Thursday, September 29, 2011

Friends under the stars

From Canyonlands
This image was taken on a bike trip along the white rim trail in Canyonlands National Park. This is ISO 200, 11mm, f/2.8 and a 30s exposure. three stop filter lowering the exposure of the bottom half so we can see the milky way at the top. My buddy Craig had built a propane fueled firebox, so that we could have a campfire where we were not allowed to have one. Brought us much attention from the park rangers who could see us from the Island in the sky but didn't realize it was a propane flame instead of a campfire.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Boulder brook - Fall color in RMNP

This last Sunday I was working on finishing up a book chapter that I was already behind on on the deadline. I finished it somewhere Sunday morning, so I had some time in the afternoon to go out. So I set off for RMNP to see some fall color. Last year I visited Boulder Brook and I wanted to do this again as it was gorgeous. This is a small stream that runs along aptly named Boulder Brook trail for a while. It is only a short way from the trailhead, but I decided to explore the entire trail as it was still some time before sunset. It turns out that the most interesting parts I think are at the bottom in the part where the brook can only be heard from the trail, so a little bushwhacking is involved.

The red, the yellow, and the green
The red, the yellow and the green. Buy a print.
Stitched from 9 images (3 rows of 3) shot at 35 mm using the 35 mm f1.8 DX. ISO 200, f/16, 4s.

I love the red roots from the mosses that grow beside the trail. The color contradicts very nicely with the yellow of the fallen aspen leaves. I now realize that this is close to the same view (but more intimate) of an image that I shot last year in the rain, which can be found here and is described in a previous blog post.

A second viewpoint is here:

Thin Blue line
The thin blue line. Buy a print.
Stitched from 9 images (3 rows of 3) shot at 35 mm using the 35 mm f1.8 DX. ISO 200, f/16, 2.5s.

Walking back I saw some great color up in the sky, but arrived at the trailhead just too late for the really gorgeous sunset colors. Nevertheless I shot a quick pano that I will include below.

RMNP peaks
The gorge. Buy a print.
Assembled from 8 shots (4 each two and a half stops apart) at 35 mm, f/8.0, 1/5s - 1s, ISO 200.

Due to the vertical format of this blog, I had to make the image small. You can get a very large view of it by clicking on it.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Speaking of Dream Lake

Here is an old image from it in winter. I Developed it to be close to what the Velvia looks like that I shot simultaneously (and never scanned at high quality).

Blue and yellow dawn
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There is also a newly developed vertical composition available here. I need to get back to it and Emerald Lake at sunrise sometime soon.

I'll leave you with a shot of Hallett peak coming up to Emerald Lake (visible through the trees):
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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Dream Lake the "other way"

Dream Lake is one of the most photographed places in Rocky Mountain National Park and probably in North America. It is a short and easy hike from the trailhead and can easily be done at sunrise. I've been there many times and am usually passing through. I photographed the sunrise there many years ago at sunrise in the winter. Should do it again some time soon with better gear. The typical way people photograph this lake is looking towards Hallett peak. There are however other nice viewpoints on this lake. One is further up towards Lake Emerald looking back. On the hike to lakes Haiyaha and Emerald with my daughter on labor day, we passed by the lake and I had to take the image again, once on the way up and once on the way down.

On the way up:
Symmetry. Nikon D300, Tokina 11-16mm at 11mm, ISO 200, f/4.0, 1/80s. Single handheld exposure.
Considering how windy it was at the usual viewpoint where people take pictures I was very surprised how still the lake was here giving a great reflection.

And on the way down:

Clarity. Nikon D300, Tokina 11-16mm at 11mm, f/8.0, 3.0s, single exposure on tripod.
Also check out the horizontal version of this. Amazing how clear it was here even when I needed a 3 second exposure!

As a comparison here is the shot I took years ago during winter:
Frozen lake sunrise
Frozen. Nikon D50, Nikon 18-55mm at 18mm, f/8.0, 1/500s, single handheld exposure.
I couldn't go quite as wide yet at that time without tricks as you can see. I just snapped that off as an afterthought, thinking that the light was already gone as it was 2 hours after sunrise or so.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sunset on the Great Sand Dunes

A few weeks ago, I spent a night near the Great Sand Dunes National Park. Due to the fact somebody drove through a stop sign and hit me in the rear of my car in Durango, I arrived too late to get a spot on the NPS campground. Luckily the very helpful ranger told me about a BLM just south of the park near Zapata Falls. This was a great tip as that is just an awesome campground with very few people on it and it is free and maybe 20 minutes from the dunes including the dirt road leading to it. So I set up my tent and set off to the park again to be on the Dunes by sunset. This was just fantastic. I posted three panoramas from the sunset before here. I hiked along many of the ridges near the high dune in order to find some good shots and found many. The wind was blowing like crazy and it was a major challenge keeping sand out of my gear. Below I'll show a few. Most of these shots, excluding the composites were done handheld as it was just too windy. Later I'll post images from next morning's sunrise expedition which yielded a lot of very nice pattern shots that I am dying to show.
Backbone. Buy a print.
High resolution composite from nine images at 48mm, f/13, 1/80s, ISO 200, Nikon D300.

A gigantic nuclear furnace
A gigantic nuclear furnace. Buy a print.
Single shot at 26mm, f/16, 1/80s, ISO 200, Nikon D300.

Windblown steps. Buy a print.
Single shot at 24mm, f/8, 1/60s, ISO 200, Nikon D300.
Sun worship
Sun worship. Buy a print.
Single shot at 18mm, f/5.6, 1/200s, ISO 200, Nikon D300.

Smoke signals
Smoke Signals. Buy a print.
Single shot at 55mm, f8.0, 1/100s, Nikon D300.

The long S
The long S. Buy a print.
High resolution composite from 9 images at 46mm, f8.0, 1/50s, ISO 200, Nikon D300.

Red dusk
Contrast. Buy a print. High resolution composite from nine shots at 48mm, f/16, 1/40s, ISO 800, Nikon D300.

retrace. In the print you'll see the people that are trying to get to the top of high dune which is the dune on the right side. Buy a print.
Assembled from 2 shots at 18 mm, f6.3, 1/60s, ISO 800, Nikon D300.

Visitors on Mars
Visitors on Mars. Buy a print.
Single shot at 16mm, f/5.6, 1/25s, ISO 400, Nikon D300.

The road traveled
The road travelled. Buy a print.
Single shot at 11mm, f/4, 1/13s, ISO 400, Nikon D300.

On the high Dune
On High Dune. Buy a print.
Single shot at 16mm, f/4.0, 1/80s, ISO 200, Nikon D300.

Purple dunes at dusk
Purple dunes at dusk. Buy a print.
Single shot 16mm, f2.8, 1/4s, ISO 800, Nikon D300.

And last and not least here is me on top of the dune. Shot by a kind stranger.
From 2011-08-31