Archive for the ‘photography’ Category

Sep 1

I know only a few people will probably ever read these, but it was always my intention to use this like a diary and remember the things in my life that were important to me that I did not mind sharing with anyone in the world who stumbled upon them.

Once again life has gotten in the way of my best intentions.  Day to day I seem to forget to take the few moments that it would take to add something here.  I blame Facebook, I seem to wonder into FB then lose track of time and find I’ve spent 20 minutes just scrolling down through a myriad of friends and random weirdness, usually funny, but still it seems like lost time sometimes.  Of course work, life, family and whatever the crisis of the moment happens to be have all contributed to my lack of attention.

The last few months have been as hectic as is normal is around here.  The last month has been especially trying because first Mama Bear got sick, then about two weeks into it, as she was recovering I managed to catch whatever this bug is.  It seems to be almost opportunistic, capable of determining what part of your immune system is weakest and attacking there.  I ended up with a sinus infection following what appeared to be a cold and cough, then throw in what might have been conjunctivitis on top of the sinus’ infection.

In the middle of all that I also changed employers again, same job, same environment and servers and software that I have been working on for over 11 years now, but this is the 5th employer.

I did try to shoot the Perseid meteor shower and managed to capture a couple.

Persied Meteor Aug. 13, 2018

Perseid Meteor Aug. 13, 2018

And I have managed a couple canning sessions; a few pickles but more salsa.  The neighbors have contributed to that end.  This summer a branch from one of the trees in our back yard came down and took down one of the next door neighbor’s fence panels.  My buddy from across the street (the source of peppers and other yummy garden delights) and I rebuilt the fence panel.  Then the next door neighbor brought over a bag of tomatoes.  The friend from across the street had given me a bunch of sweet-heat peppers and requested a batch of salsa using them instead of my normal Hatch recipe.  So I decided to use both neighbors fresh veggies, and got some more tomatoes from the corner farm stand and made a batch of sweet-heat salsa.  That was an excellent decision, this salsa has enough warmth to let you know it’s salsa, but has a great sweet-heat pepper taste.  The only downside was the batch only made 5 jars, with 2 going across the street and 1 going next door, that only left 2 for us.  I am committed to making at least one more batch of that this year.

Salsa Prep

Salsa Prep

We also took our grandson to see Thomas the Train at one of the local historic railroads.  We were able to ride the train watch it come in and out of the station several times.

Thomas the Train

Thomas the Train

I am ashamed to say I have not worked on the truck in months.  Hurting my shoulder/arm, then life being non-stop, then getting sick, well there just hasn’t been time to get out to the garage for much of anything.

The piano desk on the other hand is almost done, I’ll be putting up a post about that soon.


Apr 20

It has been a long time since I posted here last (I slipped the piano post in yesterday), I plead guilty of allowing life to get in the way.

The truck has been sitting in the garage waiting for warmer weather.  I have stayed busy with things around the house, I went out to the garage a few weeks ago and spent some time trying to get organized and clearing space so once warm weather hits I can get moving on it again.

I did have a realization that the first thing I will have to do in the near future, is going to be put in at least one new garage door.  We have a 2 car garage with 2 doors.  For years the far side was blocked off, the opener didn’t work, so I screwed the door to the wall to seal it closed.  When we brought the truck home, I moved the woodworking to the far side and didn’t think about it.

This week, while talking through things that I need to do and want to do, I realized that since I can’t get the garage door open, I can’t get a new table saw into the garage, and I can’t get the engine block out of the garage… unless I move the truck.

Since the truck is on jack stands with the wheels removed, that is not likely to happen, so the first thing I have to do is put in a new door on the far side so I can get things in and out and expand the shop out into the drive when I need more space.

The piano is well under way and I will be posting more updates on it as I can.  I’m going to be behind on posting for that, it is going together already and I haven’t put together the photo’s of it coming apart… LOL


Sep 27

It can give us refreshing scenes, it can bring us calming breezes, or it can sometimes bring us devistating storms, but it always brings change.

Last night as I was walking with my friend, at the end as we turned towards home I saw a lone cloud in the sky, the road led straight to it and it was the only thing visible in the sky other than the moon as the sun was setting.  This cloud was lit from behind with a bright orange glow that surrounded the edges and peeked through in thin spots from within the cloud.  As we hit the house I ran inside to grab my camera.  The camera couldn’t quite capture the brilliance of the glow, but it is close.

The Illuminated Cloud

The Illuminated Cloud

As the sun continued to set, the moon slowly became the brightest object in the sky.  I have tried to capture the moon here as the sky began to darken while the horizon was still lit by the sun going down.

The evening sky

The evening sky

A couple nights before, as we were coming home I saw the moon as it was setting.  22% Waxing Crescent.

22% Waxing Crescent Moon

22% Waxing Crescent Moon


Sep 6

Beautiful full moon last. Well 99.93% full when I took this picture, it was actually full at 3:06 AM this morning, but there was no way I was getting up at 3 AM to try to capture the perfect full moon shot…

The full Corn Moon

The full Corn Moon

The night before, my neighbor and good friend came knocking on my door.  He and his wife were walking their dogs and he saw the moon rising over the trees. We had mixed cloud cover that was moving fast and the moon was glowing orange as it passed in and out of the clouds.

I grabbed long pants (the mosquitoes are still out in force around here) and then grabbed the tripod, my camera and an extra lens and rushed out the door. As he led me down the street to get to the perfect vantage point, I thought I would grab a couple wide angle shots before trying to get in tight on the moon.

The long lens shots didn’t work out as the clouds moved in, but here is one as it rose over the trees with some light clouds passing in front.

Bad moon rising...

Bad moon rising…


Aug 23

As I noted on Facebook recently, four hours doesn’t seem like a long time, but when you are sitting in 90 degree heat, praying the clouds will let you peek through every time they pass by, peering into a screen hooded by a cardboard box, four hours can seem like forever, or the blink of an eye…

Set up and ready

Set up and ready

Even though I was fighting the clouds, I think we had a beautiful show Monday. Sure I would have loved to be in the path of totality, but this gave me a different challenge, and I loved it. And 2024 is right around the corner and we are in the path of totality for that one, so I/we will be ready.

If reading this next paragraph starts to make your eyes glaze over, that’s OK… ignore it.  A couple people have asked, I used a 400mm telescope with an 80mm aperture, I had a Canon T3i camera with a Canon 2X Extender on it and was shooting from the laptop using the Canon EOS utility software.  The telescope mount in the picture above is a homemade equatorial mount, well close to an equatorial mount, as the original tripod mount does not allow for a DSLR camera to be attached  to a T-adapter at the rear of the telescope.  The filter is one I made using ISO approved Solar film from Thousand Oaks Optical, and an adapter ring to allow me to screw the filter onto the tube extension of the telescope.

Here are a few of the shots I have processed so far. I will be processing more and will post them as them permits. Note the string of sunspots that are visible in some of the shots, and there are a couple more sunspots coming into view on the left edge.

The eclipse started here at 13:02 local (Eastern), maximum was at 14:29 and ended at 15:51.  we had partly cloudy skies, but except for at the very end I was able to get some really nice pictures I think.

Just underway 13:03:57

Just underway 13:03:57

 

Well started, 13:18:20

Well started, 13:18:20

 

Under way 13:41:34

Under way 13:41:34

 

Almost there 14:17:14

Almost there 14:17:14

 

Maximum 14:29:17

Maximum 14:29:17

 

Receding 14:43:43

Receding 14:43:43

 

Halfway home 15:15:44

Halfway home 15:15:44

 

Almost finished 15:41:34

Almost finished 15:41:34

 

Near the end 15:45:36

Near the end 15:45:36

I was not able to capture the last touch of the moon on the face of the sun because the clouds moved in, but I used those clouds to gave me a chance to play, and some of those shots, they are cool… Here is a taste of the beauty that the clouds provided along with the eclipse.  Some of the clouds we were dodging were highlighted by the sun even while covering it…

Clouds in the beginning

Clouds in the beginning

 

Highs and lows

Highs and lows


The 2017 Eclipse

posted by mark
Aug 20

In spite of other plans, thing worked out that I was not going to be able to travel for the Great American Eclipse tomorrow, 21 August, 2017.

That’s OK, my brother is and hopefully he sees some great sky tomorrow.

So making the best of the situation, tomorrow is a practice run for April 8th, 2024, the next total eclipse, which happily will pass very near to our home town.

And in the spirit of being prepared, and hopeful that the sky will cooperate, today I went out around the right time and did a complete run through, including taking pictures, lots of pictures.  Although tomorrow will hopefully be even more pictures, hopefully.

Setting up for a trial run

Setting up for a trial run

I can tell you that it was warm this afternoon, 89.6 degrees when I checked the weather…  You can tell my helpers are covering things for me while I do the heavy lifting… LOL

I’m being a high tech red neck.  If you read my earlier post reviewing the telescope I bought, then you will notice the wooden “stand” the telescope is mounted on.  This allows me to view most of the sky, and particularly the track the sun will be following during the eclipse period.

Here is one of my test pictures, I love the effect of the clouds passing in front of the sun.  Note the group of sunspots almost perfectly centered on the sun and framed by the clouds.

Passing clouds

Passing clouds

The telescope has a Canon T3i with a 2X extender, giving me an ballpark focal length of 1250mm.  I am shooting using the Canon utility which allows me to use live view to work on focus and exposure and the Goto computer on the telescope mount that allows me to move the tube to track the sun.  When the sun is out, it is bright enough that seeing the screens is difficult, but a hood made out of a cardboard box shields the laptop for me… 🙂

Taking pictures during the trial run

Taking pictures during the trial run

While I do have some issues with the focusser, I was able to get quite a few good shots today.  I played with several different settings and exposures, so hopefully I am as prepared as I can be, now we will just have to hope the clouds hold off, or at least we can get some good views of the sun during the eclipse.

I’ll close with one of the shots I like that that was clear and  you can clearly see there  is a group of sunspots centered in the image, with one trailing on the far left side just in view.

Practicing on the Sun

Practicing on the Sun


Aug 20

I was writing a review on this telescope on Amazon, since that was where I bought it, when Mama Bear suggested I put it here also.  So here is my review of the Meade ETX 80 telescope.

The ETX80. First, the good; As a beginners telescope, this seems to be a pretty good telescope.

The Goto functionality is nice, it makes finding objects much easier than trying to find on your own. It is fairly easy to set up, once you understand the process, unless you have to reset the computer, which I had to do. After trying to align two nights in a row, I found a forum that discussed how to reset the computer to factory defaults, as soon as I did that and started the process over, the telescope aligned first try. So in that respect, it is a good beginners scope but if you have problems aligning it, reset the computer and start from scratch. That was nowhere in the manual I could find.

Being able to use the electronic control for moving without aligning is nice, when you are using it for something like the sun (only with approved filter material) or the moon, finding them is easy, you don’t need a computer to point them out.

It is easy to pack in the included backpack and fairly easy to set up an a remote location, so it easily transportable.

The eyepieces seem to be a decent quality, something you would expect from Meade, the included 45 degree prism can be useful, except for the catch I point out below about range of motion. I don’t use the eyepieces, I am mainly interested in photography, I’ll get into that below also.

Now for some of the cons that I have run into; the “clutches” that bind to the Goto drives are not the best in my experience. The lateral clutch is somewhat loose, the lever that tightens it is limited in range of motion, so you can’t just keep tightening it, and the up-down adjustment clutch is difficult for me to get tightened and loosened easily, and still have it tight enough to not slip.

I found the focus knob to be “loose”, not that the knob is loose in the mount, but that there is play in either direction and it feels like you have to take up that slack before the focus changes, but going back you have that slack feel in the other direction then. So sometimes focusing can be frustrating because if you go a little too far, turning back seems to me to be hard to recover and I end up going too far and starting over again.

The tripod is very lightweight, and not totally in a good way. The aluminum tubes and clamps are light enough to worry me a little, when fully extended that getting hit might cause it to buckle. This has not happened to me, it just feels that way and I am careful to avoid that happening.

What isn’t obvious is that for photography, DSLR – not hold your iPhone up to the eyepiece photography, even though it is advertised with the T adapter and camera mount available on Amazon the range of motion seriously limits the telescopes use for photography, almost to the point of being unusable. The T adapter mounts to the rear of the optical tube assembly, when you look at a picture of the telescope, envision a camera hanging off the back end, now envision trying to swing the tube higher than about 35 degrees above the horizon… it cannot be done, the camera impacts the base of the mount as it swings down into the “U” shaped yoke mount. You can spin around 360 degrees, but only below 35-45 degrees above the horizon, depending on your camera.

Maybe I am missing something obvious, but I don’t think so, I haven’t found another alternative. So the only obvious alternative is to get an eyepiece T adapter, which I understand causes issues with the focal length. I have read of people cutting the tube you insert eyepieces to shorten the length to the camera, not something I am interested in trying. Unfortunately I did not think that through and by the time it occurred to me it was past the return date.

My solution to the range of motion for photography was to build my own 45 degree mount, take the plate off the tripod and mount the plate to my “redneck” mount. Then mount the telescope to the plate, which is now pointing up at about 45 degrees with the tube “level” to the mount, similar to an equatorial mount, but not quite. At least I can shoot the eclipse this way.

The bottom line to me; for a beginner looking to explore the solar system and maybe the near universe, this might be a good place to start. If you are interested in astrophotography at all, this is probably not the best place to start, in fact I would say it is a bad choice for that unless you plan on remounting the telescope, then why buy something with a Goto system as remounting will most likely make it unusable unless you go to a true equatorial mount so the computer can be aligned. Note, the Goto system does have an equatorial alignment option I think, so it would work if you do I assume, but I haven’t tried it.

Here is a shot of my “redneck” mount in use

Eclipse prep

Eclipse prep


Aug 13

Knowing the Perseid meteor shower was peaking this weekend, I have been thinking about trying to use my “new” camera to try to capture some of it.  I had purchased an inexpensive intervelometer, which is a timer that allows you to set up timed exposures and can control repeated shots, it literally is a interval controller with an exposure timer built in as well as a long duration timer.  I had one that would work on the T6i and T3i, but not one that would work on the 6D and 5D III, so it was a toy I just had to have… LOL

Last night, I decided it was the best “shot” I would have, pun intended.  The clouds had cleared very nicely, it feels like we have been having intermittent and heavy clouds for weeks, so the clearing trend the last few days has been very welcome.  And the moon was not supposed to rise until around midnight, which meant after 11 would be prime time for catching some meteors.

Mama Bear had to shoot an event in the morning, so she wasn’t up to going with me since I would be out late and we had a full day planned for today, so she needed to recuperate and prep for today.

As the sun was setting I headed off, seeking a reasonably close, but still somewhat dark sky area, not an easy challenge in our part of Ohio.  I had been doing some research using the dark sky map from Dark Site Finder (http://darksitefinder.com/), and while I could have gotten into better darkness with a little more driving, I settled on going to the Caesars Creek park area.  There was a camp out planned in the park for the Perseid’s, and it is only around 35 minutes away.

I initially thought about trying to shoot from near the marina in the park, thinking if I could get out by the lake I could shoot over the lake and use two camera’s to shoot both the meteor shower, and do some playing with light and reflections from the lake.  Unfortunately the marina area was well lit, and in high use as other people apparently decided watching the meteor shower and partying on boats was a good idea.  I don’t fault their thinking, it could have been fun, but for me shooting with all the lights and distractions wasn’t going to be good for me…

After circling the marina I decided to head off to some of the overflow camping areas.  I don’t know what the total attendance in the park might have been last night, but I can tell you that the park was packed.  The area I was in had to have at least 350-400 cars, trucks and RVs, parked along the roads and among the tents and trailers set up everywhere, as well as vehicles streaming in and out.  I found a curve behind some trees that hid me from the main entrance, trying to hide in the shadows from all the cars and trucks that flowed in and out of the camping area the entire evening, but still afforded me a view of the North-North East sky.

I want to make a side comment here about astronomical events and people’s behavior.  There were a lot of people there, who like me were looking to enjoy the meteor shower, whether to take pictures or just lay on the ground and watch the streaks of light burning across the heavens.  But there were also a lot of people who apparently had no concept of “light” pollution or “light” politeness… not to mention just general politeness in some cases.  There were people who were flashing lights all round, with not care that they were highlighting other people like me who were going about their own business.  I even saw numerous people using strobes, and I can tell you that getting hit with a strobe light at 11:30 at night in a “dark” area really sucks, not to mention destroys timed exposures on a camera.  There were stereos that were blaring, people watching movies (if you can believe someone would go to an astronomical event and then sit and stare at a TV screen), I saw people in cars that actually turned their high beams on in their car as they were pointing at me (and other people), apparently to see what I was doing…

I actually had one couple pull up into the grass right in front of me pointing their minivan right at me with the high beams on, then sit for a minute or two, back out and turn to park pointing slightly away from me, but left their lights on for another 5 minutes while they got out and opened various doors getting blankets and what not out.  I actually heard someone ask them as they left their car if they didn’t forget to turn out their lights, but they ignored them and wondered off.  Fortunately their lights shut off automatically after another minute or two, but I think a couple other people had the same thought I had, it was a good thing I didn’t have a hammer handy or I might have turned them off for them after they had left.

That is definitely not to say everyone was being bad neighbors, so to speak.  I had one couple that stopped by as they were walking on the road.  They were curious about my photographing the sky and I had a great time talking to them and even teaching them a little, as they were not really sure how and when to “see” the meteor shower or how someone could photograph it.  I’m not an expert, but I do like to teach people, learning new things is always a good thing, and I have found that I enjoy being an educator.

There were people who turned their headlights off and drove slowly through using only marker lights or driving/fog lights that were less illuminating, or walked through the area using hooded flashlights, or at least kept their flashlights pointed down.  I appreciated those people thought about where they were and what everyone around them was doing.

OK, enough soapbox.

The bottom line, I did not get a single picture of a meteor…  I’m OK with that.  I saw 5 or 6, but I was learning and that meant that I was not expecting to have a wealth of front page shots.  I am a little disappointing I didn’t get one on camera, but I enjoyed the experience and I did get to see some.

That being said I did get some cool shots of the sky, and even just a half hour away from home the quality of the night sky was an amazingly better, although not as good as I used to get in Wyoming, and I learned a lot, as well as took some lessons home for the next time.

Wide open sky

Wide open sky

One thing I did capture that I had hoped to, was the galactic plane of our Milky Way galaxy.  It is faint in this picture, but definitely recognizable.

The Milky Way

The Milky Way

Around midnight the moon came over the horizon.  While it was almost 90 degrees off the source area for the meteors and was not full, it was still enough to start washing out some of them I figured, so I decided it was time to start packing up and heading for home.  The moon was quite beautiful rising, one of the lessons learned was that I need to bring more lenses with me.  I didn’t have a long lens with me because I had only been thinking about the meteors, so the moon was not very impressive when shot with a 50mm lens in the wide open sky.

Moon rise

Moon rise

But when I got home I decided it was definitely worth a few minutes to grab the 70-200mm with the 2X extender and set up out front for a quick series of shots.

The moon on the eve of the Perseid's

The moon on the eve of the Perseid’s

I was considering going again tonight, hoping the crowds would be much less given tomorrow is a work day, but the clouds returned this evening and I don’t really think it would be a good trip.  But we have a few days left of the meteor show and the moon should continue to be less of an influence, so maybe next weekend I can try for one more shoot of the Perseid’s, if not then maybe for a better shot of the Milky Way, and there are always things to see if the sky is clear. 🙂



According to almanac.com:

Some Native American tribes called the August Moon the “Sturgeon Moon” because they knew that the sturgeon of the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain were most readily caught during this Full Moon. They also called August’s Moon the “Full Green Corn Moon.”

Different tribes had different Moon name preferences. Other examples for August are: “Wheat Cut Moon” (San Ildefonso, and San Juan), “Moon When All Things Ripen” (Dakota Sioux), and ”Blueberry Moon” (Ojibwe).

 

A full moon occurs each month when the Earth lines up between the moon and the Sun, giving the people on Earth a bright and vivid moon fully illuminated by the sun.  In addition this coincided yesterday with a partial lunar eclipse, where the Earth blocked the sun’s light from the moon on the same day, that was visible almost everywhere except North America.  Later this month, the “new” moon, which is when little or no light is reflected from the sun because the moon is between the Earth and the sun, will align to give us a total Solar eclipse that will travel from the west coast to the east coast of America.

My learning curve with the new camera continued last night as I decided to try to shoot the full moon.  We have had clouds for days, but last night it was forecast to clear off.

A little while after moonrise I decided to go out and see if things were clear enough to maybe get some shots.  Because of the trees around our area, I don’t have a great view of the moon as it rises and normally I have to wait until it is 15-20 degrees above the horizon before it begins clearing the trees.

I could see an almost golden glow through some of the trees, so I walked up and down the street trying to decide the best vantage point to capture the moon as it rose through the trees.  Unfortunately I couldn’t really find anyplace that felt right.  I went back into the house and decided to see what the view looked like out the back bedroom window, and the moon was just peeking up between two trees, but the clouds were laying in layers still in the east.  So I started playing with the camera.  I found it interesting how the color changed as it came up and slid in and out of the clouds.

I was having a lot of focus problems, between the angle I was shooting out the window and the camera acting finicky.  It turns out the 6d does not like to auto-focus when using an extender, but if you auto-focus using the live view mode it does work.  Unfortunately that meant the first half of my shots were all out of focus, my manual focusing was suffering from trying to peer through my glasses at an awkward angle through the viewfinder, not a good working solution.

But I got this shot as the moon was rising between two trees and under a cloud layer, so the top is hidden by the clouds and the sides were framed by the leaves if you look carefully.

The moon rising under the clouds

The moon rising under the clouds

Then as the the clouds were shifting, I decided to play with the clouds being lit from behind by the moon and the layering effect I was seeing.

Behind the clouds

Behind the clouds

Then a little bit later, the moon was sliding behinds bands of clouds as it continued to rise.

Bands of clouds

Bands of clouds

I decided to call it and went back out to sit with Mama Bear, but later as we were talking about heading for bed I decided to see if the skies had finally cleared.  I went out front and there was the moon, there were some wispy clouds floating across fairly quickly and patches of clear sky so I decided to go grab the camera, lenses and tripod.

I took quite a few shots last night, playing with the focus and exposure settings to see what would come of my playing around, but the best I felt was a nice clear shot of the full moon, no clouds and nothing to detract from the brilliance of the features of the moons face.  One thing to note, when the moon is full, sometimes details seem to get lost, it appears almost 2 dimensional.  The reason for this is that when the light is straight on, the shadows that create such beautiful definition at other times are not there, so the craters can appear to be almost flat.  But I still find it to be riveting…

The August full moon

The August full moon


Aug 5

We had a camera shuffle here in the last week.  Mama Bear got a new camera, in line with what she really wanted, a Canon 5D Mark III.  It is very nice, and she is already spending time deep in study to understand it and what she can do with it.

But, that also meant that both Baby Bear and I could “upgrade” by passing things around.  Baby Bear got my camera, which was the newest camera, a Canon T6i, for her birthday.  And I got Mama Bears old daily shooter, a Canon 6D.  Both of us are just as happy as Mama Bear is with her new camera I think, and in addition I get to use Baby Bears old camera, a Canon T3i for my budding astrophotography habit.

Yesterday the daytime weather forecasts had been calling for the clouds in our area to blow off by mid-evening, so I thought it would be an excellent opportunity to pull out the telescope, tripods and both cameras and get some nighttime photography in as a learning experience with the new camera.  Unfortunately the cloud cover wasn’t cooperating, so we decided to call it a night, thinking tomorrow night might give us a better chance.

As I was shutting up the house for the night, I stopped in the kitchen to look out the window and saw that the moon was playing peek-a-boo with some passing breaks in the clouds.  I went back out and grabbed the 6D and a couple lenses, a 70-200mm with a 2X extender and the 100mm prime and ran back to the kitchen.

So began the learning curve…

In playing around with the camera earlier this week, I figured out that Mama Bear had been using Auto ISO, which adjusts the ISO automatically when you are making other adjustments while shooting.  This is a great for shooting events, where the light conditions can change frequently with the background or location.  But when you are shooting something like the moon you need to have more control because the light sensing is attuned to overall exposure, and in this case the moon is the brightest (and normally the only) object in the frame and tends to throw things off.  In short, the moon gets “blown out” (over exposed) because the camera is trying to let you see everything in the frame.  And I forgot it was set to auto… DUH

The first shot

The first shot

Unfortunately, I didn’t even notice it the whole time I was shooting.  I was in a slightly uncomfortable position, because I decided not to go get changed out of the stretchy gym shorts into real clothing, so I was crouching in the kitchen, shooting upwards at an angle from counter height to get beneath the roof overhang… LOL  Another lesson learned there, take the 3 minutes to go put on clothes and it would have been much more comfortable shooting from a tripod out front…

I took several shots at a wider angle with the 100mm getting a lot of lighting in the cloud, which was nice, even though I knew the moon was getting over exposed.  Mama Bear made the observation this morning while I was doing some review and post processing, that this could be the cover of a science fiction story, something with a black hole or white dwarf in a nebula on the cover.

Clouds

Clouds

Then I switched to the long lens and tried to get some more detailed shots.  Even though I was still struggling with the auto ISO and didn’t realize it, I did manage to get a couple shots that were not just totally white blobs, and still showed off some passing clouds.

The moon

The moon

So, the learning curve has begun, for all of us.  That is a good thing around here, we are all always learning new things, techniques, thinking of things to try, trying to understand why things behave the way they do, photography is just one example of that.

The other goal for the weekend is going to be more canning.

Mama Bear is on her way to the local fruit and veggie stand right now to bring home a bounty of salsa fixings.  Tomatoes and onions are in full swing, and we opened one of the jars I did a couple weeks ago last night to determine the tweaks that need to be done to make it better.  I thoroughly enjoyed the testing, but we did come up with a couple things to change, just to make exactly what we are looking for.

I’ll try to convince Mama Bear to play with her new camera today and grab some shots for me of the making and canning.  I’d like to do a full case today, well I’d love to do a couple cases, but I will settle for a dozen jars put up today.

I opened one of the jars of my 50-50 Bread and Butter sandwich slice pickles other day… they were good, really good.  But I’m thinking that pint jars of those are not nearly big enough.  I’m going to finish off a pint jar every 3-4 days, and I don’t have that many jars of them.  So I think I may make up some quart jars.

After doing a bunch of reading on home canning tomato sauce, and how to do it right, how we want to do it, you have to pressure can it.  And we aren’t set up for that this year, we are just learning water bath canning.  So that will be a project for next year maybe.

Which means I have a case of quart jars that just is begging to be filled with something else, and I’m thinking Bread and Butter sandwich slices is sounding awfully good…

But for today, SALSA

Salsa!

Salsa!