Sunset Visions of Kite Surfing

One day before the 2019 Total Lunar Eclipse a full moon rose 4:25 pm above the Atlantic Ocean off Cocoa Beach, the “Space Coast” of Florida. We saw a power kite to the south, with the southerly winds there was time before he was on us. I took the following photographs with what was at hand, an iPhone 8.

Risen Full Moon and Surf Boarder at Sunset

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At 50 minutes post moonrise, I included the orb in this frame as the rider tacked, rising a water crest.

Risen Full Moon and Surf Boarder at Sunset
Risen Full Moon and Surf Boarder at Sunset

A flick of the fingers to zoom in, the moon and rider are together as he rides toward shore.

Risen Full Moon and Surf Boarder at Sunset with cruise ship
Risen Full Moon and Surf Boarder at Sunset with cruise ship

This time of, Saturdays, the cruise ships depart Cape Canaveral Port. The kite is above the distant ship. It is amazing the kite allows sailing into the wind, his heading is southwest. The shore limits his progress, forcing a tack towards a southeast heading.

Kite Surfer coming to shore at sunset.
Kite Surfer coming to shore at sunset.

Or not, it seems he plans to tack to the northeast, continuing progress north up the coast. I have to wonder how he will return to the starting point?

Copyright 2022 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Kite Surfing Action Series

three shots in one second

For a change of scene we visited Cape Canaveral, the beach at Cherie Down Park were an informal gathering of Kite Surfers was underway. Here is a series of action shots, one second elapsed from first to last.

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Click any photograph for my Online Galleries

Conditions were excellent: good northerly wind, the sun overcast and, it being afternoon, in the west. Surfers stayed relatively close to shore, near their starting point. I had packed the “heavy gun” camera with a tripod.

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Panning the scene (swiveling on the tripod), the camera in rapid exposure mode, I pressed the shutter release and held it down.

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The surfer was captured mid-jump to landing.


Copyright 2022 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

A Secretive and Failed Zuma SpaceX Mission

Driving to Cocoa Beach from Ithaca, Pam and I missed a horrendous storm because we did a side trip to Louisville, Kentucky, avoiding I95 January 4th and 5th and a rare and treacherous ice storm.

We met people who were stranded overnight near Savannah, Georgia while, on the same days, we drove Kentucky Hill Country for an overnight at Macon, Georgia all in excellent, dry, cold weather.
The storm itself, was a stroke of luck.  The first Space X launch of 2018 was delayed by the weather until the evening of Sunday, January 7th.
I was in place, in the dark, on Cocoa Beach with my Canon DSLR on bulb mode, securely mounted on a travel tripod.  My choice of lens was the 24 mm “wide angle.”

Proximity to the Kennedy Space Center is a reason we return to Cocoa Beach.  A year ago, March 2007, we did the “Launch Director Tour” offered once a month (if at all) and had a fantastic day. I’ll need to blog about it.

For now, here is a shot from the former Space Shuttle launch room.

Launch Control Center

I planned camera placement well for this night launch.  The view held the entire parabola of the trail. Camera placement was based on researching the launch complex, finding it on Google Earth, using the line feature to determine the orientation of the complex from my location on Cocoa Beach.

Live, the start of the launch is like a dawn in the northern sky.  I broke off the exposure to somewhat capture the effect.

Secretive and Failed Zuma Mission

The human eye, only the Falcon 9 flame is visible, as a single point of bright light ever rising, lighting the beach and clouds in a soft glow.

Secretive and Failed Zuma Mission

The long exposure blends the flame into a bright parabola, at one point the rocket engines throttle back, eventually the color changed to reddish from bright white.  I held the exposure until the rocket flame, in the image, turned to blue and faded away.

We waited for six (6) or so minutes, the camera mount and orientation unchanged, and then the incredible returning booster briefly lit up to land at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. I missed the beginning of the burn.  In retrospect, I should have timed the launch and opened the shuttle 5 minutes or so after “blast off.”

Secretive and Failed Zuma Mission

Followed by a TWO sonic boom finale. Kabooom….Kabooom.

We read in the news the secret military satellite, named “Zuma”, on top of the Falcon crashed into the Indian Ocean.  SpaceX claimed the launch was a success (??), that the protective fairing jettisoned successfully.  No mention was made of the secret payload. The failure was with the Northup Grumman built “Zuma” satellite?  Hmmmmm.

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved.

Bullet Dodge Series 3

Not quite murmuration

Today, enjoy two videos of shorebirds taking flight at once. Starlings can flock and swarm in clouds of birds, called murmuration. My videos of a shorebird colony taking fright, at something unknown as the beach was empty, are from my IPhone 7.

This is a still image, high resolution, similar to the view of the second video. A repeat from yesterday.

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With a tripod it is simpler to achieve a level horizon….

December 3, 2014 President Obama warned of the coming pandemic and passed along plans and a team to the incoming Trump administration. By December 2019, the pandemic unleashed in China, Trump gutted this capability and, while Pam and I were planning out January 10th Walt Disney World trip, hid the truth from United States Citizens.

We were keeping an eye on China, by January 10th the Chinese communist government was lying, “there is no human-to-human” transmission they told the WHO (World Health Organization). Knowing the truth, our plans for that day would be different.

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Sunrise, January 109, 2020 Cocoa Beach, Florida

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Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

References:

CNN YouTube, “Hear what Barack Obama said in 2014 about pandemics.”

Daily KOS, “How the Obama administration tried to save us from what Trump is doing right now.”

FOX News, “WHO haunted by January tweet saying China found no human transmission of coronavirus.”

Bullet Dodge Series 2

Shroomed (Happy May Day)

One week before January 10, the dawning of the day photographed here, “the CDC Director Robert Redfield was notified by a counterpart in China that a “mysterious respiratory illness was spreading in Wuhan [China]”. Redfield notified HHS Secretary Alex Azar shortly thereafter, who shared his report with the National Security Council (NSC). According to The Washington Post, warnings about the virus were included in the President’s Daily Brief in early January, an indicator of the emphasis placed on the virus by the intelligence community.” December( and maybe October/November), 2019 through January, 2020: COVID-19 was spreading across the USA as visitors from Wuhan disembarked from planes.

The following images compare IPhone 7 to a dslr mounted on a tripod.

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With a tripod it is simpler to achieve a level horizon….

I heard the word “shroomed” (as a verb) used in Episode 1, Season 6, of Bosch. As in “the Federal Government treats us like mushooms”: grown in excrement and kept in the dark.

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Sunrise, January 10, 2020 Cocoa Beach, Florida

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Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Reference: the quote is from the Wikipedia article “Timeline of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic in the United States.”

Bullet Dodge Series 1

First of a looooonnnngggg series

One day after my “Sunrise Texture” series as the sun rose on Cocoa Beach I was waiting with the same photographic kit. It was perfect weather for a visit to Walt Disney World, planned for that day: unsettled.

This image couple demonstrates the effect of long / short exposure without using filters. I changed the ISO and F-stop to achieve these effects.

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With a tripod it is simpler to achieve a level horizon….

I turned around to observe the colonies of shore birds…..

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Want to see more? Visit this my “Sunrise Textures” series on Getty IStock.

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Sunrise Texture Series 7

Final Series, Sunrise Completion

Betelgeuse, AKA “Alpha Orionis”, was the first star disk, other than our Sun, measured. One hundred years ago the apparent size of Betelgeuse was then as now 0.003% of the sun. I bring this up because this “red” star at the end of its life cycle, is in the news, being now 40% of its brightness last year.

Betelgeuse is so far away this dimming is 700 year old news, the time it takes for light span the distance. News of our sun is more recent, sunlight informs us of the Sun’s surface from 8.33 minutes ago. Sunlight bursts from clouds to the camera in an instant of a second. In comparison my reactions to capture it are glacial. Sixteen seconds passed since the images of Series 6, time for three exposures at a slowed pace now the sun breaks free from the clouds.

Twelve minutes, fifty four seconds elapsed from the first images of this series. Seventy nine exposures taken with 16 selected moments, these last without the sand mirror.

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A Willet feeds in the new day. This is a species sandpipers, a cousin of the Sanderling of yesterday’s post.

All sixteen Sunrise Texture moments are presented below.. Suggestion, for this series in a larger format, open a separate browser tab for each post. At series end you will then have eight (including the very first post a few weeks ago) landscapes to compare.

Want to see more? Visit this series on Getty IStock.

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Sunrise Texture Series 6

Sunburst

Two minutes pass from Series 5, and not because I have stopped snapping. My routine is to insert a (automated) sequential number into each filename. Using this it is possible to calculate the number of exposures in a series. Since Series 5, 16 were snapped before the first I could use in Series 6. Ten exposures between the first and last of Series 6, during which a minute, twenty eight seconds elapsed..

The sun disk is above the horizon, bursting from clouds.

Ten minutes, eighteen seconds elapsed from the first images of this series. Seventy one exposures taken with 14 selected moments of shining sand mirror, a strong curving return flow.

The small bird feeding, of the first image, is a Sanderling, one of the smallest species of Sandpipers.

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In this second image, the mirror is erased as sand absorbs surf. I needed to show the developing sun burst.

A slide show of these images. This set compares short exposure with open aperture (f 4.5) to a much longer exposure driven by a narrow aperture (f 22) and the lowest film sensitivity of the camera (ISO 50). Suggestion, for this series in a larger format, open a separate browser tab for each post. At series end you will then have eight (including the very first post a few weeks ago) landscapes to compare.

Want to see more? Visit this series on Getty IStock.

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Sunrise Texture Series 5

a paradox

A scant five seconds pass from Series 4, with the sun above the horizon I strive to catch the moment.

The sun disk is above the horizon, shining behind the clouds.

Seven minutes, 34 seconds elapsed from the first images of this series.

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I selected moments of shining sand mirror, a strong curving return flow with a continuing mark of a southeast wind of seventeen miles per hour, with bursts above twenty. Wind, waves, even the rounded particles of sand all created from the energy of the celestial body I am waiting to appear.

A slide show of these images. Suggestion, for this series in a larger format, open a separate browser tab for each post. At series end you will then have eight (including the very first post a few weeks ago) landscapes to compare.

Want to see more? Visit this series on Getty IStock.

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Sunrise Texture Series 4

a paradox

Thirty three seconds pass from Series 3, the high clouds shine less bright, the sun disk now blocked by those clouds on the horizon, the rising sun brings darkness yet a first hint of sunburst.

Seemingly, the first image foam-wave swath will erase the mirror.

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Fifty seconds later, instead of erasure the new water brings clarity.

Six minutes, 39 seconds elapsed from the first images of this series.

A slide show of these images. Suggestion, for this series in a larger format, open a separate browser tab for each post. At series end you will then have eight (including the very first post a few weeks ago) landscapes to compare.

Want to see more? Visit this series on Getty IStock.

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills