Wigglegram: Milky Way over Kalaloch Beach

milky-way

Taken back in October 2015, when I camped near Kalaloch Beach in Olympic National Park in Washington State on my Nikon D700, f/2.8 at 14mm.

There’s a lot of things I love about gifs, but one of the things is that it allows you to capture a passage of time that you just can’t with a static image. This is 5 shots, each 20 seconds, of the Milky Way as it moves through the sky over the pacific ocean, over about a period of 2 minutes.

I don’t know if I can say enough about the night sky. People often ask whether or not it actually looked like this. And it’s hard to say “well, not quite”. Sure with it being a long exposure, it captures the milky way a little more brilliantly than may be seen with the naked eye, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s not actually the way it looks. There is so much of this scene that can’t be captured by just our eyes, or even captured by a photo.

Sometimes we just assume that only the things the rods and cones can detect are what is real, but there are parts of the spectrum that aren’t visible to us but are there nonetheless.

Anyway, I’m not sure what I’m trying to say here, except, yes, these photos are real, and they’re spectacular.

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Oregon Through Timelapse

A General Life Update Where I Make Excuses:

So, it’s been more than a little while since I’ve updated… I’ve been focusing more on film photography this summer, so there hasn’t been as much to share. I have a few rolls that I’ve stashed away, that I am hoping to develop and scan myself, but am holding off until I have a few more rolls finished.

I have picked up a few new cameras, which I really should feature in a little “cameraporn” series, so I will try to do that in the next few weeks. It’ll be a Fujica GW690II, and a Mamiya RZ67proII. I am really enjoying the image quality from these larger sized medium format cameras… You’ll see what I mean when I finally get around to posting those pics.

In any case, you’ll likely be seeing a few more updates than you have been getting from me earlier this year, since now I have a bit more time on my hands… Why you ask? (Well, I’ll tell you, even though you didn’t ask.) Well, because a couple weeks ago, the company I was working at laid me off…

At first, I was a little upset, and maybe a little surprised, although I shouldn’t have been. The past year, my company had merged with another, and I had been working to manage the process of several plant closures we had been going through to achieve the “synergy targets” that the board was looking for. It meant I was in the know on some layoffs, even if I had no real control over them or how it happened. But, they layoffs continued with a voluntary separation, and then involuntary layoffs. I made it through those, but then the company made some organizational changes, and decided they didn’t need project manager any longer. It was just strange to be on both sides of the coin there. No major qualms about it though; it’s actually been quite a blessing in disguise! It happened at an opportune time for me, as I had just been trying to finalize my plans for how I could stretch rest of my vacation time this year, only to find out, that I now have plenty of time to vacation!

I’m planning on taking some time to reevaluate what direction I want my career to head in, as well as take some time to explore and learn, and spend time with my loved ones. But enough about me…

And now to get to the point… Oregon Through Timelapse:

You may have seen the photos I posted when I camped in Oregon. I had done a few timelapses, which I compiled with a couple from the last time I was in Oregon to come up with this short video… I hope you like it! I put it together a a couple months ago, so I’m not sure why I’m just now getting around to sharing it! Please let me know if you have any questions or comments about the timelapses. I am never sure how much to bore people with details, and I’m probably a little to lazy to go back and look up anything without being sure people want to know!

Anyways, thanks as always for following, and reading my words and looking at my photos. I do a lot of this stuff for my own personal benefit, but it’s also nice to know that other people enjoy it too!

#52weekproject: Week 24: Moonset over the Pacific

52WP-W24 Gold Bluffs Moonset

 

 

Taken on Tuesday, September 30, 2014, while camping at Gold Bluffs Beach Campground (near Orick, CA, in the Redwoods National Park).

 

This is one of the frames I took while attempting a timelapse of the milky way over the ocean. Using an iphone app called The Photographer’s Ephemeris, I was able to plan ahead and figure out where and when the moon would be setting. I took a walk down the beach from my campsite to where I had eaten breakfast on a log earlier that day. That spot was key since it gave me a place to hang out while I waited for my timelapse to run, and I thought would be foreground for a few pictures. The key to nice milky way shots is to have really dark and clear skies. Which means, being far away from any city lights or any light pollution, no moon, and low humidity. Fortunately (or unfortunately), the weather was pretty warm, and humid, so the Milky Way was not super bright, but it was definitely there. (Ideally, it’s best when the weather is colder and the atmosphere can’t hold much moisture, but then you have to deal with battery issues, and trying to stay warm, but I digress.)

I’m pretty happy with this photo, but would have liked to have spent more time there, since I only had a few hours to work with. (I was only up until around 2am since the following morning I needed to pack up and leave my campsite before 8am so I could drive 9 hours to Fresno to meet up with my brother and sister.)

 

Also, here’s a photo of me setting up this photo:

52WP-W24 Gold Bluffs Moonset bts

#52weekproject – Week 23: Mazama Village Campgrounds

Crater Lake, Oregon

52wp-W23 Crater Lake Mazama Campground 2014-09-27

Taken Friday, September 26, 2014.

Drove into Crater Lake National Park, well after sundown. After we set up our tents, I decided to set up my cameras for some long exposure timelapses of the sky, even though I was kind of exhausted. Really wanted to do this timelapse over Crater Lake, but driving back up those switchbacks in the dark from the campground didn’t seem appealing. Unfortunately, putting off til tomorrow what could have been done that day came back to bite me, as the following night was cloudy, and windy, so unfortunately, I didn’t end up getting any starscapes over Crater Lake. Looks like I’ll have to go back out to some other time!

I did crop the photo a bit to balance the image, and cut out the truck and the light from the bathroom. And, since I did do a timelapse with this, I was also able to stack the photos into a startrails photo. Using a different method than I have before, I stacked these in photoshop, grouped them as a smart object, and set the Stack Mode to median, which I think gave a more pleasant result than I typically get (the trails usually look more jagged and noisy). I’m still learning some of the post-processing on these photos, but overall, it’s pretty solid! Let me know what you think, or if you have any tips, or tutorials to share!

Mazama Village Startrails stacked

Big Sur Timelapse

So after Christmas with my family in San Jose, California, I rented a car, and drove down the coast to spend time with my friends in Los Angeles for New Years. My plan was to camp for a night in Big Sur, and do some timelapse photos, but with everyone being on vacation and the weather being super nice, all of the campsites ended up being booked before I got there.

I didn’t get to spend much time in Big Sur, since the sun was starting to set by the time I got there, so I just found an area I could pull over, and hike around a bit. I set up my camera and started shooting, but after the sun set, the air cooled, and the fog and moisture seemed to literally, come out of thin air. So, in my mind, I thought I wasn’t going to get really great photos of the sky since it was starting to get foggy, so I ended up skedaddling after about an hour and a half to find a hotel.

Anyway, after checking my photos, it turns out I didn’t end up with enough shots to make a real long timelapse, but I decided to put it together anyway and make it more like a fast moving slideshow.

But I guess it’s a learning experience. Just another reason for me to return to the West Coast sometime, and plan on spending more time out there!

That’s it for now!

P.s. Be sure to watch it in HD for full effect.