Monday, September 24, 2018

Sept 24, 2018: Fun with a female Phidippus regius

Found a large female Phidippus regius and brought her home for a little studio poses.  She was quite cooperative and friendly.  Below is what she offered.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

September 23, 2018: More practice with the Orion nebula

My adventure with astrophotography is going quite well except that I'm a dusk and dawn target for mosquitoes.  Tracking is improving.  Vibration control is improving.  here is the Orion Nebula - cropped and uncropped.

Orion Nebula uncrossed:  ISO 8000 Exposure, 10 sec  400 mm 

Cropped: ISO 3200, 5 sec, 400 mm

Oct 5 Better tracking ISO 800 60 sec exposure, 200mm

The boundary around the reddish region is quite interesting.  The colors apparently come from UV radiation of hydrogen gas (ionized Hydrogen, H II)

Friday, September 21, 2018

Sept 18, 2018: Heat lighting

Watching a lightning display in the south.   Lots of clouds and the lighting was mostly hidden - but the result was back lit clouds revealing interesting overlays of clouds.

Sept 20, 2018: Long duration lighting

I have a Pluto Trigger, a gift from my son, and slowly I'm learning to use it.  My current curiosity is how to capture lightning.  The Pluto Trigger has a lightning mode where you set the sensitivity, and it's internal light sensor triggers the camera shutter each time some light event changes.   Lots of false positives, but a few quite interesting photos.

Last evening we had an almost storm -  i.e. dark clouds, lightning and no rain.  Perfect for trying to capture lighting.  I managed to capture one event in about 300 - but that event was quite interesting.  Two consecutive triggers a second apart displayed the same lighting event - suggesting the duration was > 1 sec.  Here are the images and its clear (at least to me) that they represent the same event - a discontinuous upper segment and the lower segment follows the tree limb.  I'm shooting at ISO 100, f/8, 1/10 sec exposure.

First event: 19:11:49 - a discontinuous top (probably hidden behind something) and the lower segment follows the tree limb

Second event: 19:11:50 - Same less bright, probably because the duration is less than 1/10 sec (exposure time).  However this suggests the total duration of the event was > 1 sec.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Sept 13, 2018: Lightning and Astrophotography

Photographing LIghtning

I have a Pluto Trigger that works quite well for water drop collisions.  I've decided to try to photograph lightning.    There was a convenient storm in the afternoon.  I set up looking out the back window through the screened area.  I got 1 success out of 322 exposures.  I saw several lightning flashes that triggered the camera but the exposure missed it.  I'm thinking that the delay between camera trigger signal from the Pluto Trigger and actually activating the shutter is too long - its the next problem to solve. 

Here is the result from the storm (18mm, f/16, 1/20 sec, ISO 100)

Encouraged by the lightning adventure, I thought I'd try more night experiments:  tracking stars.  Orion nebula

Uncropped image of the Orion nebula

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Sept 09, 2018 . Wet webs at Alderman's Ford Nature Preserve (Turkey Creek)

Heavy fog this morning - so lots of water on the web and grass

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Sept 5, 2018: Dolomedes and more

Mating dragonflies, an elephant mosquito and a cooperative Dolomedes triton

Elephant Mosquito (Toxorhynchites sp)

Two mating dragonflies - in flight

Two mating dragonflies - stationary on a twig

Mating dragonflies - different presentation

Dolomedes triton

Dolomedes triton

Unusual wasp

Dolomedes triton

Dolomedes triton

Mating water bugs