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Supermoon 2016

November 13, 2016 @ 23:23 By: gordon Category: Astronomy, Photography

20161113-_mg_9343-edit

It’s not quite as sharp as I’d like, probably due to the fact that the Moon was quite high in the sky, it was cold, and it’s tricky focusing the Tamron SP 500 when your hands are cold

Remembrance Day

November 11, 2016 @ 11:00 By: gordon Category: Current affairs, General

20131108-144923.jpgToday is the day when we stop to remember those who have fought, sometimes making the ultimate sacrifice, on our behalf so that we may have peace, security and freedom.

To them and their families I say “Thank you”.

@WeAreTheDead is a Twitter feed that posts the names of Canadian Forces members killed in the line of duty, every hour at 11 minutes past the hour. I’ve had it in the sidebar of my blog for a couple of years. I encourage you to look through it, even when it’s not Remembrance Day. It is important not to forget them.

Brace yourself: we’re changing the clocks again

November 05, 2016 @ 10:15 By: gordon Category: Current affairs, General

800px-Vortex_back.jpgBrace yourself! At 02:00 Eastern Sunday morning, we are rolling the clocks back an hour under the pretence of saving energy. Read this to find out why it’s pointless. The Ottawa Citizen published a story about nine solid reasons to hate Daylight Saving Time a few days ago that pretty much captures what I’ve been saying for years. Read the rest of this entry →

And so it begins…

October 27, 2016 @ 00:24 By: gordon Category: Weather

Well, it looks like the non-snow infested weather is probably coming to an end on Thursday…

TAF CYOW 270238Z 2703/2724 VRB03KT P6SM SCT040
FM271100 07010KT P6SM FEW025 BKN200
FM271500 08012G22KT P6SM FEW012 OVC120
FM271800 09015G25KT P6SM -RA FEW020 OVC060
FM272000 09015G25KT 21/2SM -SNRA BR BKN015 OVC030
FM272300 08015G25KT 11/2SM -SNRA BR BKN008 OVC012
RMK NXT FCST BY 270600Z=

Basically, the aviation forecast is suggesting that a mix of light rain and snow, aka sleet, will start around 4pm, which should make the evening commute magical.

At least it’s not quite as icky as what was being called for 8 years ago.

I really enjoyed the warm weather that we had up until a week or so ago.

An afternoon of geocaching and unexpectedly chasing a storm

August 28, 2016 @ 23:32 By: gordon Category: Geocaching, Out and about, Weather

The sky at the Experimental FarmAfter editing photos for most of the morning, I decided to head out and do a little geocaching. My first find was a puzzle cache in the Experimental Farm that I had solved a while ago but hadn’t gotten around to finding. While there, I heard rumblings of thunder in the clouds to the north and the rain started just as I made it back to the car. Read the rest of this entry →

The Moon and Saturn

August 19, 2016 @ 00:05 By: gordon Category: Astronomy, Photography

I’m still playing with the 500mm lens I wrote about a few days ago and took these from my balcony this evening:

The Moon

And with a bit of luck, I was able to capture Saturn, too:

Saturn

Saturn required a bit of processing to remove the sensor noise and clean things up a bit. But, I’m still very impressed that you can make out the planet and the gaps of the rings around it.

Catadioptric lenses

August 07, 2016 @ 21:01 By: gordon Category: Astronomy, Photography

I’m thinking about buying a Tamron SP 500mm lens from a friend, so he’s let me borrow it for a few days to try it out. It’s a manual focus lens and appears to be a fixed aperture (or I need to RTFM), so shutter speed and ISO speed are the things you play with to get the right exposure.
I set up my tripod on the balcony and aimed it at the moon. Other than cropping and some light processing using Lightroom Mobile on my iPhone, these are pretty impressive. 


One of the appealing things about the lens is that it’s roughly the same length as my 18-200mm at its shortest length. The lens is more like a little telescope than a traditional telephoto lens because it has a configuration of glass and mirrors that’s used in compound telescopes, aka a catadioptric lens. 

The bokeh (the blur of things outside the in-focus range) is pretty cool. Instead of the traditional “dots” you end up with “rings”.