June 28-29, we had a nice showing of Aurora Borealis in central Alberta. I went out around 11pm and the best part of the show was from about 12:45-1:0a.m. Temperature was warm and watching the last its of sunset disappear was amazing considering how late it was. Originally I had found a slough that would have reflected the lights nicely, but the quantity of mosquitos made me rethink the desicion. Instead, I headed for open fields. There were still a few mosquitos, but at least they were tolerable enough that I could concentrate on my camera gear enough to make some images.
[Olympus E-M5, Rokinon 7.5mm Fisheye]
Sunrise in the Alberta Rockies is early when you travel there near the summer solstice. Having been up making images with stars until 12:30am with a group of photography students in Banff National Park, and then needing to be on the road at 3:45am in order to catch the sunrise at Moraine Lake, I was pretty tired for the rest of the day. It was a 45 minute drive up past Lake Louise and then a 10-15 minute hike up to the lookout. Surprisingly there was our group and another couple, so it was a very quite morning. I can’t believe there weren’t throngs of people to view this almost unbelievably beautiful place. One of the women from our group commented to me as the sun was just starting to graze the top of the mountain peaks, “Now this is God’s country!” I couldn’t agree more!!
I made the image using my Sigma DP2 Merrill camera to do a multiple image stitch. This involved being sure to level the camera properly and setting the exposure for the brightest part of any one image and locking it in using “manual” mode and manual focus. I also use the self timer on my camera to avoid any vibration from me pressing the shutter button. Once all is set, I Start at one end of my image and overlapping each subsequent image by about 30% (doesn’t have to be exact) I continue shooting until I reach the other end of where I want the image to end. This image required 5 images, all shot as verticals. I got to try out my new Sunwayfoto ballhead (XB-44 w/ DDH-02) The little DDH-02 allows me to level the head and then swing my panorama above the ball of the head which is so much faster and easier than adjusting three tripod legs independently to get things leveled up! Just for fun I rezzed this image up to a 120″ print in Photoshop CS – it could go bigger still!! These Merrill camera having amazing resolution and stitching five images together creates the ability to print incredibly detailed images at very large size.
[Sigma DP2 Merrill]
Red Deer County was under a severe thunderstorm threat about a week ago and much of southern Alberta has been devastated by very heavy rain and flooding this past week.The extremes weather has caused unbelievable damage and destroyed much property, infrastructure, and sadly some lives have been lost. This storm that moved through Red Deer County a week ago was the beginning of all the rain, but from a different weather system. Devastating and awe inspiring at the same time.
[Olympus E-M5, Rokinon 7.5mm Fisheye]
Evening blues take over at Two Jack Lake in Banff National Park, and a few stars peak through the darkness over Mount Rundle as it gets close to midnight.
[Olympus E-M5, Olympus m.Zuiko 12mm f/2]
Yes, it’s a photograph of a person! I know, you don’t often get the chance to see these sort of images on this blog very often. It had been a great evening so far. We had attended my youngest son Alexander’s grade 9 grad and after dropping him off at a friends home for the rest of the evening we, not having eaten since lunch, needed to find some food. The decision was made for sushi and off we went. After ordering we were joking around and Thomas turned to his mom grinning. I barely had time to grab my camera off the table and grab this image. The background shapes were fantastic and the lighting was great. I only wish Alexander would have been there too, but he really wanted to be with his friends for a bit.
[Olympus E-M5, Panasonic 20mm f1.7]
Along Township Road 381 east of Red Deer, a few ponds created by beaver dams have flooded trees and shrubs. Searching out reflections of these shrubs to line up with and some fast moving clouds proved challenging, but I had a lot of fun trying!
[Sigma DP3 Merrill]