How to Photograph Comet Siding Spring by Mars This Weekend

Comet Siding Spring is approaching and passing Mars this weekend, October 18-19. I've placed some notes and sample images on my blog to help you pursue photos of the event:
#CometSidingSpring #Mars #space #nightphotography #astrophotography #astronomy #news


Photographing Comets

Comet Siding Spring will approach Mars tonight and pass the red planet tomorrow, Sunday October 19, 2014. I performed many lens and exposure tests on Comet Lovejoy in late 2013 and early 2014, with and without a star-tracking mount. Here are some of the results, rendered as time-lapse video.

The music used for this clip is "My Celestial Spacesuit" by 2Placid:

See my YouTube channel for more night photography:

I'm processing time-lapse video from the total lunar eclipse last week, and the Orionid meteor shower is active this week, so I'll probably upload videos from those events later this week. I hope to also capture some footage of Comet Siding Spring near Mars, weather permitting. You can see a cool NASA visualization of how Comet Siding Spring will pass Mars in this video:

#comet #Mars #cometsidingspring #astronomy #astrophotography

Eastern Sierra Fall Colors Report October 16, 2014 for Mono County

Fall colors have survived the recent winds better than expected, so come on up! More information and and photos on my blog:
#fallcolors #easternsierra #fallcolorsphotography #2014 #monocounty


In Album Mono County California

Orionid Meteor Shower Underway, Peaks October 20-21

If you'd like to see some shooting stars, you'll have an excellent chance on the next few nights as the Orionid meteor shower increases in intensity, peaking on the night of October 20-21. Orionid meteors are created from the dust left behind from Halley's Comet as it orbits the sun. They meteors can appear anywhere in the sky, but they appear to radiate out from the constellation Orion, which rises to the east around 11-11:30 local time.

There's a possible minor peak in the shower reported on October 17-18 as well, so I'll go out tonight in a couple of hours when Orion has cleared the horizon, and see if I can see any activity.

I created this image tonight from a sequence of a few hundred photos I captured on the night of October 20-21, 2012. The constellation Orion rose above the horizon near the lower left corner of this 14 mm view, and it traveled to the upper right corner before dawn arrived. I created a time-lapse video of this meteor shower as well, and I'll put that in a blog post so you can see it.

See my Orionid meteor shower time-lapse video on YouTube:
#Orionid #meteorshower #Orionidmeteorshower #2014 #astronomy #astrophotography


Eastern Sierra Fall Colors Report October 16, 2014 for Mono County

Fall colors have survived the recent winds better than expected, so come on up!
More information and and photos on my blog:
#fallcolorsreport #easternsierra #monocounty #2014 #fallcolors

Fall Colors Report for Eastern Sierra Mono County October 16, 2014
Eastern Sierra fall colors, Mono County October 8, 2014 The latest reports are saying that many locations survived this week’s wind storms better expected, and although there are many many bare trees at higher elevations, the…

Eastern Sierra Fall Colors Last Week

We'll be back out this Friday… hopefully there will be some colorful leaves left after the winds over the last couple of days.

Originally shared by +Eastern Sierra Nevada Workshops

Eastern Sierra Fall Colors , Week of October 5 – 10
A lot has changed here in the Eastern Sierra over the last few days due to 24 hours of high winds, but here's how it looked last week. The Mono Basin probably had the greenest trees, most likely to survive the winds, including the areas around June Lake Loop, Lee Vining Creek and Mill Creek.
#fallcolors #easternsierra #mammothlakes #MammothStories


In Album Fall Colors Workshops

Blood moon and Uranus

Last Wednesday, October 8, 2014. Here's one of my old blog posts describing shooting the August 28, 2007 lunar eclipse:
Lessons Learned: Photographing the Lunar Eclipse

#lunareclipse #bloodmoon #astrophotography #astronomy


Supermoon Rise Over Mono Lake

The night of the lunar eclipse last week started with the moon rise just before sunset. I caught the moon rising at Mono Lake.

There may be only one day a month when you can capture a moon rise at sunset like this as I describe in this old blog post from 2006:
How To Plan for Great Full Moon Rise and Set Shots!
I talk in the blog post about having a calendar in "your cell phone or PDA"… does anyone remember the old Palm Treo 650? That's what I had before the original Droid!
#lunareclipse #bloodmoon #astrophotography #supermoon


Lunar Eclipse Setting Over Convict Lake

I captured the landscape around Convict Lake, well lit by the moonlight as the eclipse started, then I captured the moon at roughly 8 minute intervals thereafter and merged the sequential images into the original exposure.
#lunareclipse #october2014 #astrophotography #moonphotography


Touch and Go

It's not uncommon for planes to practice landings here on Topaz Lake in the fall after the winds calm down and after fishing season closes and there are fewer boats on the water. But the four planes this morning practicing touch and go passes were unique: they had wheels, not pontoons!
#TopazLake #Nevada #travelnevada #NVmag #airplanes


Bodie Church in the Moonlight

Here's an awesome star trails image by +Swee Oh particularly nice since it was her first one! Bodie is a cool place to shoot at night, and moonlight enables the town and landscape to show up well with minimal noise in your photos.

We had a full moon on that night in June 2012, and we'll enjoy similar conditions when we return to Bodie this Saturday, October 4 with the moon 84% full.

For that visit to Bodie, we gathered photos after the trip in a group on Google's +Panoramio site, it's sad to see that Google site going away.

+Bodie Photo Workshops
#nightphotography #nightphotographyworkshops #Bodie

Originally shared by +Swee Oh

The Methodist Church, Bodie CA
My 1st star trails shot, thanks so much to +Jeffrey Sullivan and +Lori Hibbett for teaching me how to do this.
#sullivanwalk +Eastern Sierra Nevada Workshops


Google Maps Views, set to Replace Panoramio?

The sphere-viewing feature should have been added to Panoramio for the millions of users already loyal to that service for up to 9 years already.

Sign the petition:
Google – Keep The Panoramio Community Alive!

Statement by the Panoramio Founders:
Open Questions about the Panoramio Migration

Was it necessary to obscure 90% of Panoramio views after the transfer?
(Update: apparently Panoramio views should transfer, so they simply must not have done so yet.)
Will Panoramio photos have their priorities similarly discounted in after the transfer?
(To clarify, the question was whether Views photos will trump Panoramio photos in Google Earth, since photos seem to get more engagement in Views.)
So many questions remain.
#Views #googlemaps #googlemapsviews


Google Tolerating Copyright Infringement Makes it Much Worse

Why does Google+ only take down one photograph when an account is clearly flooded with posts of stolen photos?
"Images with unenforced copyrights lose their ability to generate direct income for several reasons. First is death by search engine burial. I depend on a high search ranking, as most clients arrive to my website using Google. Yet the churning tides of Facebook, 9gag, and imgur make it harder and harder for prospective customers to find my actual website in the search soup of my uncredited images. I am too often competing—and losing—against uncredited copies of my own work. If clients do track me down, they have little incentive to buy. Who wants to pay for an image that is already everywhere?"

Google+ results show up in Google Search, and G+ posts can indirectly promote infringing uses over the creator's own copies of a photo as well. The DMCA takedown process is a minimum response; Google profits from serving ads against the infringing search results for posts it tolerates on G+. Surely Google can do better. Google could help content creators find and address copyright infringement, especially on Google's own services.
#copyright #copyrightinfringement #photography

Bugging out: How rampant online piracy squashed one insect photographer
Most copyright holders are individuals; most infringers are businesses. Things are broken.

The Adventure of Life in 4K

Nice demo Reel for the new GoPro HERO4!

HERO4 Black
2x the performance, yet again. Simply the best.

"Features 4K30, 2.7K50 and 1080p120 video, 12MP photos up to 30 frames per second, built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth®, and Protune™ for photos and video. Waterproof to 131’ (40m)."

- See more at:
#GoPro #HERO4 #adventure

Sharing is Caring, Especially Offline Moments

(Photo credit: +Derek Osborne )
This is what it's all about. One of the things I like best about photography is meeting up with other photographers and sharing amazing places and moments. I've met other photographers dozens of times in the last 10 years, and shared whatever spot and/or event I was intending to shoot myself. I co- led a Northern California photography Meetup group for several years, I met a lot of photographers through +Flickr for years, I led a +Scott Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk, and for the last 4 years meeting other photographers and informing them of opportunities has become even easier using Circles on G+. Since 2010 +Lori Hibbett and I have been traveling around California and Nevada, meeting other photographers as we go. We've lost track of the number of times we've met and made new friends on G+, easily more than a dozen times, maybe two or more.

Last year we met +Elizabeth Hahn , +Derek Osborne , +Michelle Erskine +Tim Erskine at the crack of dawn to catch some hot air balloons flying over the Tahoe National Forest near Truckee. Thanks to Circles, I was able to invite everyone who had expressed interest in joining us to shoot in Northern California in the past. (Hopefully the invite got through the G+ filtering algorithms, and hopefully improving and expanding Circle management functionality is high on the development list for future releases of G+.)

Last month we were out again on August 15, enjoying the ghost town of Bodie for a night when they remained open until 10 pm, and anyone who had paid the basic $5 entry fee could stay, at no extra charge. That was on Friday, so unfortunately not convenient timing for many people form the Bay Area or Southern California, but Derek and his father, Elizabeth, and a few former participants from my Bodie workshops were able to attend. It was a bit hectic after it got dark with car headlights, headlamps and flashlights, and even a bright lantern or two shining all over the place, but it was fun, I caught a couple of "keeper" shots, and it was (practically) free (not counting the $0.55/mile it costs to operate a car). There were too few minutes of truly dark night skies, but it was nice to shoot "for fun" there for a change. #meetup #photowalk #offline #photography #hirl #sharingiscaring

Originally shared by +Derek Osborne

Ok, so it took me forever to get these out. :) It was a great time with plussers even though we were up much earlier than we needed. :)

Thanks +Jeff Sullivan &+Elizabeth Hahn for the invite. And +Tim Erskine +Michelle Erskine +Lori Hibbett It was nice to meet you guys!


In Album Hot Air Balloons

How Well Does the iPhone 6 Plus Camera Perform in Actual Use?

Specifications are one thing, but actual use is the only real indicator of quality in a mobile phone camera. These iPhone 6 Plus photos from Iceland look better than most DSLR photos I see from Iceland here on G+:
iPhone 6 Plus camera review: Iceland

Compared side by side with iPhone 5S photos, there's better dynamic range for lower noise in low light situations, the new optical image stabilization results in sharper pictures, and the autofocus works netter in low light. I'm looking forward to seeing the photos posted by +Brian Matiash on the +Google+ Photos team from his new iPhone 6 Plus.

With the recent iOS version added to Google's Photo Sphere app, Google will now have access to this excellent camera for photos contributed to the new +Google Maps Views:
#iPhone6 #iphone6plus #camera #review #iceland

iPhone 6 Plus Camera Review: Iceland

This year I had the opportunity to be at Apple’s Keynote where they
announced the iPhone 6, 6 Plus and the Watch. It was truly a sight to
behold, as they unveiled each of these products in a their oh-so-Apple way
(and the U2 concert was an amazing bonus!)

Every year, the new iPhone is packed with new features across the board
but for us photographers we really just want to know one thing: what does
all this mean for my c…