Landscape

Lockheed P-3 Orion

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During a noon hike, I spotted a Lockheed P-3 Orion taking off from Moffett Federal Airfield. At the time, I was using the D7000 because the D800 would not turn on and had to be sent to Nikon for repairs. Hopefully, the repairs will not take too long because I miss that camera already. It functions as expected.

Lockheed P-3 Orion

Camera: Nikon D7000
Lens: Nikkor AF-S 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
ISO: 400
Focal Length: 300mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Shutter: 1/1250s

Earlier, I was using the D7000 for video work. On the D800, I can adjust the aperture, shutter speed and ISO while in Live View. On the D7000, the camera settings could not be adjusted in the same manner in Live View. Fortunately, I had internet access in the field and was able to lookup the instructions. The quick answer is shutter speed can be adjusted in Live View, but aperture cannot not. I had to exit Live View, adjust the aperture, and return to Live View. As for ISO, setting Manual Movie Settings to “on” enables ISO to be changed while in Live View. That setting can be found at Shooting Menu > Movie Settings > Manual Movie Settings.

Hanger Two and Mount Hamilton

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I had the versatile Nikon 28-300mm lens with me on an exceptionally clear afternoon. I was focused on Hanger Two and Hanger Three at Moffett Field at the time. It wasn’t until I was looking at the photos under higher magnification that I noticed Lick Observatory at Mount Hamilton in the background.

Camera: Nikon D800
Lens: Nikkor AF-S 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
ISO: 160
Focal Length: 250mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Shutter: 1/1,250s

In the other direction, I could see the skyscrapers in San Francisco quite clearly. As it turns out, both Mount Hamilton and San Francisco are about equidistant from Mountain View. They are both a shade under 40 miles away.

San Francisco, California

Blue Angels Flyover During Super Bowl 50

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During Super Bowl 50, I was on the side of a mountain with a view of Moffett Field and Levi’s Stadium. I wasn’t sure which direction the Blue Angels would come from, but from my vantage point, I was fairly confident that I could spot their arrival.

The more pressing problem was the atmospheric haze. Nearby objects were crystal clear. However, objects (like Levi’s Stadium) that were located further away were not. Here is the original photo.

Super Bowl 50

I had just upgraded to the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC, which added the de-haze feature, so I was eager to return home and test the function. From the original, I was able to restore the colors and contrast, and salvage the situation. Sometimes you just have to shoot regardless of the circumstances and hope for the best in post-processing. I think this latest edit is an improvement on my first attempt.

Super Bowl 50 Blue Angels Photos

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The Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers competed in Super Bowl 50 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. I was 15 miles away on the side of a mountain overlooking Silicon Valley.

Levi's Stadium

Camera: Nikon D800
Lens: AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II and AF-S Teleconverter TC-20E III
ISO: 360
Focal Length: 600mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Shutter: 1/2000s

Fortunately, 30 minutes before the start of the Super Bowl, the Blue Angels flew over Silicon Valley. Nothing better than a test run before the real deal…for them, as well as for me. 600mm was a bit too close since I wanted to see the Blue Angels in their surroundings, so I removed the teleconverter and waited and waited and waited.
[click to continue…]

Nazca Lines: Whale

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Visiting the Nazca lines is not the most pleasant experience. On board a small plane, we headed out on our aerial tour. Now to see these lines, our pilots would sharply roll the plane left or right so that the passengers would get a clear, downward view of the geoglyphs on the ground. The end result is that about a third of the passengers developed motion sickness. This is truly unfortunate because the geoglyphs are quite amazing. It really requires some talent to construct objects of this scale.

Nazca Whale

Camera: Nikon D800
Lens: Nikkor AF-S 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
ISO: 320
Focal Length: 48mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Shutter: 1/2000s

A Testament to Man

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While soaring along the coast of Peru, I could spot the plots of cultivated land squeezed into whatever area that the ingenuity of man permits. Meandering through the fields is the outline of what once was a river. Maybe it will return in a wetter season. However, on that day, it was nothing more than a thick line of dry sand etched into the landscape.

Flight Over Peru

Camera: Nikon D800
Lens: Nikkor AF-S 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
ISO: 320
Focal Length: 72mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Shutter: 1/2000s

The Last Day of the Year

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On the last day of the year, I headed up to the hills for a sunrise photography session above Silicon Valley. Shoreline Amphitheatre, which is surrounded by the Google campus, is easily identifiable in the bottom of the photograph. Along the rolling hills in the background, wind turbines transform the winds into clean energy.

Mountain View, CA

Camera: Nikon D800
Lens: Nikkor AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II
ISO: 100
Focal Length: 200mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Shutter: 1/20s

Maras Salt Terraces

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In modern times, we head to the supermarket for salt. If we study the packaging, we can learn quite a bit about where this treasured commodity originated. Some salt is harvested from the oceans, hence the term “sea salt.” Others come from inland salt mines where ancient seas have long dried out. Just think of Himalayan salt, which sounds like it comes from Tibet, but is really harvested in Pakistan.

The Maras salt terraces in Peru comes from a mountain stream that flows with salt water. This water is collected in evaporation ponds in terraces along the mountain side. As it dries, a white crust of salt emerges. Families have been harvesting salt from this location since the days of the Incas.

Maras Salt Terraces

Canyon de Chelly

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Canyon de Chelly is a testament to the adaptability of human beings. Instead of walled cities, these people built their community into the crevices of the canyon walls. It is almost a cliché to be amazed by the ancient people who wandered the globe before us. But, each of them did whatever they had to do to survive, so that each of us can enjoy the bounties of today.

Canyon de Chelly

Camera: Nikon D7000
Lens: Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S ED VR IIs
ISO: 140
Focal Length: 200 mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Shutter: 1/30s