Half Dome picture from some where around Turlock

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john hansen

climber
Topic Author's Original Post - Jan 17, 2010 - 12:46am PT

Trying to find that thread..

there were some directions to where it was taken from..

The next two weeks with all these storms backed up, there might be a break where you could catch it between the fronts ..with good light , in the afternoon. You know, if you just happen to be passing by.

Then again it might rain for the next two weeks straight.
John Moosie

climber
Beautiful California
Jan 17, 2010 - 01:05am PT
I couldn't find the thread, but I found this. It has the guys directions. What a great shot.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/trimmoos/3294080995/

Gobee

Trad climber
Los Angeles
Jan 17, 2010 - 01:17am PT
Wow!
pc

climber
Jan 17, 2010 - 01:20am PT
Wow! That is truly amazing. Nice find.
John Moosie

climber
Beautiful California
Jan 17, 2010 - 01:22am PT
There was some good stuff on that thread. I wish that I could find it.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jan 17, 2010 - 01:24am PT
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=804547
John Moosie

climber
Beautiful California
Jan 17, 2010 - 01:29am PT
Hmm. I thought there was an older thread with more pics and discussion. Especially about whether it was genuine or not.
nita

Social climber
chica from chico, I don't claim to be a daisy
Jan 17, 2010 - 01:35am PT
Moosie..

http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/804547/picutre_of_the_day_for_hump_day
wildone

climber
GHOST TOWN
Jan 17, 2010 - 01:37am PT
John Moosie

climber
Beautiful California
Jan 17, 2010 - 01:44am PT
Thanks Clint and Nita. I thought there was an older thread with more discussion. I might be misremembering, but I did think that I posted to it.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jan 17, 2010 - 02:12am PT
http://www.summitpost.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=43672
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Jan 17, 2010 - 02:31am PT
Hall Road, .65 mile south of E. Keyes Rd. About 3.5 miles east of Denair, CA. and about 67.25 miles from Half Dome and in this image, shot at 400mm, the grain elevator is about 1.5 miles away.
Reilly

Mountain climber
Monrovia, CA
Jan 17, 2010 - 02:39am PT
I still say the perspective isn't right. Half Dome is too
tilted towards the viewer as it would look from above the valley
rim in a plane and not as it would look from the San Joaquin Valley
floor. There also doesn't appear to be adequate 'space' between the
grain silo and Half Dome. Nice job of 'shopping' IMHO.
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Jan 17, 2010 - 02:45am PT
Not shopped. just a great lense.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/yzavala/sets/72157614402790202/



OMGGG LOOK AT THIS ONE BELOW! SHOPPED!

http://www.elcap-pics.com/documents/ClimberPoster_001.pdf
aguacaliente

climber
Jan 17, 2010 - 03:20am PT
Because the angle of the view is so low, atmospheric refraction is probably significant. The top of Half Dome is about 8700 feet higher than the central valley and if the photographer is 67 miles away, the geometric elevation is 1.4 degrees. This is small enough that the seeing-over-the-horizon effect may contribute.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmospheric_refraction

I think this might be why the perspective on the Valley looks like it is from a higher position than we'd expect the photographer to be at.

It's nice work finding the location and getting a clear day. This would be a great application for an infrared photograph (less affected by haze).

I followed a couple of links and got to this HeyWhatsThat panorama website http://www.heywhatsthat.com/?view=SV0A99AI which is very interesting.
ß Î Ø T Ç H

climber
. . . not !
Jan 17, 2010 - 03:33am PT
With all due respect . . there are some gullible people on here .
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jan 17, 2010 - 03:38am PT
Sometimes, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink!
:-)

I am certain such a photo is possible, because I have seen the lights in the central valley from the top of El Cap.
In Immoos' photo, it's clear a lot of El Cap is obscured by the intervening ridges, but we know Half Dome is above the Valley rim,
so we should be able to see pretty much all of the NW face, and this appears to be the case.
Because the distance of the shot is 67.25 miles from Half Dome,
the viewing angle is close to zero (or check arctan[(8800/5280)/67.25]) -
the angle is .025 radians = 1.42 degrees.
so the perspective is about the same as being level with the Valley rim,
or being on top of one of those intervening ridges.

from:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/trimmoos/3662612548/

" received another message concerning my Half Dome from Denair pic
informing me that it was not possible to see Half Dome from the central valley, therefore it was photoshopped...
What-everrrr. But it did get me looking at the image comments again and I clicked on brendon.m's link to www heywhatsthat com

Now I've done that before, but I had never before clicked the visibility cloak button.
The results are above and quite surprising. The top of Half Dome is theoretically visible from an incredibly large area.
Granted, from many places only the very top will be in view and difficult to see but I still find it fascinating.

If you live in the Central Valley anywhere in the red zone, get your binoculars,
telescopes or big telephoto camera lenses ready for the next clear day and catch a glimpse!"

And here's the map with the line of the shot -
areas in red are locations from which Half Dome is theoretically visible
(map not complete, because Mt. Diablo is not red).
(since I'm not the only one posting a huge photo):
safl

Trad climber
Wahoo, NE
Jan 17, 2010 - 10:42am PT
Something doesn't quite jive, somehow.
Hey, Whatev.
Srbphoto

Trad climber
Kennewick wa
Jan 17, 2010 - 10:56am PT
The lack of "adequate space" between the silo and HD is due to to using a 400mm lense. A longer lens compresses the space between objects.

Think of all the images of the foothills or Smokey Mountains where the mountains look stacked up on one another. If you were standing there it doesn't look that way. Slap a long telephoto on and viola!

The image does look a bit "off".

There is another photo from the top of Mt Diablo (about 125 miles away) that you can see Half Dome in an enlargement. I tried to find it but couldn't.
Wack

climber
Dazevue
Jan 17, 2010 - 10:58am PT
There is a shot of HD taken from Mt Hamilton, Lick Observatory that I have seen. We had the reverse view from the big sloping ledge below the Robbin's traverse on HD. There was a dense layer of clouds across the central valley with really good lighting on Mt Hamilton, similar to looking through a tunnel. The cloud cover provided an effect like shading your eyes with your hand in bright sun light.
Srbphoto

Trad climber
Kennewick wa
Jan 17, 2010 - 11:17am PT
You know the photo might be from Hamilton. It has been a long time since I saw it. I know that you can see HD from Diablo though.

The link below has a discussion about this and a different picture (by a different photographer) taken from Patterson.


http://www.sierravisionsstock.com/sierravisions/half-dome-from-the-central-valley/
Rock Eagle

Trad climber
Central Coast
Jan 17, 2010 - 11:37am PT
It is true - Half Dome is visible from the Central Valley on a clear day. I was extremely skeptical when I first read these threads a year ago. So we decided to check it out last March when the visibility was good. Sure enough, the unmistakable image of Half Dome was visible in the distance.

My photo isn't very good, but does show Half Dome.

Half Dome from the Central Valley
Half Dome from the Central Valley
Credit: Rock Eagle

The coordinates where the photo was taken are N 37° 32.492 W 120° 44.229.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Jan 17, 2010 - 11:49am PT
Of course agreeing with Clint. I just did the same research the last 30 minutes. Plus I too have seen Yosemite Valley a few times in the last 50 years, from the Central Valley. It is not that unusual; You only need 50-70 mile visibility, which often happens after fall-winter-spring storms. And Half Dome is 8836 ft high, so if you line it up through the mouth of the Valley, you have "Heywhatsthat.com's" visibility claim. Its simple math.

Further, I used the ruler tool and laid out the viewing vector from the spot the photo was taken from (It's actually marked on Google Earth) to the summit of Half Dome and aligning everything, El Cap included, to establish what we view in the photo. The two buildings are also there in the GE viewing.

So no the photo is not a composite but is a fun completely innocent and not-all-that unbelievable 400mm shot, actually.

Banquo

Trad climber
Morgan Hill, CA
Jan 17, 2010 - 06:39pm PT
The gift shop at Mt. Hamilton used to sell prints of photos of Half Dome taken through one of the telescopes.
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Jan 17, 2010 - 10:13pm PT
hey there john hansen, and all, say thanks for all this interesting photo stuff, maps and all... and all the links...

thanks again... fun stuff... :)
luggi

Trad climber
from the backseat of Jake& Elwood Blues car
Jan 17, 2010 - 11:14pm PT
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=804547&msg=804547#msg804547
Double D

climber
Jan 17, 2010 - 11:55pm PT
One of my high school teachers, Phil Arnot, had a picture of HD taken from Mt. Hamilton...near San Jose. It was way cool.

A few years ago on a very clear winter day I took off from SJ on a commercial flight and you could see it clear as day once we circled around and gained a few thousand feet.

Surely that picture will crop up on the internet somewhere.
ß Î Ø T Ç H

climber
. . . not !
Jan 18, 2010 - 12:46am PT
. . Not to weigh down the thread anymore , but look at the edges of the silo or whatever , they look so cut out / ragged compared to the telephone poles in the same area (the wires of the poles don't make sense either) . The photo on my original post is the original size , not an enlargement that would have anomalies or whatever . The camera is obviously of quality too . That's why I think the photo is cooked . Also there is a faint straight line going all the way across the middle of it that seems suspicious .
Ben Emery

Trad climber
Bay Area
Jan 18, 2010 - 01:03am PT
Er, the suspicious faint line I think you're referring to seems to have a slight droop and some possible birds (?) roosting on it at the right; are you sure it's not just an out of focus wire?

The author of the photo (Tony Imoos) has some other good ones of California and Yosemite up on a few photography sites; e.g.: http://www.flickriver.com/photos/trimmoos/popular-interesting/

But maybe I'm just gullible.
ß Î Ø T Ç H

climber
. . . not !
Jan 18, 2010 - 01:10am PT
Again . . the wire is out of focus and the "birds" (more like fleas) are sharply in focus . You can't have the silo that in-focus along with Half Dome etc in the background unless the silo was at least about 10 miles away .
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jan 18, 2010 - 01:42am PT
sounds like a job for the SuperTopo mythbusters... except that Rock Eagle already got the photo...
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jan 18, 2010 - 03:37am PT
> look at the edges of the silo or whatever , they look so cut out / ragged compared to the telephone poles in the same area (the wires of the poles don't make sense either) . The photo on my original post is the original size , not an enlargement that would have anomalies or whatever . The camera is obviously of quality too . That's why I think the photo is cooked . Also there is a faint straight line going all the way across the middle of it that seems suspicious .

The cows, trees, grain elevators, roof to right, telephone/power poles, foothill ridges, El Cap, Half Dome, and peaks behind are all in focus.
The grass is the foreground is not. Looks normal to me for a good lens, shot with a small aperture (high F stop).
The telephone/power wires aren't ultra sharp, but that would be asking a lot from a lens at that distance.

Are you saying the grain elevators were pasted in?
They appear in the shots by other people, so they seem to be quite real.

Maybe what several people "feel" is wrong with the photo is that Half Dome looks "too big".
The harvest moon also looks "too big", because it's close to the horizon.
But I and many others believe the moon is real and is not changing size.

Maybe we get fooled by our feelings sometimes.
It may be wiser to be skeptical about your own feelings,
than to suspect others are trying to trick you.

"A wise fox checks his own hole first." :-)
or
"AT A CARDIAC ARREST, THE FIRST PROCEDURE IS TO TAKE YOUR OWN PULSE."
(rule 3. of The House of God)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_House_of_God
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Why'djya leave the ketchup on the table?
Jan 18, 2010 - 07:56am PT
Its pretty simple to find... drive south on hwy 99 to Ceres. Go past Ceres and exit Hwy 99 at Keys Rd. On the overpass you can see it if you know where to look but you'll probably cause a traffic accident.

Drive east on Keys Rd... till it just starts to get hilly. If you go on Fed when the stone fruit blossoms are going off you will be treated to wonderful photog ops.

Its easy to see when there is snow on the mtns behind it.

DMT
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Why'djya leave the ketchup on the table?
Jan 18, 2010 - 09:14am PT
Like I said go in late Feb when the stone fruits are in blossom. Its quite stunning, the green of the valley, the white and pink blossoms and the back drop of the mighty Sierra.


Just lovely.


Row upon row, farm after farm, a seductive carpet.



I always wanted to picnic with my honey on a big soft quilt out in one of these orchards. A bottle of chardonnay, some good cheese, a big fat skunk spliff hahahaha.


There are miles of these orchards, east of Turlock, south of Modesto. Seen from the air they are stunning as well.

OK, now to the goods.


HD, just above and slightly right of telephone pole.


Left part of image, above the closely spaced post fence line.


Between the garage and the house. This was taken at a public park in Denair.


Again, between house and garage. Now you can see even with a cheap digital pocket camera, the effect of telephoto. Its far more pronounced with a powerful lens.


After all this work a man needs sustenance. A killer carnitas taco from a convenience mart in Denair. Random stop, I noticed a lot of local hispanic farm workers milling about this store around lunch time and a hunch led me inward.... SCORE!!!!1111

I highly recommend the trip. Pack a picnic basket, grab your lover, take a big quilt and do some orchard love. You won't regret it... unless some Grapes of Wrath farm hand catches you that is.

Imagine!!!

Life is too short not to try it!

DMT
monolith

climber
Berkeley, CA
Jan 18, 2010 - 12:35pm PT
As Clint mentioned, explanations of the Moon Illusion may apply here.

John Moosie

climber
Beautiful California
Jan 18, 2010 - 12:50pm PT
Dammit Dingus man, now you are making me hungry. hahaha.. Man that looks good.
ydpl8s

Trad climber
Santa Monica, California
Jan 18, 2010 - 01:18pm PT
For those of you who know Colorado....I was on top of La Plata Peak (in the Sawatch)with Craig Koontz when we had just completed the long arduous Ellingwood Ridge at about 2:00 in the afternoon. Craig had hauled a 1,000 mm lens with a doubler on it and a tri-pod up there . He was able to take a picture of Uncompaghre (in the San Juans, which I think is about 90 to 100 miles away as the crow flies, probably double that on the pavement) that filled the viewfinder. The hardest part of taking the picture was waiting to snap the photo between the rising "heat waves" that broke up the picture.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jan 18, 2010 - 02:12pm PT
From Google Earth you can measure Half Dome and find that its face is:

0.53 miles wide
bearing 51º (or lays on the diagonal from the compass points SW to NE)


2000 m altitude at its base
2680 m altitude at its summit
-
680 m = 2231 ft = 0.42 miles tall

So roughly 0.5 miles by 0.5 miles.

At 100 miles distance this subtends the angle 0.5/100 = 0.005 radians

An object 1 mile away would subtend the same angle if it were 1 mile * 0.005 radians = .005 miles = 26 feet across.

Camera calculations for digital are confusing because they often quote lens sizes in "35mm equivalent" units... so I'll go with just 35 mm calculations.

For a 1000 mm lens the largest angle subtended by the film would be 35mm/1000mm = 0.035, Half Dome, at 100 miles would take up .005/.035 = 1/7 of the width of the landscape view of such a camera, or 14%

If viewed from the west, however, we have to divide the width of Half Dome by sqrt(2) = 1.414 (multiply by 0.707) and that would reduce the size to something like 10% of the picture width.

You can crop the picture to make the fraction of the frame Half Dome occupies larger... but at lower resolution.


With my FM2N I'd shoot a picture at a high f-stop but with a shutter speed not less than the lens size... my best lens for this would be the 180mm with a 2x teleconverter (TC-200) giving me 360 mm on film. This would make the angular width of the film of 0.10 radians, and half dome occupying 0.0025/0.100 = 2.5% of the film... digitized to 4000 dpi I'd see Half Dome in not more than 100 px wide.

Using the same lens on my digital camera, the equivalent focal length is 540 mm (with the teleconverter) which provides a somewhat larger image of Half Dome... 35mm/540mm = 0.065 radian at .0025/.065 = 3.8%, which gives an image of 163 px wide.

I have a 500 mm reflex lens, but I have found it problematic to shoot at a fixed f = 8, which does not produce images I desire... probably unload that lens and take a deep breath to buy a 400 mm prime telephoto (even used glass is pricey though).


ydpl8s

Trad climber
Santa Monica, California
Jan 18, 2010 - 02:49pm PT
Mr. Hartouni gets an A+ with a smiley face for his answer to the optics "word problem". All of the rest of us that took the test are pissed off cuz he wrecked the curve. :-)
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jan 18, 2010 - 04:22pm PT
the Moon's radius is 3474 kilometers, and it's distance from the Earth is 384403, so it subtends an angle of 2*3474/384403 = 0.018 radians 3x Half-Dome's 0.005 radian angle at 100 miles.

This means that you could pick a point to see the moonrise over Half Dome with the moon much larger than Half Dome... it would be killer!

So when might this happen?

The next full moon happens on Saturday 1/30/10, that day the moon rises around 1830, but unfortunately the sun set is at 1715 or so... you'd like to have some sun to illuminate your image.

On Wed 1/27/10 you could have a chance of shooting the moon in Yosemite Valley a la AA, moon rise is 1430 sunset is 1700, the moon's azimuth starts at 53.58º and at sunset is at 78.24º at an altitude of 25.38º sometime between those two times you'd get a great shot... but you would have to travel distance, pick a North-South road...

Your chance after this would be the week before Feb 28 2010...
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jan 18, 2010 - 05:23pm PT
The moon has to clear the Sierra crest, so say that's about 2.5 miles high, from 100 miles out that is an altitude angle of 2.5/100 = 0.025 radians = 1.4º
at 50 miles this is 2.8º

so the moon will be visible between 1445 and 1500 on 1/27/10

the maximum "height" of the film is for the 360 mm lens will be 0.1 radians = 5.7º

The moon will be at 6.56º at 1515 which means the shot has a 15 minute window around moon rise. The azimuth of the moon at that point will be 64.41º

According to the chart above, if you set yourself up on G St. in Merced between E Olive Ave and Yosemite Ave, you'd have a shot of the Moon Rise and Half Dome sometime between 1445 and 1515

Slightly better might be Thornton Rd, west of the airport between 140 and W. Dickenson Ferry Rd.

Or on S Gurr Rd (south of W. Dickenson Ferry Rd.)

Be prepared to move North-South, but you don't have a very big window to see Half Dome from this vantage point... maybe someone should be up on Snake Dike waving!



wonder what the weather is going to be like?
wildone

climber
GHOST TOWN
Jan 18, 2010 - 06:16pm PT
Ed, good work-thanks for your time.
Ever check out KEH.com for used high quality glass? Some pro photogs told me about it. I ordered a body and some lenses from them. They know how to assess used glass as they are nikon america's warranty workers.
They are also REALLY good for medium/large format stuff.
http://www.keh.com/
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jan 18, 2010 - 06:36pm PT
Awesome, Ed!
This would be a cool photo to seal the deal!
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jan 18, 2010 - 07:26pm PT
wild1, I use KEH a lot...

Clint, all it takes is good weather... we can propose, the clouds dispose...
Reilly

Mountain climber
Monrovia, CA
Jan 18, 2010 - 07:43pm PT


Credit: Reilly

So will someone please explain to me what has been my preeminent
argument all along? Why does this view of HD look like, as a pilot,
you are on approach to land on the summit? If you are at Glacier Pt
you sure don't see the top of the rock like you do in this view and
if you are 60 miles away at about 400' you sure as heck aren't going
to have this aspect.

Credit: Reilly
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jan 18, 2010 - 07:50pm PT
Reilly,

I tried to explain about the viewing angle in an earlier post.
It's quite close to zero from Turlock/Denair.
From Glacier Point, you are looking up at a sharper angle, so the mountains on the other side of Half Dome don't appear above Half Dome as in Immoos' photo.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jan 18, 2010 - 07:52pm PT
the bearing from Glacier point to the top of Half Dome is 61º
the bearing from the Denair position to the top of Half Dome is 78º

when you're at Denair your line-of-sight would put you North of Glacier Point...

the face of Half Dome, as I said above, lies along a bearing of 51º the effect of viewing the face at 10º from Glacier Point, and 27º at Denair, is quite different.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jan 18, 2010 - 08:00pm PT
Ed,

Another consideration for a "moon rise" Half Dome photo from the central valley is area from which Half Dome is visible (taking account of the intervening hills).
If we add your moonrise and moon "set" lines to part of the Half Dome visibility map from the first page of this thread, we get:

moonrise over Half Dome 2010.01.27
moonrise over Half Dome 2010.01.27
Credit: google, Ed, and Clint

The moonrise and moonset [not really set, but when the moon moves too high above Half Dome to have them next to each other in the photo] are visible below the diagonal black line.
According to the map, Half Dome is not visible (areas in red) from the center of Merced, and it is barely visible from part of highway 99 NW of Merced center.
More of Half Dome is visible further to the SW, so good locations might be:
 somewhere like Volta
 overpass at I-5 x 152
 the "basalt recreation area" near the dam for San Luis Reservoir
All this assumes a really good lens and very favorable weather conditions.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jan 18, 2010 - 08:20pm PT
not sure where you got your moon rise/set line Clint, I calculated it for the data (in an Excel spread sheet I made which should be good to arcseconds... the northern most line is the bearing of the moon at about 6.5º altitude, by which time it is too high to get in the picture with Half Dome with a telephoto lens...

The moon sets at 1/28/10 the next morning between 0530 and 0545 at slightly less than 300º azimuth

My azimuths, altitudes and times are calculated from that spread sheet for 1/27/10... if the weather is good I'll use my calcs and take a picture (which I was planning on doing, either in the Central Valley or in YV itself)...


The places I mentioned were in the triangular sliver that does go through "greater" Merced area near the 140W-99 intersection
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jan 18, 2010 - 08:31pm PT
Ed,

Oops, what I meant by "set" was the upper line in your photo, when the moon moves out of position (too high above the shoulder of Half Dome to be similar to the Ansel Adams shot).
Sorry about my poor choice of terms there!
corniss chopper

Mountain climber
san jose, ca
Jan 18, 2010 - 08:52pm PT
You'll notice that the left edge of Half Dome lines up with the top of the
Nose on El Cap. Used Google Earth to draw a line using those 2 point out into the central valley and found the grain silo in the picture in seconds
-assumed a line 67 miles long-

latitude 37°32'46.26"N
longitude 120°42'33.86"W
of the grain silo





GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Jan 18, 2010 - 08:55pm PT
Man, Reilly figured this one out. its so obviously fake. I can't believe all these working professionals in their respective fields have been duped by this image for so long.
Dick Erb

climber
June Lake, CA
Jan 18, 2010 - 09:04pm PT
Anyone who has bivied on the NW face of Half Dome in clear weather knows you can see lights in the Central Valley. As for the looks of the edges of the silo, there are a number of photo processing programs which cannot paste in objects like Photoshop, but can often produce unrealistic edges when the contrast or clarity of a photo is adjusted. I never suspected this as being a fake.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jan 18, 2010 - 09:04pm PT
I'm giving Reilly points for explaining what seemed strange about the photo to him. That's half the battle sometimes.
Same for ß Î Ø T Ç H - he expressed his point well.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Nov 26, 2012 - 01:39am PT
nursing a cold so didn't make it to the Valley,
but I decided to do some recon work on this photo... to get the Moon behind the Sierra Crest with Half Dome...

A problematic bearing... I set up along Santa Fe Ave. just north of Ballico...

the weather was horrible, lots of haze, Sierra wave going off, etc... so the seeing near the horizon was not great. I didn't see the Moon until it was quite high... and you can barely see the Sierra Crest.

Here's my first attempt at an analysis:


I've got to work on the pixel-to-angle conversion, the expected Moon diameter came out larger than it should be. I was about 2.5 miles North of where I wanted to be, but the orchards blocked the view.

I have to clean my camera sensor as it is pretty dirty (the black spots are on the sensor).

You can see that the expected position of Half Dome is at least plausible (it's something like 70 miles away). This photo was shot with my 180mm lens (so 270mm on the DX format) because I wanted to get a lot of the scene in for reconstruction. Not sure it is visible from this position though. Might be too close.

I'll also be working on identifying the peaks on the crest... which would give me a very good bearing mark.

Finally, I'll have to wait for a really cold day to get a clear view.
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Nov 26, 2012 - 04:39am PT
It's really astounding how revolutionary the internet is in getting information and critical analysis to people around the world in instants and how they can prove stuff to each other with other amazing research and tools available online.

This thread sort of reminds me of all the incredibile detail and science collaborations of people who have gone to online to prove the government story on 9-11 is a lie.

I'll leave it to you to decide if they made their case. In the case of this picture, I was surprised myself how a long lens can make an improbable looking image

Peace

Karl
The Alpine

climber
Nov 26, 2012 - 09:32am PT
100% most definitely a REAL image. Nice work on the math Ed. That would be a MEGA shot for someone to nail. Maybe team up with Jerry Dodrill?
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Nov 26, 2012 - 12:16pm PT
probably only a couple or three chances a year... has to have excellent atmospheric conditions (we're talking about the central valley here, which is among the worst air quality in the country)

if Jerry (or anyone else) is interested, I'd be happy to have the company... but I think I could produce a nice image, too... yesterday wasn't a day that such an image could be made... but it provided a check on my calculations, and that opens the door for the future.

in terms of atmospheric conditions, it may also be affected by the fact that cold air flows down the canyon and clears out the valley air around the mouth of the canyon where it meets the valley. This is just a hypothesis right now, but most of the images that have been made that I've seen are in and around the same area. There is a sight line from Brushy Peak, just 10 miles away from me, and probably 90 to 100 miles distant, but I doubt the atmospheric conditions exist to actually shoot the image... (but I might try)

Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 26, 2012 - 12:24pm PT
I could bring my 600mm (900mm DX equivalent) but, as you said, it's a cold
day in you-know-where when it isn't too hazy there. Ed's assessment of two
or three days a year might be on the optimistic side.

Ed, that sensor isn't dirty it's gross! Almost as bad as mine sometimes. ;-)
climbski2

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Nov 26, 2012 - 12:36pm PT
I would imagine that the reason the photo looks like it was photoshopped from an aircraft altitude would be because your effective elevation on the ground (near sea level) from 60 miles away is actually several thousand feet due to Half dome dropping down the curvature of the earth. Add a bit of diffraction and it would make sense.

martygarrison

Trad climber
Washington DC
Nov 26, 2012 - 12:39pm PT
I grew up in Modesto and remember seeing Half Dome from the central valley as a kid sometimes.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 26, 2012 - 12:52pm PT
Climbski, good diagram but the reason I was initially calling BS was because
it appeared to me that HD was actually tilted towards the Central Valley
rather than away from it on the perpendicular to the tangent at Point B.
The Alpine

climber
Nov 26, 2012 - 02:41pm PT
Ed- I didnt mean to imply you couldn't get the image. I have no doubt you can.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Nov 26, 2012 - 03:01pm PT
hey Alpine... no problem there...
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Nov 26, 2012 - 03:10pm PT
Hey guys. I saw this on my own long ago, looong ago, one time from around the same area, but it wasn't on Santa Fe, it was even closer to the foothills. Monte Vista rings a bell...duh!

It seems to me that a reputable shootist like Immoos is going to put his best stuff up, which includes some of the rarest shots you could imagine. So why would he try to shop the photo? Makes no sense. What I'd like to see is a shot by Anders of Ed shooting the Dome! Ta-da! If Anders is unavailable, I volunteer!

Another shot worth trying, but lots harder, would be of the silo from the top of Half Dome. I am not volunteering for that one, fo sho!
Jerry Dodrill

climber
Sebastopol
Nov 26, 2012 - 11:17pm PT
Ed, Would be fun to chase this down with you!

Jerry
splitter

Trad climber
Cali Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
Nov 26, 2012 - 11:27pm PT
Isn't that they way they caught Clinton? Some d00d hiked to the top of Mt. Whitney (might have been Longs Peak??) and he took a pic with a really powerful lens. He focused on the eastern horizon. I think it was an 800mm with a 2x teleconverter or something?

Anyway, he gets the pics back from the lab and ... low and behold, there was Bill Clinton ... passing a doobie to Mz Monica, on the Whitehouse's back porch!!

Of course, he claimed that he wasn't inhaling ... nor did he have sex, "With THAT women!"!

LOL!!

edit: Maybe you, (Jerry&Ed) cud check that one out also (from the Whitney/Longs, summits)!
johnboy

Trad climber
Can't get here from there
Nov 27, 2012 - 12:01am PT
Ain't no way. It's to big with respect to anything else at that distance.

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Nov 27, 2012 - 01:01am PT
You half it your way.

I'll half it mine.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Nov 27, 2012 - 01:03am PT
what have you been inhaling splitter?

johnnyboy it has to do with the angular extent of the objects you are viewing in the scene. With a very long lens the scene is foreshortened...

Mungeclimber

Trad climber
the crowd MUST BE MOCKED...Mocked I tell you.
Nov 27, 2012 - 01:49am PT
cool stuff Ed. TFPU
splitter

Trad climber
Cali Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
Nov 27, 2012 - 02:00am PT
what have you been inhaling splitter?
LOL!

Good come back, Ed!!

edit: nuttin', just my twisted sense of humor, i suppose! ;)

i wonder what length of lens it would take to get that shot from Turlock? I think 'elcap pics' uses a 600mm! throw a 2x converter on that and I doubt it would still bring Half Dome that close. Maybe with a telescope lens hooked to a camera body like they use to shoot stars, planets and constellations, etc, eh?

EDIT: for instance; i have taken pics from the wawona tunnel with a 300mm lens and they did'nt come even near to looking as close/large as the OP pic!

SO, in regards to my comment in regards to Mt. Whitney/Longs Peak and Clinton, I was being facetious! becuz it looks photo-shopped to me!
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Nov 27, 2012 - 02:38am PT
i wonder what length of lens it would take to get that shot from Turlock?

This question is answered on the first page of this thread.
In Mungeclimber's post - you might have to scroll to the right a bit to see the lens size.

Also, regarding your 300mm - does your camera have a full frame sensor? It yields a "bigger" picture. Expensive, but many people have them.
splitter

Trad climber
Cali Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
Nov 27, 2012 - 02:48am PT
I noticed the 400mm reference, but don't believe that would be nearly powerful enough! Like i have said, I have shots from the Wawona Tunnel with a 200mm and a 300mm lens and they are both tele's and fixed (focal length) at that mm (not zoom/were it could have been only partially zoomed in) and in neither shot does HD look that large!

edit: the shots i have were from an slr/nikon f3, from the mid/late 80's! I do have a digital camera today, but not sure how that would compare to my old film cameras vs the full frame sensors. the longest lens i currently use is a canon 70-200 f4 zoom!

plus, digital is much sharper than the old chrome slides (so i cud be wrong)!
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Nov 27, 2012 - 02:50am PT
You are right - Mungeclimber's quote was incomplete.
Check out the description on the original link:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/trimmoos/3294080995/
67.25 miles from Half Dome and in this image, shot at 400mm, the grain elevator is about 1.5 miles away. I took many other images with my Sigma 135-400mm and Tamron 500mm mirror lens. On an Olympus DSLR that equates to a 270-800mm and 1000mm field of view compared to a 35mm SLR. This was the one that had the best focus of all the ones I looked at.

It looks like he's using an Olympus E-3, 3648 × 2736 .
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Nov 27, 2012 - 03:34am PT
here's a more careful analysis... I have included the effects of refraction though these may not entirely correct due to the local atmospheric conditions over the mountains...



it would have been nice to have had a clearer day to pick out the peaks on the crest...

Tork

climber
Yosemite
Nov 27, 2012 - 09:32am PT
Ed, would you please go out there with Jerry? I would like to see this photo copied by names I trust.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Nov 27, 2012 - 10:16am PT
like I said, I'd love to go out there with Jerry, and anyone else who's interested...

but it is a lot less interesting than watching climbers climb, believe me... for a Moon rise the whole scene is usually over in not more than a half hour, after hours and hours of preparation for the shoot... and you've got to have the weather cooperate all the way to the horizon...

this is not so bad when you're standing in Yosemite Valley, since you've had a whole day to shoot other interesting things (well, not the whole day, but usually the best parts just after sunrise and just before sunset... and maybe something in between). but when you're standing out in a fruit or nut grove somewhere in the vicinity of Turlock it definitely strains the imagination to find something interesting to do... the air museum at Castle Airport looks quite promising...

the next opportunity for a Moon Rise shot is 12/25-27/2012 (Tu, W, Th) with the last date having the Moon Rise just at Sunset which holds out the possibility of having alpinglow on the crest...

the bearings are around 65º which, for Half Dome, puts the shoot location very far south, roughly 5 miles north on Santa Fe Ave. from its intersection with 59 (ten miles south of the shot above)...

To shoot Half Dome from the central valley is somewhat less problematic... but challenging none-the-less

Here's what last Saturday looked like from Ahwanhee Meadows

http://halfdome.net/ahwahnee_meadow/2012/ahw_2012_11_24.mp4

there was about a 40 minute window to shoot, with the clouds ending it... close call... Sunday was worse (I thought it might be given the meteorological conditions over the crest I spied on my way to Escalon)... the sky was fine until about 3:30pm then the clouds came in obscuring the Moon.

Since I had gotten the shot from Ahwanhee Meadows a few times in the past, and still haven't completed my images, I thought to do something different this last weekend. Now it looks like that will be the new obsession.

The Alpine

climber
Nov 27, 2012 - 10:46am PT
I can't believe there are so many people who think this shot is not real.


Back to the politics threads with you!
johnboy

Trad climber
Can't get here from there
Nov 27, 2012 - 10:59am PT
johnnyboy it has to do with the angular extent of the objects you are viewing in the scene. With a very long lens the scene is foreshortened...

It looks to me that anything else at the same distance as Half Dome in the pic aren't near the same size proportionally.

It's huge relative to other objects equally distant.

Banquo

climber
Amerricka
Nov 27, 2012 - 11:14am PT
I don't know if this website has been linked here. It is better than "hey what's that" at generating panoramas but it doesn't do the visibility cloak thing.
http://www.peakfinder.org/

Ed-

I have a theodolite and tripod in the garage. It's old and not the most precise but it would work for identifying or locating peaks. Reads horizontal and vertical angles to the nearest minute and you can estimate to 6 seconds. The scope is 30x with a 1.5 degree field of view. I have California Topo! loaded on a laptop with a USB GPS so it is easy to calculate bearings from anyplace. One could relieve the boredom by setting up the theodolite, establishing a baseline and identifying peaks while waiting for the moonrise. Let me know if you think the theodolite would be useful or even just amusing.

Dan

Credit: Banquo
The Alpine

climber
Nov 27, 2012 - 11:41am PT
Johnboy - exactly which objects do you think are equidistant?

Foreshortening....
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perspective_distortion_%28photography%29
ydpl8s

Trad climber
Santa Monica, California
Nov 27, 2012 - 12:56pm PT
I was on top of La Plata Peak in Co. with Gary and Craig Koontz. Craig had carried a 3000 mm lens up there (lot of extra weight for doing the Ellingwood Ridge). He took a picture of Uncompahgre Peak (in the San Juans) from the top of La Plata (in the Collegiates) that filled about a 1/3 of the lens (I'm guessing between 80 to 100 miles as the crow flies). Between the wind and the "heat waves" obscuring the image, he had to take about 30 pictures to get a good one.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 27, 2012 - 01:05pm PT
Who makes a 3000mm lens?
ydpl8s

Trad climber
Santa Monica, California
Nov 27, 2012 - 01:12pm PT
Canon, for one.

Canon
Canon
Credit: ydpl8s
Jerry Dodrill

climber
Sebastopol
Nov 27, 2012 - 01:13pm PT
The thing is, aside from having a sacred rock in it, its not really that interesting of an image.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 27, 2012 - 01:18pm PT
Isn't that a 300? :-)
Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
Nov 27, 2012 - 01:38pm PT
Photo of the Sierra from Lick Observatory on Mt Hamilton (click fo...
Photo of the Sierra from Lick Observatory on Mt Hamilton (click for a larger version)
Credit: J. Fred Chappell

Some folks referred to this image. It is a mosaic of images taken on December 16, 1931 from Lick Observatory by Fred Chappell. This was a day after a storm had rolled through washing out the dust and haze looking across the central valley. The photographs were also taken on plates that were treated with "kryptocyanin" and filtered to only allow what they called infrared radiation then, but is probably around 900nm wavelength. This helped further to cut through the haze and to minimize atmospheric distortion.

The images were taken with a special camera with a 6-cm diameter lens with 1.5m focal length. This is one of the cameras that were built for photographing the area around the sun during a total solar eclipse to measure the deflection of starlight by the mass of the sun and test Einstein's theory of General Relativity.

There is a print up at Lick Observatory that is around 2.5m long and is really fun to stare at. There are at least three peaks misidentified in that big print. I think the IDs in the above jpg are correct.

Ed, Clint - smart and fun stuff you guys have put up on this thread!

EDIT: the canon lense up there is the 300mm f/4

EDIT 2: if anyone wants a larger version this photo, send me an e-mail via ST and I'll send you a 10k x 3k version

ydpl8s

Trad climber
Santa Monica, California
Nov 27, 2012 - 01:52pm PT
Reilly, I must admit I'm kind of a neophyte and might be getting focal length and focal distance mixed up. All I know is that lens he had was huge and added considerable weight to his pack, he called it a 3000, he mounted the lens on the tripod and then screwed the camera on to it.
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Nov 27, 2012 - 02:33pm PT
I have a novice question about forshortening caused by telephoto lenses. Is the effect linear, or is it applied over a curve of some sort? Does f-stop alter the effect or just change the depth of field?

I am no expert, and out of respect to the photographer am not going to say anything about the reality of the image. What I am curious about and hope one of the experts can explain is why the forshortening in the picture appears to be greater in the distance between the siloh and the dome than between the dome and the distant peaks. Also the lighting of the dome and mountains looks so much different than the foreground lighting where the direction of the sun is very apparent. The background lighting looks ambient almost like a different time of day.

It is a very striking image, but I cannot get comfortable looking at it.
Jerry Dodrill

climber
Sebastopol
Nov 27, 2012 - 03:12pm PT
Ed, My quick analysis concludes that the best bet for a moonrise is January 26 from somewhere near the Turlock Municipal Airport.
Chewybacca

Trad climber
Montana, Whitefish
Nov 27, 2012 - 04:40pm PT
I've never heard of a 3,000 mm lens but here is a 5,200 m f/14 Canon lens. At 220 lbs I doubt I would want to hump it up any peaks. http://www.popphoto.com/gallery/9-unbelievable-camera-lenses-actually-exist?image=4

9 Unbelievable Camera Lenses That Actually Exist
These rare lenses come with unbelievable specs and spectacular price tags.

By Theano Nikitas on July 8, 2010

< Prev
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Canon 5200mm F/14 Mirror Lens
Using a group of mirrors and a housing that's almost big enough to use as a coffin, Canon was able to stretch the focal-length on this SLR-specific lens to 5,150mm. Just how long does that make it? The original Canon info sheet claims its best used for photographing obects 18 to 32 miles away. In fact, in order for it tobe able to focus at all, your subject will have to be at least 120 meters (~394 feet) away.

Even with the mirrors to help keep things compact (at least compared to the previously mentioned 1,700mm Zeiss), the total package still weighs 220-pounds without the solid metal stand on which it's intended to sit. The rest of the measurements are just as impressive, including its 20-inch height, 24-inch width and its massive 75.6-inch length. There's currently a youtube video of it in action from a few months ago when one went up on ebay and sold for almost $50,000.

NEXT: Carl Zeiss' 50mm Planar f/0.70

;


The 1700m f/4 lens on that site is also massive at 564 lbs.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 27, 2012 - 04:48pm PT
Chewy, is that a full-frame or DX lens? ;-)
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 27, 2012 - 05:12pm PT
You can read up on DOF and hyperfocal distance here:

Hyperfocal Distance

There are four pages to this tutorial and on the fourth page you can get a
link to an iPhone app!
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 27, 2012 - 05:47pm PT
The photog used a 400mm. He was 1,5 mile from the silo.
A 400mm at f/11 would have a near focus limit of 1353',
........................................ far focus limit of Infinity
and ................... a hyperfocus distance of 1856'

If he shot at f/8 the near focus would be 1331'
and the hyperfocus distance would be ...2625'
with the far focus still at INFINITY!


It's still bogus. ;-)
climbski2

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Nov 27, 2012 - 05:48pm PT
When the foreground is over a half mile away it's not that hard. The exact location is available on google and the photo is attached on google earth.
Banquo

climber
Amerricka
Nov 27, 2012 - 06:07pm PT
Here is the peakfinder view from the silo.

Credit: Banquo
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Nov 28, 2012 - 12:12am PT
peakfinder is cool, though I still don't have all of the peaks id'd, the one I had as Dana is Mt. Hoffman...

Lots of things are going on in the image that make it difficult to reconcile with "your gut"

interestingly, one of those things is that the Earth is a sphere, and it dips down out past your horizon... that skews a lot of perspectives and makes things difficult to place...

with a 500mm lens the entire view across a 35mm piece of film is 35/500 = 0.07 rad = 4.01º

at 4000 dpi on the film gives you 5512 pixels across that 35mm, Half Dome from the image position above is something like 0.16º or 220 pixels...

given that a standard STForum image is 800 pixels across, a crop with Half Dome centered on the image would have the middle quarter of the image filled up with Half Dome... and ±2º around that to view the Sierra Nevada, since the crest is only about 1.5º high you get everything in that scene, to the crest, and all the peaks on a 10 mile section subtended by the image plane.

I count 13 peaks in that area, 5 of them at about 12,000' elevation.

Getting the Moon in that picture, at 0.5º across would be like 670 pixels, basically the entire crop for STForum image...
john hansen

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 28, 2012 - 01:05am PT
This is a cool thread, I have no doubt the photos are real. I drove around looking for the silo a few times but the central vally is not real good for photo;s, unless they are after a storm.



Jerry and Ed.,,..


The dream team, the moon and the sun...





Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Nov 28, 2012 - 01:18am PT
from my calculations, on 12/26/2012 the bearing of the Moon when it is at the same apparent altitude as Half Dome will be 64.76º at essentially 4:00pm

Taking that bearing from Half Dome into the Central Valley gives the black line:


looks like there is a spot on McSwain Rd. which would allow some visibility...

Doesn't look great though for this Moonrise, it would be preferable to have something further North.

When the visibility here is greater than 70 miles then we've got it made!
http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=37.367779&lon=-120.558334&site=all&smap=1&searchresult=Castle%20AIRPORT-MER%20%28MER%29%2C%20Atwater%2C%20CA%2095301%2C%20USA
Banquo

climber
Amerricka
Nov 30, 2012 - 03:34pm PT
I decided to analyze the photo referred to in the original post to see if it had been photoshopped.

The EXIF data from the original image records that the camera was an Olympus E-3 and that the focal length was 400mm (the photographer also states it was a 400mm lens). The EXIF also says that the image was processed using Silkypix software which is RAW image processing software. Being captured in RAW rather than JPEG format and processed in the RAW state may explain why it doesn’t look like the typical JPEG. All digital cameras have built in software that converts the image from RAW to JPEG format. The software built into cameras usually isn’t all that great. The image also has an embedded color profile.

Olympus E-3 has:
18.00 × 13.50 mm (0.7087 x 0.5315 inch) sensor
3648 × 2736 pixels (10.1 megapixels)
Aspect 4:3

The width of the field of view is 2arctan(9mm/400mm) or 2.57 degrees. The height of the field of view is 1.93 degrees. If the image hasn’t been cropped and ignoring small angle errors, in the original 1600x1200 pixel image, 1 degree is about 620 pixels. I believe the error in estimating angles this way is about 0.1% and much smaller than my other errors. I drew lines on the image at 1/10th degree intervals from which I find the left eave of the grain elevator is about 0.94 degrees left of image center and the peak of the shed roof is about 0.62 degrees right of image center.

Image with 1/10th degree grid. Grid scale may be off by 12 or 13%
Image with 1/10th degree grid. Grid scale may be off by 12 or 13%
Credit: Banquo

TOPO! Tells me that the top of Half Dome is 65.95 miles from the elevator on a bearing of 77.59 degrees (clockwise from north). In the reverse direction, the bearing from Half Dome to the elevator is 77.59+180=257.59 degrees.

Bearing and distance from Montpelier to Half Dome
Bearing and distance from Montpelier to Half Dome
Credit: Banquo

I copied some images from Google satellite and made a composite so I could lay things out. I drew a line from the left eave of the elevator roof on a bearing of 77.59-0.94 degrees and one from the peak of the shed roof at a bearing of 77.59+0.62 degrees. I extended these lines until they intersected. From the intersection I added a third line at a bearing of 77.59 degrees to represent image center and the summit of Half Dome.

Red lines are the bearings to the elevator, the shed roof and Half Dom...
Red lines are the bearings to the elevator, the shed roof and Half Dome. The lines converge in the canal.
Credit: Banquo

The lines intersect on the canal which is short of Hall Road where the photographer says he took the photo. If I extend the line it intersects Hall Road 0.65 miles south of E. Keyes Road. The photographer says he took the photo on Hall Road 0.65 miles south of E. Keyes Road. The fact that my projection came up a little short of Hall Road tells me that he cropped the image a bit, probably to put Half Dome in the image center or otherwise make it look better. Most likely it was cropped to level the image if the camera wasn't level.

Credit: Banquo

The intersection of my lines is 1.36 miles from the elevator while Hall Road is 1.57 miles which suggests he cropped the photo about 13.3%. The camera sensor is 3648 pixels wide so if he reduced by half he should get 1824 pixel width. The image is 1600 wide which is a reduction of 12.3% from 1824 pixels.

So, it seems clear to me that the image was taken from the exact spot he says it was taken from with the camera and lens he reports. I believe it has been cropped 12 or 13%. The image has also been processed for sharpness which has left some odd defects when inspected at full resolution. It doesn’t look like what the eye or a telescope sees because cameras don’t see the same way the human eye does and it has been enhanced a bit.

Also, the 2000 foot high NW face of Half Dome should be about arctan(2000/65.95*5280)=0.33 degrees high in the image which it appears to be although you can’t see the bottom of the face. Also, the grid scale is probably off due to the cropping.

Edit addition:
The dirt berm in the foreground is probably the canal. The dirt ramp to the right can be seen in the satellite image.
matty

Trad climber
under the sea
Nov 30, 2012 - 03:59pm PT
^^^nice work!


but they still wont believe you...


HATERS GUNNA HATE!!!
nutjob

Gym climber
Berkeley, CA
Nov 30, 2012 - 04:02pm PT
I think one of the most interesting things about this side view is getting a more accurate perspective of the relative heights of features within Yosemite (e.g. El Cap, Halfdome, and the mountains behind). When you're up in it, you just can't see that as clearly.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Nov 30, 2012 - 07:23pm PT
good work!
another interesting thing is that all of those locally vertical faces we seen in the Valley are leaning back about 1º (or more) from the vantage point of the Central Valley, which can distort the scene.

I don't doubt that shot at all, and am planning on getting it myself at some point in the not to distant future!

Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Dec 19, 2012 - 11:48pm PT
right now the weather seems iffy for the Wed, Dec 26 Moonrise

Weather Underground forecast is for 100% overcast those three days,

NWS is not so dire... but 20% chance of precip. on Wed...

and the UWa 3 day model forecast looks complicated... but it's more than 3 days away...

Jerry Dodrill

climber
Sebastopol
Dec 20, 2012 - 01:00am PT
Lets keep an eye on it.
Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
Dec 20, 2012 - 02:57am PT
Funny that this got bumped. Was at Lick Observatory today. It was very clear. First time I have ever seen Half Dome from there. Took a shot:

Half Dome from Lick Observatory on Mt Hamilton. 300mm lens, image crop...
Half Dome from Lick Observatory on Mt Hamilton. 300mm lens, image cropped to around 600mm equivalent. Click for a larger version.
Credit: Mike Bolte
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Dec 20, 2012 - 03:47am PT
nice Mike!
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Dec 20, 2012 - 04:05am PT
The Lick shot's so good, it's about the type of clarity needed to produce valley shot, but even moreso for the definitive shot, I bet.

Night before last I mentioned in a thread that yesterday was looking like it was gonna be such a day. It was cloudy up top above the Sierra day before yesterday, the wind was strong and cold out of the west, and the clouds were headed east quickly. Yesterday morning was a disappointment, really, though the view of the mtns was great, it wasn't crystal from cown here.
QITNL

climber
Dec 20, 2012 - 12:22pm PT
Nice shot, Mike!

You can get a litle more detail out of that with a little photoshop. It compares nicely to the photo you posted upthread;

http://www.supertopo.com/inc/photo_zoom.php?dpid=Ojw5PDolIyYgLQ,,

I think I dropped you a line earlier, I'd love to take a look at high-res versions of each.
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Dec 20, 2012 - 02:48pm PT
Very nice, Mike.

The view of the mountains has been excellent here the last couple of days. I can see crack systems on Patterson Bluff on the way home, with Mt. Goddard's new coat of snow in the background. Now if I only had remembered my camera (or even my phone).

John
steveA

Trad climber
bedford,massachusetts
Dec 20, 2012 - 04:38pm PT
I love this thread and subject. Thanks guys.

Mother Earth is pretty amazing!
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Dec 21, 2012 - 02:16am PT
So this thing is 100 percent?
I think so... it'll be fun to getting the shots, look at Mike's image... from Mt. Hamilton, it's amazing.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Dec 22, 2012 - 01:48am PT
Wed Dec 26 is still looking cloudy and possibly wet...
though the weather is certainly unsettled

Thur Dec 27 might have a weather window: clearing skies through the day and clear by 6pm (sunset at 4:50pm, which is when the moon rises... that would be spectacular timing with a snowy alpinglow on the Sierra crest..

Humidity seems a bit high...

Jebus H Bomz

climber
Reno, Nuh VAAAA duh
Dec 22, 2012 - 01:52am PT
I think it's sick to see Yose (the landscape of my dreams) juxtaposed against the central valley (the landscape of my childhood).
johnboy

Trad climber
Can't get here from there
Dec 22, 2012 - 08:17am PT
Well I thought it had been chopped, but I'll admit my first take was wrong.

It's damn amazing though.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Dec 22, 2012 - 02:28pm PT
here is the Moon rise ephemeris

the apparent altitude is calculated taking into account atmospheric refraction using Saemundson's expression:

R = 1.02/tan((pi/180)*(h+10.3/(h+5.11))/60 (in degrees)

and h is the true altitude (in degrees) the apparent altitude is:

h0 = h + R

[see Meeus p106 eq(16.4)]

that location is "good enough" for altitude... and time.

The Sierra Crest is at an altitude of about 1.2º to 1.5º (estimated from my previous attempt)

The bearings are shown on the map:



the red lines point to Half Dome, the central one at 65º and the upper and lower ones being 0.25º on either side, the angular diameter of the moon is 0.5º

the jagged white line is the Half Dome sight boundary, it is visible to the west of that line...

Given the existence of orchards of some sort along the Central Yosemite Hwy. (Hwy 140) it looks like good viewing would be in the field south of the Hwy, and west of Lincoln Rd, though no public roads access the west side of that apparently open field... another option is to go north on Sultana Dr. just a bit south of the aquaduct where there seem to be open fields...

The weather is still wavering for these days... Th is still "partially cloudy" and is worse than the previous Weather Underground report... The NWS calls it "partially sunny" with a chance of rain.


Sunset is around 16:50 for these days.
Stay tuned
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Dec 22, 2012 - 02:35pm PT
From a sunnier day in Fed, 09... those vineyards and orchards are pretty. They won't be in bloom yet of course











Good food can be found nearby too.


Good luck! Seems like if the rain don't getchya the fog will. Gotta hope for a wind.
DMT
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Dec 22, 2012 - 02:52pm PT
Kinda makes it tough to navigate this thread when we get extra-large photos posted. Just saying...
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Dec 22, 2012 - 02:58pm PT
suck it up mouse... tough to read microscopic print at 800x600 pixels...

DMT has his Half Dome shot...
aguacaliente

climber
Dec 22, 2012 - 03:54pm PT
Great picture from Mt. Hamilton, Mike. If you get another chance/clear day, and have a red filter (perhaps left over from B+W photography), try also taking long distance photos with the red filter and converting to black and white. Less effect of haze due to scattering and absorption.

I have used a very red filter with a DSLR - you need a tripod because the DSLR is not very sensitive in the red due to an internal IR-blocking filter - to take photos that are almost near-IR. The reduction in haze means the landscape can have an appearance of immense depth. It is an effect that shouldn't be overused, but great for these long distance pictures.
Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
Dec 22, 2012 - 03:56pm PT
Yup - I was up at Mt Hamilton for other business and was luck to have a long lens with me. If I have known what the view was going to be like I would have come better prepared with filters to push the response red and would have tried a few other tricks to increase contrast just in case.
Banquo

climber
Amerricka
Dec 22, 2012 - 05:55pm PT
Open up your camera and take out the IR filter. I've done this and it is pretty easy with some cameras - practically impossible with others. There are commercial services that do this too. Just google "ir camera conversion."

A red filter on an IR camera would make some cool images.

I converted an old, cheap, point and shoot, digital camera to infrared...
I converted an old, cheap, point and shoot, digital camera to infrared.
Credit: Banquo

Ed-
Finding an unobstructed view could be an issue. Have you thought about moving across the valley to the hills above I-5? I think Butts Road out of Gustine might work.

http://goo.gl/maps/JxhCl

The sight distance is about farther (93 miles) which will make a clear picture harder to get.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Dec 23, 2012 - 08:07pm PT
Wednesday still has cloud cover and chance of rain...

Thur evening is clearing after that front passes... looking better


Stay tuned... UWa weather model has some good looking isobars happening sometime on Wed... so it is still in the running..
Bruce Morris

Social climber
Belmont, California
Dec 23, 2012 - 08:33pm PT
I think a lot of the critics of the size of Half Dome in this shot ignore that basic fact that the intervening atmosphere acts as a powerful lens enlarging images seen at the horizon. Hence, when you photograph a moon rise, say from Skyline Boulevard, looking east toward Mt Hamilton, the lunar disk, when it first emerges over the horizon, is much larger for a few moments before it ascends higher in the night sky. Sometimes the lunar disk on the horizon even appears at first in discontinuous wider and narrower bands. It seems like this phenomenon is stronger when the intervening atmosphere is more polluted too. Is this due to defraction of the light rays caused by the higher particle count in the atmosphere? Don't know about that, but am sure this shot is the real deal.
aguacaliente

climber
Dec 24, 2012 - 01:56am PT
Bruce, Half Dome looks large because the photographer used a very long telephoto lens and was far away from the barn. Another way of thinking about it is that standing back from the barn made the barn look "small," but standing back a half mile or whatever doesn't change the apparent size of Half Dome much, since it is already many miles away.

Atmospheric refraction is real, but it just bends light, which causes some over-the-horizon and vertical squishing effects (looks like horizontal stretching, a little). It does not magnify objects. The reason that the moon appears larger when near the horizon is an optical illusion, whose origin is not that well understood: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon_illusion
luggi

Trad climber
from the backseat of Jake& Elwood Blues car
Dec 24, 2012 - 11:06am PT
John I don't know if anyone has posted did read all of them...You can catch Keyes road off highway 99 just past Ceres and just before Turlock. It is posted. You will have to travel east for a while as you make your way out of the urban areas. Years ago I used to be able to catch a glimpse of what I though was Half dome out of my back door right after a good storm. I am about 60 miles away as the crow flies.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Dec 24, 2012 - 01:48pm PT
the combined effects of atmospheric refraction and the curvature of the Earth highlight the fact
that what we perceive may lead us to conclusions that are very different then what the
"actual" scene presents.

the angular diameters of the Moon and the Sun are roughly 0.5º, which is close to the angular
diameter of your thumb held at arms length. The appearance of a "huge moon" on the horizon
can be blotted out by your thumb... (as with the sun at sunset) demonstrating that the actual
angular diameter is not changed significantly.

Atmospheric refraction will change the position of the moon with respect to the horizon, and the
horizon that you view is not the position of the local level of the ground. For instance, if you had
a laser level at the position I was at in the central valley for the shot above, it's "dot" would be
roughly 2000' above sea level in Yosemite (though still below the local surface level). However,
our perception of the Valley, part of which is the perspective we keep in our minds from
familiarity of he place, would seem to suggest that the images produced from the valley were very
different from what we would expect.

In general we do not experience the spherical Earth phenomena, and our perception does not
incorporate it in a scene which it plays an important role... so while most people on this thread
"accept" the theoretical notion that the Earth is a sphere, they would argue passionately that the
view of Half Dome doesn't correspond to their perception of that scene, and therefore the image
is false.

Shades of the inquisition of Galileo...

In some odd way, our perceptual adaptations still dominate our thinking, even though we have
knowledge contrary to those perceptions.
Banquo

climber
Amerricka
Dec 24, 2012 - 01:56pm PT
On Thursday it should be light until 5:21 and the moon rises at 3:48. Looks like a good day if the sky is clear and no fog.


U.S. Naval Observatory
Astronomical Applications Department

Sun and Moon Data for One Day

The following information is provided for Merced, Merced County, California (longitude W120.5, latitude N37.3):

Thursday
27 December 2012 Pacific Standard Time

SUN
Begin civil twilight 6:46 a.m.
Sunrise 7:15 a.m.
Sun transit 12:03 p.m.
Sunset 4:52 p.m.
End civil twilight 5:21 p.m.

MOON
Moonrise 3:48 p.m. on preceding day
Moonset 6:31 a.m.
Moonrise 4:39 p.m.
Moon transit 11:58 p.m.
Moonset 7:15 a.m. on following day



Phase of the Moon on 27 December: waxing gibbous with 100% of the Moon's visible disk illuminated.

Full Moon on 28 December 2012 at 2:21 a.m. Pacific Standard Time.







MERCED, CALIFORNIA
o , o ,
W120 29, N37 18

Altitude and Azimuth of the Moon
Dec 27, 2012
Pacific Standard Time

Time, Altitude, Azimuth


15:45, -9.8, 55.8
16:00, -7.3, 58.3
16:15, -4.9, 60.6
16:30, -2.3, 62.9
16:45, 0.7, 65.1
17:00, 3.1, 67.2
17:15, 5.7, 69.3
17:30, 8.4, 71.4
17:45, 11.1, 73.5
18:00, 13.9, 75.5
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Dec 24, 2012 - 02:56pm PT
check your times... easy to have different definitions depending on how many hours from Greenwich (right now -8)

your table is similar to mine posted above, moon rise is at 4:50pm or so
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Dec 24, 2012 - 06:23pm PT
seems like Thursday will be clear from noon on...
Wed is chance of showers and cloudy all day long...

BillO

Trad climber
Yachats, OR
Dec 24, 2012 - 08:07pm PT
Gonna have to see if I can find that valley shot on one of my drives up the 99.
Half Dome from about 30,000 feet on my way to Oregon.
Half Dome from about 30,000 feet on my way to Oregon.
Credit: BillO
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Dec 25, 2012 - 05:27pm PT
wed looks dreary, sorta like today...
thu looks less definite, with some cloud cover forecast... but the weather model shows hopeful signs as well as the forecasts
Banquo

climber
Amerricka
Dec 27, 2012 - 11:51am PT
Current satellite, 1 km VIS:
http://sat.wrh.noaa.gov/satellite/1km/

The United States Naval Observatory (USNO)sun and moon altitude azimuth calculator:
http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/AltAz.php

It just might be clear enough in the valley this afternoon.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Dec 27, 2012 - 12:35pm PT
I'll be there this afternoon/evening to shoot whatever happens...
john hansen

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 27, 2012 - 01:27pm PT
Hope you get the shot Ed,, good lick
eKat

Trad climber
Less than a second shy of 49 minutes
Dec 27, 2012 - 01:28pm PT
This is a really neat project. . . good luck EdHartMan!

ox
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Dec 28, 2012 - 03:44am PT
thought that the atmosphere would be the problem tonight, it was the low clouds hanging on the Sierra, and obscuring the Sun set...

...got to see the Moon rise over the crest, though, but no Half Dome view...

I'm still analyzing the images to get an idea of my calculations for the next time, here are the 71 images I shot at 30 second increments. It's still a great thing to see the Moon rise on the horizon when and where you expect it too... set the camera up, and let it shot automatically.



shot with my Fujifilm S5-Pro and Nikon 180mm lens
ISO 100, 1/125 s exposures
varying apertures f11, 8, 5.6, and 4 corrected with Photoshop
timed with Nikon MC-36 15s increments alternating between "mirror up" and "expose"
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Dec 28, 2012 - 08:00am PT
Back in 1975, sitting in Don Reid's van in C4, he showed me a photo of Half Dome (and a bit of the Valley), taken from the top of Mt Diablo. Now the crap sandstone on Mt Diablo is where I cut my teeth climbing, and I was up there a lot from 1970-74.

I wasn't sure if the photo was real. Several years later, back up on my old stomping grounds and I went to the summit with a friend's telescope. Sure enough, there it was. It was a very clear day with no haze, fog or smog. And the top of El Cap was also visible.

They say you can also see Mt Shasta from the top of Diablo. I never have.
eKat

Trad climber
Less than a second shy of 49 minutes
Dec 28, 2012 - 09:35am PT
HEY. . . nice video and great choice in music.

:-)

MOON!

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Dec 28, 2012 - 09:38am PT
"Hey, way out there," Patrick! (the best I could do for a view of what you wished to see)

Search "Mount Diablo Vistas" on "Google" "OK"?

"Mouse"
I posted the copied link, but it's failing.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Dec 28, 2012 - 11:11am PT
Credit: mouse from merced
This morning, just After Seven, from Mouse's.

No wind last night, freezing at rooftop level.
8:00 a.m., ice water on the next-door roof.  Don't need a weather repo...
8:00 a.m., ice water on the next-door roof. Don't need a weather report at my place. Just look out the window.
Credit: mouse from merced

That moonrise was real nicely-edited and the music's mellow, Ed. Good on you.
Banquo

climber
Amerricka
Dec 28, 2012 - 01:03pm PT
I went to take a look but from a different spot than Ed. I opted for a shorter drive from my house. This was taken from the I5 overpass at Taglio Road near Gustine.

Based on the Naval Observatory http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/AltAz.php the predicted Gustine moon position was:

PST ------ Alt(deg) - bearing(deg)
16:46 ----- 0.5 ------ 64.9
16:47 ----- 0.7 ------ 65.1
16:48 ----- 0.8 ------ 65.2
16:49 ----- 1.0 ------ 65.3
16:50 ----- 1.1 ------ 65.5

From my location Half Dome should have been in a bearing of 66.3 degrees and 92.5 miles away. I've sketched in Half Dome roughly the correct size but I simply guessed how high to place it in the image. The clock in my camera was about 12 seconds slow if you check the EXIF data.

Credit: Banquo

Moonrise over Half Dome
Moonrise over Half Dome
Credit: Banquo
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Dec 28, 2012 - 01:27pm PT
From my personal experience its the snowy backdrop of the high Sierra behind, which renders Half Dome visible. Given the sun will have set and the moon is rising behind half dome, doesn't this lighting play against the goal?

You need a really big flash!

DMT
Banquo

climber
Amerricka
Dec 28, 2012 - 01:58pm PT
DMT -

Yeah, moon photography is a problem. The moon is in full sunlight and should be exposed accordingly. Dusk is getting pretty dark for the terrestrial part of the image. Summer would be good since the sun sets much later but the visibility is never good then.

The next full moon is on Jan 27 but it doesn't rise until 6:30 pm when it will be too dark to see half dome.

On January 24 the moon will be 95% and rises at 3:30. This might be good enough if it is clear.

Dan
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Dec 28, 2012 - 02:01pm PT
the trick will be to get the Moon rise with sun still on Half Dome
and with a very long lens... which stresses the accuracy of the calculation of the trajectory of the Moon as seen from some location in the central valley...

I'd hope to get 360mm or 500mm lens on the scene, perhaps even 1000mm if the light is excellent...

the angular field-of-view at 1000mm is about 1.4º on my sensor, the Moon is 0.5º so it takes up a very large area, but it's also moving fast, requiring a quick exposure time... the aperture can be set larger than the typical full Moon setting of f11 at 1/125 s because the atmospheric attenuation is large viewing it on the horizon... looks like f4 at 1/125 s was fine for my last effort... 3 stops down (1/8 th the light) but that doesn't give much room for the exposure unless the lens is very fast (my 500 mm reflex is f8, with a x2 teleconverter this goes to f11)... if the scene is too light, the Moon-sky contrast is not so great and the effect is diminished...


anyway... it's a fun project...
Banquo

climber
Amerricka
Dec 28, 2012 - 05:54pm PT
Ed-

If Jan. 24 is a clear day it should work.

Good, long focal length lenses are terrifically expensive. I see some nice ones in the 10 k$ range but I won't be buying one. I have a super cheap 500mm reflex lens but it is hard to get good photos with. My aging eyes have trouble with the manual focus and like all reflex lenses the contrast is poor. If one had a big mega pixel camera and a good lens in the 200mm range, a cropped image might do.

I did learn a few things yesterday that will be helpful if I try again. The position predicted by the Naval Observatory seems to match the photo I got. It seems like they must account for atmospheric effects. I would try to get an image when they predict the moon is about 0.7 degrees elevation. I think it would look best with the moon a bit left of HD so I should have been a bit farther south than I was.

My next target is about 3:27 pm on January 24. The moon will be on a bearing of 64.5 degrees. I think a position along a bearing of 65 degrees from HD would be just about right. By I5 where Butts Road crosses the California Aqueduct would work and There is some elevation there to look over the orchards. Also Lincoln Blvd about 0.5 mile south of 140 if there is a clear view from there.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Dec 28, 2012 - 06:25pm PT
right now my climbing schedule will have me in Cody WY on the 24th... so I'll miss that one... try for Feb.

I suspect that the differences between the "apparent" altitude and the "actual" would be more to do with timing than with position as the corrections are pretty small...

most of the lenses I've bought are used, that brings the price down a bit... and getting a teleconverter 1.4x and 2x helps though they can soften the focus a bit and reduce the light by a half stop to a full stop, with fast primes I haven't found this to be a limitation.

Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Dec 28, 2012 - 07:43pm PT
Isn't 1/125th a little slow for a 500 without VR? I suppose with the
mirror up on a good tripod it will do? How fast does the moon move?
I know you mentioned it before but I guess 1/125 is fast enough for that?
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Dec 29, 2012 - 04:00pm PT
ok, got a chance to reduce my data...

the first hint of the Moon was at 16:48

here rising over the Sierra crest

This was a bit later than I had expected in my calculations, but points out a problem with this shoot, I didn't setup good landmarks for determining azimuth or altitude... owing to the fact that I had gone with the expectation of seeing Half Dome which would have been the landmark.

In the future I'll have to make sure to have secondary "targets" to establish the directions from my station.

The data from the images with the moon are seen in this plot of apparent altitude versus azimuth:

which shows the expected trajectory as the red dashed line. This is consistent with a 0.29º shift in azimuth which is very possible since I established the azimuth off of the pine tree in the image above... about 3/4 miles away.

Another task for this shoot was to establish probable exposures. The image above was shot at f8, 1/125s and ISO 100, and was very dark (the image is corrected in Photoshop with Brightness=2.94 to make it equivalent to f4) . I could have shot at f4, two stops down. The bright Moon overhead is usually shot at f11. You expect that the light going through the atmosphere is attenuated more at the horizon since the length through the atmosphere is longer than when the Moon is at its zenith (over head). I averaged the brightness of the pixels on the moon images as a function of apparent altitude and was surprised to see this:


the red dots are the data, the 6 "low" points are taken with f8 (the lowest) f5.6 (the two intermediate) the rest at f4... a rough correction shows that the Moon gets brighter as it ascends, but that there is a point below which it doesn't change. The solid line is what you'd expect if the attenuation was due to the light's travel length in the atmosphere.

Thinking about this it is possible to contrive an explanation which has all of the light of a particular wavelength extinguished, while light of other wavelengths is passed, which could be due to aerosol size, for instance, so it is not unreasonable. Once the path length gets short enough, the light starts to get through and the overall brightness of the Moon increases.

The speed of the Moon here is 0.0037º/s, and for this camera with this lens that translates into a 2.1 pixel/s motion. Blur due to the Moon's transit will not be a factor at 1/125 s exposure times, basically 0.02 px... The distortions of the image are due to the convection changing the index of refraction along the light path.

The whole scene would have been nice in this image:

with Half Dome down and to the left of the Moon... but for the clouds...

The darkness of the foothills is due to low cloud cover all the way out to the coast... the hope would have been for clear skies and an alpinglow cast on the Sierra, and Half Dome.

The reason for all the calculations is that the shot doesn't last that long, so everything has to be setup for the shot ahead of time... and basically happening automatically during the time. Here is what the different lens Fields-of-View look like:

where the bright purple line is the presumed azimuth of Half Dome. Had the conditions been excellent I might have attempted the shot with my 500mm reflex and the x2 teleconverter, so 1000mm effective, but at f16 fixed I'd have had to decrease my exposure times to 1/8 s, the Moon would be traveling across the scene at 12 px/s, which would have lead to a 1.5 pixel blur, probably not horrible given the very soft focus of that lens combination.

With these calculations I would have gotten the shot having lined up on Half Dome. That's good to know, I would probably not have gotten a good exposure, but I'll work on setting up automatic bracketing in the camera.

I'd love to get that shot though... for me February will be the next possible time... maybe Banquo will have something for us in late January!

Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Feb 18, 2013 - 12:18am PT
it's that time again, and weather will be a consideration...
there are three days:

Fri 2/22, moon rise: 15:13, azimuth 71.15º
Sat 2/23, moon rise: 16:21, azimuth 75.55º
Sun 2/24, moon rise: 17:21, azimuth 80.77º

sunset is around 17:45

The weather forecast is for cloudy on Fri and Sat, and clear on Sun, then it get's cloudy again, so there is a small window which is a moving target...

On Sunday, the closest location in the Half Dome view space is on Montpellier Rd., 0.2 miles south of the intersection with Hall Rd. looks like open fields to the east in Google Earth.


Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Feb 18, 2013 - 12:23am PT
The stone fruit blossoms are opening too. Hope it works for you!

DMT
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Feb 23, 2013 - 12:09pm PT
ok, missed yesterday... couldn't work it into the schedule....

four potential sites for today, listed in order of distance:

site 1: on East Ave., 0.95 miles east of Santa Fe Ave
site 2: on Santa Fe Ave, 0.28 miles southeast of the intersection with East Ave.
site 3: on N. Vincent Rd., 0.48 miles south of East Ave.
site 4: on S. Story Rd, 0.69 miles south of East Ave.

main criteria will be visual sighting of Half Dome... hopefully it will be breezy enough to blow the haze away...

These are on the azimuthal bearing of the moon rise, the moon will be slightly south of Half Dome when it appears over the Sierra crest at roughly 16:15

I'll bring a lot of cameras and get other "opportunity shots" if the blossom is in

I plan on being on site an hour before the moon rise... but I don't know which of these 4 places I'll be...
climbski2

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Feb 23, 2013 - 12:17pm PT
The intersection of astronomy and surveying is making for a compelling photographic discipline! Hopefuly the meteorology will cooperate. Good luck!
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Feb 23, 2013 - 12:38pm PT
Too bad you don't have the new Nikon 800mm- it would be perfect! ;-)
Banquo

climber
Amerricka
Feb 23, 2013 - 02:23pm PT
Good luck. I'll be in SF having dinner with my kid.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Feb 24, 2013 - 12:36am PT
not a good day...


shot with the FujiFilm S5Pro
180 mm Nikon lens
2x Nikon teleconverter
f8 1/125s exposure at ISO 100


...clouds over the Sierra, none of the potential sites worked out with a view either... perhaps I'll try again tomorrow if the weather is better.
john hansen

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 24, 2013 - 12:42am PT
Hey Ed, thanks for trying,, the quest continue's.

Looking forward to when you get it.


The valley air looks pretty clear, and the Moon looks great,, you can see the clouds over the coast range and the mountains accross the vally, nice photo. someday soon, perhaps tomorrow.
Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
Feb 24, 2013 - 01:06am PT
Ed - this is a lot of fun to follow your thinking and efforts!
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Feb 24, 2013 - 11:16am PT
It certainly is, Ollie!

I keep looking for some signs like the wind last night, and the chill as a result, hoping for clarity. This a.m. the mountains just seemed so far away compared to other days. It's really clear, but the distance seems rather MORE distant than close, in comparison with other clear mornings...

What's up with that, Newton (rhetorical) ?

This morning.
Credit: mouse from merced
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Feb 24, 2013 - 11:36am PT
I'll start differently today... on the west side of the Central Valley southeast of Grayson (on Elm Ave near Loquat Ave) and move along the moon-rise-over-half-dome bearing of 80.77º with the intention of spotting Half Dome first...

8 potential sites are identified on the basis of the Google Earth (GE) indicator of possible locations with a view (e.g. no groves or buildings)... the altitude of the Sierra Crest is about 1º (0.0175 radians) which means that a 20' tall tree obscures the view if you're closer than 1146' (0.21 miles)...

This is more of a problem farther away from Half Dome than closer... but it provides a bigger range of possibilities of views.

another improvement for today: I finally looked up the magnetic declination in the area, -13.72º (magnetic north is east of true, e.g. GE, north) which means I can use my compass to get an idea of just where I'm looking rather than trying to do that off of sight cues, I don't know the Sierra Crest that well (yet) and even if I did, the cloud cover obscures many of the important points.

the farthest east potential view point is on Montpellier Rd south of Hickman (just south of the intersection of Hall Rd.)


as far as why it looks so far and seems to be clear?

don't know exactly but we perceive distance by a number of cues, one of which is the "atmosphere" which attenuates light as a function of the distance it travels... the ground fog this morning gives you 100% humidity near the ground, so the base of the mountains might look far, but the tops of the mountains don't travel through as much atmosphere, the humidity might be half or less... so the tops look close... your brain puts that all together and the result is a rhetorical question...

the humidity today isn't going to be very low, 54% around the time of sunset, and 18% cloud cover... so I'm not hoping for too much...

for photography you want to have clouds, but in the right place... given the constraints of this shoot, it's a timing issue... and so far the timing hasn't happened...

...but it's still fun.
The Alpine

climber
Feb 24, 2013 - 02:15pm PT
Nice efforts Ed!

Here's a little inspiration:
Srbphoto

climber
Kennewick wa
Feb 24, 2013 - 03:35pm PT
Am I the only one who doesn't understand half of what Ed writes? :)
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Feb 25, 2013 - 03:38am PT
well, close, and artistic, but not quite a success…

The schedule for today:

Sunday
2/24/13
-2.38 78.87 17:00
0.00 80.77 17:13 moon rise
0.43 81.11 17:15
1.00 81.56 17:18 moon at Sierra Crest
3.26 83.34 17:30
6.11 85.56 17:45 sunset

80.77º true
67.05º magnetic

after a morning gym sesh with Dr. Sharpe I launched from home with a thorough plan, 8 possible view points. The drive over and back from Sunnyvale was revealing high clouds, lots of moisture, and still winds aloft which seemed considerable.

I was on the road by 1:10pm and after a fuel up the first real indication of conditions was summiting Altamont Pass on I-580, and I saw the snow clad Sierra. That was a relief since actually seeing it gave me a chance.

Starting this quest from East to West the first stop was near Westley. But I blew the approach by not having my instructions and ended up way South. Still, I had plenty of time, I arrived at "Site 8" at 3:06pm, which was supposed to be 0.1 mile SE on Elm Ave from Loquat Ave… 37.52988ºN, 121.12800ºW which was about 123' short of my intended line… not bad.

Sighting Half Dome was the main task, and though it was hazy, and this location was 88.71 miles from the summit, I still was able to locate it and get two images, one with the 180mm x2 and one with the 500mm x2:


Half Dome is just up an left of the tower at image center.


It is HUGE compared to the background… didn't expect that, at least with a 1500mm lens (equivalent on the DX format sensor).

The next stop "Site 7" was on Vivian Ave 0.73 miles south of W. Keyes Rd. at 3:34pm, my location was 37.54195ºN, 121.04860ºW, which was 390' north of where I intended… once again, Half Dome was located and shot:

look just above the "barn" slight left of center in the image…


here with the longer lens. This site was 84.32 miles away.

Site 6 was at 37.54760ºN, 120.99370ºW, 385' south of the line, the view was obstructed by hedges on the road and at the other side of that particular lot of land. When I look at Google Earth (GE) again I can see the hedges, the shadow angle didn't reveal their height.

I missed Site 5, didn't write the distance down, Site 4 view was obstructed by trees, as was Site 3. These trees were distant on the GE look, but the tree height was sufficient to block the Sierra crest view. I hit the Site 3 location at 37.56570ºN, -120.87272ºW just 27 feet East of intended. My anxiety was rising, however, since I hadn't spotted Half Dome since Site 7, there was little more than an hour to Moon Rise and the thought of going all the way back to Site 8, the best view of the two seemed a bit improbable.

I landed at Site 2 at 4:15pm and found it to be a terrific site, though I was having trouble spotting Half Dome. With time running short a quick hope over to Site 1 revealed it to be obstructed by a hill and trees, so quickly back to Site 2 at 4:26pm, 37.58155ºN, 120.75567ºW, 212 feet South of the intended position.

With the view, and the low light, I didn't see Half Dome. I should have looked at the set of images that I had taken, but decided, instead on going with a slightly wider angular field of view afforded by the 180mm x2 combination 3.66º and hope to find Half Dome in the image.

This was the scene:

and you'll notice right away that Half Dome isn't there, it's off frame to the left. This should have been a disaster, but it wasn't, somehow I messed up my calculation of the azimuth of the Moon Rise, or the bearing from the view point.

My times where correct, however, though in disagreement with Debbie's Garmin GPS Celestial page information. Of course this caused a lot of angst (GPS calculated 3 minutes earlier). I expected the Moon to be at the Sierra Crest around 5:18pm.

Having setup, I started the exposure timer at 5:05pm. This was set to "click" every 7 seconds. I had the camera in "mirror up" mode, so the first "click" brought the mirror up, the "click" after that exposed an image. I also had the camera "auto bracket" the exposure +/- 0.7 stops. In this mode the timer "clicked" the mirror up, then "clicked" an exposure with my settings, then clicked the mirror up, exposed with +0.7 stops then clicked the mirror up, and exposed with -0.7 stops. So every 6x7=42 seconds the process repeated itself.

I had the iPod tunes running and the binoculars out trying to chill. The haze was a bother, but the state of the atmosphere east of the Sierra crest was an unknown. The Moon will arrive like the Cheshire Cat's smile, slowly emerging from the mirk, it's not obvious at first, but then it is there:


By my calculation, this should have been off the image to the left…

two minutes later:


I dropped out the x2 Teleconverter and got a wider view:

if you're good you can pick out the top of Half Dome just above the foreground ridge in the bottom left of the image… I'll ID the peaks over the next week, too tired to do it now.

final view through the haze…


My calculations were off, I'll ponder that too... and the images need a bit more work, this is a quick pass through
The Lisa

Trad climber
Da Bronx, NY
Feb 25, 2013 - 09:33am PT
Ed, this sleuthing work is fascinating. Sounds like you had a very productive day yesterday.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Feb 27, 2013 - 03:23am PT
the crest...


now I'll be able to check the Moon position as a function of time with azimuth and altitude information... but not tonight.
john hansen

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 27, 2013 - 05:44am PT
That is pretty impresive Ed.
Roxy

Trad climber
CA Central Coast
Feb 27, 2013 - 09:34am PT
Ed your efforts to get the shot are awesome.

thank you for sharing the journey.

Timid TopRope

Social climber
'used to be Paradise, CA
Feb 27, 2013 - 10:17am PT
Awesome image, effort and peak ID. Thanks for sharing your results.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Feb 27, 2013 - 10:47am PT
In your light we see light. Psalm 36: 9.

I must thank you, Eddly, for the explanation^^^. Lucid. Didactic, even! do you tap dance, too? :)

Oh, beauteous photos, too. Man-Oh-Man!
Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
Feb 27, 2013 - 11:20am PT
this. is. awesome.
Kurt Ettinger

Trad climber
Martinez, CA
Feb 27, 2013 - 01:20pm PT
Fantastic!
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
the crowd MUST BE MOCKED...Mocked I tell you.
Feb 27, 2013 - 01:22pm PT
highly enjoyable

Like the peaks named image!
Gunkie

Trad climber
East Coast US
Feb 27, 2013 - 04:28pm PT
Cool stuff. I climbed the RNWF almost 21 years ago and I remember looking west as far as I could see from Big Sandy Ledge. It felt like I could see the ocean, which might have been Turlock.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Feb 28, 2013 - 04:08pm PT
the distance of the horizon that you can see from a particular altitude is given by a simple formula (in which things just work out... if you don't believe me, do the calculation yourself):

horizon distance in miles = square root of your altitude in feet

so at the top of Half Dome, at roughly 9000' the horizon is 94.5 miles, not correcting for atmospheric refraction, which will take you out a little bit further than my site 8 which was nearly 89 miles distant. The horizon you would see from Half Dome would be the hills that define the eastern boundary of the Central Valley.

john hansen

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 9, 2013 - 05:19pm PT
Since it has been so cold over there thought I would bump this and see what the viewing conditions are like.
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Dec 9, 2013 - 05:37pm PT
Very nice stuff to see again... Ed, your curiosity and drive to action are inspiring.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Dec 9, 2013 - 05:48pm PT
should be pretty good, though there is still ground moisture (warm soil, but probably getting cooler).

I posted this on another thread, from last week...



lots of "stuff" in the atmosphere at sunset... but this weekend is a full moon opportunity, I'll do a calculation and see what might be happening...

but certainly just shooting Half Dome should be a real possibility on these clear days...
The Alpine

climber
Nov 5, 2014 - 06:52pm PT
You ever get a rematch with this shot Ed?
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Nov 5, 2014 - 07:04pm PT
Very interesting!
H

Mountain climber
there and back again
Nov 5, 2014 - 07:08pm PT
Great effort Ed. Thanks so much for the overlay of the names of the peaks etc. VERY cool.
cali kat

climber
CA
Nov 7, 2014 - 06:37am PT
Ed, will you be trying again this winter? I was researching this topic before going up to Modesto a few weeks ago to see Valley Uprising. I knew it would be the wrong conditions anyway, and it was probably the haziest day ever! I'm thinking about trying again in December although I'm trying to think of other things to do in the area because it's a long shot up from SoCal for a slim chance of sighting Half Dome!
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Nov 7, 2014 - 09:22am PT
working on many projects, including this one...

one of my practical realizations was that you want to be further away from Half Dome because of the Earth's curvature and the intervening foot hills.

The more dramatic shots will be taken from the western side of the Central Valley, like my first image of the Feb 2013 campaign



this is 89 miles away, and on the plane of the central valley floor, so you're looking through a lot of atmosphere.

It would be good to have a clear atmosphere index... unfortunately the "visibility" index that airports report isn't useful... turns out to have a distance limit that is much shorter than the 100 miles, or so, of atmosphere we look through.

It's also possible that adding red filters, as was done in the Lick pano, might help cut down the light scatter, notice that the haze is "blue"



Getting up in the hills is a definite possibility. I have no doubt that we'll eventually get a fantastic image of Half Dome from the Valley... the conditions have to be just right... unfortunately, you'd like to get this in the early morning on a cold clear day (windless) so the atmosphere is very settled. But the illumination of Half Dome would be less than ideal.

Another possibility is to get a look after the passage of a storm with clearing at sunset.

If you want the Moon too, it's making it even harder...
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Maestro, Ecosystem Ministry, Fatcrackistan
Nov 7, 2014 - 09:32am PT
The reason airport visibility sensors are of limited utility is they are not concerned with looking UP through and out of the bathtub atmosphere of the Valley. They are concerned with runway range visibility and (low) cloud ceiling, down init.

Keep on snapping!

I know its not the valley floor but why not from somewhere on the crest of the Diablo range?

Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 7, 2014 - 09:47am PT
As Ed notes immediately after a winter storm would be best. I can't think
of any index other than smog particulate reports that would help. And, as
noted, airport RVR's are only concerned with horizontal visibility below
decision height (200') and they only care that you can see an object like,
say, a 737 rather than Honnold standing naked on Thank God Ledge.

DMT's idea of getting a little above the really yukky stuff is gud.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Maestro, Ecosystem Ministry, Fatcrackistan
Nov 7, 2014 - 09:51am PT
The problem with 'immediately after' a winter storm, is well, it depends and the dependencies are against the would-be photog.

Winter storms bring moisture. The calm after the storm is the perfect breeding ground for fog.

I think you need one of those really windy days out of the north immediately after the storm (like a low pressure located over eastern Nevada or Utah) , sweeping down the valley and blowing the muck clear out (yuk yuk).

Clear, cold and WINDY.

DMT
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Nov 7, 2014 - 09:53am PT
getting above is part of the campaign, but the OP is about being on the central valley floor, so I think a shot would be in order...


not that it hasn't happened even in this thread.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Maestro, Ecosystem Ministry, Fatcrackistan
Nov 7, 2014 - 09:57am PT
;)

Yes but you want The Goodun, donchya?

How about recruiting Base104 to climb that big Turlock antenna... :) Or ElCapMoonFlyerPirate?

DMT
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Nov 7, 2014 - 10:33am PT

full moon the schedule for 2015, times are PST

Full Moon
Jan 4 20:53
Feb 3 15:09
Mar 5 10:06
Apr 4 4:06 partial lunar eclipse
May 3 19:42
Jun 2 8:19
Jul 1 18:20
Jul 31 2:43
Aug 29 10:35
Sep 27 18:50 total lunar eclipse
Oct 27 4:05
Nov 25 14:44
Dec 25 3:11
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