Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Photo is Worth a Thousand Blessings?

It's been a whirlwind month so far, and all because of one picture that I took, which is shown below. It was taken with a Canon 40D and my new Tokina 10-17mm fisheye lens.

I had also taken photos of the Perseid Meteor Shower a week after the Aurora, but more on that later. I had submitted my photos to and three of them got posted at the bottom of the following pages -

August 2010 Aurora Gallery page 3

August 2010 Aurora Gallery page 4

As a result of the postings, a reporter from got a hold of me and asked my permission to use one of the photos in a news story she was working on. Naturally, I said, "Yes." The story got posted on the and websites. Aurora story Aurora story

Then I got contacted by a guy who works for the Group for Earth Observation GEO and asked permission to use one of the photos in their magazine. Again, I said, "Yes." Once it is ready, I'll post some photos of it.

After that, I submitted one of the photos to the Astronomy Photo of the Day webstite APOD. While it didn't make the cut to get posted their, a woman asked permission to post the photo of the websites forum called Starship Asterisk - APOD and General Astronomy Discussion Forum

Then, the CTV News morning show Canada AM and I were in talks to do an on-camera interbiew to be broadcast during the show. Unfortunately, due to a major breaking news story, it had to be postponed. I had to submit a number of photos to them on the Aurora and the Perseid Meteor Shower, as well as a headshot in case they wanted to do a phone interview instead. Well, I'm still waiting to hear about that.

However, as a consolation prize, my Aurora photo appeared on a blog by a reporter at the local newspaper, the Saskatoon Star Phoenix. Her blog is called Mousing Around and the post she did on my photo can be found here.

As a result of her efforts, my Aurora photo was also printed in the Star Phoenix newspaper. Below is the picture of my Aurora photo in the newspaper along with a story about my good friend Bob of Blackholes and astrostuff.

One of my meteor shower pictures was chosen as one of the Yahoo Editorial Perseid Meteor Gallery.

And finally, to top it all off, one of my Aurora photos was chosen as the SkyNews Editor's Choice Photo of the Week.

I feel very blessed to have received all of this attention. It means a lot to me and has been a very special experience.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Auroras and Meteors

I was fortunate enough to be able to capture the spectacular Aurora on August 3, 2010 and the Perseid Meteor shower on August 12, 2010. I was out with Bob of Blackholes and astrostuff for each event. We both snapped hundreds of photos and managed to pull off a few shots. The Aurora was an amazing event. The colors were something else, with lots of green and purple (which I have never seen in Aurora before).

The meteor shower was a bit lackluster. It was definitely not the same as previous years, where 100 meteors per hour was common. Not this year. We were lucky if we saw 20 the whole night. I had two cameras snapping photos and ended up taking about 450 pictures in total, but only caught about 15 meteors. It had also been raining all day so it was humid, which made it hard to keep the camera lens from fogging up. It also got cloudy, as you'll see in the pictures.

The pictures below are of the Aurora first, then meteors. Enjoy!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Rising Moon

After years of looking at the Moon and photographing it for the past few, I still have to admit that it is one of my favorite night sky objects. Even though when it is up it washes out a good portion of the other objects, I never get tired of looking at it. I finally had the chance to catch a wonderful event - a full Moon rising from the horizon when it was large and orange.

I went out on July 24, 2010 with my good friend Bob of Blackholes and astrostuff fame. We were on time and set up and ready to go, but where the heck was the Moon? Our Moon phase info was accurate and we knew it was up, but what in the world was going on? It turns out that for one, there was a lot of forest-fire smoke in the sky above the horizon where we were looking for the Moon. The next problem is that we were out in our calculation of where it would be rising. So, by the time we noticed it, it had risen a couple of Moon widths from the horizon. No worries though, all turned out well and we were able to catch some decent shots.

The next night, July 25, 2010, we were both out at separate locations shooting the Moon again. It was cloudy in the area it was rising, but alas, the clouds dissipated and the Moon was out in full force. It was huge to say the least and looked amazing. I wish I had my telescope with me that night to take some Moon pictures through that, but I didn't. No problem. I managed to get some shots I was very happy with. Below are photos from both evenings. All were shot using a tripod-mounted Nikon D90 with a 70-300mm f/4-5.6 lens and a 1.5x teleconverter, with a remote shutter release. Enjoy.