After the Fog

When a wing is generating lift it causes a vortex to form at each wingtip, and sometimes also at the tip of each wing flap. These wingtip vortices persist in the atmosphere long after the aircraft has passed. The reduction in pressure and temperature across each vortex can cause water to condense and make the cores of the wingtip vortices visible. This effect is more common on humid days. Wingtip vortices can sometimes be seen behind the wing flaps of airliners during takeoff and landing…. (source)



Wingtip Vortices During Take-off at Anchorage International







Close-up Left


Close-up Right

Little Su (unfinished symphony — the photo that almost wasn’t)

I almost totally lost this photo (and the few others that I really like from this gorgeous and magical fall-in-Alaska day in which I listened to Gordon Lightfoot’s Don Quixote CD while driving—and singing…. What a breath of fresh air that reminded me of the adventures with my high school friend who is no longer with us. We almost always played Gordon) due to my first major computer download misstep, which also affected the photos of the next day. Ouch! But thankfully I had saved the best images elsewhere.

Where is the sky? We’re supposed to be seeing a light blue sky with thin whispy clouds, which some of its less-exposed brothers and sisters have, which I mistakenly didn’t download before erasing them. Cry, cry. I did save a nearby uncle though, which has the sky. So thanks to miracle of Photoshop, someday this photo should become a complete image with sky.

[photo removed:
I discovering a way to retrieve the sky data from the RAW photo
The symphony may be able to be finished after all!]

September 14th

Little Susitna River

Moonlit ‘Daylight’ (3 hours BEFORE SUNRISE above Anchorage)

I had been meaning to try this all summer. I figured this may be the last full moon before the snow falls at this elevation. And the sky was clear.

I had seen this done mainly by just one photographer in the lower-48, but I wasn’t sure if he had altered the color balance in Photoshop. But then I read in a book that moonlight is basically reflected sunlight, so it should be the same color temperature as daylight if exposed at the same brightness.

I started shooting about 4 hours before sunrise. All I could see was black and white, the eyes’ rods and cones only operating. The wind was constantly blowing, gusting to about 30 mph. I clicked a shot and was totally surprised as I looked in the camera’s monitor.

Sure enough, the sky was blue — Yes! But then to my amazement, I had no idea that all around me were vibrant, fall colors! I knew the climate 3,000 feet above Anchorage is quite different, but I hadn’t anticipated this. Wow!!!

Though it looks like daylight, this was absolutely shot on a moonlit night, a little less than 3 days after the full moon. The white dots are all stars, and perhaps a planet as well. Some of the photos show what I think are satellite trails, which I may post later. Apparently there are less stars visible on the right because the moon is more brightly illuminating the right side, as it’s not far to the right of this view.


September 7th 4 AM

Powerline Pass near Flattop Mountain

Official sunrise/sunset times for Anchorage, Alaska, Sep. 7th:

7:07 AM & 8:46 PM

Daylight white balance, so this is how it would also look shot with daylight film

Canon 5D Mark II with medium wide-angle lens
very windy