Photo a Week #4 Jonathan Frakes at Fedcon 2012

This week’s photo was taken at the Fedcon in Düsseldorf, Germany in May this year.

A very entertaining actor, he suddenly left the stage and walked among the audience.
When he passed right by me I was quick enough with the camera to catch this picture :

Frakes walking by

Jonathan Frakes walking among the audience.

The colours come from the stage lighting, I like the mood of the picture.

As an experiment it may be worth trying to convert this picture to black/white.

Weekly Photo – Rocket Science

In 2010 I became aware of a group in Denmark Copenhagen Suborbitals.

The group is building rockets, rather big ones, no New Year’s fireworks.

Given the size of their vehicles they could not get permission to launch from land (Denmark is a small country, and has no large deserted areas). What did they do ? Easy ! If you can not launch from land, then it must be from the sea.

In the summer 2010 I went to the presentation of their Mark 1 sea launch platform, named Sputnik. It was set to sea carrying the rocket, using a crane. This is one of the better pictures I got from the presentation.

The Mark 1 of the platform is not self powered, so they used another self made project for propulsion of the platform, yes, it is a submarine you see on the picture.

The rocket itself is 9m (30ft) tall and 60cm (2ft) diameter.

The first launch attempt later in the year failed. The count went down to 0 and – nothing happened. Well, the pyrotechnics went off as expected, but the rocket stayed in place. The failure was due to a frozen valve for the liquid oxygen.

They learned a lot about procedure and tech from the failure, and one year later, June 2011 a modified rocket and launch platform (this time self propelled) were used. Counting down to 0 and – nothing happened. After a look at the telemetry it was found that the launch signal had not arrived, and 10 – 15 minutes later another attempt was made, and off it went. I do not have pictures from that event, since only active members of the group were allowed in the area. They did, however publish a press kit on the website.

Their criterion for success was that the rocket lifted itself above the platform, the flight went up to about 2km when the flight was aborted from the ground, in order to stay within the designated area.

The rocket had no active steering and veered off like a missile. The “payload” was recovered, but not the engine stage. More on this project later.

Hugo Awards 2012

Last year I went to China, spending about 4 weeks on the trip – some of them will appear in my “A-Photo-a-Week” project. This left very little time to read the Hugo nominees.

This year I have stayed home – well gone to a few conventions, so I had a bit more time to read.
So – I took the supporting membership to the Chicon 7/Worldcon 2012, so I could vote.

I got a limited amount of reading done, but voted what I could :
Best Novel :
A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin
Best Novellette :
The Copenhagen Interpretation by Paul Cornell
Best Short Story :
The Paper Menagerie by Ken Liu
Best Dramatic presentation, long form :
A Game of Thrones TV series
Best Dramatic presentation, short form :
Doctor Who : The Doctor’s Wife written by Neil Gaiman.

Photos . . .

For some years I have dabbled in photography, and got some decent images over time.

I have decided on an experiment :

A-Photo-a-Week : In an attempt to revive the activity of this blog I have decided to publish one photo per week, except in my holidays, in some cases a small series.

The photos are accompanied by a short description of the situation and technical aspect of the photo(s).

Here comes No. 1, 2012, week 13.

Today’s image of the week actually contains two images of the same phenomenon.

During a trip from The Netherlands to Denmark I took the ferry Puttgarten/Rødby, it was near sunset, and the windmills at the coast near Rødby were turning yellow, then orange’ish. I thought this could become an interesting photo opportunity, so left the ferry and went to the first parking place along the highway. This is what I saw :

Sun Pillar first image

Quite an impressive sight. This is called a Sun Pillar, and occurs near sunrise or sunset when the sunlight is reflected in horizontally oriented ice crystals.

I decided to drive on, and on the way to the next parking I could see the sun pillar in the rear mirror, slowly developing, so I decided to stop once again for a second photo session I had to move a bit around to get the correct framing, see the next image below.

Sun Pillar and Church

Both photos are taken with a compact 3 Mpixel camera, a Canon S1IS, indicating to me that the camera is less important than the photographer for getting interesting images.

While the technical quality of this image is not perfect, I have a 20x30cm (8×12″) print is hanging in my living room.

This is, a relatively early attempt of creating a beautiful image, done in 2006.

This project is intended to include all kinds of images I like, so you can expect anything in this series.

All posts in the series will be marked in the category “photos”.

You can click on each image to get a larger image.