Sunday, August 28, 2011

McMath Sunset

Tonight's sunset behind the McMath Solar Telescope atop Kitt Peak. 800mm lens ISO 400 1/200 sec @ F/7.1 through Baader Solar Filter. This image was captured from 12.2 miles away from the mountain top where the telescope resides.

The video below was obtained from the same location using a Questar 3.5 and a Canon 5D Mark II in video mode at 1080p. The video is sped up by a factor of 2 for brevity.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Evening in SA

This evening in my front yard ...

Last evening on Mt. Graham . . .

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

From across the pond

It always nice to have visitors from across the Pond here in AZ. We were lucky enough to have a great couple from England spend a few days letting us drag them around the desert.

Carmen and Andy - two intrepid travelers - spent two weeks touring Arches national Monument, Canyon Lands, The Grand Canyon, Sedona, Monument Valley and even (brave souls) Death Valley, before coming to see the Sonoran Desert. They had wonderful stories about their adventures and I love the way Brits speak - such an classy and elegant tone.

Andy being a fellow photographer was great to work with in the wilds of the Desert Museum, Titan Missile Museum and San Xavier. Old haunts for me - but always interesting to visitors.

Here are a few snapshots from our desert wanderings . . .

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Well - I'm at Kitt Peak National Observatory for the next three days. Its offically "down-time" for the summer monsoon season and we have the next 4 weeks to perform upgrades and maintenance on the the telescopes.

This afternoon however, the monsoon storms began rolling through the valleys surrounding the mountain and I was treated with a SPECTACULAR show of lightning and clouds.

Around sunset the rain showers in the valley west of the mountain became backlit with the setting sun and provided some very interesting telephoto abstract imagery.

Later, as the storms intensified I witnessed a violent down draft south of the small town of Sells, AZ that produced a large dust storm - and what appeared to be a rain shaft not unlike the look of a tornado . . .

As it got darker, the lightning became so intense south of the mountain that you could point your camera just about anywhere and with a couple of seconds capture astounding strokes with the observatory domes in the foreground. All images shown here were made with either a 200mm or 400mm lens. Exposures ranged from 30 seconds to 2 minutes.