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Crush Festival, Rino District

This weekend was the annual Crush Festival in the Rino District. Our night shoot Meetup Group met for this event last night. Here are some images that I made before our group met. In this image, this lady was busy painting a mural on the side of a truck that was parked in one of the parking lots.


Lady, Painting The Lion

Many of the murals in the Rino District appear in the back alleys. Several groups of muralists could be found working on their art. This muralist was busy putting finishing touches on this dragon.


Muralist And Dragon, Rino District

“The Letter S”. Another muralist adding finishing touches.


The Letter S

Murals in this area typically cover a huge area for the buildings. This artist was putting finishing touches to what appears to be bubbles. I am guessing that this artist is Gordon Pryor, from his tee shirt!


Muralist At Work, Rino DIstrict

Nearby these spray canisters were parked on the top rungs of a ladder — ready for access by artists on platforms.


Spray Canisters On Ladder

This striking mural grabbed my attention with its’ hot colors. Several spent spray canisters were parked in the alley.


Spent Spray Canisters

Most of the murals were created using spray paints, so these spray canisters could be found in the alleys.

Soon after making this image, I headed over to join our photo group. To be continued…



Bird Life At Chatfield — Labor Day

Last week, Angela visited Chatfield State Park and related how many birds were seen at Chatfield. Apparently some 80 Pelicans were sighted. This morning, I headed out at sunrise. The sky was hazy from wildfires that are burning to the north and west of Colorado. Out near the sandbar, were a few Pelicans that I managed to capture.


Pelicans At Chatfield State Park

Returning to the parking lot, several children found some “ducks”. A family of Common Mergansers were swimming rapidly away from the kids! In this image, are 7 immature Mergansers following after a parent who is outside the frame.


Common Merganser Family, Chatfield

One Merganser turned around, in this image.


Common Merganser, Chatfield

There is also a pair of immature Cooper’s Hawks a few hundred yards from where I had parked. As I approached, I could hear their calls. Apparently they are still too young to hunt for themselves, and were calling to their parents for food. The first hawk, was close to the parking lot, and quite visible.


Cooper’s Hawk No 1, Chatfield

While observing, I heard a call from the second hawk, that was in a tree about a hundred yards behind me. I successfully captured an image before the hawk took flight.


Cooper’s Hawk No 2, Chatfield

By this time, the park was becoming more crowded as people arrived to celebrate a day in the park for Labor Day. Time to go!



Great Eclipse 2017 — Nebraska Sandhills

Monday, August 21, was the Great Eclipse of 2017. I made the trip to the Sandhills of Western Nebraska to experience the totality of this solar eclipse. This image is a composite from a timelapse of the event that represents a images from 10:30am – 1:20pm (MDT).


Great Eclipse 2017, Merged Timelapse

I made a timelapse sequence of 95 images shot at 2 minute intervals. The image above was made by selecting images 4 minutes apart from the sequence; this allowed a gap to show between each sun image. I had to adjust the camera position of the final frames because the sun would be off the frame. This was shot with a 50mm zoom setting with 16-stops of neutral density filters.

It would be really great to include some foreground elements in one of the frames. I camped at the road-side. The following panorama image was made just after sunrise. The Sandhills were spectacular, but there was not much gain in elevation of the rolling hills and no trees. The timelapse would have required a wider angle setting to include foreground, but with smaller sun images. So I opted to include just the sun.


Nebraska Sandhills Sunrise Panorama

My location was about on a dirt road, about a mile from the highway. This was about 20 miles north of Scott’s Bluff. I researched this location, as well as a second location across the state line in Wyoming. My choice was an excellent location to view totality.

After the eclipse had started, I made this panorama. On the left are two visitors, Jay and Sally, from Minnesota. On the right edge are two tripods with two cameras attached.


Great Eclipse 2017, Nebraska Sandhills Panorama

Further along the road were more visitors viewing the event. During the course of the morning, there must have been about 50-100 cars parked along several miles of this dirt road. A couple of visitors had 8-inch reflector telescopes with solar film. I got the opportunity to view the sun shortly after sunrise in one scope, and the end of the eclipse in the second scope.


Great Eclipse 2017, Visitors Along Road

We were waiting to experience the totality of the eclipse. As totality arrived, cheers could be heard from several visitors along the roadside. I made the following image of the sun’s corona, streaming out from the sun. This was an awe-inspiring sight and event!


Great Eclipse 2017, Corona

During totality, it was very dark, except for the sun’s corona and the horizon; the entire horizon was lit with an orange glow in all directions.

While making images with the second camera, I got to see the “Diamond Ring” as the sun emerged from totality. I was fortunate to capture the first diamond ring in this image.


Great Eclipse 2017, Diamond Ring No 1

A couple of seconds later, I got another spectacular diamond ring, with light streaks and some lens flare included in the following image.


Great Eclipse 2017, Diamond Ring No 2

As the eclipse passed, people left the site. I continued to wait for another 1-1/2 hours for my timelapse sequence to complete before I packed up.

Fortunately, most of the traffic from the Scott’s Bluff area, had dissipated by the time the I left this location. There was plenty of traffic on my way back home, but I made good time driving at the highway speed limits. I returned by way of Kimball and Sidney, where traffic was moving smoothly. Closer to Denver, I left the highway to make some images of the sunflower fields near the DIA airport.


Sunflowers 2017

This is the time of year that sunflowers are in bloom. A few weeks ago I found some sunflower fields to visit but the flowers had weeks to go before blooming. On Saturday, I made my first trip to this location, where the flowers had started to open. Here is the first image for 2017.


Sunflower 2017, No 1

I then decided for another image of this plant. In this image, I took care to include the entire leaf at bottom left in the frame.


Sunflower 2017, No 2

I found a sunflower that had not opened fully. One can see a hint of yellow in the center of the budding flower. Also, if you look carefully, you may be able to see a ladybug near the bottom of the flower head. Sunflowers have really attractive leaves. The white veins add lots of contrast and texture to the leaves. Something that I want to explore this summer.


Sunflower Bud, With Ladybug

The back of the sunflower head, and the thick stems are covered with hairs that add texture the to plant.


Sunflower Opening

Another image look at the side of the flower…


Sunflowers, No 3

In this image, I included three sunflowers.


Three Sunflowers

Enjoy. More to come later.



Morning At Botanic Gardens

Sunday morning, Carey and I headed out to the Denver Botanic Gardens. The skies were overcast and the weather was threatening to drizzle. Perfect weather for outdoor flower photos. I found this ornamental kale plant — the leaves make an interesting circular image.


Leaves, Botanic Gardens

The “El Pomar Waterway” is lined with aloe plants in the water channel. The walls of the waterway were painted in a deep yellow color. I chose to split the image with the yellow and white wall at the entrance of the waterway.


Split, Botanic Gardens

There are several ponds with lily pads and lotus flowers. In this image, it appears that the lotus flower and pads are in flight!


Lotus Flower Pads, In Flight

I found this open flower with two buds in the background. This just looked stunning against the huge green leaves.


Flower And Buds, Botanic Gardens

We found some purple flowers. I titled this one “Purple Horn”. I think Carey captured a similar image on his website at http://inasphere.com.


Purple Horn

One of the ponds had these huge lily pads. However, in the image below, it was the reflections of the plants in the water, at the lower left corner, that caught my eye. The red lotus flower draws the eye to this corner. Perhaps I should do some more work with this image!


Lily Pads And Reflections

I made this candid image of Carey while talking photography!


Carey, Botanic Gardens, 2017

In this final image, I managed to capture two bees in this flower. The bees are always on the move, so I had to take several images, to freeze the action a little.


Bees Gathering Nectar, And Pollen, Botanic Gardens

Soon after this, we parted ways as Carey had another appointment for the day.


Visit To England — part 3 — Whitstable

Angela, Susan and I spent two nights in Whitstable while visiting family in Herne Bay. We spent a day in Whitstable by heading to Forge Oyster Bar. Here the girls indulged in oysters. Not being an oyster lover, I had two donuts — they were tiny!!!


Forge Oyster Bar, Whitstable

The bar had oysters for sale on a bed of ice.


Whitstable Oysters

We visited the harbor. About this time the tide was going out.


Whitstable Harbor

At the harbor wall, two ladies were sitting reading. One lady was reading a book, the other, reading a phone?


Ladies Reading, Book And Phone

Along many beaches in Kent, may be found beach beach huts. These are typically used as change rooms and to shelter from the elements while visiting the beach.


Colorful Beach Huts

Later that afternoon, we visited a beach close to Whistable, where we discovered that there were some birds.


Beach Near Whitstable

Situated out to sea, off the north Kent coast, is a wind farm. The wind turbines are anchored to the sea bed.


Wind Farm At Sea Near Thames Estuary

Here are Angela and Susan looking out for birds among the wetlands located away from the beach.


Angela And Susan, Whitstable

After dinner, I headed to the harbor to catch the sun setting over the Thames estuary.


Sunset At Whitstable

The next day we met with Angela’s sister before heading back to Surbiton that afternoon.


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The next family activity was a boat trip up the River Thames. We rented a boat at Surbiton for the day. We took turns piloting the boat upstream. Crew members may be found here! There are several locks along the Thames that have to be negotiated during the journey. At the Molesey Lock, we passed by this topiary.


Topiary At Molesey Lock, Thames River Cruise

Much of the Thames River, above Kingston, is equipped with locks. So the river tends to be very calm, as seen in the image below.


Boats Along River Thames

We passed a lot of water birds during the cruise, including Swans, Cormorants, Canada Geese and Common Terns. We were fortunate to pass by a Grey Heron, that I captured in this image.


Grey Heron, River Thames

Some years ago, David Gilmour (guitarist for Pink Floyd), bought a barge/house boat that is moored on the Thames. He later converted this into a recording studio. Here it is. Albums that were recorded and mixed here include “Momentary Lapse of Reason”, “Division Bell” and “Rattle That Lock”.


David Gilmour’s Recording Studio

We had a life ring installed above the cab. I made this image looking upstream through the ring.


View Up The River Thames

We navigated through three locks on our cruise upstream. We moored above the third lock (Shepperton Lock) and stopped for lunch at the “Thames Court” pub. Several “Narrow Boats” were making their way up the river.


Narrow Boats On Thames

After a leisurely lunch, we headed upstream to the Chertsey Lock where we turned around and started our return cruise. We made our way downstream, working our way through the locks. Here we are waiting for the lock to drain.


Waiting For Lock To Drain

This is a view behind us showing the closed lock doors.


Closed Locks Behind Us

Finally, the lower gates were opened and we could proceed.


Leaving The Lock

Here is an image of Mike “driving” the boat near the end of our cruise.


Mike, “Driving” The Boat

Finally, here are Susan and Warwick relaxing with beers while Mike was driving!


Susan And Warwick, Thames River Cruise

A fabulous time was had by all.



Visit To England — part 1

Recently, we made a trip to England to visit family. I have posted images of our family gatherings here. While there, we took the opportunity to visit the British Museum. I particularly wanted to see the “Rosetta Stone” and to visit the Assyrian and Mesopotamian gallery exhibits. At the main entrance of the Assyrian gallery is a pair of winged bulls.


Assyrian Winged Bull, British Museum

Working our way down the gallery are several panels from the ancient Assyrian empire. This is one panel of an Assyrian king (Ashurnasipal), flanked by gods.


Ashurnasipal Flanked By Gods, British Museum

The opposite wall of the gallery depicts the “Seige of Lashish”.


Assyrian Seige Of Lashish, British Museum

One of the main attractions in the British Museum is the “Rosetta Stone”. This area of the museum was crowded, so I waited a couple of hours to return to this area to make the following image. The Rosetta Stone was key to deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphics. It is also one of the most visited objects in the museum.


Rosetta Stone

The main courtyard has been covered with a roof and contains a store and cafeterias.


Main Courtyard, British Museum

This museum contains a lot of really interesting ancient artifacts and is well worth visiting. Need to go back again in the future.

We spent most of our time with Susan, who lives in Surbiton. One another day, Angela and I made a visit to Hampton Court Palace, that is a couple of miles away from her apartment. This is the main entrance to the palace.


Hampton Court Palace, Outer Court

However, the main visitor’s entrance is on the left hand side of the main entrance. This leads to the base court.


Hampton Court Palace, Base Court

Hampton Court was the palace that was occupied by Henry VIII during the 1500’s. We listened to an audio tour that detailed his reign and his six wives. After completing the tour, we exited into the Clock Court.


Hampton Court Palace, Clock Court

According to the clock, we arrived here at about 1pm.


Hampton Court Palace Clock

We also visited the gardens at the palace (no pictures here). The Hampton Court Palace Flower Show is located in the palace grounds; preparation for the show was in progress while we visited the palace. However, the show was not yet open to public. On our way back to the exit, we walked through the quadrangle passages of the Fountain Court.


Hampton Court Palace, Fountain Court

Having studied at university in London, Hampton Court was not on my list way back then. This visit was a first for me and was well worth visiting.