Practicing Panos during Pandemic

Students from my Photo Communication class practicing their panoramic techniques on a beautiful autumn afternoon during a pandemic in Idaho.

Singing and Science in the Van:

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Last night on our way back from field work at Chesterfield, my students broke out in chorus. Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen seemed to be a favorite!

Snake River Fire Dance

Thursday night members of the future ISU Photo Society went out with me to the Snake River near Pingree, Idaho for some astrolandscape photography. The evening was clear and cold (dropped to about 25F), with a great view of the Milky Way. Fortunately, there were a number of meteorites throughout the evening. Several show up in my stacked star trails shot. Other fun happened with there was an unexpected “fire dance”, as I call them. Jake and Dakota had brought along some steel wool and a wire whisk on a lanyard. Once they had it lit and spinning the sparks were really flying! It made a great addition to beauty and solitude of the evening. All total, we had 8 students participate, ranging from beginning to graduated. Enjoy the show!



Stars and Cars at Crystal Summit

Saturday night I went up to Crystal Summit, overlooking Arbon Valley, with some of my students (Alyssa, Jacob, and Mikah). Pleasant evening with clear skies, crisp temperatures, coyotes yapping, and a nearly full-moon. Although the moon made for a bright sky and landscape, I still managed to capture some of the Milky Way. The great thing about this time of year is that it doesn’t take long for the sky to get dark.  We did see a few meteorites from the Orionid Meteor shower. Here’s a few shots.

Landscapes at Chesterfield

This week the Photo Comm class headed out to Chesterfield, Idaho. There at the abandoned townsite, we worked on landscape and panoramic photos. While there, a significant rainstorm blew in from the mountains; some folks got wet and others took shelter where they could find it…for me, it was in the old milking barn! Afterwards, we headed south along the Portneuf River and were treated to a double rainbow. About a dozen of us had dinner at the world famous ChuckWagon, in Lava Hot Springs, before heading back to campus.

Working with a 5-in-1

ISU Photo students in the Photo Communication class learning how to reflect light using the versatile 5-in-1 reflector kit. Perfect autumn afternoon to be out on campus photographing!

International Dark Sky Park

November’s new moon proved to be an exceedingly dark night! On Saturday (Nov. 18), myself and Dr. Rob Edsall met up with six of my photo students at Craters of the Moon National Monument. The monument also happens to be designated an International Dark Sky Park, which means the night sky gets down-right dark! We set up our gear, including Dr. Edsall’s 10-inch reflector telescope, just before sunset and we worked until about 9pm. At that point the temperature dropped to about 18F (about -8C)….our gear was starting to ice-up. So, we fired up the camp stove and had some hot chocolate! In the gallery below, you will find some of my shots and a few from students. Enjoy!

Astro-Landscapes at Chesterfield

This past weekend some of the Photo Comm students went with me out to Chesterfield Reservoir to work on night photography. We had clear skies with half a moon. That was good and bad at the same time. Good in that it lit up the landscape, bad in that it obstructed a pure view of the Milky Way galaxy. On the other hand, we did see several satellites overhead and two really nice meteors. Unfortunately during my startrail exposures, I had a malfunction with my intervalometer…operator error! That’s why there’s gaps in the trails. Students brave enough to sit in the cold were Mikah, Diana, Dakota, and Jake. After a few hours of cold and chasing away wandering cattle, I broke-out the camp stove and made us some hot chocolate. Overall, I thought it was a fun evening!

Field Work in Caribou County Idaho

My Photo Communication class is working through a module on landscape and environmental photography. So, we took to the field and worked on panos and close-ups at Chesterfield, an abandoned Mormon settlement from the late 1890s. On the way back to Lava Hot Springs for dinner, we encountered a young bull moose in the middle of the road. A van full of photographers and no one had a camera ready! After a few moments, I managed to grab my small P&S Fuji and captured a couple of shots of him in the field next to the road. Afterwards, we went to the Chuck Wagon in Lava Hot Springs for a bite to eat. Great afternoon with great students!

Pano Practice Time

Here’s some shots of my current Photo Comm class out on the quad at ISU practicing their panoramic photography skills. Next week we’ll be out in the fields of Caribou County working on more panos, landscapes, and deadpan shots at an old ghost town.