May 22nd, 2010

lizards and ruins

I've been up at the Discovery Telescope for two nights now photographing. It's remote, 40 miles from Flagstaff, on the way you might pass two cars and an elk. The first night I wasn't satisfied with the results -- it's extremely challenging to try and balance an exposure that includes stars, a half full moon and a human being. So we went back again last night and spent five hours working on it. I finally got everything working but the wind was ... catastrophic. I don't know that I've ever been in sustained winds like that that didn't involve severe storms. There was much destruction of photographic equipment -- all wind related -- my camera was blown off of an eight foot structure and Dan and I watched as it bounced to the ground. "I hope we're not done," I said. "Nah," replied Dan, "those things are tanks" I picked the camera up and it was still taking the 30 second exposure I'd started it out on. The shutter closed and we went back to work.

The wind did manage to destroy a pocket wizard, and a flash, and a borrowed umbrella. I'll write the whole thing up in the plane on the way back. It's been great. Today we're off to Lowell to do photos there and, hopefully, I'll get to connect my camera to Persival Lowell's telescope tonight.... We shall see.

In the meantime, here's a lizard:

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