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Transit of Venus 2012

The Transit of Venus is a rare event that happened last in 2004 and, after today, won't happen again until 2117. Thankfully today's transit was visible from Chicago, on a cloudless day, and I had a great setup to be able to capture it right at sunset.

To top it all off, the flight path of O'Hare International Airport passes between the roof deck of our apartment building and the sunset at this time of year. Plenty of people will have photos of Venus crossing the sun, but I was lucky enough to get a few that included landing planes -- and here are the best two. Enjoy!

Captured with a Nikon D800 (1.5x 18MP DX crop) + Nikon 300mm f/2.8 lens + Nikon TC-20E III 2x Teleconverter -- total effective focal length: 900mm

UPDATE: The second photo has been picked up by a couple of my favorite blogs (Wired Science | PetaPixel)! :]

If you found this post through a news link and are interested in a license to publish one of these images or would like to know if/when I make prints available for sale, please email me.

UPDATE 2: Here are some close-ups!

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Disney Christmas

My family was fortunate enough to be able to spend this past Christmas at Walt Disney World! (Yes, I have just gotten around to sorting the images.) Since we all live in different parts of the country, it was fun to be together in the "happiest place on earth" for the holidays -- nobody does Christmas quite like Disney.

It was truly an unforgettable experience...but just to be sure, we took some pictures anyway to help us remember it! ;] Here are just a few of our favorites from the trip. Enjoy!

There are about 90 additional images in this Facebook album, if you're interested.

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Kansas Thanksgiving

Last October, my brother, Preston, became engaged to our soon-to-be sister-in-law, Jill (see photos here). Since my family lives on the east coast and Jill's in Kansas, the bride's family was kind enough to host us at their home for Thanksgiving so our families could meet before the wedding in June.

The Sornsons are awesome! From the moment we arrived at their place in Wichita, they made us feel comfortable and at home. They love to laugh and spend time together as a family, and we had loads of fun playing Apples to Apples, touring a Christmas light display at Botanica (a local botanical garden), and enjoying a delicious Thanksgiving feast. It was wonderful visiting and getting to know each other better, and we left confident that Preston is marrying into a wonderful family.

Enjoy this smattering of images from our trip!

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Jill + Preston’s Engagement!

A big congratulations! to my brother, Preston, and his now-fiancée, Jill, on their recent engagement! He popped the question last night at Balloon Fiesta during the evening balloon glow, when the pilots anchor their balloons and light them up like huge lanterns. Preston's original plan was to ask Jill during a balloon ride, but both of the rides we arranged (one of them as a backup) were cancelled due to unfavorable wind conditions. Thankfully Preston and Jill are easygoing and flexible, and they really liked how it turned out in the end. :]

I wasn't fully prepared for the unexpected nighttime photography...so I hope you will enjoy the on-camera flash and silhouette shots. ;] And of course I've included some images of Jill's custom-designed bling bling ring -- nice job, Preston! Images of the rest of Balloon Fiesta will be forthcoming.

Oh, and it also happens to be Jill's birthday today -- so happy birthday, Jill!

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