Full of itself

So it’s 2010 already. We watched the Dick Clark New Year’s Eve Special (with Ryan Seacrest) for the first time in many years. Dick Clark. Wow. I hope no one trips over the power cord that keeps him animated.

Anyway, I woke up this morning and saw that the full moon was just beginning to set. I set up my camera and pulled out my big (crappy) lens and teleconverter (750mm w/o teleconverter, 1500mm with). I used Live View (Nikon’s name for using the LCD screen to view the live image instead of the viewfinder, point and shoots have had that for years but it’s relatively new to DSLR cameras), and I could literally see the moon moving across the frame. It was amazing.

The pictures I took aren’t all that great, not as cool (or sharp) as the ones I took back in January, but they can’t all be winners.


This one turned out a little weird after I pulled out some of the noise made by the lens and high ISO setting. It looks kind of like a painting.

This one makes the moon look absolutely huge!

This is probably my favorite of the bunch. The lens does some weird stuff with the out of focus objects.

The week in pictures

We’ve had several days of unending warm weather and high winds. Apparently a January thaw is normal, but being this prolonged and violent is unusual. Since the dogs need to eat and be cleaned regardless of the weather, I get to go out several times a day and get the crap beat out of me by 50-60mph winds with rain, and sometimes sleet. My rain jacket is still waterproof, after 4 years of abuse (GoLite Phantom, it’s awesome), but my rain pants are breaking down at the seams. I need to get some seam tape, so I won’t be soggy from the waist down anymore!

The morning after the moon was at its fullest, it set just as the sun was rising, making for a colorful backdrop.


Moon Obscura

Tuesday (just as it was starting to warm up), I tried to make it into town to capture some of the frozen harbor, and maybe some eagles and otters as well. Sadly, I had to brave the Homer Post Office first, which ate up 45 minutes of precious time. I arrived on the Spit just as the sun dipped permanently behind a thick layer of clouds, and had about 5 minutes of usable light to work with. All the otters in the canal scattered as I walked up, so this is all it was able to get. Hopefully it will freeze back up before winter’s over, and I’ll try again.

Cold Harbor

Skippy has Fridays off, so we spent our time between dog duties relaxing, cooking, and reading. We also let the dogs up on the bed on weekends, so here’s a shot Skippy took of me and my reading buddy.



It’s another full moon, which sets just before the sun rises. I looked at it with the telescope last night. This morning, I managed to bracket manual focus with the 500mm and get the setting moon mostly in focus.

You can sort of see how weird the bokeh is on this lens, by the craptacular blur on the foreground tree branches.

Skippy brought home some tulips the other day, and they’re starting to open up. The sun, filtering through our foggy window, provided some nice highlighting, so I broke out the macro lens and got up close and personal with them.

For closeup shots like these, I like a wide open aperture, so the depth of field is shallow. That lets me select specific areas of the image to highlight by putting them in focus, while the rest of the subject is blurred.

Tonight, we’re going to see the local production of “The Nutcracker.” It’s apparently 2.5 hours long, so…yeah. That’s a lot of sitting.


I’m currently experiencing my first Alaskan winter full moon. It rises in the early evening, and doesn’t set until mid-morning. With the snow cover, the effect is something akin to blue daylight. It feels like we’re on an alien planet, though not as alien as we experienced under the full moon in Canyonlands National Park.

So, of course I’ve gone out the past couple of nights and taken pictures. The first few are from the 11th.

I also captured some of the setting sun, apparently.

This is a 30 second exposure. I’ll try a full minute tonight, if it’s clear. The neighbor lights up their trees, I don’t know why.

Last night, we came home from the ski swap (no luck finding skis), and I convinced Skippy to stand still long enough for me to take some pictures. Thanks for modeling for me, honey!

Without the moon in the shot, I can do a longer exposure without it looking like the moon is big glowing worm in the sky. Seriously, in shots longer than 10 or so seconds, the moon and earth move enough to show, like in the first picture of this post.