many plants and flowers that Kim is currently growing inside and outside the house.

I have for some time been meaning to do some B&W flower photography so I took the opportunity tonight. The petal had some imperfections so a B&W conversion was a good way to hide it. Not a bad start I think.

Technical Details: Canon 5D, 70-200 f/4 IS @ 200mm, f/5.6, 1/100s, ISO 100.