A Cabin in the Rockies

A Cabin in the Rockies

A small wooden cabin or hut sits in a car park near the houses Automattic stayed in at Breckenridge in Colorado. The original shot can be seen in my Flickr stream or in the Automattic group there. This version has been extensively dodged and burned to bring out the contrast between light and dark.

Late posting of today’s photo because of the camera club tonight. It was model shoot night and I got a few shots but I’m not very comfortable directing so I’m undecided as to how well the photos came out.

Aperture ƒ/8
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 59mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/160s

Pumpkins For Sale

Pumpkins For Sale

Pumpkins for sale in the local store in Breckenridge, Colorado. I post this today because Dunnes Stores are selling pumpkins and they’re only half the size of the large pumpkins pictured here!

Does anyone actually eat pumpkins? They’re a new sight in Irish shops, and are only ever for sale in the large chains around Halloween.

Aperture ƒ/5
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 10mm
ISO 400
Shutter speed 1/60s

Breckenridge Sunset

Breckenridge Sunset

The sun sets early in Breckenridge Colorado, well slightly earlier than in Ireland anyway. Myself and Anthony were working on one part of our secret project, and Mike Adams was working on the other bit, when Michael Koenig jumped up and went outside on to the balcony. I looked up and saw gorgeous red clouds and followed him with my camera. This is the result.

Tall evergreen trees outside the house, and snow capped mountains on the horizon. The sun set behind them in a blazing ball of glorious colour. Beautiful.

Aperture ƒ/4.5
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 10mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/50s

Tall trees in Oracle

Tall trees in Oracle

These tall evergreens planted in front of a set of small houses in Oracle were almost gone before I saw them. The scene looked bizarre. Tall trees, tiny houses. I wonder who lives in them?

Here it is on Google Maps. Try the Street View, you’ll see two cars pulled up in front of the same house as in my photo. Spooky.

Aperture ƒ/6.3
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 10mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/100s

It even rains in Arizona

It even rains in Arizona

If you’re living in Ireland, you’ve no doubt noticed that this summer hasn’t been great. Actually, I haven’t. I work at home and looking out my little window at the rest of the world is some days the closest I get to the outside world (almost!)

Well anyway, this is to console you if you’re suffering through yet another flood, or a downpour. It even rains in the desert. Of course, it was late January, and the shower was a light one that lasted about 20 minutes but it’s the thought that counts, right?

In other news, I’ve just released Tweet Tweet, a plugin for WordPress that archives Twitter conversations. It’s been a nerve wracking experience as I’m using a few technologies that I haven’t had much call for before.

Aperture ƒ/5.6
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 10mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/80s

Biosphere 2 Lung

Biosphere 2 Lung

As Biosphere 2 is a self contained and airtight structure the air inside would expand and contract on warm and cold days which could cause the building to explode or implode!

Two lungs were built to cope with this effect. One of them is pictured above. As the air in the building warmed up the black lung would expand and the roof of this room lowered. When we were there they opened an outside door to ventilate the room and the roof slowly fell. It was quite a sight to see and the draught out the door was enough to make it hard to be heard over the whine.

More on the Biosphere 2 lungs here and here.

Biosphere 2 needed something like a bellows, a lung!
Biosphere 2 would heat up like a greenhouse and cool during the night and during cold, cloudy days. The expansion and contraction would subject the rigid steel and glass structure to enormous pressures as the air inside expanded and contracted. On a hot day, pressure would push out. On a really cold day, Biosphere 2 might implode.

Bill Dempster, Director of Engineering Systems, had an inspired solution, and in time Biosphere 2 got a pair of lungs, or “variable expansion chambers”. The two lungs took the form of graceful hemispheric white domes which protected the liner from wear and tear of the Sun. Both domes, 150 feet away from Biosphere 2 had underground air tunnels connecting them to the main structure. Inside each tank and connected to each tunnel, a gargantuan synthetic rubber membrane with a circular metal top moved freely up and down on a cushion of air.
As air inside Biosphere 2 expanded from the Sun’s heat, it flowed through the tunnels and into the lung, raising its top. As air cooled, the lungs deflated.

Aperture ƒ/3.5
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 10mm
ISO 1600
Shutter speed 1/25s

Biosphere 2

Biosphere 2 lies in the dusty hot desert in Arizona. It was originally designed as a self contained “world” where scientists stayed for an extended period of time. After going through the tour, there’s no way I’d volunteer to spend my time inside. It must have been very difficult being cooped up in one building. The Wikipedia page on the project has a lot more detail about what went on there.

Anyway, the building is very striking to look at, especially as the day was fine and interesting clouds added to the scene.

Aperture ƒ/8
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 10mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/200s