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All photos © Tony’s Takes. Images are available for purchase as prints or as digital files for other uses. Please don’t steal; my prices aren’t expensive. For more information contact me here.
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Sun, Moon and Stars

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Video slideshow: Photo event of the year – the Great American Eclipse

The last of my annual recap slideshows with what I consider to be my photo event of the year.

My brother and I made plans to be in the path of totality three years ago. In the month or so leading up to it, I read and practiced as much as I could about how best to photograph this once-in-a-lifetime event.

With totality only last two minutes or so, I couldn’t afford to screw up! 😉 Thankfully, all that preparation paid off and I captured some great pics (IMHO) of this celestial event from start to finish.

I don’t know what the new year will hold for photographic opportunities but I don’t expect it will be able to top this. Happy New Year, everyone!

Moon creates the ultimate starburst effect

I’ve been working on my end of the year photo slideshows and in doing so have found some pretty cool pics I have never shared. This is one of them, dating back to August 21 during the total solar eclipse.

I had two cameras going at the time, the primary one was zoomed in on the big event and you probably have seen those images (if not, see here). The other camera I handheld and just grabbed some random shots during the celestial event.

This was taken just as totality was ending and the sun was emerging from behind the moon. You get a nice look at the corona and a very cool starburst effect.

If you want to memorialize this extraordinary event, I have prints available of my eclipse pictures in a wide variety of sizes and formats. Just let me know what you are looking for.

The sun begins to emerge from behind the moon during the 2017 total solar eclipse.  (© Tony’s Takes)

The sun begins to emerge from behind the moon during the 2017 total solar eclipse. (© Tony’s Takes)

Announcing the Tony’s Takes 2017 photo book

Cuddly creatures? Ferocious raptors? Wildlife with big horns and antlers? Gorgeous sunrises on the Great Plains? Snow-covered mountains? The solar eclipse? Got them all in my 2017 photo book! I received my proof, fixed a couple things, and it is now ready for ordering. Best of all, I am using a different supplier which has allowed me to increase the page count by 50% while dropping the price a good chunk. Check them out and get yours on order ASAP if you want it before Christmas.

Coming soon: The Tony’s Takes 2017 photo book

I have just ordered my proof copy and should have it in a week. Once I do and have verified it meets my standards and looks good, I will make it available for ordering. It will be tight but I should be able to get it to you before Christmas.

From the Great American Eclipse to breathtaking landscapes and wildlife to raptors, it is all in there – 36 pages worth. I am trying a new vendor that, while my options for layouts were more limited, the cost is significantly less than last year’s book. I heard from some that the bucks prevented them from ordering them so I am hoping this will help get the book in more folks’ hands.

Keep an eye out and be ready once I make it available!

The setting moon at sunrise

The setting moon at sunrise. A very pretty scene this past Saturday. As the sun rose in the east and cast its warming rays on the landscape, to the west, everything was aglow and a setting near-full moon dotted those beautiful blue skies. Taken at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge.

As the sunrise illuminates the landscape, the full moon sets in the west. (© Tony’s Takes)

As the sunrise illuminates the landscape, the full moon sets in the west. (© Tony’s Takes)

Fall colors and the daytime crescent moon

At the end of my photo drive this past Sunday, I swung through St. Vrain State Park, Colorado. There was one particular spot that had a number of birch trees absolutely with absolutely gorgeous fall foliage. I hopped out and shot those trees from just about every angle possible with my wide angle lens. At one point, I glanced up and see the somewhat faint crescent moon through the canopy of leaves. It looked awesome against that deep blue Colorado sky so I went back to my truck and grabbed my other camera with my big zoom lens and returned to capture a bunch of images of our only natural satellite and the leaves.

Fall foliage and the daytime crescent moon in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Fall foliage and the daytime crescent moon in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Solar eclipse shows the diamond ring and prominences

When I look back on my photo year, there can be no doubt that the solar eclipse was the single biggest event. It is hard to describe just how extraordinary it was to experience and capture it.

This is one of my favorite stages of the event, just as totality was coming to an end. You see the ‘diamond ring effect’ of the sun beginning to emerge from behind the moon.

Also notable are the appearance of prominences – the pink / red ‘flames’ you see in the image shooting out. These are somewhat like solar flares except they don’t actually leave the surface of the sun. Made of plasma and capable of extending hundreds of thousands of miles from the surface, they are normally only visible from Earth during an eclipse so seeing them is a big treat.

The total solar eclipse starts to end showing the diamond ring effect and solar prominences. (© Tony’s Takes)

The total solar eclipse starts to end showing the diamond ring effect and solar prominences. (© Tony’s Takes)

The Milky Way over Rocky Mountain National Park

Escaping to Colorado’s high country affords you peace and quiet away from the busy Front Range and at night, goodness, the stars you can see are breathtaking.

On this particular evening a couple of weeks ago, I took a short hike from where we were camped to take it all in. Looking south across the Moraine Park area, the darkness was all enveloping but with no light pollution, above were millions of points of light. The Milky Way was working its way across the sky and, in this capture, if you look toward the top you will even see a meteor streaking through.

While I certainly took pictures, I also made sure to stop and sit and just look and listen, taking it all in.

The Milky Way and a faint meteor in the skies over Moraine Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

The Milky Way and a faint meteor in the skies over Moraine Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

Video: Top shots from Summer 2017

The calendar says that is a wrap on summer 2017 and Mother Nature seems to agree given the change in the weather the last couple of days. I sat down this evening and put together a video collection of my favorite images from the season. Goodness. I am so thankful to have been able to capture images of such amazing creatures and scenes. I hope you enjoy the show!

A smokey full moon

Taken during the Harvest Moon last week. As I have written about and posted pictures of recently, smoke from wildfires in Oregon and Montana blanketed Colorado for the better part of a week. While the cause is saddening, this led to some awesome colors at sunrise, sunset and in this case, a moonrise.

The September full moon is colored in orange from smoke from wildfires in Montana and Oregon. (© Tony’s Takes)

The September full moon is colored in orange from smoke from wildfires in Montana and Oregon. (© Tony’s Takes)

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