Monday, February 28, 2011

Crowded Skies

Tonight NASA's solar sail satellite passed over Tucson at 7:35pm. A difficult object to see as it is realively small. I decided to try and capture it "on film" (well - with my digital camera). Because the event happened in late twilight, lasted only 60 seconds (for the field of view I chose) and I was imaging from my light polluted house - exposures had to be made at high ISO (to ensure capture of the satellite) and threrefore realtively short (as not to overexpose the bright sky background).

Below is the result - NanosailD is the dashed diagonal line running from top-center to bottom left. The trail appears dashed because this image is actually a combination of 15 four second exposures with a one second gap between exposures. the NanosailD trail is but one of 6 satellites captured in the 60 seconds worth of exposures - can you find them? Click on the picture for a larger view.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Old Haunts

Hangin' with the photographers at Sweetwater and San Xavier. Remembering again how much I hate ducks . . .

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Gymcats miss the bird

Another evening at Mchale for womens gymnastics. This time I was determined to stop the action of this very dynamic sport. Photographing almost any indoor sport is an extreme challange, but gymnastics is especially so.

Low light levels, fast action, cluttered relatively close-in backgrounds, prohibited use of flash, limited angles from which capture atheletes - make this a "target rich" yet photographer unfriendly environment.

So - to better my chances of "getting the shot" I brought my fastest lenses (85mm F/1.2; 70-200 F/2.8 and 300 F/2.8), my fastest camera (Canon 1D Mark II capable of 8 frames per second) and my highest ISO/ Low Noise camera (Canon 5D Mark II) all in the hopes of negating the handicaps previously elaborated.

Here are some of the results - pretty noisy due to the use of ISO 3200 and ISO 6400. DOF was extremely shallow (@ F/1.6 and F/2.8) and focusing was very difficult, and many shots were lost due to the lack of sharp fcous. Shutter speeds varied from 1/800th to 1/2500th of a second.

And while I'm at it - if there are any Canon engineers reading this - please put me down as first on the list for the new Canon 1D Mark V - the 21+ MP full frame camera with low noise ISO 12,800 operation; 10 frames/sec with 40 frame RAW buffer and a 1/500 sec sync speed . . .

BTW- the Cats lost to the Cardinals. Sigh.