February 26, 2014

A Few More From Kansas

A few more images from Kansas.  If you ever happen to find yourself in Topeka, it is well worth your time to stop in for a tour, you won't regret it.

1/60 Sec - f/4.5 - ISO 2500 - 73 mm

1/125 Sec - f/4.5 - ISO 1250 - 105 mm

1/100 Sec - f/4.5 - ISO 320 - 82 mm

1/50 Sec - f/4.5 - ISO 640 - 60 mm

1/80 Sec - f/4.5 - ISO 1000 - 67 mm

1/30 Sec - f/4.5 - ISO 1000 - 40 mm

1/100 Sec - f/4.5 - ISO 8000 - 85 mm

1/60 Sec - f/4 - ISO 1000 - 75 mm

1/30 Sec - f/4 - ISO 3200 - 32 mm

1/80 Sec - f/4 - ISO 12800 - 100 mm

February 25, 2014

The View

I realized I hadn't posted the view from the top of the Kansas State Capitol building.  This is a 9-shot panorama, combined in Photoshop CC.  Gotta love the distortion you get in a shot like this.  Those streets should be straight.

February 22, 2014

Locomotive Springs

The other day, my friend Doug and I made a quick, last minute trip out to Locomotive Springs.  The intent was to hang out around the old buildings and catch the sunset.  Well, we got there and main gate was closed, so we had to walk the rest of the way in.  Out of a bit of laziness, I decided to leave my bag of gear in the car and grabbed my G16, S120, a tripod, and a Fat Gecko.  The wind was blowing pretty hard and the clouds were cruising by, so I thought it would be a good opportunity to play around with the Star Time Laps and Star Trail modes on these cameras.  Turns out it was a good choice.  I found a spot to set up the S120 on the Fat Gecko and started a time lapse and then used the G16 in Star Trail mode to capture the movement of the clouds.  It was a lot of fun, and I think the results are pretty cool.  Especially considering these came from a point and shoot camera.

1/1600 Sec - f/8 - ISO 80 - 6.1 mm

1/1600 Sec - f/8 - ISO 80 - 6.1 mm

1/800 Sec - f/8 - ISO 80 - 6.1 mm

1/320 Sec - f/8 - ISO 80 - 6.1 mm

1/200 Sec - f/8 - ISO 80 - 6.1 mm

1/200 Sec - f/8 - ISO 80 - 6.1 mm

1/100 Sec - f/8 - ISO 80 - 6.1 mm

1/100 Sec - f/8 - ISO 80 - 6.1 mm

1/400 Sec - f/8 - ISO 80 - 6.1 mm

This is the only image of the group that wasn't captured using the Star Trail mode.
1/60 Sec - f/8 - ISO 250 - 6.1 mm

February 18, 2014

Inside The Dome

While visiting the capitol building in Topeka, KS, we had the opportunity take the Dome Tour.  From what I gathered, this is something that was done in the past but discontinued many years ago.  With the renovations complete, the Dome Tour was brought back.  This was a really cool opportunity to see inside the dome.

This is the back of one of the pillars in the dome.  The front is the copper color you can see in the pillar to the left.  The back of all of these (which isn't visible from below) were covered with signatures.
1/40 Sec - f/4.5 - ISO 100 - 24 mm

1/80 Sec - f/4.5 - ISO 160 - 73 mm

No elevator to the top, we had to take the stairs.  Just under 300 of them, including the spiral staircase at the top.
1/40 Sec - f/4.5 - ISO 500 - 40 mm

1/40 Sec - f/4.5 - ISO 1600 - 50 mm

1/30 Sec - f/4.5 - ISO 100 - 24 mm

1/30 Sec - f/4.5 - ISO 125 - 24 mm

The dome is actually two layers, this is the inside of the upper layer.  The other side of this is copper and is what you see from the exterior.
1/30 Sec - f/4.5 - ISO 1250 - 35 mm

1/30 Sec - f/4.5 - ISO 320 - 28 mm

A decent view of the stairs.It's a little un-nerving to climb that section below the spiral, you are suspended over the lower dome, several stories below.
1/30 Sec - f/1.8 - ISO 160 - 5.2 mm

From the top of the spiral stairs, looking down.
1/30 Sec - f/4.5 - ISO 400 - 24 mm

This is looking down from the base of the spiral stairs.  You can see the lower dome in the bottom left.  This is the glass dome that you see fom inside the building.  The three rows of windows around the exterior prove light to the glass dome.
1/40 Sec - f/4.5 - ISO 320 - 40 mm

1/40 Sec - f/4.5 - ISO 400 - 28 mm

1/30 Sec - f/4.5 - ISO 1000 - 35 mm

Another view that includes some of the lower dome.
1/40 Sec - f/4.5 - ISO 200 - 47 mm

These last two shots are for your reference.  This is the view from the ground floor, looking up at the glass dome.  Just below the dome, you can see the circle of copper painted pillars.  These are the same pillars as in the first image in this post.  The backs of these are covered in signatures.
1/30 Sec - f/4.5 - ISO 160 - 24 mm

Here's the view looking down from just below the glass dome, the level of the pillars.  You can see the base of two of the pillars in the bottom corners of this image.  To give you a sense of scale, check out the people in this image.  You can see at least one person on most of the levels, including the guy on the ground level, standing where I was when I captured the previous image.
1/30 Sec - f/4.5 - ISO 640 - 24 mm

So, there you have it, the Dome Tour.  It was well worth the effort to make the climb, even though I don't do overly well with heights.  Once we made it to the top, there was a very small landing with windows that allowed a 360° view of the city.  There was also a door that opened out to a balcony.  Yes, we were able to step out onto the balcony, and yes, the view was fantastic.  I'll show it to you, but you'll have to wait for an upcoming blog post.

February 17, 2014

In Search Of Eagles

One of the best parts of this time of year around here is that we are smack dab in the middle of migration routes for Bald Eagles.  Usually, we get piles and piles of them that hang out at Farmington Bay, at times there have been several hundred at a time.  A big reason they hang out here for so long on their journey is that every winter, the DWR kills off the carp that overtake and damage the wetlands.  The abundant dead carp makes for a nice buffet for the eagles.  This year, because of concerns over disease being spread (we've lost a lot of eagles this winter to West Nile Virus), the DWR made the decision to not kill off the carp in an effort to keep the eagles from congregating and possibly spreading the disease further.  So, the eagles have been pretty scarce this winter.  I've been out to the bay a couple of times and only seen an eagle or two.  Today wasn't much better, with no more than about ten birds.

For the most part, the eagles were content to hang out way out on the ice.  This guy was no exception.
1/2000 Sec - f/5.6 - ISO 1000 - 800 mm

There was one juvenile that made a somewhat close flyby.  Gotta love the seagull that decided to photo-bomb me!
1/2000 Sec - f/6.3 - ISO 800 - 800 mm

These aren't eagles, these are Canadian Geese.  There's always plenty of them around.  They are like the sheep of the skies (apologies to my Canadian family and friends).
1/1600 Sec - f/5.6 - ISO 1600 - 800 mm

1/2000 Sec - f/5.6 - ISO 640 - 800 mm

This is an actual Bald Eagle.  In the eagle tree.  This old tree on the way into the Bay usually has several birds .  It was nice to actually see one there today.
1/2000 Sec - f/6.3 - ISO 500 - 800 mm

Still not eagles.
1/2000 Sec - f/6.3 - ISO 640 - 800 mm

After spending a couple of hours at the bay, I decided it was time to try another spot where Bald Eagles are know to hang out so I headed up the canyon.  I was happy to see more eagles, even though they were hanging out on the top of the rock cliffs.
1/2000 Sec - f/6.3 - ISO 400 - 800 mm

This is also not an eagle, it's a Mule Deer.  We get lots of these around this area.  This one was nice enough  to pose for me.
1/2000 Sec - f/5.6 - ISO 1000 - 800 mm

And, a whole flock of deer, including a couple of little bucks.
1/2000 Sec - f/2.8 - ISO 160 - 400 mm

While heading down the canyon, I came across this guy.  He was just hanging out in this field with dozens of sheep (the Canadian Goose of the farm).  I thought it was a bit odd as he was not too close to what would be his normal habitat.  After sitting and watching him for a minute, I discovered why he was there.  He took off and headed to the far side of the field where there was a dead sheep.  Easy lunch.
1/1600 Sec - f/5.6 - ISO 500 - 800 mm

I took one more detour on the way home, heading up over Trapper's loop into the Ogden Valley.  I took the long way around Pineview Reservoir.  I found this guy hanging out high up in a tree along the Highway.  The light wasn't fantastic, and he was a bit back-lit, but he was pretty content to hang out where he was so I was content to sit and watch him for a bit.
1/1600 Sec - f/5.6 - ISO 200 - 800 mm

1/2000 Sec - f/5.6 - ISO 250 - 800 mm

1/2000 Sec - f/6.3 - ISO 250 - 800 mm

So, not the most amazing results.  But, I got to spend some quality time with my 1Dx and the 400mm f/2.8 and that's always a good thing.