Tarmac ribbons criss-crossing the landscape, dusty back roads twisting between the cool shadows of ancient pines, and less traveled pathways connecting present to past, all I wander, seeking, seeing, with my keyboard and camera capturing scenes and stories to share with you.

Now in its sixth year, this venue has become an important part of my life, a place where I can express my thoughts and feelings about the things I see and do, hoping the process brings me a bit closer to friends and family who enjoy sharing my sometimes chaotic and often nonlinear observations and ideas. A journal, I suppose, but one with which I find pleasure in thinking others are alongside me on my journey.

Comments, thoughts, or just a friendly chat, use the response box below or email me at patrickgroleau@gmail.com.

July 17, 2018

NEW LENS!!!!

... as you know, since i took up using "mirrorless" cameras i've for the most part used "legacy" (20-30 year-old) lenses ... lack of automatic features, as far as i'm concerned, is greatly outweighed by how compared to modern glass they are relatively inexpensive ...

... for critical work, however, using wide-angle lenses designed for film is a bit of a problem ... without going into the details (right, "ask patrick what time it is and he'll explain how to build a clock"), wide open to their largest apertures (to let in the most light) traditional "retrofocus" wide-angle designs just aren't very sharp in the corners ... soooo ...

... so, thinking especially of milky way photography, i finally made the move to a modern wide-angle designed specifically for digital sensors ... goodbye to my faithful nikkor 20mm f/2.8 ...
  
  
... the money i made selling it on ebay (more'n i paid for it, by the way) enabled me to purchase a brand-new rokinon 20mm f/1.8...
  
COURTESY MARC ALHADEFF

... downside—well, the rokinon is huge compared to the old nikkor ... well worth it, however, since it is clearly much, much sharper, even when wide-open to f/1.8 ...
   
... found inside the hathaway building, my my first image using the rokinon ...
   

... later, from a little wanderabout around town, this is the result of eight images being alignment stacked, focus merged, and then color/contrast corrected ...
   

... finally, a single frame taken in castonguay square...
  


... what great fun ... i'm so looking forward to using this lens ...

WANDERABOUT TO LOOK THROUGH THE LARGEST TELESCOPE

... early this spring john made arrangements to look through the world's largest refractor (glass lenses as opposed to mirrors) telescope at the yerkes observatory ... in mid-june wayne and i joined him for the drive west ... we stopped in columbus to visit with my nephew, jon, and on our rest day we made a little visit to the air force museum in dayton ...
   

... the next day in williams bay, wisconsin, we made our way to the observatory ...
   

... we took a guided tour of the facility ... the decorative figures were fascinating, and we were told many intriguing "back stories" concerning their hidden meanings ...
   

... the best tale was about the wasp that was removed from john d. rockefeller's nose ...
   

... considering the heat and humidity, just in time we were taken into the great dome ... with an objective lens 40" in diameter this is the largest refracting telescope ever put to actual use for astronomical observation (the "great paris exhibition telescope of 1900" was never put to scientific use) ... since reflector telescopes (using mirrors) are more efficient, this telescope is now longer a primary instrument ...
... its custodian, the university of chicago, has plans to sell the entire facility ... even as you read this the issue is in doubt as to whether or not this magnificent tool will survive ...
   

... i met this very nice couple ... i'd memorized their names, but, alas, since i took so long to complete this journal entry—well, i'll take credit for at least remembering that they were nice ...
   

... john asked many questions of our guide ... ...
   
... more of the wonderful faces ...
   

... there wasn't a sign saying i shouldn't, so i sat in this chair ... as i rested in its comfortable leather clad embrace i couldn't help but think that my butt was quite possibly occupying the same spot as had the posteriors of edwin hubble, george hale, carl sagan, and albert einstein ... and, yes, when i arose to rejoin the group i felt a teensy tiny bit smarter ...
   

... the eyepiece part of a telescope ... nowadays it is rather rare that scientists actually look through the devices ...
   

... a clock ... einstein said it would slow down when i got close to it, but i couldn't detect any change ...
   

... a famous person ... right, another "i forgot" ... i'll go out on a limb and say that this is george ellory hale, who founded the observatory—if i'm wrong i'm sure john'll most politely correct me ...
   

... 63' long ... the telescope itself weighs 6 tons, the mount and gears it contains to move the scope weigh 20 tons ... for those who wonder about such, this is a f/19 lens with one very tiny crack ...
   

... edwin hubble provided the observational proof of georges lamaitre's concepts, that the universe was expanding ... hubble also showed that our milky way galaxy was only an infinitesimal part of an incomprehensibly larger universe ...
   

... a hazy overcast inland, clouds over the observatory, our long-scheduled visit to look through the telescope was cancelled ... no matter, john and wayne and i found a field in which to set up our tripods and observe the heavens ...
   

... i'm thinking that someone with lots of money will provide the funds to keep yerkes open, and that next year we'll make another wanderabout with our fingers crossed hoping for clear skies ...
   


Like buried treasures, the outposts of the universe have beckoned to the adventurous from immemorial times. Princes and potentates, political or industrial, equally with men of science, have felt the lure of the uncharted seas of space, and through their provision of instrumental means the sphere of exploration has made new discoveries and brought back permanent additions to our knowledge of the heavens.

GEORGE ELLERY HALE