Yellowjacket Wasp

July 2, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Yellowjacket

Yellowjacket Wasp

        This yellowjacket wasp was grooming herself when I ran into her. I was taking pictures of some construction in the road when she landed, had a quick bath and left.

Butterfly Jungle At San Diego Zoo Safari Park

April 20, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Zebra Longwing Butterfly (Heliconius charitonia) at San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Zebra Longwing (Heliconius charitonia)

        San Diego Zoo Safari Park, in Encondito, CA just wrapped up a special “Butterfly Jungle” exhibit this past weekend. The entire park, including the butterfly jungle was a great experience and took up an entire Saturday as well as a few days to sort and select my favorite pics from that day. I found that I had too many keepers for one blog post. I’m going to split that exhausting day into three posts: Butterflies, birds and mammals, in that order.
        This post will feature butterflies. These pics were snapped at 1/500th or faster, and most were at full 450mm zoom. That means the ISO was pretty high (1600-3200 ISO) so there is a bit of noise. Since I know next to nothing about what makes a butterfly tick, I won’t sully their wonderful colors or elegant, nectar slurping lives with any more of my words except to say, “Enjoy.”

Orange Barred Tiger Butterfly (Dryadula Phaetusa) at San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Orange-Barred Tiger (Dryadula phaetusa)

Giant Swallowtail Butterfly(Papilio cresphontes) at San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Giant Swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes)

Malachite Butterfly (Siproeta stelenes) at San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Malachite (Siproeta stelenes)

Paper Kite Butterfly (Idea leuconoe) at San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Paper Kite Butterfly (Idea leuconoe)”

Malachite Butterfly (Siproeta stelenes) & Blue Morpho Butterfly (Morpho peleides) at San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Malachite (Siproeta stelenes) & Blue Morpho (Morpho peleides)

Postman Butterfly (Heliconius Melpomene) at San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Postman (Heliconius melpomene)

Amaryllis Sex

April 14, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Amaryllis Sex

Amaryllis Tries To Start A Family

        What was, on March 13, 2010 just an amaryllis bulb has grown into a 6 flower metropolis, with an additional two under construction. The pic above is a macro shot of the reproductive area of one of them. The high ISO I used (3200) enabled me to use a a very fast shutter speed, which then enabled me to handhold the camera while using the full 450mm of my lens. I remain impressed with the very low amount of high ISO noise my D5000 produces.
        Something that I an really enjoying about my D5000 is that because it is a Nikon DX camera, it’s sensor size gives me a 1.5x crop factor, so my 70-300mm (non-DX) lens is attached, it is a 105-450mm for me. Same for my 50mm f/1.8 prime lens. It is a 75mm when attached to the D5000. Ken Rockwell wrote a great article explaining crop factor, and it is well worth reading. His entire site is actually very informative. Knowing how a lens is going to act on your camera before you buy it can save you some possible buyers remorse later. Full stats for the pic are: 450mm, 1/500th, f/5.6, 3200 ISO

The Surface Of An Alien Planet

December 15, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Water Canals On Earth-Like Planet

Water Evidence On An Alien Planet – As Seen From An Orbiting Satellite

        Back in the 1970’s, NASA launched a series of deep space probes. Mostly forgotten today, some of them have finally managed to reach planets outside our own solar system. The image above was taken from 150 miles above the surface of a planet named “NIROBI”. The visible geographic features could be giant, wind-swept sand dunes or even a series of canyons made by liquid water.

The Loss Of Shape And Form

September 26, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

San Diego Photography Is Dying

When Life Becomes A Palindrome

        My goal today was to snap 680 digital images, which would fill up my SD card. Simple math says that if I shot 1 frame each second I would be done in just over 11 minutes, but simple reality said instead that it would take most of the day. How can it be that after attending 3 events in the San Diego area that I have exactly nothing to show for it? Those in the know will understand this next, paraphrased line, “You ain’t leadin’ but two things, right now: Jack and shit… and Jack left town.”

The Peak Of An Empire Is Measured By The Inevitable Decline

        I think I do better when I don’t try. This happens for no reason in particular, it just is what it is. Of course I might be wrong but what difference would that really make?

The Best Photography In San Diego

Announcing Your Plans Is A Great Way To Hear God Laugh

Fireworks On The 4th Of July

July 5, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Infrared & Red Filtered Light

Infrared & Red Filtered Light

        Now, this is something exciting! The Hubble Telescope and the Palomar Observatory look to the far reaches of the outer universe, while simultaneously, men, women, and even children point microscopes downward in search of the mysteries of the INNER universe. Each of the following images represents pieces of matter, hundreds of times smaller than individual atoms, interacting and colliding together in brilliant displays of energy.

Digital Tsunami Moving @ The Speed Of Light

        This model is a 3D snapshot of that same matter a few moments after exploding and releasing their energy.  The energy being released is contained in the red mountains, heading toward you at the speed of light.  If this pure, initial form of energy scaled up into the world as we know it, our ENTIRE MILKY WAY GALAXY would easily fit inside one of the canyons in the lower foreground.

X-Ray Light

X-Ray Light Shows Spokes Of Energy Radiating Into Sub-Atomic Space

        Tube-like structures, of unknown make-up thrust outward from collections of matter, which had previously been pulled together presumably by gravity, or electromagnetic attraction.  These tubes are a mystery to science right now…  No one knows what they are.

Ultra-Violet (UV) Light

UV Light Shows A Violent World Beneath The Base Of The Tubes

        Even with the strongest UV filter available, the internal structure of the tubes could not be seen.  What is the purpose for extending these tubes outward before the explosion?  Do explosions ever happen BEFORE the tube extends out?

Visible Light

Visible Light – Enhanced To Show Detail On Tubes

        This all happened on July 4th, 2009, so there were fireworks all over the universe that night.  Technically, there is no color at the sub-atomic level and these explosion happen so fast that our brains would no even register anything until we were dead from the radiation, but baring all that, this is what it might look like to us, if were were down there.