Shooting Stars

Thu Jul 23 2020

I've been taking advantage of our remote location this week to practice my astrophotography skills!

Shooting Stars
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Photography has long been a passion of mine. Not only is it a great way to preserve memories an share them with others, but I find that the camera encourages me to actively search for more beautiful scenes to photograph.

Camera Gear

Want to know what gear we use for our photos and videos? We share it all!

Camera Gear

The discipline is as broad as it is deep - endless specialisms, each of which can takes years (or decades) of practice to learn and master.

While I don't profess to be an expert by any means, one of my favorite aspects of photography is shooting scenes that are otherwise impossible or difficult to see with the human eye - e.g. long exposure, timelapses, etc.

Long Exposure Photos Without an ND Filter

Find out how to create amazing photos like this one without expensive ND filters.

Long Exposure Photos Without an ND Filter

Another such example is astrophotography - shooting the stars!

Astrophotography demands dark skies, and that's exactly what we have at our camping spot here in northern Washington!

While Comet Neowise is getting all the attention right now, unfortunately it's hidden from us in our current spot by a mountain. Fortunately, the view the other way is pretty spectacular - the Milky Way is right behind our RV!

Milky Way Outdoors RV
Shot with a Sony α7R iii with a Rokinon 18mm lens - 30 seconds f/2.8 18mm @ ISO 800. Stacked 16 frames with Starry Lanscape Stacker.

I'm having a lot of fun playing around with this - each night I'm trying something a little different, trying to improve each time.

And if you've not seen our Milky Way timelapse over on Instagram then make sure to take a look!

No more Smart RV!

I have some bad news to share - the brains of our Smart RV has died!

Over the past 2 years, we've been incrementally adding more and more home automation to our RV - voice-controlled lights, intelligence solar power management, and a smart thermostat to name just a few.

Upgrading to a Smart WiFi RV Thermostat

Most RV thermostats are cheap, low-end units - certainly nothing like the fancy domestic WiFi models. Find out how we added a WiFi-controllable thermostat in our RV.

Upgrading to a Smart WiFi RV Thermostat

Sadly, late last week, the Intel NUC computer in our RV which runs all this died.

Intel NUC8i3BEK
This Intel NUC8i3BEK is a powerful little computer - more than enough to run our home automation and much more besides.

At first I thought it was a software issue, but after spending a day debugging, I had diagnosed it was a failure of the Intel NUC itself - nothing I could fix.

It's frustrating that the machine died, but these things can and do happen - it's a rare occurrence. Intel are replacing it under warranty and the replacement is due to arrive tomorrow. They are actually shipping the replacement overnight, but will only ship to our billing Texas! Forwarding it on takes another few days.

While that means we're back to basics in the RV for now, fortunately no data was lost - the way I had it configured meant all the data is safe, an even the configuration can be easily redeployed.

In fact, I'm seeing this as an opportunity. I set everything up without really trying to document the process, but I'm frequently asked for more information on how it all works. So this time, I'll be sharing the process as I go!

Watch this space.

AeroGarden update

It's been just under 4 weeks since we planted out new AeroGarden, and well, see for yourself!

AeroGarden Basil Dill
Just look at that growth - all that in just 4 weeks, even after harvesting the basil...twice!

Isn't that incredible? Not only that, but we've harvested the basil twice already, before I took this photo! The basil is going absolutely crazy, and although the dill isn't as large yet, it's growing really well!

AeroGarden Harvest Elite in our RV

Living in an RV, one of the things we miss is our garden, and fresh herbs. Fortunately, we've found a way!

AeroGarden Harvest Elite in our RV

I foresee a lot of pesto in our future....

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