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Posts Made By: Fred Lusk

May 30, 2010 05:46 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

Saturn - the other end of the quality spectrum

Posted By Fred Lusk

Two weeks ago, our club did a star party for a junior high science class in remote Coalinga. I showed some of the kids how to use their camera phones to get a photo of Saturn through the eyepiece. Here is one of my attempts using an iPhone 3G to photograph through a Celestron CPC-800 with a 13 mm Ethos. The original photo shows four moons, but in the cropped and resized version it is a little harder to see them. Certainly not a great photo, but the kids really got a kick out of making their own images.

May 30, 2010 05:50 AM Forum: Landscape Photography

Flower closeups with a new P&S

Posted By Fred Lusk

Sometimes you don't want to carry the "big camera" and accessories. Last year I donated my vintage 2002 digital point & shoot. Since then I've been looking for a modern replacement. A couple days ago I picked up an Olympus Stylus Tough 6020. It won't replace the E-1, but it's a nice pocketable camera with lots of useful features. It's also waterproof (submersible to 5 meters). This afternoon's project was testing the camera's macro mode with some of the flowers in the back yard. BTW, all these were hand-held.

August 4, 2010 05:38 AM Forum: Landscape Photography

SE Alaska

Posted By Fred Lusk

My wife and I spent our 30th anniversary on a small ship cruise in SE Alaska (June 6-June 13). Our basic itinerary was Juneau-Tracy Arm Fjord-Wrangell-Petersburg-Sitka-Glacier Bay-Juneau. We also spent two days in Juneau at each end of our trip. Between my Olympus E-1 DSLR and my Olympus StylusTough 6020 P&S, I took nearly 5000 images, about half in time lapse sequences and about half as individual images. This was a photographer's cruise (there was a photo pro on board), so my totals are not out of line with our shipmates. I also took about two hours of video with the 6020.

I plan to post several dozen photos over the next few days amongst the appropriate Astromart photo forums. BTW, I have posted two time lapse videos on YouTube along with a compilation of video snippets of humpback whales. Do a search for "skysurfer5cva" (my YouTube handle) to see all my videos.

This particular photo was taken from the top of the Mt. Roberts aerial tram and shows Juneau and its harbor, Gastineau Channel, and Douglas Island in the background. Our ship--CruiseWest's Spirit of Yorktown--is dwarfed by the megaliners.


August 4, 2010 05:49 AM Forum: Insects - Flowers and Other Small Stuff - Photos

Flowers from SE Alaska

Posted By Fred Lusk

My wife and I visted SE Alaska in June for our 30th anniversay (see Landscape Photo forum for more details). Here are a few of the flowers I photograhed.

August 4, 2010 06:00 AM Forum: Wildlife Photography

Orcas in SE Alaska

Posted By Fred Lusk

My wife and I visted SE Alaska in June for our 30th anniversay (see Landscape Photography forum for more details). About two hours out of Juneau we came across some orcas in Stephens Passage. The captain stopped the ship for about an hour so we could watch and photograph these beauties. It's one of the advantages of a small ship cruise.

August 5, 2010 03:42 AM Forum: Wildlife Photography

Humpback Whales in SE Alaska

Posted By Fred Lusk

We only saw orcas on the first night of our cruise, but we saw humpbacks the next day and every day after. We also saw a few humpbacks from the shore about 20 miles north of Juneau. Here are some photos of humpbacks from several places on our trip. I also posted a video compilation of the humpbacks we saw in Icy Strait on YouTube. Do a search for "skysurfer5cva", which is my handle, to find this video and several others I have posted, including two time lapses from our trip.

This photo shows several humpbacks about 75 yards offshore.


August 5, 2010 03:55 AM Forum: Landscape Photography

More SE Alaska

Posted By Fred Lusk

This is the ship we DIDN'T take to Alaska. This relic is "parked" just outside of downtown Petersburg.

August 7, 2010 06:22 PM Forum: Wildlife Photography

Eagles in SE Alaska

Posted By Fred Lusk

SE Alaska is innundated with bald eagles (i.e. retired football players from Philly smile ). We saw hundreds, maybe even thousands, and we saw them almost everywhere we were near land. We saw our first eagles on a drive north of Juneau on our first full day in Alaska. However, they were too far away for good photography.

The first one we saw up close and personal is one, an injured eagle in the Juneau Raptor Center at the top of the Mt. Roberts Aerial Tram.

August 7, 2010 06:45 PM Forum: Landscape Photography

Waterfalls in SE Alaska - Mendenhall Glacier Area

Posted By Fred Lusk

The Mendenhall Glacier area is so beautiful and accessible that we visited several times during our 4 days in Juneau. The major waterfall attraction here is Nugget Falls, which is an easy one mile walk from the visitor center. There is also a short but powerfull fall at the east base of Mendenhall Glacier and a tall cascade on the mountain above the west side of the glacier. All three are visible from the visitor center.

There is a 4th significant waterfall that I suspect most people miss (in the same way that Silver Strand Fall high above Tunnel View in Yosemite is so often missed). To see this one, which is part way up Thunder Mountain on Steep Creek, you need to be a bit west or south of the visitor center.

August 8, 2010 09:24 AM Forum: Solar System Observing

A perfect game tonight

Posted By Fred Lusk

Just got back from Hensley Lake in Madera County (elevation 650 feet). Among other things, saw Mercury (right on the horizon, so it was a rainbow of colors), Venus (1/2 phase), Earth (of course), Mars (small orange disk not far from Venus…sure doesn't look like it's going to swoop in anytime soon and look as big as the Moon…how do those rumors get started anyway smile ), Jupiter (4 moons and beautiful banding with the 13 mm Ethos in my CPC-800), Saturn (also near Venus, beautiful rings and several moons and then it dropped into the low altitude murk), Uranus (small green-blue-gray disk), Neptune (an even smaller blue-gray disk), and Pluto (certain in a friends 10" SCT, needed averted vision in my 8"). So, we threw a perfect game tonight, notwithstanding Pluto's status.

Skies were steady, transparency above average. I've seen better at Hensley, but I've also seen much worse.