Sunrise and Moonrise plus Dunstan

I was up early this morning and ended up shooting both the sun and moon rise. I’d be curious to know how often the sun and moon rise in the same quadrant of the sky. It’s a bit hard to see in this first picture, but the moon is rising in the upper right corner (moonrise was at 4:21 a.m.1, sunrise wasn’t until 6:46 a.m.). I don’t often say this, but I’d recommend you click on the pictures to see the bigger version (click on the picture, then click on All Sizes, then click on the size you want to see).

With the two sunrise images, I also tried using a new filter technique. I was looking to mimic a graduated ND filter so I could get a nice range of color in the sky. Fortunately, Lightroom has such a graduated filter. I applied the filter, dropped the expose a bit, and all was good.

In case you’re wondering, the crop ratio for the sunrise photos is 2.39:1. I’ve always had an issue with cropping. How much is too much? How much is too little? How does cropping in post affect how I take pictures? I decided to take an engineering approach and setup several predefined crop ratios that I would work with. I typically just stick with the native aspect ratio of my camera, 3:2; I also sometimes use a 1:1 ratio. After working with videography in high school, I really liked using the widescreen ratios, so I also use 16:9 (typical HDTV ratio) and 2.39:1 (typical anamorphic ratio…aka Panavision). There are a couple of other ratios I use, but the aforementioned ratios are the ones I use most of the time.

With Dunstan, I was testing out some new photographic gear I got for my birthday, mainly my new umbrella and Cactus Wireless Flash trigger. I decided to try it out on the only subject I had available at the time, Dunstan, my cat.

Nikkor @ 18mm || 1/15 || f/5.0 || ISO200 || tripod

Nikkor @ 18mm || 1/100 || f/13.0 || ISO200 || tripod

Dunstan Melting Your Heart
Nikkor @ 70mm || 1/200 || f/4.5 || ISO200 || shoot through umbrella off-camera @ 1/8


Last in the Cat Pack

Back during sophomore year, I was living with Ben, Chris, Mike and Jens. We also picked up three cats: Dunstan, Kitty and Quantum…the Cat Pack. Dunstan is my cat and Quantum and Kitty were Ben’s. Last year, Kitty was hit by a car and Ben had to put him down.

Ben is Chicago looking at graduate schools, but Chris came over today (we’re flatmates now) and wanted to know what I was doing. He hadn’t seen Quantum in a few days, which was unusual, so he went out looking for him.

The news wasn’t good.

And now there is one. I’ll be keeping Dunstan in now for sure (at least while I’m living at this location) since I used to let him roam outside on the warm days.

If I had known that on that day our time was near the end
I would have done things differently, my forever friend.
I would have stayed right next to you deep into the night
but I thought I’d see you in the early morning light.

And so I said “Good night” to you as I walked in through the door
never thinking of the time when I’d see you no more.
But if I had known that on that day our time was at the end
I would have done things so differently, my forever friend.

Written by Sally Evans for Shoo-Fly


Shooting Water Droplets

I was reading an article over at on shooting water droplets and decided to give it a try.

Out of about 90 shots or so (including lighting tests), I ended up with 6. Here are two of my favorites:
DSC_1590 (by Mr Ferguson)

DSC_1619 (by Mr Ferguson)

Here’s the lovely lighting setup I had:
IMG_0192 (by Mr Ferguson)

Two upside-down bowls in the sink on top of each other. I filled the the top white one with water to the top. Nikon D70 with 18-70mm on a tripod. SB600 Speedlight about 15cm camera left and triggered via Commander (i.e remote trigger). Water dripped down through a latex glove that I poked a hole in and suspended from the kitchen cabinet using Dunstan’s cat leash.

On a somewhat related note, I may have some exciting news tomorrow. Be sure to check back for that!


The Real Start of 2008 and a Recap

Going to a university based on a semester systems does weird things to ones brain. I feel like for every common year I live through, it’s really two years (one for each semester). Thus the real start of 2008: Part One commenced this past Wednesday. The other interesting thing is that the time between semesters (i.e. Christmas break) feels like a black hole where time ceases to exist. And in fact my sleep schedule usually becomes wildly out of whack very quickly. I attribute this to the lack of daily structure afforded to me by class (during the school year) and work (during the summer).

So here’s a recap of my four week black hole:
Drove back to Seattle with Dunstan and Kit. Stopped in Grand Junction along the way to see Grandma and Grandpa.
Many dinner parties (more on that later).
Hanging out with good friends and meeting some new ones.
Christmas Eve dinner at Duke’s with the Boyd’s (had Fish and Chips, Chowder, and a Mac and Jack’s).
Christmas was exciting. It snowed. New 50mm f/1.8 prime lens.
New Years Eve Party at Staples.
Drove back to Denver via Jackson, Wy with Liz.

For those more picture inclined:
IMG_0179 (by Mr Ferguson)

IMG_0182 (by Mr Ferguson)

IMG_0184 (by Mr Ferguson)

DSC_1343 (by Mr Ferguson)

DSC_1362 (by Mr Ferguson)

DSC_1379 (by Mr Ferguson)

DSC_1380 (by Mr Ferguson)

DSC_1415 (by Mr Ferguson)

IMG_0187 (by Mr Ferguson)

DSC_1439 (by Mr Ferguson)

DSC_1441 (by Mr Ferguson)

IMG_0188 (by Mr Ferguson)

DSC_1443 (by Mr Ferguson)

DSC_1452 (by Mr Ferguson)


Dunstan Update

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Dunstan had his abscess drained on Monday and has been back home recovering. Tomorrow (Thursday), he gets his drain removed from his cheek. In the meantime, I’ve been giving him hot compresses two to three times a day and amoxicillin twice a day, per doctors orders. Dunstan has also been relegated to wearing The Cone™ so he doesn’t try and remove the drain himself. This causes a very interesting slinking effect when he walks.



Dunstan’s Sick

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I had to take Dunstan to the vet this morning. For the last week, he’s had a scratch on his head that actually removed some hair. It’s been healing well.

However, on Thursday, I notice a slight asymmetricalness to his face with his left cheek a bit bulged out.

Sunday afternoon saw the bulge increase significantly.

My guess is that it’s a abscess from a fight he might have gotten into last week

I dropped him off at the vet this morning. They’re going to give him some anesthesia and drain the abscess, then put him on antibiotics.