Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen, Denmark

August 31, 2012 – Copenhagen is the first stop on our three country tour. The Copenhagen airport (Location) is very nice with real wooden floors and Danish furniture everywhere (not surprising but nice). To get here, we drove from Ottawa to P.E. Trudeau Airport in Montreal, flew from Montreal to Heathrow Airport in London and then flew from Heathrow to Copenhagen. Transfer times were a bit tight due to an hour delay leaving Montreal. Signs in the airport were in English and Danish so no need for the Berlitz European Phrase Book yet :-). Continue reading

A year in review – 2011

A year in review – 2011

It’s a damp, cold and drizzly day outside (December 13, 2011 – Kanata, Ontario – +3C and forecast for freezing drizzle overnight) so I decided to start our year end review a bit early (will add to edit through December and then will do final update Jan 1st!)

Statistics:
Flickr photo views – I passed the 700,000 views level this year in my Flickr account so between Graeme and I, we expect our individual on-line photo views to pass the one million mark sometime in 2012. Might already have passed that mark if we count in previous discontinued accounts that Graeme and I have had in pBase or Nikonians galleries.

MegaPixelTravel blog – when we started the MPT blog in the Fall of 2010, we thought that we were being a bit optimistic when we projected that we might see 30,000 to 35,000 views in our first year. When we passed the 50,000 mark with ease in 2011, we were both happy and surprised and very appreciative of all of the nice feedback that we received.

Geographic distribution of visitors to our MPT site – we don’t specifically track visitors to the MPT site itself but I do have a counter on my (Ron’s) profile page  In 2011, that counter rolled past the 2900 count for unique visitors from 78 different countries. Visitors to that specific page have included individuals from all of Canada’s provinces and all of the United States except Delaware.

Publications:
I think that the most interesting photo of ours that has appeared in a commercial publication this year is this shot of garter snakes emerging in the springtime from their underground dens in Manitoba’s Interlake country. The Narcisse area is alive with snakes in early May of each year (LOCATION) and I am happy that John Wiley and Sons chose this image for their publication: Frommer’s Far & Wide: A Weekly Guide to Canada’s Best Travel Experiences which is available through Amazon.ca or Chapters.Indigo.ca as well as many other locations.


Exploring the world of film:
I continue to stick with the still image world while, in 2011, Graeme has expanded his interests in the world of film. I’m rather fond of my star role in Graeme’s short clip of the roof opening on the Volvo C70 while Graeme is certainly happy with the success of other film work that he has been involved with in 2011 including, most recently, his work with the Digi60 Ottawa Film Festival.

Travel and Events:
Traveling in 2011 was a bit curtailed for a variety of reasons but we were still able to travel to many interesting locations and photograph many interesting places and events both at home and abroad. It has given us a lot of pleasure to share images and stories from those travels and events through our MegaPixelTravel website. Some of the highlights.
Polar Bear dips in the Ottawa River and Cycling in Florida in January.
– In February,  Old Montreal on a cold Sunday morning and an NHL hockey game in Ottawa.
Stowe, Vermont in March with a Super Moon event to add a bit of excitement at home.
Syracuse, NY in April
Tulip time and Ottawa’s Tulip Festival in May
– June got rather hectic with everything from participation in a breeding bird survey in Northern Ontario, to Graeme’s presentation at the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, to participation in the Juvenile Diabetes Society Foundation Walk, to the photographing of the Ottawa Bicycle Club’s Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour
– July featured the Will & Kate show in Ottawa (a.k.a. Royal Visit), plenty of fireworks, Noctilucent clouds, a real wedding in the Kingdom of Osgoode, an exciting re-enactment in Ogdensburg, NY, and adventures on a bus tour through Italy.
– In August it was some astrophotography for Graeme and a Fort Niagara visit for Ron.
– September was a bit subdued.
– October opened with the excitement of the Annual Butterfly Show at Carleton University, included the drummers and dancers of Remic Rapids and featured the many colours of Fall.
– November was a great time to wander the local trails and feed the Chickadees.
– December isn’t over yet but already Christmas lights and seasonal decorations in Toronto, Ottawa and Upper Canada Village are the theme.

Seasons Greetings to everyone and hope Santa knows what you want!

ISS Flyby & Hercules Cluster

ISS Flyby & Hercules Cluster

Tonight was a clear night with several visible ISS flybys. Using the GH2 for the first time I mounted it on my telescope mount to track the stars so that only the ISS itself was streaking across the stars. The above picture has a bit of a jitter as I was trying to capture the fast moving ISS station and reposition the camera to take the shot.

This shot is of the Uras Major (Big Dipper) as the ISS station passes close-by constellation. While waiting for the ISS station to do the flybys I also set-up my telescope with the GH2 to take some pictures of M13, the Hercules Cluster.

Although not the largest cluster in the sky (that is the Centauri cluster) it is the largest in the northern sky whereby North America and Europe and Russia can see.

Startrail Photography

Startrail Photography

We will start with the Star Trail photos, all taken in Cobden Ontario as Ottawa, Arnprior and Renfrew were clouded over. We had gone out hoping for auras which didn’t materialize, but ended up with several star trail photos over a farmer’s field. Continue reading

Night of Astrophotography

Night of Astrophotography

Now that I have my new set-up and dark skies (moon is down and I’m at a remote location outside of Ottawa), I’m able to start to seriously test out the scope/mount abilities (sans Auto-Guiding). The above picture is the Great Orion Nebula (M42 / NGC1976) and, just above it, the Running Man Nebula (NGC1975).

Next is the Pinwheel Galaxy (M101 NGC5457) which is visible year round in Ottawa’s Night Sky.

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The Great Orion Nebula

The Great Orion Nebula

I’m just starting out in astrophotography so this is my official first Nebula photographed in any sort of clarity to accurately identify it. The Great Orion Nebula makes up part of Orion’s Sword (just below and to the left of the belt). Its the middle of the three brightest objects of the sword. Now the above picture is a B&W composition of the constellation as a whole, below is what it looks like in Infrared (658nm and up).
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Christmas Lights, Ottawa, Ontario

Christmas Lights, Ottawa, Ontario

A quick drive around Ottawa will show that it too has some well lit homes for the holidays. This one was found at 3839 6th Street in Ottawa South just off Bank Street.


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Carp Star Party

Two Globular Nebulas

Carp Star Party

Look up, way up! That is what over 100 people with 20+ telescopes where doing tonight. After quiet a dry spell of cancellation due to cloudiness the last public star party of The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada for 2010. Continue reading