Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Picture Postcard day

Today is one of the days which keep my wife and me "glued" to the window. The scenery is one of the reasons why we love living in our house.

At left, you see a picture of Grouse Mountain, one of the "North Shore mountains" in Vancouver, taken with a 200 mm lens, through our double-paned living room window. The triangular area slightly above centre is the upper ski area, sometimes called the "upper cut".

This is the same area taken through a C-90 Celestron telescope, for which I have the appropriate adapters to attach my Canon Rebel XT digital SLR camera. This turns the telescope into a 1000mm f11 lens. Because there is no electrical connection between the telescope and the camera, the automatic features built into the camera cannot be used - manual focussing and exposures are required. The exposure for this picture was 1/4000 of a second at ASA 400. If you click on the picture to enlarge it, and look closely, you can see some tiny dots (skiers) near the lower left of the ski area, and the plume (or dirty exhaust?) from a (snowmaking?) machine at the top. Being a creature of comfort, I took this picture through the living room window as well. That affects the "definition" of the image, because the window glass is optically not perfect. I used Photoshop to increase the contrast somewhat, and also sharpened the picture a bit, to help overcome the effects of the window on the image.

Regarding the skiers visible in the picture, I'm always amazed about how small people are when compared to the grandeur of nature. Even Grouse Mountain, at about 1250m (4000 ft) a modest mountain, dwarfs a human being by a huge margin.

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