High Plains Drifter

disclaimer:  "The meteorological views/forecast thinking expressed are those solely of the author of this blog
and do not necessarily represent those of official National Weather Service forecast products,
therefore read and enjoy at your own risk and edification!"

August 30, 2007

More lunar eclipse images

Filed under: Photography — Mike U @ 10:36 pm

I have posted an album of 7 images from the total lunar eclipse on my gallery.  Here is the direct link.  I shot exclusively at telephoto length (400mm) with my 80-400mm Nikon lens. The images I processed were roughly 250 to 320 ISO images. I hate high ISO noise, so I rarely shoot above ISO 400 unless I absolutely have to. The problem is that at such low ISO is ya gotta leave the shutter open with such low light… and with 400mm of length and f/5.6 (sloow!)…its extremely difficult to achieve sharp images… but I did the best I could, and I am satisfied with my results. On the tripod, I used a remote shutter cable with my D200 with VR mode off and mirror lock UP… I was fortunate that the wind was almost calm at that time of morning. Still though, I found it just about impossible to get sharp images at longer than 1 second shutter speed at 400mm of length during the darker stages of the eclipse. By increasing the exposure compensation and curves adjustment, more noise was introduced even at ISO 250, but wasn’t as bad as my ISO 600 shots, so I didn’t even bother to fully process those.

August 29, 2007

Lunar Eclipse Image

Filed under: Photography — Mike U @ 7:36 am

I did get out to photograph the lunar eclipse early Tuesday morning, August 28th.  Below is one of the images as the eclipse just enters the total eclipse of the "Earth Umbra" at around 4:52am CDT.  This phase of the eclipse provided for a beautiful gradient of colors with a hint of blue/turquoise!  Photo specs:  400mm, f/5.6, 1.0s, ISO 250.  Nikon D200 using the 80-400mm VR lens.


August 26, 2007

Storm Chase August 25: Raton Mesa Storms

Filed under: Chase Accounts,Storm Chasing — Mike U @ 11:36 am

Not a whole lot to report from the chase on August 25th — as it didn’t turn out to be all that spectacular in terms of supercells.  A briefly interesting storm provided photogenic opportunities along the NM-CO border area south of Kim, CO.  The storm was small and LP-ish, and given it’s size, it did not last long.  Other attempts went up along the trough convergence, however they struggled mightily.  The most sustained storm was actually east of Raton, and I had blown that area off.  In retrospect, I probably should have chased that, as it tempted me several times with overshooting tops.  I like chasing this whole area here because it is so scenic… and even the most innocuous looking storm can provide for nice "storm in landscape" photography.  Below are a couple images from the chase:

August 25, 2007

Storm chase today: Aug 25

Filed under: Storm Chasing — Mike U @ 10:08 am

I’m heading out to Clayton, NM to chase today.  Dewpoints are very high by northeastern New Mexico standards with 63 at Clayton and 60 at Raton.  The mid and upper level winds will not be all that strong, but southeast winds at the surface will allow for some marginal deep layer shear for supercells… and given the expected CAPE of 2500-3000 J/kg, a photogenic storm may materialize… It’s enough to get me out the door to chase in my favorite area:  northeastern New Mexico.

August 21, 2007

Storm Chase August 20: HP Supercells!

Filed under: Chase Accounts,Storm Chasing — Mike U @ 7:16 am

After I got off work at 4pm yesterday, I decided to chase…and intercepted a fairly impressive high-based supercell between Scott City and Garden City, arriving around 5:30.  This storm evolved into a larger HP supercell as it neared Garden City as other smaller storms west of Garden City were forming and congealing with the main storm.  Some of the storm structure was fantastic, especially south of Garden City along Hwy 83 near the Finney-Haskell county line.  I would estimate winds just to my north around the south side of the large circulation to have been 70-80 mph when I was a few miles north of Sublette.  Another storm formed farther south…to the northwest of Liberal which attained nice structure.  This storm was stationary right at sunset and also morphed into a big HP supercell as the northern activity was approaching.  Quite a fascinating chase with excellent storm structure!  Below are  a few prelim photos:

August 11, 2007

Mid-August Update

Filed under: UTM Updates — Mike U @ 2:39 am

I haven’t updated in a couple weeks.  What’s new on Underthemeso since the last news item was posted:  The final 2 days of the late-June chase trip are uploaded which completes my online photography gallery for that trip.   I’ve also added the June 12th Colorado storm chase photography gallery as well.  These three galleries are easily accessed through the menu bar above by clicking on either "Latest Images!" or "Chase 2007". 

Over the past couple weeks, nothing much has been going on around here.  I have gone on one impromptu mid-late evening chase north of Dodge City on August 7th.  So, in terms of new images to add, I have some photos from 3 different dates to upload still (July 9, July 11, August 7).  Those will be small albums with not much to process, so I can get these uploaded pretty quickly (probably after I get back from the High Plains Conference next week).  Believe it or not, I still have images from May and even earlier than that that I still have to upload.  If there’s one constant, it’s that I’m always processing photos!  Never a dull moment at the computer that’s for sure.  Anyway, that’s about it for now… will give another update when deemed necessary or I feel like writing again ;-)

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