Lunar Eclipse Time-lapse, Catch One April 14/15, 2014

Below is an example of a time-lapse video which you can capture during a lunar eclipse, and here are a couple of blog posts introducing time-lapse photography:

Create a Timelapse Video on Your Digital Camera
Create a Timelapse Video of a Meteor Shower

#lunareclipse   #astronomy   #astrophotography   #timelapse   #tutorial  

Reshared post from +Jeff Sullivan

Timelapse Video of Lunar Eclipse – Transamerica Building Conjunction
Astronomical predictions for the moon and a few basic geometry calculations predicted that the moon would reach the top of the Transamerica Buidling from this shooting location, which I located on +Google Earth using +The Photographer's Ephemeris

When +Panoramio's +Gerard Sanz and I arrived early to shoot a timelapse sequence, the moon traveled right to the top of the building, as predicted!

Here's a blog post with more examples of moon-object alignments: 

Here's another time-lapse video, showing the moon rising behind Half Dome:

Eclilse video on +YouTube

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Total Lunar Eclipse Tomorrow Night

Depending upon where you live on the planet, a lunar eclipse will occur starting either late April 14 or in the early morning hours of April 15.  NASA provides the times in Universal TIme (UT):

For viewers in North America, here's the approximate timing for viewers on the West Coast (PDT time zone):

10:58pm (Mon) partial lunar eclipse begins
12:07am (Tues) total lunar eclipse begins
12:47am (Tues) maximum lunar eclipse
  1:25am (Tues) total lunar eclipse ends
  2:33am (Tues) partial lunar eclipse ends

The moon will actually start to dim around 9:55 pm as the moon starts to enter the earth's penumbra, the dim edge of the earth's shadow, and it won't fully exit the penumbra until 3:36 am.

The moon will be very high in the sky during this time, and a program such as +PhotoPills can help you plan shots at these times, to line up the moon with natural or man-made objects:
Here's an example of a time-lapse video I captured in 2011, where I aligned the moon in eclipse passing right past the tip of the Transamerica Building in San Francisco: 

I'm providing these old photos of mine from 2007 to show you that you can get decent results without needing the latest or most expensive DSLR camera.  I captured these on a 10 megapixel Canon Digital Rebel XTi manufactured in 2006, and here are some notes I took afterwards:
Lessons Learned: Photographing the Lunar Eclipse
#lunareclipse   #lunareclipse15thapril   #astrophotography   #tutorial

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More Endangered Than Most

Desert tortoise populations have declined up to 90% in recent decades due to human activities such as housing developments, energy development and grazing.  They spend up to 95% of their time in burrows, where they may get trapped or succumb to heat if the burrow collapses due to a vehicle or large animal.  They like sandy soil, and when visiting sand dunes people can cause these collapses.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages endangered species, and many desert tortoises are on land administered by the Bureau of Land Management.  A center was established by the BLM to care for desert tortoises, mainly surrendered pets.  

In the last 2 days some many news reports have falsely implied that the BLM was euthanizing the protected wild tortoises.  The misrepresentation of fact must be intentional, since the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center clarified the situation in a press release months ago.

Aug 26, 2013
Statement Regarding Media Reports on Status of Desert Tortoise at the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center in Nevada
Recent media reports regarding the status of desert tortoises at the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center (DTCC) have implied that the FWS is currently euthanizing desert tortoises at the facility. We want the public to know that the FWS is not euthanizing healthy tortoises.
The DTCC was established in 1990 to receive wild tortoises in harm’s way from development and has taken in unwanted pets since 1996. Over 1,000 tortoises arrived at the DTCC each year, and approximately 98 percent of those are surrendered or stray pets. Science-based protocols developed for desert tortoises brought to the DTCC have been instrumental in helping the FWS maintain a healthy population of desert tortoise in the wild. Managing to recover desert tortoise, a threatened species, is a complex task in which all options need to be considered, and all risks and benefits to the species must be assessed.
Many pet tortoises, unfortunately, are diseased or otherwise in poor health, and run the risk of spreading disease to wild tortoises. These tortoises cannot be relocated to the wild, or otherwise contribute to recovery of the desert tortoise population. Sometimes euthanasia of unhealthy pet tortoises is necessary, but only as last resort, and only after we evaluate other options. All healthy tortoises at the DTCC will be relocated to sites that will support the recovery of the species.
Progress is being made on translocating the healthy DTCC tortoise population to the wild. A Programmatic Environmental Assessment is complete, and tortoises are already being translocated by the FWS to an approved site in Trout Canyon, Nevada. Public scoping for a second translocation plan was completed Aug 22, 2013, for a proposed translocation area south of Coyote Springs, Nevada.
The Animal Foundation (TAF), Lied Animal Shelter continues to take in unwanted pet tortoises from the public. However, the fact remains that the DTCC does not currently have the capacity or the funding to accept and care for additional tortoises.
Recovery of the desert tortoise in the wild continues to be our top priority. However we are deeply concerned about the growing number of unwanted pets, and will continue to work with our partner agencies toward finding a suitable solution for tortoises that cannot be returned to the wild.
Posted on August 26, 2013

The factual misrepresentations are coming up in a story about a Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy who reportedly owes $1.1M in grazing fees to the BLM, and who following decades of debate over the issue in federal court has been issued court orders starting in 1998 to pay the grazing fees or remove his cattle and to not interfere with removal operations if he fails to remove them himself.  The matter has gained national attention in recent days as people have flocked to the ranch to side with Bundy's resistance to the court orders.  Various political scapegoats are trotted out by media outlets with an agenda to promote, and many of the protesters onsite now resisting federal authorities are reveling in repeating the misinformation.  The incident could turn into quite a sideshow in the coming days.

#bundyranch   #deserttortoise   #mojavedesert  

Fate of an endangered species… this California desert tortoise was more endangered than most

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Death Valley Photographer's Sandbox

Mesquite Flat Dunes are a great place for photographers to go play!  If you click on the picture you can see a little tiny person up on the dunes, dwarfed by their immense size.

#landscapephotography   #deathvalley   #DeathValleyPhotography  

Mesquite Flat Dunes, Death Valley National Park.

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Death Valley Wildflowers 2014

The first 11 or so pictures are from my visit last week…

Reshared post from +Death Valley Workshops

Another Difficult Year in Death Valley
Yet somehow the wildflowers manage to flourish.  you can find them now up to 5000 feet in elevation, and they're prolific in the 3000-4000 range in the Panamint Mountains this week.  

Here's the Spring in Death Valley album I've started on G+:

I'm working on my Death Valley National Park photography workshop schedule for fall/winter 2014, and I'll post the dates here:
#deathvalley   #deathvalleyphotography   #deathvalleyphotoworkshop  

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Last Light on Death Valley

As seen from the Panamint Mountains last weekend.  You can see how little of the salt flats became wet enough to re-crystallize into a fresh, white surface.  Death Valley is many miles across, so it looks like it's a 1.5 to 2 mile walk to the large expanse of white salt.  Fortunately you can find smaller patches along the sides of the salt flats.

I'm working on my fall/winter photography workshop schedule, and will put the Death Valley dates here:
#deathvalleyphotography   #deathvalley   #deathvalleyphotoworkshops  

Last Light on Death Valley – As seen from the Panamint Mountains.

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What if Google+ Offered A Revenue Model?

Google+ is doing pretty well so far, but part of the success of +YouTube is having a strong community of content creators, many of whom make a full time living creating content for YouTube.  What if people creating some of the better content for G+ had a business model here whereby they could contribute more, perhaps even full time?  

Why not let people on G+ opt in to see a few ads on the screen, perhaps in exchange for gaining access to premium features (higher circle limit, etc.) and seeing premium content?  Would you opt in for either more features or more/better content?

Reshared post from +Mark Traphagen

YouTube, Google+ & LinkedIn Drive the Most Engaged Referral Traffic

…according to this study released by +Shareaholic. While Facebook and Twitter each drive more traffic to sites, Shareaholic found that on the whole visitors from Youtube, Google+, and LinkedIn:

1. Spent more time on site
2. Visited more pages on sites
3. Had a lower bounce rate

…than traffic from other major social networks, including Twitter and Facebook.

HT +Vic Gundotra 

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Google+ and LinkedIn drive more engaged social referrals compared to Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest
Social discovery and sharing platform Shareaholic today released its first report examining engaged social referrals. Since many of us spend an egregious amount of time using social …

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Venus Transit Across the Face of the Sun, June 5, 2012

The planet Venus passes silhouetted across the face of the sun, as the sun sets behind a juniper tree in the Sierra Nevada.  This was captured during the Venus transit event on June 5, 2012.  I ran around all afternoon placing the sun behind earth-bound objects, since the planet Venus wouldn't pass in front of the sun again for another 105 years!  I figured that a ton of people would have nice telescopic views of Venus and the sun, but it's not all that often that we can catch Venus as a planet along with earth-bound objects and the sun, all in one photo.

Here are more of my astrophotography images on G+:
#astronomy   #astrophotography   #astronomyimages  

The planet Venus passes in front of the sun, as the sun sets behind a juniper tree in the Sierra Nevada.  I wanted to be one of the few people to capture the Sun, earth and Venus in a single exposure, without having Venus reduce to a  spot of bright light in the night or twilight sky.

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Milky Way Over Devil's Cornfield

The only catch is, it's best seen in the sky this time of year in the hours shortly before dawn.  The Milky Way becomes more available in the hours after sunset by early June.  Lighting for the foreground was provided by a passing car.

It's starting to get hot in Death Valley, so my next visits this Spring will be to the higher elevations.  Then I'll schedule a workshop or two this Fall:

To see more of my Death Valley National Park images on G+:
#deathvalleyphotography   #deathvalleynationalpark   #landscapephotography  

Milky Way over Devil’s Cornfield, Death Valley National Park.

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What's Coming for G+?

Better personalization, circle management…
(nice blog post by +Peter G McDermott, via +Gideon Rosenblatt

Reshared post from +Peter G McDermott

How I got to meet +Vic Gundotra.

Yesterday was an incredible day for me. Most of it wouldn't have been possible without Google. In fact, Google saved my butt in a big way on one particular occasion. The day ended with a wonderful and intimate conversation with Google's Vice President of Social, Vic Gundotra.

Read about it here:

#Technology   #GooglePlus   #Dallas   #GoogleIO  

How I got to meet +Vic Gundotra.

Yesterday was an incredible day for me. Most of it wouldn’t have been possible without Google. In fact, Google saved my butt in a big way on one particular occasion. The day ended with a wonderful and intimate conversation with Google’s Vice President of Social, Vic Gundotra.

Read about it here:

#Technology   #GooglePlus   #Dallas   #GoogleIO  

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Coffee Grinder in the Boone General Store

This photo has been selected to appear in the Bodie Foundation's 2015 calendar. Congratulations to my friends +Ryan Watamura,  +David Safanda, +Franka M. Gabler, +Cat Connor, +Michelle Wilson,  Tanya Bunch and everyone who will have their work featured!  I can't wait to see all of the selected images.

Of course I'm enjoying the work by +Lori Hibbett, +Maximilian Laue,  +bert dennison and Franka in the current 2014 calendar as well:!/~/product/category=3957028&id=25849572

This year we'll reach at least 15 workshops in Bodie to raise funds for building stabilization, and three have remaining registration space:
May 3 – night
July 19 – night (full)
July 20 – interiors (full)
August 30 – night
August 31 – interiors

What better time to shoot in a ghost town than at night?

My Bodie photos are spread out in a number of my G+ albums, but I've started to collect some of my latest ones in a dedicated Bodie album:
#Bodie   #ghosttown   #BodieStateHistoricPark   #photographyworkshop  

Coffee grinder in Boone General Store, Bodie State Historic Park

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500px Releases Stock Photography Sales Functionality

The +500px Prime  stock photography sales functionality from +500px has been released.  Here's more detail on the new service from their FAQ:
"For licensed photos on 500px Prime, you are guaranteed 70% of the proceeds from every sale. Currently all photos on 500px Prime are $250 (USD), so this will give you $175 for every license sale."

While the fixed price of $250 can leave a lot of money on the table since images can license for fees in the thousands of dollars (as 500px also mentions in the FAQ), the payout of 70% is high, at least partially compensating. Hopefully the $250 is a teaser rate, which will be replaced by market prices once 500px Prime has attracted a critical mass of buyers.

NEW: Submit Your Photos Now To 500px Prime!
#stockphotography   #photographybusiness  

Ne Photo Page Design on 500px

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Will Twitter kill the '@' symbol to simplify the service?

Interesting question +Gideon Rosenblatt.
The 140 character limit does seem anachronistic and unusually limiting, but I think that it's a bigger disadvantage that Twitter has never handled photos particularly well.  Many people seem to have moved to +Instagram.  If I'm out somewhere and want to share a status, I can do that quickly on Instagram and duplicate it to +Foursquare.  If I want to do the same on Twitter, it either gets truncated or I have to spend 5X the time trying to cut words to reach the 140 character limit.  What a stupid, annoying exercise that is (sorry Twitter).  So I I may post all sorts of things on various sites in a day, but I much of the time Twitter just takes too much time, effort and maintenance to adapt a post to.

So has Twitter "jumped the shark"?  Not yet.  Regarding their opportunity for handling photos better, they don't necessarily need the stunning display of +500px or the deep metatdata tagging and useful crowd-sourced quality ranking available on Flickr.  Just do a search on Instagram and photo contest.  A lot of major businesses and organizations are running photo contest on Instagram.  That's a lot of corporate marketing departments, people and dollars being invested in the advertising of Instagram, and the development of a user base there.  With a  relatively small marketing investment businesses can tap into the vast user base of Facebook via advertising on the companies' pages there, so it's a win for Facebook, its corporate users, and for the users, who have a reason to stop by and participate.  

Like Facebook, Twitter has a lot of companies and celebrities using it.  Could they build out their photo-handling and business-serving capabilities?  Absolutely, perhaps through a partner in the short run while building out their own in-house capabilities in the long run.

About deleting the @ symbol… how would we differentiate between words and user names?  perhaps we'd somehow designate a user and the screen name would be highlighted.  I'd sure welcome the extra space if I didn't have to have the '@'symbol count against the 140 limit.  How sad is it that I even have to say that?

You can connect with me on Twitter at @JeffSullPhoto, but keep your messages bizarrely short.

Reshared post from +Gideon Rosenblatt

Will Twitter kill the '@' symbol to simplify the service?

Lots of people have complained about "on-boarding" here on Google+, which is to say, how easy it is to get some easy, early success when you just start using the service. Well, it seems that Twitter is struggling with these same problems, and is now running experiments to simplify the service. Note that, according to one estimate, as many as a billion users have tried the service and then stopped using it.

And despite lots of talk about the service becoming popular with teens, it only grew by a million users last quarter in the U.S. 


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Twitter Is Trying To Figure Out Whether Killing The ‘@’ Symbol Will Bring Back 1 Billion Disaffected Users
Up to 1 billion people have tried Twitter and then stopped using it.

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Stamp Mill and Cabin in 1800s Nevada Ghost Town

Of course the only proper time to explore a ghost town right is at night!
I've added 16 photos from my explorations with +Lori Hibbett last weekend to the front of my Nevada album on G+:
This small ghost town is only about 60-90 minutes from our house, but there are so many other sites to explore it took us 4 years to get around to exploring this one.
#nevadaphotography #Nevada #nvmaglove #LyonCounty 

Orion over stamp mill and an 1800s ghost town cabin.

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Lupine and El Capitan in Yosemite National Park

Thanks to the Yosemite Conservancy for naming this their Photo of the Week on Friday!  This photo was taken in May 2011, and I showed this location to dozens of G+ users who attended my G+ / +Panoramio Photowalk in May 2012:

Lupine love the growing conditions for a few years after a fire, so they are declining in this location but should be strong in more recently burned areas of Yosemite this coming May through June .

You can see more of my Yosemite photos in my Yosemite National Park album here on G+:

I'm currently working on my 2014 schedule for photography workshops in Yosemite National Park:
#yosemitephotography   #nationalparkphotography   #landscapephotography  

Lupine and El Capitan in Yosemite Natioanl Park. Thanks tot he Yosemite Conservancy for naming this their Photo of the Week (on March 28, 2014)!

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Winds of Change

High winds sculpt sand dunes in Southern California.  Untracked scenes like this are available in pretty much every sand dune field in California provided that you walk far enough.  It's the classic situation where the path to success is through hard work, and you earn the results.  A mile is usually more than far enough to go, but walking two miles round trip in sand is tough work, so don't attempt it on a hot day and carry much more water than you think you'll need.
#desertphotography   #landscapephotography   #photographyworkshops  

Winds of change in the sand dunes. Pristine sand like this is available in just about any sand dune fiedl if you simply earn it, and walk far enough. A mile is usually enough, but that’s a long way to go in the sand, so don’t try it on a hot day, and carry lots of water.

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