Well, last night was the coldest night of the year but I had to try to capture the meteor shower. I brought out extension cords and plugged my camera in after trying a number of shots. The first part is still light while the moon is setting. I’d say the time is from ~ 2:30am to 7:30am.
A few of the streaks are airplanes, and one gets the sense that if we had had one more hour of darkness, we’d have been able to see a ton more meteors.
I finally got to sleep around 5 am, glad I wasn’t still out there changing batteries. So here’s what an all-nighter in sub-zero can get you. Thirty seconds of this…
Yesterday was a day of action. Many people contributed efforts in removing all of the belongings from the house that were either untouched or recoverable. Family members came to help, along with co-workers and new found friends from the neighbood.
Also, as you can see from the photos, the house has been jacked up on wood trellises with metal I-beams to top it from going down anymore, and yesterday (not shown) a carpenter covered up the open side of the house.
Kevin and Jess are amazing people who are dealing with this in such an admirable way. There is no easy solution to their problems, but they’re moving one step at a time trying to keep their chins up. I have the utmost respect for them.
Thanks to all who helped and continue to help and we’ll keep you updated. A special guest may be making a visit today so stay tuned…
You can contribute to a fund to help them get through the next few months here.
Well, the weather is sunny, but the situation isn’t any better. As you can see, they’re dumping stone to fill in the hole where the yard and foundation were. I was just there in the beginning yesterday, but as of today, there is enough support for them to get their goods from the second floor and the artwork and other things that were either undamaged in the first floor flood or recoverable with some heavy duty washing.
As you can also see in the photos below, the part of the foundation that originally appeared solid is actually subsiding. As of yesterday morning, it looked like it was around six inches. Hopefully I’ll get back there tomorrow to get some more photos and help them however possible. They’re keeping smiles on their faces in light of this devastating development and I’m continually amazed by their strength and outlook.
Please check here tomorrow for the link to a site where you can donate money to help them through this crises. And if you’ve tried to contact them and they haven’t been able to respond, just know that they really appreciate all the support and are just unable now to respond to all the calls, texts and emails.
We here in Vermont got hit hard by Irene’s fury. The already saturated ground and ~6-10 inches of rain that fell in less than a half a day turned the tranquil winding streams of Vermont into killer torrents. When a bridge fills with debris and turns the path of the river, the immediate impacts can be devastating.
The White River is the longest undammed river in Vermont. My friends live right next to the river, next to a bridge. Last night I spoke with them and they thought their house was in jeopardy when the were forced out by rapidly rising water. They slept in their cars higher up on the hill.
What we found this morning was devastating. I was able to get to them in 4wd this morning before they closed the road. They are safe and that’s the most important thing.
I think the pictures speak for themselves. My thoughts go out to you.
More photos after the break…
This summer, my wife and I will be hiking, mapping, photographing, and filming our journey along the Janapar trail, a trail that runs through the heart of Nagorno-Karabakh. This is a self-proclaimed semi-autonomous region located between Armenian and Azerbaijan.
You can find out more about our project and become a supporter here. We’re using a great new funding platform called Kickstarter, which is beginning to revolutionize the way independent artists support their projects. Check it out as, we’re offering great rewards for those that support us.
Here’s the full link:
We’ll be hiking for two weeks, gathering all the film, photos and info, and we’ll be spending another week to ten days, traveling around the region by car, gathering info on hiking, food and lodging, and the history of the area.
At the end of the project we will have a guidebook, map set, photos for a number of exhibitions and a 20 minute documentary-slideshow.
If you have any experience in the area, definitely let us know. My wife Julia lived here for about a year, so we’re lucky she knows the area and can speak the language, which is a variation of eastern Armenian.
Thanks and be sure to check out our Kickstarter project!
Well, we did this almost two months ago, but think it’s high time to share it. My in-laws gave my wife and me a hot air balloon ride as an engagement gift a number of years back. We finally decided to do it this winter, and I thought that since I’m working on the Kickass Guide to Skiing and Riding Vermont we might as well use the ride to get good aerial shots of one or multiple ski areas.
We decided to choose Balloons of Vermont out of Quechee. We met Darrek our pilot and Jeff our balloon chaser early in the morning at Quechee, VT. We climbed into his big extended cab pickup and drove over to Killington, then Rutland and back to Killington before the weather finally cleared. We drove up the Killington access road to an empty restaurant lot. Quickly, we pulled out the basket and the balloon, as well as a generator, big fan, burners and propane tanks, which all fit in the back of truck.
Within ten minutes the fan and propane had filled the balloon (I actually think it’s called the envelope), we jumped in and were off! They skies had cleared, and even though it was in the teens that day, with very little wind and a ton of sun, and the propane burners going off intermittently, it was actually pretty warm.
Interesting tidbit: Darrek says most people are surprised at how calm balloon rides are because the balloon is traveling at pretty much the same speed as the wind, so in effect there is no wind chill!
We slowly floated up towards Killington peak and the K-1 gondola. There was ample time for photographs and shots of Middleton’s Irish Whiskey, which at $150 per bottle, is a purchase that we treat ourselves to once per year. While we were serenely floating over Vermont’s second highest peak, Darrek maintained communication with Jeff in the chase vehicle.
As we were floating over Killington, we noted that they had stopped the Superstar high-speed quad chair as well as the K-1 gondola. Soon a snowmobile chased us up the mountain and yelled “what are you doing?!” Darrek yelled back “we’re flying!” which we thought was pretty clever. Apparently Killington was nervous about us being so close and they actually shut down the lifts for over ten minutes. According to Darrek, we need to be at least 500 feet above buildings or things on the ground in rural areas, and it seemed to me that we were. Oh well.
I recently purchased a Panasonic FZ-100 superzoom camera. Why would somebody like me, who is obsessed with image quality buy a small-sensor all-in-one camera? It goes back to the number one answer to the number one question that I always get…”what camera should I buy?” I always respond…”buy the best camera that you will always bring with you.” What good is an $8,000 Nikon D3x when you feel encumbered by the weight and don’t have it with you when that crucial shot arises.
Anyways, I say that the FZ-100 can do everything except take great photos. I say that tongue in cheek, because it actually can take pretty good photos in decent light. You can find the specs anywhere on the web but the main reasons I bought the camera were the versatile range (an equivalent of 25mm-600mm), 11fps shooting (great for sports), Raw file format, full 1080 HD video with autofocus and zoom, a flip out lcd allowing for above the head and ground level shots, super close macro ability, optical stabilization, electronic viewfinder (for sunny conditions) and extremely light weight. Yes the sensor is very small and even at the lowest iso you’ll see some noise. But for anything small, or used on the web, the photos look pretty darn good. And all this for around $375-$400. Seems like a pretty good deal. Check out Michael Reichmann’s
Overall I’m very pleased with the camera. Which brings me to the subject of this post. My mother, who is really getting into photography and has an amazing eye, wants a camera that is light weight and won’t strain her back and shoulders. I mentioned this camera to my father and he mentioned in return a small Leica camera with similar specs. Well obviously Leica is a great camera maker and an even more amazing lens maker so I had to check it out. The camera is called the V-Lux 2.
Now, I’m already a little suspect of Leica, as their D-lux 5 is just a rebadged Panasonic LX5. The Leica is about $800 while the Panasonic is $400. Yeah, you get a few extra accessories but it’s the same camera for twice the price! Well, lo and behold, the Leica V-lux 2 is a rebadged Panasonic FZ-100! You’ll find Leica fanboys on the web forums saying that Leica added their own tweaks to the jpeg engine. I doubt this is true, and if you’re shooting raw it’s irrelevant. How much does the V-lux 2 cost. $850!!!
I’m all for great cameras, and I understand certain brands have a cache that may add to one’s personal value of a particular object. But how in the world does Leica get away with charging over twice the price for Panasonic cameras? Obviously people are buying them, or they wouldn’t do it.
If you’re a purchaser of any of these cameras, let us know what helped you make your decision. I for one cannot understand the logic, and feel that Leica is misleading well-meaning consumers, like my parents.
So how much is the red dot worth? Looks like it’s about $400. Ouch! I think I’ll draw my own red dot.
I’m working on a number of projects now and I’m getting into doing virtual tours. I’m just learning Autopano Pro and PanoTour and it’s fairly intuitive. Below, check out my first panorama. It’s from Mather Pass which is on both the John Muir Trail as well as the Sierra High Route. It’s pretty high resolution, so may take a little while to load. It will only work where flash is enabled
This past Saturday I got a chance to go to the Dew Tour event at Killington. It ran from Friday through Sunday, but Sunday was really cold and I got some nice shots on Saturday.
I got a chance to see the very end of the Men’s Snowboard Superpipe final, the prelims of the men’s Slopestyle Ski comp and the Finals of the Men’s Ski Superpipe, which was after dark and totally lit up. I got a media pass which allowed me to be right at the bottom of the half pipe and pretty much anywhere on the slopestyle course.
I watch a LOT of ski movies, but it’s always so much more impressive to see it person. Man, these guys were hucking!
Some of these pics are good shots, some I just thought were interesting as we can see how by stopping time, a graceful feat of amazing acrobatics can seem to be a complete torquing of the body.
My experience self-publishing has been very positive. It’s true that many people think self-published books will automatically be of a lower quality than those produced by a major publisher with a substantial amount of funding behind them. Personally, I couldn’t disagree more. Self-publishing allows one to create a product exactly how the writer/photographer/artist wants it. True, we are limited by financial considerations, but having the freedom to produce something without sacrificing quality in the name of “marketability” will almost always result in a better outcome. In the end, I believe the quality of the product will drive long-term sales while at the same time providing a much more positive experience for the creator.
My next self-published book (Fresh Tracks Publishing) I hope will be the first in a series of books entitled The Kickass Guide to Skiing and Riding ______(you fill in the blank). I grew up skiing in Vermont, currently live here, and believe that the best skiing and riding east of the Mississippi can be found here in the Green Mountain State. So it makes sense that my first book in this series is going to be The Kickass Guide to Skiing and Riding Vermont. Fingers crossed, I hope that this book will be published in August of 2012.