Joshua Tree Astrophotography

I signed up for a class at Samy’s camera to go out and do Astrophotography. I drove down and met up with everyone at Joshua Tree on a Saturday night and we shot until the wee hours of the morning. It was interesting to do some different type of photography and to get some what I thought were good shots of the Milky Way Galaxy. These shots were at 20s, 6400ISO 16mm with the Sony A7Riv and the 16-35 F4 lens. I think took them into Lightroom and only did some edits with cropping, but left the photo mostly as is.

P-38 Lightning flying

The Planes of Fame P-38 lightning was up in the air over the weekend and I was able to go out and get some shots of it. I played around with the shots in Lightroom and also played with the super resolution features that are in Lightroom right now, pretty happy with what I got out of it and like the shots. Need to continue working on my panning and also didn’t get some shots as the pilot was doing some acrobatics and need to work on that. All shot with the Sony A9ii and the Sony 100-400.

Check your Raid: Cisco ASA and Sourcefire

Over the past week I had an issue where one of my Cisco 5545 with a Sourcefire module went down and failed and I couldn’t get it restarted. When I looked at the console for the SFR Module I saw disk errors and I opened a ticket with Cisco to have them look at it. One thing that I found appalling was the quality of Cisco TAC engineers has dropped dramatically. I spent more time on the phone with these guys not knowing what to do and and my showing them commands that I had just googled and what needed to be done. If these guys are supposed to be the experts in the device and technology I am not impressed. Especially since Cisco keeps raising my rates and the quality seems to get lower rather than better.

Back to the issue:

The Cisco 5545 Sourcefire unit has two SSDs in a Raid 1 configuration, so you would think that if one failed the other would take over. At least that is what I thought, however it turns out that both of the SSDs had failed and there was no notification at all on the unit itself or in the logs as to one of the units being bad, let alone both of them. The only place I found it was running the “sh raid” command on the terminal. After seeing the failure of this unit, I then went through the rest of my 5545s with Sourcefire modules and found two others that had a failed drive and there was no warning, no error lights on the drive or the firewall itself. I had to run the command to find the issue.

Here is what a healthy raid set looks like:

/dev/md0:
Version : 1.2
Creation Time : Fri Feb 19 18:27:16 2021
Raid Level : raid1
Array Size : 124969216 (119.18 GiB 127.97 GB)
Used Dev Size : 124969216 (119.18 GiB 127.97 GB)
Raid Devices : 2
Total Devices : 2
Persistence : Superblock is persistent

Intent Bitmap : Internal

Update Time : Wed Jun  2 20:05:01 2021
      State : clean

Active Devices : 2
Working Devices : 2
Failed Devices : 0
Spare Devices : 0

   Name : ciscoasa:0  (local to host ciscoasa)
   UUID : 244baa9a:b6e40506:f7384510:fcb42706
 Events : 12123

Number Major Minor RaidDevice State
0 8 0 0 active sync /dev/sda
2 8 16 1 active sync /dev/sdb

Here’s what an unhealthy raid set looks like:

/dev/md0:
        Version : 1.2
  Creation Time : Mon May 25 12:42:13 2020
     Raid Level : raid1
     Array Size : 124969216 (119.18 GiB 127.97 GB)
  Used Dev Size : 124969216 (119.18 GiB 127.97 GB)
   Raid Devices : 2
  Total Devices : 2
    Persistence : Superblock is persistent

  Intent Bitmap : Internal

    Update Time : Wed Jun  2 20:01:32 2021
          State : clean, degraded
 Active Devices : 1
Working Devices : 1
 Failed Devices : 1
  Spare Devices : 0

           Name : ciscoasa:0  (local to host ciscoasa)
           UUID : 0ed2ca7c:260897dd:f183f4bf:c0f15bfb
         Events : 12258234

    Number   Major   Minor   RaidDevice State
       0       8        0        0      active sync   /dev/sda
       2       0        0        2      removed

       2       8       16        -      faulty   /dev/sdb

I can’t believe there is no logs or notifications, Solarwinds didn’t pick up the hardware issues. You would think there would be some sort of notification sent out or the HD light on the firewall would turn orange, what a novel concept to notify people of a failed hardware item before it causes major problems.

So if you run any of the modules in your ASA firewalls, make sure to check the raid level and that the drives are in a healthy state, if not get the ticket open with TAC. Where they can give you such brilliant ideas as move the faulty drive to another ASA, or swap the drives(which causes the firewall to crash, so don’t do it).

Corsair in the Air and Photo Edit

Planes of Fame, took their Corsair up into the air last year before the pandemic. I was out shooting it from the ground and decided to go back through and edit some of the photos. Unfortunately for California we don’t get anything fun for the sky except blue and bright. Below is the shot as I originally took it, kind of dark and not very attractive. This was with the A6500 and the 100-400 lens. This was a handhold at 1/320 as the plane was going overheard.

Below is after I did an auto apply for settings and then tweaked the exposure a little bit. I also cropped in and then added a little vignette to bring the plane into the center.

TBM Avenger in Flight

WWII Torpedo Bomber in use. Didn’t show up until the Battle of Midway and there were only 6 of them in use. Despite the loss of five of the six Avengers on its combat debut, it survived in service to become the most effective  and widely-used torpedo bomber of World War II, sharing credit for sinking the super-battleships Yamato and Musashi (the only ships of that type sunk exclusively by American aircraft while under way) and being credited for sinking 30 submarines. Greatly modified after the war, it remained in use until the 1960s

T-28 and P-51 at Planes of Fame

Over the past weekend, the Planes of Fame Air Museum decided to fly the T-28 and P-51 over the weekend. I was lucky enough to be able to go out and get some shots of the planes in the air and on the ground. It was a beautiful if a bit overcast day, but it was nice to be back in the air museum and out having fun. I was out with my A9ii and my 100-400 with the 1.4x Extender. Still working on my panning throughout the whole experience and trying to get lower my shutter speed as I keep shooting in preparation for one of the many air shows coming up.

Las Vegas Wetlands Park

I was in Vegas over the weekend staying at one of the hotels on the strip. I was looking around for places to go shooting and found out that there is a Wetlands Park where all of the reservoir water goes before it is filtered and used for other things. The park is pretty big and was an interesting place to go and shoot. This being my first time I spent quite a bit of time wandering around the park looking for things. There were several ponds all around and it made for an interesting place. My next trip out to Vegas will have me going back here and taking a look at shooting here.