Innumerable as the Starrs of Night,
Or Starrs of Morning,
Dew-drops, which the Sun
on every leaf and every flouer
NGC3132 ©
Beauty is truth, truth beauty,
— that is all
Ye know on earth, and all
ye need to know.

E = M

Energy is eternal delight.
William Blake

Impearls: 2007-10-21 Archive

Earthdate 2007-10-27

Photo album – lunar eclipse

After the demise of an earlier digital camera (an old 1 megapixel), I resisted buying another (due to its supposed high cost) for some time.  However, following a death in the family, I was suddenly catapulted last August back to my home state of Montana — whereupon I ended up using up six throwaway cameras (some of whose results will appear in a forthcoming Impearls’ piece on the mountains of central Montana), but which results were of mediocre quality at best, one whole (camera’s) set of shots of which being massively out of focus, while the overall cost including developing added up to a not-so-trivial $120. Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8K (Black)

Following that sad experience, I decided “never again,” and after doing a small amount of research (such as perusing Instapundit’s couple of recent digital camera carnivals), and applying a handful of criteria — e.g., I wanted a high degree of available optical zoom, together with image stabilization — I settled on a 7 megapixel Panasonic “Lumix” model DMC-FZ8, which along with a high-speed (required for full-motion video) memory chip, set me back just shy of $300 (I see the two are even cheaper now some two months later).  Considering what I’d spent earlier on mere throwaways, vis-a-vis a camera that can take excellent (7 MP!) shots indefinitely for basically no further expenditure, that sounds like a bargain.  (I just wish I’d made the determination to buy it before I left on my trip — I’d have come back with more and better photos, and spent less to boot.)

This week we’ll christen and celebrate this new acquisition for Impearls by engaging in a little photo blogging, bringing forth for display a selection of the initial results of this endeavor.

One of the first things I experimentally unlimbered the new camera upon was the lunar eclipse of 2007-08-28, which, despite the fact that it was not really designed for astronomical applications, I think actually turned out rather well.  Below we see a sampling of the results.

Following the final (fourth) shot below, the Moon was close to setting (it was after 03:00 here local time in a tall redwood forest on the northeast side of a northwest-trending mountain) — but by that time the eclipse was so near to totality anyway (and the Moon thus so dark) that I found it was getting almost impossible to find on the camera’s finder screen — which was obviously nearing the limits of its capability in this regard.

Despite this relatively minor drawback near the extreme edge of its applicability, I’d judge that the camera turned in a rather impressive performance given the rather unconventional application for it.

1. Lunar eclipse, 2007-08-28 09:22:39 UT (photographer: Michael McNeil)
2. Lunar eclipse, 2007-08-28 09:46:34 UT (photographer: Michael McNeil)
3. Lunar eclipse, 2007-08-28 09:59:28 UT (photographer: Michael McNeil)
4. Lunar eclipse, 2007-08-28 10:04:11 UT (photographer: Michael McNeil)


(And in case you need ask, no these weren’t taken handheld!)

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Photo album – looking up a cathedral grove

Located just outside Impearls world headquarters.  (Click on each image to see it full scale.)

1. Looking up an (adolescent) redwood cathedral grove (zoom in) (photographer: Michael McNeil)
2. Looking up an (adolescent) redwood cathedral grove (non-zoom) (photographer: Michael McNeil)
3. Looking at an (adolescent) redwood cathedral grove (no zoom) (photographer: Michael McNeil)

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Photo album – my fiddle

My violin (photographer: Michael McNeil)

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