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Look at the stars

This week I’m going to shake-it-up and  take the focus away from my beautiful clients to talk a little bit more about current events.

First. Tuesday of this week marked Remembrance day in Canada. This year Hamilton had an extra sense of remorse as Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, a Hamilton native, was shot outside the National War Memorial only weeks ago.  I’ll leave the political commentary to the experts, but I will share a link to this moving editorial cartoon by Bruce MacKinnon:
http://thechronicleherald.ca/editorial-cartoon/2014-10-23-editorial-cartoon

I’d also like to share an image from Pearl Harbour taken earlier this year in honour of those who have served to our countries. If you don’t know, the USS Arizona sank during the attack on Pearl Harbour and the oil has been seeping out of it ever since. What I really love about this picture is that there was a pink hibiscus floating in the water, quite close to the oil. My Grandpa (also quite the photographer) loved hibiscus, so whenever I see one, I always think of him! So there you go, double the remembrance.

PearlHarbour-1389

Next. I’m a huge science geek, so bare with me. I went to see Interstellar with my hubby and friends from the lab. One, this movie (albeit a bit long) was super cool and pretty true to the physics behind it (minus the sole crushing forces of a black hole that would be impossible to survive).  Oh and *this just in* scientists can be women! Another huge plus was the wonderful lack of romance between the lead characters…soooo refreshing! All in all, the movie gets 5 stars from me! Get it?!??! Ok. That’s enough of that.

This leads me to an important shout out to an amazing ‘interstellar’ feat completed today: the Rosetta Mission! Congratulations to the ESA on their patience and smarts to get a teeny tiny space probe to land on a teensy tiny (ok 4km wide) piece of rock, ahem comet!  Oh and it’s ~500 million km away! I’m sure the ESA is going to find all sorts of interesting stuff like cool hydrocarbons. I mean, “organics” are trendy these days, no? Alright, alright, alright, alright… One other picture to show. This is me on the top of Mauna Kea in Hawaii on an AMAZING stargazing tour (props to Mauna Kea Summit Adventures http://www.maunakea.com/ ).

Hawaii-182

 

I’ll leave you with a couple of quick tips for some backyard night photography:
1. while a tripod is super handy, you can always be creative and rest your camera on a chair/fence/wallet/snuggled between some books
2. for those who don’t like trying to figure out the exact shutter speed to avoid star trails: (1) go to your widest lens setting, (2) try about a 15 second exposure, (3) and play with the ISO. (for those that do like the math, http://www.lonelyspeck.com/milky-way-exposure-calculator/ )
3. shoot RAW!!! you can really have some fun with the images when you’re using the power of RAW files, you’ll be able to amp up that contrast, reduce the highlights, blacken the sky, and make those pictures *pop*

Ok, just one more thing. I think it really brings these two themes, remembrance and stars, together:

Mufasa: Simba, let me tell you something my father told me. Look at the stars. The great kings of the past look down on us from those stars.
Simba: Really?
Mufasa: Yes. So whenever you feel alone, just remember that those kings will always be there to guide you. And so will I.

Jess Cockburn

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