Monday, August 29, 2011

Snapshots from the black canyon

Just a few more snapshots I shot while at the black canyon. I posted some more "formal" imagery from this excellent place before but of course I cannot help snapping a few more images here and there.

Flower ... depth
Flower ... depth
D300, Tokina 11-16mm at 11mm, f8.0, 1/50s, manual exposure

D300, Tokina 11-16mm at 11mm, f8.0, 1/50s, manual exposure

On the cliff
My tripod on the cliff (you can see I don't suffer much from vertigo). It is about 2000 feet down over that ledge.
D300, Tokina 11-16mm at 11mm, f8.0, 1/50s, aperture priority exposure

D300, Tokina 11-16mm at 11mm, f8.0, 1/25s, manual exposure

Lava dyke
Lava dyke in black and white. This image is also on smugmug where you can buy a print. It's a high resolution composite of 9 images.

V. A view of the river from the Oak flats hiking trail where I did a quick morning walk before heading to Telluride.
D300, Nikon 18-55mm at 40mm, f11, 1/30s, manual exposure

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sunset panoramas on the Great Sand Dunes

These are images I created during sunset on the great Sand Dunes. I have many non-panoramic images both from this sunset as well as the next day's sunrise. I haven't had time to work everything up but in the mean time thought I'd share these panoramic images with you all. This place is absolutely magical during sunset and sunrise and I would highly recommend heading out on the dune during those times. Hard to keep your camera from gathering sand inside though as during sunset the wind can blow quite hard.

All these panoramas are extremely high resolution and will print superbly at the largest sizes available. Prints will not have my logo on it (many people email me to ask). To get a better impression click on the image to get a much larger version.

sunset dune pano
Dune ridge sunset. 13 images at 18 mm, f/16, 1/30s, ISO 200, D300. Tripod. Buy a print. Clock on image for bigger.
This is right at sunset on a ridge near the high dune. I was photographing lines in the dune to the right and decided to make a quick panorama. You can clearly see my trail leading up to my position on the left.

sunset dune pano 2
Sunset on the Dune 2. Stitch from 10 handheld images at 18mm, f6.3, 1/50s, ISO 200, D300. Buy a print. Click on image for bigger.

dusk dune pano
Dusk on the dune. Stitch from 18 images, 16mm, f2.8, 1/20s, ISO 800, handheld. Buy a print. click the image for much bigger.
This is on the top of the high dune after sunset. The full moon is visible on the left. The wind was blowing like crazy.

Much more to come.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Black Canyon of the Gunnison sunrise

On my way to a workshop in Telluride I did last week, I spent the night in the campground of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park as I could not get to Telluride before midnight after leaving from my grad student Allison's thesis defense (she passed) and subsequent party. Even though I arrived at the canyon after 9 pm, there were still plenty of campsites in the very nice campground. This gave me the unexpected opportunity to see the sun rise on the canyon. Looking at Google Earth and using the highly recommended Photographer's Ephemeris app (Mac/PC version here, iphone/iPad version here), I figured out that the best opportunity would be painted wall or Cedar point. I chose Cedar point because it appeared to give a nice view of the river too. The sunrise was beautiful and very serene as there was absolutely nobody anywhere near.

Dawn on the painted wall seen from Cedar Point
Dawn on the painted wall seen from Cedar Point.
This is taken not long before the actual sunrise and is a horizontal stitch of many images. It has to be seen large on black. You can buy a print here which will look highly detailed even at the very largest sizes.

River gorge of the Gunnison and painted wall right before sunrise
River gorge and yellow sunrise.
This image is a stitch of 10 images shot at 35 mm on f/8.0, 1/15s and ISO 200. It is again highly detailed and will print gorgeously even may feet long. See it large here and buy a print here.

Sun hitting the top of the canyon. A unique view not often captured.
Sun hitting the canyon top.
This panorama was assembled from 10 images shot at 35mm, f8.0 and 1/40s (ISO 200). See it large here and buy a print here. I just love how the river seems to glow.

The gorge in yellow and blue
River gorge in yellow and blue.
Assembled from 9 images shot at 50 mm, f/8.0, 1/60s, ISO 200. The haze is starting to come in giving the canyon a blue appearance. See it large. Buy a print.

Black Canyon Wall
Black Canyon wall.
Assembled from 9 images. 50mm at f/11 1/60s, ISO 200.
See large. Buy a print.

Lava dyke
Lava dyke. Also in black and white.
Assembled from 14 images shot at 50mm at f/11 1/60s, ISO 200. See large. Buy a print.

If you ever get a chance you should visit this place. It is stunningly beautiful. See more images from this place in the smugmug gallery.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Wild Basin waterfalls

Last sunday, I went hiking with my daughter in the Wild Basin area of RMNP. It was cloudy and overcast, so we went for late afternoon with the hope of photographing a few waterfalls and perhaps a lake with some clouds. The strategy for the Wild Basin trailhead as is true for many others in RMNP is to either come extremely early (i.e. 4 am or earlier) or later in the afternoon (>3pm), otherwise you'll have to walk quite a ways along the very boring road. We parked right next to the ranger station. We did not make it all the way to the lakes (Ouzel and Blue Bird) we were aiming for because not far before Ouzel falls we got in a major thunderstorm right above our heads and were pelted with heavy rain. Thunderstorms like this are the disadvantage of starting late and make it a very questionable idea to go up above treeline. So we turned around and photographed Calypso Cascades and the many nice waterfalls in Ouzel Creek in between heavy periods of rain. I am always proud of my 9-year old for not complaining about the rain and generally just having fun even when wet.

In the forest
Mosaic of 9 images for high resolution stitch. Individual images D300, ISO 200, Nikon 18-55mm at 34mm, f/22, 0.5s.
Buy a print.

Calypso Cascades mossy
Mosaic of 9 images for high resolution stitch. Individual images D300, ISO 200, Nikon 18-55mm at 34mm, f/22, 1.6s.
Buy a print.
The mist in this image is caused by the higher parts of the waterfall and of course the rain.

Calypso Cascades from bridge
Mosaic of 9 images for high resolution stitch. Individual images D300, ISO 200, Nikon 18-55mm at 34mm, f/22, 1.0s.
Buy a print.
This is the view from the bridge over the cascades. They are really quite impressive. There are not many flowers out yet which is quite surprising to me but probably owes to the long wet spring we had.

Unnamed Falls in Ouzel Creek panorama. This really should be seen large.
Mosaic of 10 images (five columns of two) for high resolution stitch. Individual images D300, ISO 200, Nikon 18-55mm at 34mm, f/16, 1/4s.
Buy a print.

The flow. Should be seen large for full effect.
Like a rock
Crop of above image and different treatment.
Buy a print.

There are a few more interesting images in the smugmug gallery. You can also check out a subset on flickr. They are also on Google+/Picasa. Enjoy!

Edit: Mariska noticed a very funny error in the post where I had replaced am with pm making it sound like it is hard for me to get out of bed before 4 pm. Of course am makes a lot more sense there.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Why I do not use Chrome - even though it is fantastic

Is captured in the below screenshot

Click for full resolution.
Left Firefox 5, middle Safari 5.1, right Chrome 13.0.782.107. As you can see, Chrome renders the desert sunset image drastically different. The subtle orange hue turns into red.
This is as seen on my wide gamut display that was calibrated user a Spyder 3. I converted the screenshot from my display profile to sRGB for web display so this cut down a large portion of the difference as the red orange is out of sRGB gamut. In reality it is more drastic than can be shown on the web. The sidebar image of the patch of marsh flowers in Mayflower Gulch for example renders in a very garish green and comically red mountain range. The shadow portions under the flowers are too dark and some detail disapears.

The reason for these differences is that Google in their infinite wisdom when they released chrome cut out color management which had been enabled and present in the developer releases for mac. And despite widespread outcries, it hasn't been fixed and the flag that you can use on windows to enable color management does not work on Macs and apparently not even on windows anymore. If you are a photographer or designer who calibrates their screens, this really impacts you and all your images will display wrong in Chrome on your system. Only Safari and Firefox (if you make sure to calibrate to a v2 icc profile) will work correct. Firefox has an advantage over Safari in that it will even color manage untagged images if you set it up to do so in the secret settings. The failing of Chrome in rendering images correctly is especially strong if you work on a wide gamut display or on a laptop display. On good normal (sRGB gamut) screens it is even a problem for shadow rendering where unmanaged browsers will show you plugged up shadows. This is due to the fact that the display is calibrated for gamma 2.2, while sRGB has a linear tone curve in the shadows. This might not be that big of a deal as the hyper saturation that you get on wide-gamut displays though.

I understand that Chrome cut out its color management to make sure Chrome renders like Internet Explorer and to be slightly faster than with color management, but why would you want to target the lowest common denominator? It's a pity because it is otherwise a fast and capable browser and I actually prefer it for most other uses especially Google+. I would be happy with a simple flag I can enable somewhere as I realize that not everybody needs this.

Please Google, give me a flag!

Links: Why color management is so important in browsers. All about color profiles and color managed apps here.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Sunset in Saguaro National Park

This image was created in the west side of Saguaro National Park this summer in the Sonorran desert. I searched for some place where the sunset light would create interesting color. Unfortunately, there were almost no flowers except for the Saguaros themselves which still had some next to their fruit (which is yummy but don't try to pick it yourself). The below image is a composite of 9 images, so it is extraordinary high resolution and will print very well at the largest sizes available. The cacti in front are Teddybear Chollas, and the iconic ones in the back are Saguaro. Read more about the saguaro and the cholla on wikipedia. It takes Saguaros something like 70 years to develop their first sidearm!

Teddy bears and Saguaro cactus
Buy a print.

There is a more square crop of this image available too.