2014-01-01 Skagit View of Olypics [wide wallpaper]

I absolutely loved this view. I got this with a 300mm lens, 1/250@f/5, Pentax K10D, and a monopod. This did not start out as an HDR image; I got a lot more contrast into the mountains using Gimp. And that is what I wanted. I’m learning that an Overlay layer works really well for a ND filter.

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(Original size of this picture was 10500×1280. This is the first time I actually ran my workstation out of memory while using Gimp, even. I was using over 3.6G ram on this picture, and I should have had much more available but I’m running a development version of Gimp.)

2014-01-01 Skagit Preserve Apenglow [wide wallpaper]

I have never seen such amazing cloudscapes except in Skagit county. And luckily, even if they are not just quite as vivid as what I cook up, they offer me the inspiration of pre-visualisation.

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Another note I must add is that Hugin is now easier than ever to use. I really appreciate Hugin and every time it becomes easier to use — and this time I added a 1.66 bracketed stack of exposures — it did wonderfully. I added essentially a 4-stop ND gradient (mutiply) on this sky to get the sky and ground about equal in Gimp.

2014-01-01 Skagit Preserve Heron [wide desktop]

Sometimes you just come away with all blurry photos. This is a shot to do properly I should have rigged a tripod with a 15lb weight with. However, I was just going with a monopod and leaning against a fence. Using a Pentax K10D, 300m 1/250@f/5 lens, this shot metered about ~2/3 stop under and that was clearly too little light for this rig.

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DIY Lionel Train Track Power

I could not find the O-gauge track clip that allows you to interface with the transformer, so I got some copper wire soldered on there. I later secured the leads with another zip tie down to the black plastic base and then wrapped the wire tabs with electrical tape. The wire tabs I made sure to face the male and female tabs in opposite directions for live and ground wires. The copper wire I threaded through some small holes I drilled into the track with a hand drill. This allowed me to get two or three solder spots for the wire on the track.

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