Astrophotography, anyone?

It’s been a while, I know. In the past six years I’ve lost my site (but not my vision!), upgraded my camera (thank you Mr. Burglar!), reclaimed my site (finally!), and had a great deal of off-blog fun.

Thanks in part to the recent eclipse I’ve been bitten hard by the astronomy bug (again) and so has The Man (again).

There are two differences this time around:

  1. We have joined the local amateur astronomy group and are heavily involved in outreach.
  2. The idea of astrophotography seems to have taken hold because the tech has advanced just enough to make it relatively painless.

Now if we could just get our ever-changing Michigan weather to cooperate…

Dune Ride Math

5 hours of sleep
3 layers
2 jackets
1 sunrise
1 triple mocha
1 breakfast
1 passenger
2 cars
6 photographers
5 photo emergencies / opportunities
1 lighthouse
4 loons
1 coyote
3 vultures
2 blown break lights
1 wild turkey
1 bottled water
1 visitor center
1 lunch
3 barns
4 nice guys trying to fix my break lights on the side of the road in “nowhere”
1 historic village
1 Coast Guard outpost
1 posted Cougar warning
1 dune hike
1 Facebook post
1 echo
1 closed coffee shop
1 more barn
1 cemetery
1 school house
1 outhouse
1 last barn!
3 deer
6 more turkeys
1 more lighthouse
40 degrees
0 gloves (oops)
1 cloudy sunset
1 dinner
0 root beer
1 tank of gas
1 more bottled water
40 sour candies
0 group shots
2 new break light bulbs
1 awesome husband
380 miles =

423 photos

Favorite line of the day is from the National Park Service’s posted cougar encounter tips…


And to think I was planning to just lay there and bleed…

Air Tube

Air Tube, originally uploaded by Mac Girl.

I shot this at the Senior Smiles crew get-together at The Winchester on Monday night, when we gathered to celebrate a successful first year.

The aim of the SS project was to provide 200 Grand Rapids city school seniors with senior portraits for their yearbooks as well as a nice package of prints for friends and family. This project was specifically tailored for students whose families could not afford to spend the average $200+ for a set of photos commemorating the students achievements. For many of these kids it’s been an uphill battle to stay on the straight and narrow and stay in school through graduation.

All of the kids were all a pleasure to work with, and despite the need to rush to make the November deadline I think we all had fun and learned a great deal. I was honored to be a part of the crew, and I can’t wait to start on next years sittings.

50D, The Man, And Me

Wow. Seriously. That’s the only word that I can form sometimes when I’m seeing what this lovely new machine can do. Just… wow.

Fall Arrives

We’re both going a bit retro right now too. I pulled out the old Nikon 4004s (a wedding prezzie from The Man back in the day) and we managed to dig up a couple of rolls of color 400 film so he took it out for a walk. No word on the photos yet, but we’re going to get them done at Walgreens so that we can have that negative-to-digital thing done.

$1 A Shot

It should be interesting to see how well the shots come out. I had to laugh — I took a photo with the 4004s and immediately pulled it away from my face to check the preview on the back. Problem is, film cameras don’t have a digital preview screen. New habits die hard.


We met the Flickrs for a photowalk around Robinette’s the other day, the usual suspects were there. You know, there really is nothing like Robinette’s in the Autumn. Sure, they sell pies and doughnuts all year long, but I swear to The Maker, they taste BETTER in October and November. I swear it. It’s a Great Unexplained Truth.


Have I mentioned how much I love this camera? Have I mentioned how much I love Robinette’s? Oh. Ok then. 🙂

1/2 Peck

Updating The Apparatus

The Ubiquitous Lens just got an upgrade! Here’s a shot of my new 50D in action.

50D In Da Haus!

There’s been something of a learning curve, but for the most part I’ve been able to figure things out on-the-fly by just testing the most logical buttons or settings at random.

Yes, Jim, I will read the manual, but I’m not done playing yet! 🙂

Things I love:

  • The larger screen is magnificent!
  • Auto-ISO (where have you been all my life?!)
  • Burst mode of 6.3fps up to 16 in RAW or 90 in JPG mode.

Things I less-than-love:

  • It’s larger and slightly heavier, and I have small hands.
  • The status display is on the top.
  • Pardon my French but… BIG ASS FILES! (Drobo time!)

Things I’m looking forward to fiddling with:

  • Face detection.
  • Live mode.
  • “Creative” Auto mode.
  • ISO 12,800 (Not necessarily something I’ll use, but at least now I have the option!)

Photos to follow….