After years of missing the Perseid meteor shower, either because of work commitments or the Pacific NorthWest's persistent and tenacious cloud cover, I finally managed to see the shower and get some wide field astrophotographs including them this year. This shot was taken from the rim of the crater at Crater Lake National Park in central Oregon. The lights on the horizon are from the Crater Rim village and Mazama camp ground, the shot is directed almost due East, towards the galactic center that is rising to the right. A large forest fire to the south of the park has resulted in a smoky haze in the lower atmosphere, giving the sky a warm diffuse glow.
Shot with my Nikon D800E at ISO 3200, 25 second exposure at 24 mm, f2.8. 11:33 PM on August 12.
Recently took a short trip to Barcelona, for yet another meeting. This time I decided to take a lighter, more compact system than my behemoth D800E + lens collection + large tripod. I had been hearing good things about the Olympus OM-D EM1, so I ended up renting a body, ultrawide zoom (Panasonic 7-14 f4), a "standard" zoom (Olympus 12-40 f2.8 ED) and a telezoom (Olympus 40-150 f2.8 ED). The OM-D EM-1 has an imaging sensor area essentially half that of the D800, which means that the field of view of the lenses is about half what you would expect from a 35mm FX equivalent. So the upshot is, I had a system covering 14-300mm effective field of view, that weighed less than half my D800 system (and I don't have a 300 f2.8...).
Of course, what physics gives on one hand it takes away with the other. You lose about 1 stop worth of isolation/shallow depth of field going from 35mm FX to m4/3, so the 150 f2.8 is not really like a 300 f2.8, but still it was a remarkably comfortable and easy to carry system that never seemed to limit me. I have made some prints of images from this trip to the maximum size I can pull off with my desktop printer (Canon Pixma Pro-1, which is a max 13x19 inch printer), and the files and results are very very good.
I'm now seriously considering investing in this system to parallel my big system, particularly for family-oriented travel where the 30 lb monster just gets in the way.
Anyhoo, on to the images. Gallery is linked to the image below, or as usual you can get there via the Gallery link at the top of the page.
In late September/early October we took a trip to northern Italy, specifically the Veneto plain region and Venice, to attend the European Society of Veterinary Orthopedics and Traumatology conference. A smallish gallery, mainly of "intimate vignette" shots rather than grand scenics, is now up and can be accessed from the Gallery link, or by clicking on the image below.