Nature photography

I got a lot of great responses to my recent piece on features of C# I somewhat regret; thanks all for those.

As promised, today on fun-for-Friday-FAIC I’ve posted some fabulous adventures in nature photography from my recent trip to Lake Huron. Click on any image for a larger version. These were either taken by me or my friend Amber, who graciously loaned me her Canon DSLR, and taken with either the Canon or my GoPro.

Starting with the low point: I did not recognize this fish when my four-year-old friend Ada — she with the sharp eyes for strange fish — spotted it close to shore, but I think now that it is an invasive sea lamprey. This fish has decimated the trout population in Lake Huron. Had I known it was invasive I would have removed it from the lake, but I didn’t have access to the internet at the time to look it up.

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The water was barely deep enough to conceal this common snapping turtle, one of two I saw on this trip. He or she (the turtle of course living between plated decks that cleverly conceal its sex) was sticking his or her head up to breathe, and got spotted by Amber from a kayak.

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Some cedar trees growing out of a limestone outcropping. Nice roots.

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We saw a number of northern leopard frogs on this trip; this was the most photogenic. We also saw some leaping out of the lake at sunset to eat low-flying bugs, but did not get any images unfortunately.

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We saw a lot of double crested cormorants hunting this year; this one was behaving a bit oddly. It was standing alone in a river, and let me get very close. Normally they’re more skittish. Not sure what was up with this bird.

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And finally, two pictures of non-terrestrial phenomena. This one was slightly out of focus, but here we’ve got one of the Perseids meteor shower. The tail is green; perhaps this meteor contained a lot of copper, which would burn green. The cluster of stars is Messier 45, the Pleiades.

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Finally, an image of the Milky Way and Great Rift, shot around midnight before the moon rose. The bright star is Altair.

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4 thoughts on “Nature photography

  1. Hello – Can you please post the parameters for the first sky photo, the one with the meteor? If you still have these, I would like to know the type of lens (24 mm?) the aperture, exposure time and, if you used a digital camera, how many megapixels your camera had. I took pictures of the sky but I never got something so beautiful – I especially like the “cloud” of stars in the bottom right quadrant. So I am thinking to use your parameters and see what I get. Thanks a lot!

    • Glad you liked the shot! I have a project underway to learn more about astrophotography. The biggest problem I have is getting the focus just right.

      The cloud of stars is the Pleiades, as noted in the text. It’s a very beautiful cluster, and easy to see with binoculars.

      I used the entry-level Canon DSLR EOS Rebel with the stock zoom lens for both shots, with the same settings:

      * 18 mm focal length.

      * Wide open f/3.5 aperture.

      * 20 second exposure — much longer than that and you’ll start to get blurriness from the movement of the earth.

      * ISO 6400, which is as fast as this camera gets

      * The image is the full size, 4272 by 2848 pixels

      It helps to have a solid tripod and remotely trigger the shutter; you can either get an IR remote control, or for fairly cheap you can get a device which plugs into the side that lets you not only trigger the shutter remotely, but can also be programmed to do time lapses. The shot of the milky way here is part of a time lapse which I will post on YouTube later this month.

      • Thanks – I wrote these down. I used a tripod and an external trigger in the past. I just never got such nice pictures.

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