Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Over The Rainbow

Welcome to the New Year!

:: cue angelic choir ::

Holy Portents Batman! Someone at Amgen must have REALLY been good, eh? Check this action out:

The weather has been... not so much bad here in Boulder, as just unrelentingly windy! Anywhere from sprightly breezes to full gale force hurricane type ridiculousness has been howling every day since Christmas. Enough already!

The good news is that my
PowerTap is fixed. The bad news is the wind was so ridiculous on Sunday that during my 40 mile New Year's Day adventure with the Swift guys, I was actually sitting on someone's wheel, going 10mph, yet still pulling 250 watts. Ow very much... not to mention I'd already taken a deep 70-mile rummage through the Pain Locker with the Louisville guys the day before. Honestly, I never get any smarter, just older.

This morning, I'd not have gotten wet, had my ears nearly blown inside out, nor been late to work... but I just could NOT resist these shots. I dumped the singlespeed into a pullout along 63rd street, hauled out the Nikon and shot away. First 2 captures were made with the 50mm f/1.8

And then I took some with my Sigma 18-50, at 18mm, hoping to capture the entire arc... nope, cos owing to the very low sun angle, this was a MONSTROUS rainbow that filled the sky nearly to the zenith. I'd have needed the
Nikon 10.5mm 'fisheye' to capture the whole thing. And that's a pricey little bit o' glass, trust me.

More information on rainbows, atmospheric phenomenae and more wild water droplet and ice crystal optics than you can shake a stick at can be found here. Check it out, I dare you. This is stuff you didn't even KNOW you wanted to know, but do anyway.

Naturally by the time I was done thrashing around finding the right lens in the messenger bag, keeping my gloves from going walkabout in the hurricane and doing the dirty deed with the lens swop, the rainbow was already fading.
Now any photography dork worth their
Giottos Rocket would have had a litter of piglets. Here I was, standing in a dirt pullout, with rain spitting down, and a full gale blowing, CHANGING LENSES. For those of you unfamiliar with digital SLR cameras, pulling lenses is supposed to be some sort of holy religious rite, where you count to three, neither two nor four, say a Hail Mary to the Oh God of Dust Bunnies, and preferably do the deed in an hermetically sealed cleanroom with choirboys singing madrigals and god-rays beaming down upon you. Well, maybe I'm exaggerating a tad, but in all seriousness, doing a lens swop not only exposes the rear lens element (that's kinda bad), but also the mirror, sensor and all those fancy electronic innards in the camera body to all sorts of horrible environmental invaders (that's really bad). Or so I'm told. And you shouldn't do it outdoors at any rate. Eh, hell it's my camera, I'll destroy it if I like.

Over the weekend, I picked up
Nikon Capture, an imaging suite that will greatly assist my post processing. Photoshop 7 can only get so far; for some things (like tack sharp printable images from raw NEF files) the proprietary software is, as they say, the dog's bollocks. I'm already liking it.




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