Today, April 26, 2009 is Worldwide Pinhole Camera Day. What is the Worldwide Pinhole Photography day?
It is an international event created to promote and celebrate the art of pinhole photography. On this unique day, people throughout the world are encouraged to take some time off from the increasingly technological world we live in and participate in the simple act of making a pinhole photograph. You are also encouraged to share your visions and help spread the unusual beauty of this historical photographic process.
Get a build your own pinhole camera kit here for free courtesy of Corbis Redymech Cameras. Choose from any of the cameras pictured. Simply click on the picture of the camera you want. Then click on the “download this Camera PDF” link onthe top left to get a the camera kit. The FAQ link at the top right of the page has some good additional information on how to use the cameras.
This morning, April 22nd, 2009 I woke early and headed out to photograph an occultation of the planet Venus by the Moon. It was quite an event if you are into astronomy.
What is an occultation of Venus by the Moon? An occultation is the passage of one celestial body in front of another, thus hiding the other from view. In this case the waning crescent Moon passes in front of the brilliant crescent Venus.
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As an Outdoor Photographer, I rely heavily on natural light from the sun. I love shooting in the sweet light or golden hours of the day. This of course requires knowing when the sun will rise and when the sun will set. It is also extremely helpful to know where the sun will rise and set relative to your position so you can plan which locations are better for morning or evening shooting. I also like to know when where the Moon will rise and set as and what it’s particular phase is.
Imagine being able to get great alpinglow light and a moon all in one shot; and having planned it that way. that’s what I was able to do in this shot to the right thanks to few tools I’ll mention below.
For years I have been using the US Naval Observatorie’s astronomical calculators available through the Naval Oceanography Portal.
The Sun and Moon Data For One Day Calculator is great resource that lets you enter a date and location (by name or GPS coordinate), and it gives you the times for the sun’s begining of civil twilight, sunrise, sun transit, sunset, and the end of civil twilight. You also get the moon’s the times for the moonrise, moon transit, moonset and phase of the moon. Use the Altitude and Azimuth of the Sun or Moon During One Day to help you find the position the sun or moon will rise and set at from your position.
The Photographer’s Ephemeris is a tool built and offered for free download by photographer Stephen Trainor. This resource does not offer as much data as the Naval Observatory, but it has the basics and does it by the combining the key data together with a topographical map, courtesy of Google, all in one program for either Windows or Mac. And Again it is FREE.
More information and a link to download the program and instructions for using it are available on Stephen’s blog here.
The new dates for my 2009 Ladakh Photography Trek Workshops in India have been set. If the dates I am offering will not work for you, please call and I will work with you to schedule a trip that meets your needs.
Learn tips techniques and how to get the most out of your travel photography while you travel to the remote Himalayan kingdom of Ladakh in the north of India high upon the Tibetan Plateau. Trek through the high alpine valleys and passes of the Himalayas. Attend an ancient Tibetan Buddhist festival. Learn how to take photographs that accurately portray the beauty and uniqueness of your experience.
Zanskar trek with Hemis and Karsha Festivals
Difficulty: Strenuous 26 Days – June 29st to July 24th Short Option 1: 9 Days – June 29th to July 7th Short option 2: 18 Days – July 6th to July 24th
This trip is a truly unique opportunity to see and experience a full cross section of Ladakh. The Zanskar trek goes into the hidden kingdom of Zanskar. Starting from the ancient monastery of Lamayuru perched on a precipice, it offers close encounters with Zanskari life. You pass through interesting villages with their little Gompas on practically every day of the trek. The route takes in eight high passes and many river crossings.
You will also get to see two amazing Buddhist festivals. The first before we leave on the trek at the Monastery of Hemis, and the second when we arrive in Zanskar at the hillside monastery of Hemis.
Rumtze – Korzok Trek with Ladakh Festival
Difficulty: Strenuous 14 Days – August 2st to Sept 4th
To the south east of Leh lies a region that is still less frequented by tourists. The area borders the great Changtang Plateau of Tibet. Amidst a barren landscape live small groups of nomadic Chang tribesmen loving a harsh existence. Hidden away in a remote area of this region at an altitude of 14432 ft. is spectacular lake Tso Moriri. This 35sq km lake is a breeding ground to birds like bar-necked geese and the brahminy duck. The surrounding area is home to rare wild life such as the Kyang (wild ass), blue sheep, marmots, and snow leopard.
The entire route is at high altitude and requires good acclimatization. It passes through the barren regions as it traverses a number of high passes with spectacular scenery. The Rumtse Trek is definately one of the most enjoyable treks in Ladakh.
The March issue of the Desert Leaf, an Arizona based magazine, ran a story I photographed, written by Matt Nelson, on hut-to-hut mountain biking in Colorado and Utah. I was hired by the San Juan Hut Systems Hut to Hut to got some promotional photographs. I asked my friend Matt to come along as I needed models and he is a good writer. The route travels from Durango, Colorado to Moab, Utah. It’s a fantastic trip.
Matt’s story is a nice look into our adveture. I am really excited about the number of photos they chose to illustrate the story. I also love it when I can combine efforts like this. Not only did I get to photograph a great job and have a great trip, but I turned the images into an additional bit of income for myself by selling a story to a magazine. The San Juan Hut System got the photos they needed, and a bonus bit of free press coverage. Good for everyone.