Hagia Sophia in HDR

Hagia Sophia, originally uploaded by myowncompass.

Similar to the post below but reprocessed using HDR techniques. It's pretty amazing how much detail you can actually pull out.


HDR Flowers

It's still more surreal than I'm looking for but it's pretty cool... this HDR stuff is a bit of work but the results are remarkable.


High Dynamic Range Imaging

A first go at using HDR imaging techniques. Note the shadow details and rich colors, even in the highlights.

I haven't gotten it to look natural yet but it's just a first try....



Eclipse Reworked...

It would take some doing, I suspect, to notice the difference in this second attempt at processing my eclipse sequence but it is there. I started from the raw files instead of from jpegs and I was much more careful with the way I selected the solar disks from the frames and copied them into the final composite. This is much more satisfactory.

I have been debating whether or not to darken the center of the sun to make it more as it would have appeared on the day. I'm still not sure if that would be acceptable.


Processed Eclipse - First Attempt

Well, this is my first shot at processing the eclipse sequence. Despite the totality image being rather over exposed, I'm pretty happy with it on the whole. Click the image to see it larger.

As for the process involved in the creation:

No funny business. The camera never moved and everything you see is real. It's 17 exposures, one every ten minutes. I actually took one every five and then thinned out the images.

The shots of the sun in phase are shot with a Baader solar filter at shutter speeds around 1/200 of a second. The individual images are totally black except for the sun. They were taken using an automatic timer so I didn't have to worry about it too much during the event.

At the moment of totality, I removed the filter and shot several shots at different shutter speeds, generally of a couple of seconds shutter speed (the people were mostly still - transfixed by the sun so they didn't move too much). Of those shots, I chose one and that is everything you see in the image, except the phases of the sun.

This was my first total solar eclipse so I didn't want to spend the whole thing with my camera. I took a few quick shots in about half a minute and then just enjoyed the rest of my 00:03:42.

After the sun reappeared, I put the filter back on and resumed the timed exposures through to the end of the eclipse.

In Photoshop, I stacked each image as a layer, cropped everything from each one except the solar disk, and then used the "screen" overlay method, applying them to the totality image. No other photoshop hijinks were used.

You can see that I didn't quite center totality so the sequence runs off the frame by a couple of minutes and I overexposed totality so you can't see the dark disk of the moon in the center.

Still, overall I'm pretty happy with it and I didn't spend too much time durring the eclipse screwing with it which was important to me.

Probably more than you wanted to know but there it is... :)


Istanbul Arkeoloji Muzesi

One last one from the museum.. the beautiful "Alexander Sarcophagus" found in the 19th century in a Necropolis in Sidon.

Back in Istanbul

The Carpet Gallery at the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art

The cliche postcard photo of the Hagia Sofia

A rural Turkish Woman

A rural Turkish woman tends to her herd.


A few pictures from the city of Bodrum. It's on the Aegean coast and, outside of the high season, it can be a pleasant place to hang out for a couple of days.

The Underwater Archaeology Museum, housed in the old Crusader Castle

Tea all day.

The Castle at night

The marina at night

Some ruins...

Hellenistic ruins at Priene

Roman theatre at Miletus

Another tourist at Miletus

This was amazing - a couple of weeks ago I had no idea about these clouds untill I saw that link with the pictures (see below). Then, there we were at the temple of Apollo and I recognised them! Mammatus clouds at Didyma's amazing Temple of Apollo

The Sacred Pool

Where we had a dip in Pammukale, among the ruins of an ancient temple.


From Cappadocia, we took a 12 hour overnight bus to Pammukale. We rented a car, made a couple of frinds who also wanted to go and drove out to the ruins of Aphrodisias, about 110 kilometers away. This was a fantasic place to visit. The ruins are not so grand as Efesus but the place was practically abandoned because its quite far from pretty much everything. Here are a few of the pics of the site and one of the museum....

My faithful assistant caries my tripod.

The most significant structure in the city, reconstructed but beautifully preserved.

Poppies in the stadium.

Achilles and Penthisilea

One more from Cappadocia

Our guide explains a spice grinding stone in the underground city.



Well, we got lucky. We just saw a total solar eclipse. I really don't have the words to describe it. Here are a few pictures of Cappadocia in general and also one picture from totality. I didn't get exactly what I wanted but I promised myself that I wouldn't screw with the camera and miss the eclipse. I used about 30 seconds or so shooting and spent the rest of the 3.5 minutes just enjoying the emotional impact of the thing, which was immense. I certainly have stories to tell.

This used to be someone's home. More on Cappadocia...

This is the dome of one of rock cut churches.

Part of a beautiful valley vinyard.. I shot a full panorama of this valley but the stitching will have to wait to I get home.

Last, but most certainly not least, the totality portion of my eclipse sequence. Like the suntrail shots below, I will add the exposures of the phases to this image but, again, that will have to wait until I get home. Overall, the experience was simply astounding - the reactions of the people, the 360 degree sunset, the chill in the air - I just can't describe everything I felt.

So.... who wants to go see the 2009 eclipse with me in Japan? :)


Archaeology Museum

Artifacts at the museum...

-Canopic Jars from Egypt
-Lions from the processional way at Babylon
-Close up lion
-World's first peace treaty
-My patron saint, Athena

Hagia Sophia

I saw the light.

Istanbul by Dawn

I slept for about 3 hours on the plane. After getting in at about 10pm, we walked around for a while and I managed to fall asleep by about 12:30. Then I woke up at 3am and lay in beg, begging for sleep for two hours before going out to photograph the sunrise.

-Hagia Sophia at sunrise
-The Blue Mosque with the first rays of morning on it
-Close up of same
-Outbuilding of Blue Mosque with rising crescent moon


Mammatus Clouds

This link is amazing... the photos aren't mine but they are truly remarkable.

Mammatus Clouds


Suntrail II

Here is another attempt at capturing the motion of the sun. I used the 17-85mm lens instead of the 10-22mm and the sun seems to come out much more round. This is probably the combo I'll use for the eclipse. Each image of the sun is taken filtered, 10 minutes apart. One image is taken with no filter to image the scene and then a few more are taken with the filter again to finish the trail.



My first experiment with compositing filtered images of the sun. Eight filtered exposures at 6 minute intervals and a single unfiltered image, composited using the "screen" function in Photoshop.

I hope to use this technique to capture the total eclipse on March 29th. I'm still not happy with the distortions that the filter introduces to the shape of the sun.


Flattened Spherical Pano, Chabot

Now things are getting interesting.

This shot was taken using a sperical panorama head and then flattened. It is a mosaic of over 20 images, stitched together using software.

One can also view the file as a movie that you can pan around in. This is the beginning of my panorama photography, mostly designed for the planetarium dome.


Fairly self-explanatory, I should think. This is a 122 year old telescope at my work. It is pointed towards Mars and the Pleiedes are visible to the left of Mars.

This is the same telescope I used to shoot the moon mosaic.
Playing with water and neutral density filters. This is a concrete drainage ditch downtown in Orinda.
Here is my next attempt. This is actually a blend of an IR image and a visible light image. The tree is in the hills near my house.

This is my first experiment with infrared photography. Despite appearances, there is no snow in the image. It's just my backyard on a cruddy afternoon.
I shot this image of the moon from my work through the 8" telescope, Leah. Used as a lens, the telescope is equivalent to a 2873mm f/14. This image had to be taken in sections and was then stitched together. Its native resolution is massive and could easily be printed at about 3' x 3' with no significant image degradation.
This is where I work. The dome houses a 90 year old, 20" refracting telescope. For more info, click on "Chabot" under my links.
Here is the statue that the weathered bronze came from. The idea was to make it look like a kallitype but it didn't quite happen that way....
When I first got my new camera, I started deliberately trying to shoot as much as I could. Sometimes the results were a little weak but I really like this one.

It is a piece of heavily weathered bronze from the base of a statue. It was interesing on its own but I tweaked the colors in Photoshop.