Resplendent Heron

Minnesota.  Lake of the Woods.

Home to wildlife and pure Nature in quantities that defy comprehension.

This bird was brave and bold.  Hopefully I’ve captured both his color and his spirit in this graphic.







Puzzled by Smartphone Cameras Supremacy within Astrophotography

My D300 cannot produce a photo this sharp when hooked up to my Bausch & Lomb 1200mm reflector.  Through the eyepiece, the moon is crystal clear.  Sharp as a razor.  But I struggle to get the same clarity when the Nikon’s hooked up to the telescope.

One night I tried placing my Samsung Galaxy S4’s camera to the eyepiece to see whether I could get a WYSIWYG photo.  BAM!  Success.  But while it works fine on the Moon, I could not get the Samsung Galaxy to focus or capture the bands of Jupiter (that I could make out with my eye).  So as long as the image is big and bright, the Sammy captures it spectacularly!  The best thing about this setup is that once I stabilize the image in the eyepiece, I can capture exactly what I see with the 13MP camera.  The worst thing about it is I need to carefully center the phone’s camera in the eyepiece and pay careful attention to the optimal distance to the eyepiece.

Nevertheless, it’s the best way I’ve found to produce NASA-quality images of the Moon (if this is, indeed).

Edited in GiMP for levels and color.


2003, Afghanistan

A rare military photo from my past.   Edited in GIMP.

It was a hot, sticky, and challenging day–typical of a day in Afghanistan.  However, we learned of a slingload operation and the collective mood picked up, although unless you were a member of the company you would not have noticed.  The Soldiers were trained and we had the equipment.  All we needed to do was show up on time.  So we did.  I let the non-commissioned officers (NCOs) lead the mission while I fought the prop-wash to get the following photo.  Standing beside a hovering CH-47 Chinook is a unique experience:  imagine being in a sandstorm while being kicked in the chest twice per second.

After the team hooked up the load to the Chinook, they dismounted and departed the mission so the helicopter could lift off.  As quickly as we hooked up the load the mission was over.  Back to the hooches and makeshift offices for the team.  Here’s hoping the cargo makes it and the recipients have more than they need.



DCP_2314 Gimp Edit Rotated

Cannot stop looking.

I love the Moon.  I do.  She’s always there watching over me–inviting me to gaze at her.  How many people have looked up at her and stared. . .

Two photos–black and white for yesterday, and full color for today’s shot.  Both shot at 300mm using my Nikon D300.  Cropped and touched up a bit using Gimp.


DSC_5535 Moon at 300mm

Above:  Color.  A moon that’s just past full.


Above:  Black and white.  A moon that’s pretty darn near full.