Image processing: before and after

I took a cou­ple pic­tures of the Milky Way tonight, as is my wont, and decid­ed to present you with how it looked com­ing fresh out of my cam­era, and how it looks once I’ve cleaned it up. Enjoy!

Autumn Aurora

Aurora Borealis

Space Weath­er pre­dict­ed Arc­tic auro­ras (orig­i­nal­ly the storm was pre­dict­ed to be stronger, but got down­grad­ed). Some­times that turns out, so since it was clear last night, I head­ed out of town for about an hour.

When I ini­tial­ly set up, there was noth­ing real­ly hap­pen­ing, auro­ra-wise, but I decid­ed to shoot for a while any­ways. If noth­ing else, I’d have a half-hour star trails image. The moon was full, so I’d have a nice bright fore­ground, too.

Con­tin­ue read­ing “Autumn Auro­ra”

Image Hill; fog

Milky Way from behind a tree

Last night Kath­leen sug­gest­ed I check out Image Hill for some astropho­tog­ra­phy. Since it was only five min­utes’ dri­ve from the farm, I checked it out.

I got about 25 min­utes’ worth of star trails (I set my timer for 30 min­utes but my cam­era bat­tery had oth­er ideas). 

Star Trails at Image Hill
Star Trails at Image Hill
Con­tin­ue read­ing “Image Hill; fog”

Clear skies at the farm

The halfway tree at night

We got to the farm last night in the dark, and the skies were clear and star­ry. So, after vis­it­ing for a bit, I took my cam­era and tri­pod out in the lane.

Star trails, and a couple Perseids

Star trails, Aug. 11, 2020

I went to my dark spot last night from about 10:45 pm to 11:45 pm or so, and set up my cam­era. I was hop­ing to catch a few of the Per­seid mete­ors, though I knew I was too ear­ly for the peak.

I let the cam­era run for about an hour (the bat­tery actu­al­ly died at about the 0:55 mark, but close enough), and the result is the star-trails pho­to above. I found two bright(ish) mete­or trails in it, high­light­ed below. (The star trail image is bright because the sky was still faint­ly glow­ing with sun­set light, even at 10:45, when I start­ed; the mete­ors below are from lat­er on in the process.)

Writing Retreat 2020: The Numbers

Cloudy prairie sky

My goals for this past week’s writ­ing retreat were:

  • Fin­ish the last scene in “The Slow Apoc­a­lypse”, first draft
  • 1,5002,000 words a day in either Trans­la­tions or “Dried Flowers”
  • Pho­tos of the Milky Way (pos­si­bly a video) and Comet NEOWISE
  • Pho­tos of the countryside
  • Dai­ly bike ride
  • Some kayak­ing

Let’s see how I did.

  • I fin­ished “The Slow Apoc­a­lypse” on my first evening
  • I wrote 13,000 words between Trans­la­tions, aka Daniel, Daniel, Daniel, and “Dried Flowers”
  • I got all kinds of pho­tos of the Milky Way and the comet—even on the nights where clouds were fore­cast, there was usu­al­ly at least some time where the stars were visible
  • I also took all kinds of pho­tos in the daytime
  • I rode my bike every day, for a total of over 60 km (which sur­prised me)
  • And I went out in the kayak three times, cov­er­ing about 10 km in the lake

So, on bal­ance, that was a good week.

Con­tin­ue read­ing “Writ­ing Retreat 2020: The Num­bers”

Series: Bike Ride Photos

The entire series: Down by the riv­er; Bike ride birds; The ex-gar­den and the weir; Snap­shots of a ride; Across Town; Black­bird; North Hill cam­pus; Lilacs and coun­try roads; A pop of colour; Back lane flow­ers; More Breniz­ers; The riv­er is high; A bird and a reflec­tion; Rideau Park; Writ­ing Retreat 2020, Day 7; Writ­ing Retreat 2020: The Num­bers; Storm dam­age, sun­flow­ers; Eleanor Kidd gar­dens; Scenes from today’s ride; All right, autumn can be pret­ty.

Series: Writing Retreat 2020

The entire series: Writ­ing Retreat 2020; Writ­ing Retreat 2020, Day 1 & 2; Writ­ing Retreat 2020, Day 3; Writ­ing Retreat, Day 4; Writ­ing Retreat 2020, day 5; Writ­ing Retreat 2020, Day 6; Writ­ing Retreat 2020, Day 7; Writ­ing Retreat 2020, Day 8; Writ­ing Retreat 2020, Day 9; Writ­ing Retreat 2020: The Num­bers.

Writing Retreat 2020, Day 7

Minnedosa cairn with a plough on top

Fri­day:

  • I lay awake from about 4 am till about 5:30 am thanks to a cou­ple of thun­der­storms pass­ing through.
  • In the morn­ing, I biked about 6 km before it got over­ly hot.
  • While I was out on my bike, I took pho­tos for a cou­ple of panora­mas (one of which turned out as I’d hoped).
Minnedosa cairn with a plough on top
The plough cairn (panora­ma; 18 pho­tos, 50mm, f/2.8 each)
  • I wrote 500 words in Daniel, Daniel, Daniel, did some pre­lim­i­nary edit­ing of “The Slow Apoc­a­lypse” (though it might still be too ear­ly for me to work on this), and wrote 300 word in “Dried Flowers”.
  • I read a few more chap­ters in The Wiz­ard—as I approach the end, I’m torn between savour­ing it and find­ing out what hap­pens next.
  • I tried to come up with a coher­ent end­ing for Daniel, Daniel, Daniel, because while I know the final scene, I don’t have the sto­ry’s end­ing ful­ly fleshed out yet. It’s a bit frus­trat­ing, frankly; I’m the kind of writer that needs a sol­id end­ing before I start a project. I thought I had it, but the char­ac­ters are going their own ways.
  • I noticed the sky had got quite colour­ful about 9:15 pm, and stepped out­side in time to snap a pho­to of a love­ly sun­set. I only got bit­ten by 22 mos­qui­toes in the 5 min­utes I was out­side, too, so that’s a victory.
Sunset with clouds: blue, orange, pink, and indigo
Sun­set on a Fri­day evening
  • About 11:45 I went and got some pho­tos of Comet NEOWISE and the north­ern lights. (And anoth­er cou­ple dozen bug bites.)
Comet NEOWISE and aurora
Comet NEOWISE and aurora
  • And I man­aged to catch the Inter­na­tion­al Space Sta­tion as it went over­head, even though it tried to hide behind a cloud.
The International Space Station ducks behind a cloud
I waved to the ISS astro­nauts as they went by

All in all, a good Fri­day, even if it was a bit too hot to even think straight. (No sweet­er sin than air con­di­tion­ing, I tell you.)

Series: Bike Ride Photos

The entire series: Down by the riv­er; Bike ride birds; The ex-gar­den and the weir; Snap­shots of a ride; Across Town; Black­bird; North Hill cam­pus; Lilacs and coun­try roads; A pop of colour; Back lane flow­ers; More Breniz­ers; The riv­er is high; A bird and a reflec­tion; Rideau Park; Writ­ing Retreat 2020, Day 7; Writ­ing Retreat 2020: The Num­bers; Storm dam­age, sun­flow­ers; Eleanor Kidd gar­dens; Scenes from today’s ride; All right, autumn can be pret­ty.

Series: Writing Retreat 2020

The entire series: Writ­ing Retreat 2020; Writ­ing Retreat 2020, Day 1 & 2; Writ­ing Retreat 2020, Day 3; Writ­ing Retreat, Day 4; Writ­ing Retreat 2020, day 5; Writ­ing Retreat 2020, Day 6; Writ­ing Retreat 2020, Day 7; Writ­ing Retreat 2020, Day 8; Writ­ing Retreat 2020, Day 9; Writ­ing Retreat 2020: The Num­bers.

Writing Retreat 2020, day 5

Comet NEOWISE

Wednes­day:

  • Processed pho­tos
  • Wrote 1,000 words in the morn­ing, 1,000 in the evening
  • Biked about 6½ km
  • Kayaked for a bit more than ½ hour
  • Read a few more chap­ters in The Knight
  • Went to the cof­fee shop for some (rel­a­tive­ly) high-speed internet
  • Rejoiced that the fore­cast calls for clear skies tonight — fin­gers crossed for more comet action!
  • Mut­tered to myself when the sky was, in fact, cloudy at 10pm, 11pm, and midnight
  • Checked one last time in my pyja­mas at 1am, and saw stars
  • …and so I found a cou­ple dark spots, snapped some more pho­tos, and fell into bed at 3am

Series: Writing Retreat 2020

The entire series: Writ­ing Retreat 2020; Writ­ing Retreat 2020, Day 1 & 2; Writ­ing Retreat 2020, Day 3; Writ­ing Retreat, Day 4; Writ­ing Retreat 2020, day 5; Writ­ing Retreat 2020, Day 6; Writ­ing Retreat 2020, Day 7; Writ­ing Retreat 2020, Day 8; Writ­ing Retreat 2020, Day 9; Writ­ing Retreat 2020: The Num­bers.