Collin Orthner – Photographer

June 23, 2014

Noctilucent Clouds

Filed under: E-M5, m4/3, Nature, Night, Olympus MZuiko 60mm Macro, Panorama, Panoramic, Skyscape, Trees, Water — collin orthner @ 10:34 am

I had already crawled into bed last night about 11:30pm and took a peek out the bedroom window and noticed that it was very clear out when I remembered that the summer solstice is one of the best, or only, times that we get a chance to see a somewhat rare phenomena – noctilucent clouds. Sooooooo…..  I got dressed again, put on my boots, and grabbed my cameras. Off I headed east and south of town to find a nice dark place to hopefully capture these clouds. I had been out almost an hour before a slight wisp of what looked to be the clouds I was after. I had driven on a bunch of back roads hoping for a nice view that would show the clouds off nicely and fog was forming on many low lying spots. It was a gorgeous night and I came across this large prairie lake and quickly pulled off the road and scrambled to get my gear set up, being extra careful to make all the settings how I needed them. I did not want to mess this image up! I had two cameras going and alternated between them as each was taking 20-30 second exposures. This image is actually 5 images stitched together and could be printed very large if someone was so inclined. I currently have it sized to 2.3m(90″) and it looks very nice indeed. The humidity was amazing and listening to owls hoot and the odd duck call, I honestly wish I could have just stayed out all night, only it makes it tough to get up and get things done today! I finally closed my eyes back in bed just after 3am. GREAT NIGHT!!

Night clouds or noctilucent clouds are tenuous cloud-like phenomena that are the “ragged edge” of a much brighter and pervasive polar cloud layer called polar mesospheric clouds in the upper atmosphere, visible in a deep twilight. They are made of crystals of water ice. Noctilucent roughly means night shining in Latin. They are most commonly observed in the summer months at latitudes between 50° and 70° north and south of the equator. They can only be observed when the Sun is below the horizon.

They are the highest clouds in Earth’s atmosphere, located in the mesosphere at altitudes of around 76 to 85 kilometres (47 to 53 mi). They are normally too faint to be seen, and are visible only when illuminated by sunlight from below the horizon while the lower layers of the atmosphere are in the Earth’s shadow. Noctilucent clouds are not fully understood and are a recently discovered meteorological phenomenon; there is no record of their observation before 1885.

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Click HERE for a larger version.


[Olympus E-M5, Olympus M.Zuiko 60mm Macro]



June 21, 2014

Mount Murchison, Banff National Park, AB

Rain clouds were engulfing Mount Murchison a few mornings back as I was helping lead a photo excursion through Banff and Jasper National Park last weekend. It was raining off and on, but never kept us from anything.



[Olympus E-M5, Olympus M.Zuiko 75-300mm]



June 9, 2014

Disintegrating Storm

Filed under: Black & White, Nature, Panorama, Panoramic, Sigma DP3 Merrill, Sigma DP3M, Skyscape, Storms — collin orthner @ 11:13 pm

Red Deer County, Alberta (click the image to embiggen it)



[ Sigma DP3 Merrill]



June 3, 2014

First Storm of ’14

Filed under: Agriculture, E-M5, Hand of Man, m4/3, Nature, Olympus Fisheye Body Cap Lens 9mm, Skyscape, Storms — collin orthner @ 10:11 pm

The storm was breaking up as the sun was setting last night, but it left a lot of rain and some hail in it’s wake. This image was made just S.E. of Red Deer at around 9:35pm. I had my first good chance to try the new Olympus Body Cap Fisheye 9mm f/8 lens. I must say it works rather nicely for this sort of image. I bent the horizon slightly in post to compensate for the barrel distortion the fisheye lens gives as I didn’t keep the horizon dead centre, but aimed the camera up slightly. The distortion is not as severe as I would get from the Rokinon 7.5mm. This tiny Olympus lens sees a mere 140° compared to the Rokinon’s 180° which may be why the distortion doesn’t seem so severe. Of course the Rokinon is easily the better lens, especially in the corners and it’s far faster, but being able to pop the Olympus lens in my shirt pocket for a “just in case” image makes it worth having in the arsenal. If I were shooting aurora or starlit nightscapes, it will be the 7.5mm Rokinon every time.



[ Olympus E-M5, Olympus Body Cap Fisheye 9mm f/8 ]





May 28, 2014

Kicking Horse River, Yoho National Park, B.C.

Filed under: Travel, Square, Nature, Rocks, Water, Movement, m4/3, E-M5, Olympus M.Zuiko 40-150mm, Mountain — collin orthner @ 7:51 pm

While co-leading a photo excursion in Banff and Yoho National Parks, our group made a stop at the Natural Bridge just a few kilometres from Field B.C. We spent a fair bit of time wandering below the falls photographing the many variations of the fast moving water as it tumbles over rocks on it’s way to the Pacific Ocean.



[Olympus E-M5, M.Zuiko 40-150mm]





May 24, 2014

This Little Guy Worked Long and Hard, He’s Burnt Out

Filed under: Hand of Man, iPhone 4S, Square — collin orthner @ 9:49 pm

I had been busy changing a few lightbulbs around the house and had set this one down on our dining room table on a nice linen tablecloth so it wouldn’t roll off. I finished up was I was doing and noticed it looked quite nice and made a quick snap with my phone. A little tweaking in some apps and Photoshop and I got this.




[iPhone 4s]



May 9, 2014


Filed under: Abstract, Nature, Ricoh GW3, Sigma DP1 Merrill, Sigma DP1M, Trees — collin orthner @ 9:07 pm

Yes, the snow is all (mostly) gone finally! Now we go through a stage of dullness. You know, it’s still too cool for the trees to sprout their fresh new green leaves and all the many different forest plants to poke through last years decaying leaves that are coating the forest floor. Greys, browns, dark greys, light browns, light greys, dark browns, and maybe some tiny bits of reddish bark on the Red Osier Dogwood are what we get to view now. I am certainly not complaining, as I find this combination rather pleasing, reminding me of the same colours we get to view on the different species of sparrows that flutter around us all year. Found myself in Bower Woods again while walking on my way to work.





[Sigma DP1 Merrill w/Ricoh GW-3]



May 6, 2014

Nature in the City

Filed under: Nature, Ricoh GW3, Sigma DP1 Merrill, Sigma DP1M, Trees, Water — collin orthner @ 10:33 pm

Walking to work the other day, I spotted a small pond of water that I have never noticed before likely due to more spring meltwater than usual. I skirted around the one end as the sun peaked through he clouds. Looks like a swamp when really it’s just a small pond. A couple of mallards quietly snuck off into the woods as I approached and as I was only a few meters from Spruce Drive the steady hum of traffic kind of ruined the peacefulness of the scene.



[Sigma DP1 Merrill w/Ricoh GW-3]



May 1, 2014

Winter Ain’t Over Yet

Filed under: Black & White, Nature, Sigma DP1 Merrill, Sigma DP1M, snow, Trees, Winter — collin orthner @ 10:31 pm

I know, I know, it’s been 20C for the last two days, but this was only last Sunday and there’s more of this coming for the weekend again! It still looks beautiful though, and at this time of year it only lasts a few hours as the temperature is very close to 0C, unlike during the middle of January when the temperature could easily be -30C. This image was made only a few kilometres east of Red Deer. It would make a nice spot to put a house! I started out with this being a 5 vertical image stitch, but then I’ve cropped both ends, so really it’s more like a 3 1/2 – 4 image stitch. Either way it would make a rather large print easily.



[Sigma DP1 Merrill]





April 27, 2014

Late April / Late Snow

Filed under: Black & White, Nature, Sigma DP3 Merrill, Sigma DP3M, snow, Trees, Winter — collin orthner @ 3:11 pm

I drove off into Red Deer County a bit east of town this morning to capture what happened overnight. Yeah, it snowed again last night, but thankfully it’s all disappeared already. It didn’t take very long as the temperature when I headed out was only -1C and it quickly climbed above zero. It was a very interesting sound when all of a sudden all the snow melted and the water drops started falling off the tree branches. It sounded like it was raining. It was  quite a nice morning to be out.



[Sigma DP3 Merrill]



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