Monday, May 21, 2012

Annular Eclipse of 2012

Yesterday we all convened up on the ridge west side of Ananda Village to watch the annular eclipse.  I had researched this a couple weeks ago and more the night before after one of my colleagues at work sent me a link on this eclipse.  Annular eclipse's happen when the moon covers the sun but not 100% which would be a total eclipse.  Last annular eclipse happened in USA in 1998 and next total eclipse in USA is 2017 so this was really special to be able to see this from our home ground.

Barb (my photo buddy) and I talked earlier in week and made plans.  In researching this, I found that a strong neutral density filter (3.0 or 10x) would give the best for around the sun.  What I didn't realize was it would basically black out everything.  I shot about 100 photos at various exposures all of which were too underexposed so didn't get anything except the silhouette, which was cool in itself but my goal had been also to capture the outline of the oak tree in front of where we were positioned.  Oh well.  Another learning experience however I won't get another chance for a long time.

Anyway, it was still a really neat experience to hang out with a lot of people and let them look through the big lens at the live eclipse.  People brought welders glasses to see also and reflectors to watch.  It was really fun and the light was pretty amazing.  

Waiting to photograph the eclipse on ridge at Village
(Thunderclouds over Donner Pass in background)

Partial about 30%

Getting darker

Maximum eclipse from here (about 97%)

Watching eclipse by reflection

Waning Eclipse

Making hand faces while watching reflection of eclipse

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Birds of Sierra Valley

Last Weekend I drove Charli up to Sierra Valley which lay east of my home about 70 miles up in the Sierra.  One of the largest high mountain valleys, it is home to many birds during nesting season.
We camped out 2 days and spent one day driving around the valley in search of birds to photograph.

Here is a link to the album of the photos.

and a few of the pics if you are interested, click on each one to view larger versions.

Yellow Headed Blackbird

Cinnamon Teal

Egret Fishing

Mr & Mrs Sandhill Crane enjoying the moment

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Wisteria - The Randomness of Splendor

Late afternoon sunlight reflects on trees in distance
While most visitors to the Crystal Hermitage Gardens arrive during mid morning to mid afternoon, the light is much better and softer at this time of year towards the late afternoon, early evening.  When I arrived around 5:30 PM, I found no visitors.  Having the wonderland garden all to myself, I wandered around seeking out new views and perspectives.  Mandala, who runs the shrine, suggested several locations for photos.  Here are some of the results.  Click on the image to enlarge.

The tall wisteria tree is in full bloom.  

The Splendor of randomness
The Evening light (compare to previous blog post of morning light)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Crystal Hermitage Chapel in the morning

I went over this morning to capture this particular angle of the Crystal Hermitage chapel at the recommendation of Mandala who runs the Shrine museum there.  Early morning sun gave the best light.  Made HDR photos from 3 exposure sequences. Click on each photo to enlarge.  Which one do you prefer?  please comment

Crystal Hermitage Chapel
Hermitage Chapel 1

Hermitage Chapel 2

Hermitage Chapel 3

Hermitage Chapel 4

Hermitage Chapel 5