Star trails, Iridium Flare and a Meteor Over Jefferson Lake, Park County, Colorado

The shear number of stars over Jefferson Lake in Park County, Colorado makes up for the short trails in this brief, 40 minute, time span (the area closes at 10 PM). In that short period, I luckily captured a meteor (the dimmer streak lower down) and a very bright Iridium Flare.

Iridium Flares can be precisely calculated – the Heavens Above web site offers predictions for your location (and other satellites like ISS as well) if you want to try seeing or photographing one. I didn’t plan on catching this flare, I was just lucky.

This was shot under a waxing crescent moon. It was bright enough to illuminate the landscape but not too bright to wash out the stars.

Click the image below for a lager version.

Star trails, Iridium Flare and a meteor over Jefferson Lake, Park County, Colorado

Star trails, Iridium Flare and a meteor over Jefferson Lake, Park County, Colorado

Details: Shot with a Canon 5d Mark III with a Rokinon 24mm 1.4 lens wide open at f/1.4. The image is a stack of 114 images each 20 seconds long at ISO 1600. For processing, I started with Lightroom applying vignette correction (manually as I don’t have a profile for this lens), white balance and some gradient filtering to reduce skyglow. I then combined the individual images together using a handy free program http://startrails.de/. I then brought the combined image into Photoshop for a good deal of tweaking – selective levels on the sky to further reduce the skyglow and color balance the sky background, manual lens correction, tweak the brighter stars to make them less bright and more saturated and removed lights from about 5 or 6 airplanes using the clone stamp tool.

My Best Hummingbird Picture

I switched to petunias to try catching hummingbirds pics. They don’t visit them as often as the other flowers I have, but I think they make for a better photo. This shot is pretty close to what I’ve been trying to catch, so I feel its my best humming bird shot so far. The season is slowing down as they start migrating out of the mountains. I haven’t seen too many males lately, I guess they are the first to leave.

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Female Broad Tailed Hummingbird feeding at a Petunia

Female Broad Tailed Hummingbird feeding at a Petunia

Image details are the same as before – Canon 5D Mark III and Canon 70-200L f2.8 II at 200mm, 1/8000 second, ISO 3200, F/9 using a Catus laser detector to trigger the exposure.

Early Morning Sunrise on a Small Ranch Pond

Early morning sunrise reflects on a small ranch pond in Deer Creek Valley, Bailey, Colorado with wildflowers blooming at the pond’s edge.

Click the image below to view larger size in my gallery

Bailey, benches, Colorado, Deer Creek Valley, Landscape, pond, reflections, sunrise, wildflowers

Ranch Pond in Deer Creek Valley, Bailey Colorado at Sunrise with Wild Flowers

I used a circular polarizing filter and a reverse netral density graduated filer on a Canon 5D Mark III & 24-70 2.8 II lens at 24mm & f/22, ISO 100, 5 second exposure.

A Couple of Female Broad Tailed Hummingbirds Feeding at a Flower

These are the latest pictures of a hummingbird feeding at a flower. I’ve managed to catch a few, but they haven’t been that good for one reason or another. These shots aren’t as good as I would like, but they are the best so far.

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Female Broad Tailed Hummingbird feeding at a Flower

Female Broad Tailed Hummingbird feeding at a Flower

Female Hummingbird Feeding at a Flower

Female Hummingbird Feeding at a Flower

Taken the same as usual – Canon 5D Mark III and Canon 70-200L f2.8 II at 200mm, 1/8000 second, ISO 3200, F/9 using a Catus laser detector to trigger the exposure.

Female Broad Tailed Hummingbird Feeding at a Flower

My latest hummingbird picture and the only one so far captured feeding at a flower.

Female Broad Tailed Hummingbird Feeding at a Flower

Female Broad Tailed Hummingbird Feeding at a Flower

Click the image for a larger, more detailed, picture

One of my better captures of the wings, but the flower was still in the shade so I had to push the exposure in Photoshop. Unfortunately, that made the hummer pretty noisy so I had to lean on the noise reduction pretty hard in Photoshop (despeckle, noise reduction, dust and scratches).

Shot with a Canon 5D Mark III and Canon 70-200L f2.8 II at 200mm, 1/8000 second, ISO 3200, F/9. That combo works pretty well. If the hummer is in full sunlight as I don’t have to goose the exposure so the noise is tolerable at ISO 3200 with moderate noise reduction. If I put the camera a little further back than the minimum focus distance, F/9 gives me just enough depth of field as long as the hummer comes straight in to the flower.

Sunset on a horse pasture, Upper Deer Creek, Bailey Colorado

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Sunset on a horse pasture and Upper Deer Creek, Bailey Colorado. The grass is lush after a wet spring.

Sunset on a horse pasture and Upper Deer Creek, Bailey Colorado. The grass is lush after a wet spring.

After a wet spring, the grass was very green and thick in this horse pasture with Deer Creek flowing through it. Taken at the upper portion of Deer Creek Valley, Bailey Colorado.

To help tame the bright sky, I used a reverse ND Graduated filter and a circular polarizing filter. Shot with a Canon 5d Mark III at ISO 100. The lens was a Canon 24-70L 2.8 II at F/14. The exposure was 1.6 seconds – long enough to give Deer Creek a silky look.