Monthly Archives: October 2013

Last Row

Here’s one from inside the train that takes you from Elbe, Washington to a train museum about 40 minutes away. When the train stopped at the museum I thought I’d be clever and stay on the train so that I could get some shots without any people. My diabolical plan to rule the world…I mean to get a shot without any people was foiled by the rain. Since it was pouring outside some people wouldn’t get off. A lot of people left stuff on the seats to save their seats and I’m sure they wouldn’t have liked it if I moved it for a picture. Anyway, one of the train cars was pretty old so the only place to get a shot without people or their stuff was at the very last row.

Last Row

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Sunday Drive

Usually when you think of a Sunday drive you think of cruising in a classic car on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Well we went for a Sunday drive yesterday in my friend’s giant 4×4 van on a rainy/snowy day. We did some offroading (or wheelin’ if you want to sound cool) through some muddy forest service roads on the outskirts of Mount Rainier National Park that took us from Western Washington to Eastern Washington. We ended up on Little Naches Road which had some pretty nice fall colors.

While we were driving I spotted this giant golden tree among a bunch of pine trees. We parked our rig and did some bushwhacking to get right up to it. The tree was on the outskirts of a meadow and had lost a ton of leaves. They were sprinkling the nearby trees almost like Christmas lights. I’m not sure what type of tree it was but it was a pretty cool sight.

In that same meadow there were signs that elk had been in the area and a lot of bear scat. Once I saw the amount of bear droppings I was on high alert. There had to be more than one nearby. Possibly a mom and her cubs which you don’t want to stumble upon. After leaving the meadow and not seeing anything I figured it was either a highly trafficked game area or there was a crazy Halloween party the night before.

Sunday Drive

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Hike for Miles

Before this last summer I had never heard of Tuolumne Meadows until I mentioned to a relative that I was going to Yosemite. She highly recommended it and it didn’t disappoint. I was only there for a couple hours but it was such an awesome place. You could hike for miles and never get bored of the scenery. I wish I could have pitched a tent in the middle of the meadow and watched clouds go by. Maybe next time.

Hike for Miles

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Going Long

Here’s a long exposure I took at the top of the waterfall I visited last Sunday. Don’t worry I resisted taking a peek over the edge of the waterfall 🙂 The exposure lasted 205 seconds and on my camera (Nikon D80) the sensor starts to heat up when I do really long exposures causing the resulting image to have these ugly purple corners. My camera does have a long exposure noise reduction feature, which is supposed to get rid of the purple corners. In this case I forgot to turn it on but that was probably a good thing because it adds a considerable amount of time to shot since the camera has to do some exposure ju-jitsu to get rid of the noise. Also, my wife was patiently waiting for me. Anyway, sometimes I’ll try to fix it but in this situation I decided to bring out the hatchet and crop them out.

Going Long

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Near Disastrous

This past weekend I went to a waterfall that I’ve been wanting to check out for fall colors. I’ve been there a couple times before but in the summer and I remembered that it was a little steep but nothing crazy. So, I invited my wife to come along and when we got there I didn’t think about how muddy it would be and it was steeper than I remembered, oops. She almost turned back but then decided to give it a go. I’m glad to report that she made down to the bottom a little muddy but with no broken bones and we’re still married. That’s always good, right.

The cool thing about the waterfall is that the top of it is about 50 yards from the road but it’s surrounded by trees and you can’t really hear it. You wouldn’t know about it unless someone told you about it, which a friend of mine did a few years ago. Anyway, the bad thing about it is that it’s near some neighborhoods so it’s pretty accessible to kids. While I was taking some long exposures I noticed 3 kids, about 10-13 years old, walking around near the top of the waterfall. At first I was kind of annoyed because I was at the end of a 2 1/2 minute exposure and one of them was wearing a bright red sweatshirt so that ruined the shot. So I waited for them to move because I thought they’d only be there for a few minutes. Who’s stupid enough to mess around at the top of a waterfall? These kids were. One of them walked to the very edge of the waterfall and started kicking stuff off. The other two soon joined in. I couldn’t even look. I thought for sure one of them was going to slip and fall off the 50 -75 foot drop and there was nothing I could do about it. Luckily, they left after a few minutes. I was hoping to run into them when I hiked up so that I could talk some sense into them but they were gone.

Near Disastrous

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Early Morning Surprise

It was the summer of 2012 and I was camping at Two Medicine Lake in Glacier National Park. I went out one evening to scout out a spot on the lake for some sunrise shots. I found a good spot and got up the next morning sometime around 4 AM. When I got to the spot it required me to rustle through some bushes. As I passed through the bushes I was surprised to come upon [insert dramatic pause] a Grizzly Bear that I had to wrestle with just a pocket knife and my tripod. I lost my pinky toe but I came out okay…I’m kidding. I ran into another photographer. You should have seen the look on his face. I’m sure he wasn’t expecting anyone and we were in Grizzly Bear country so I probably gave him a nice early morning jolt. Who needs coffee?

Early Morning Surprise

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Gerberding Hall

I was on the campus of the University of Washington a couple weeks ago looking for some fall color. It was my first time on campus and I had a good time exploring it. I saw some people out for a photo shoot dressed in costumes (at least I hope they were) . There was a barbarian, knight, and a guy dressed like a girl with 6 inch pink heels on. You’ll never know what you’ll find on a college campus. As for the fall color, I may have been a week too early but I had a good time nonetheless.

Gerberding Hall

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Audible

I was driving around last idea taking some fall pictures and I thought I’d head to a nearby river to catch some side-lighting as the sun was setting. Maybe even catch a fisherman as there are a bunch of them fishing this time of year. As I pulled up to the river I noticed that the sun had dipped too low and the lighting wasn’t very good. However, on my way to the river I passed a corn field and Mt Rainier was lit up pretty nicely. So, I called an audible and heading back to the corn field for some shots.

Audible

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Summer Coat

Each time I’ve been to the Point Defiance Zoo the arctic foxes are usually out and about, which is nice because sleeping animals aren’t that exciting. The last time I saw this little guy he still had his winter coat so it was cool to see this side of him. Yes, “cool” was my attempt at a pun. Okay, maybe it wasn’t that good but I digress. Anyway, this fox’s summer coat reminded me of when I was a kid and heading to the barber shop for my summer buzz once school got out.

I used by Nikon 70-300mm to get this shot which if you can’t afford the 70-200mm is a good alternative. Definitely not as fast but it works on Dx and Fx and is about 1/4 the price.

Summer Coat

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Elbe Train Ride

Just outside of Mount Rainier National Park is a tiny little town called Elbe. There you can find the historic Elbe Church and a train that will take you for about a 40 minute ride to a train museum. Along the way you’re supposed to get some views of Mt Rainier but unfortunately for me it was pouring down rain and overcast so no views. That was okay though because when we made it to the train museum people weren’t lingering around outside too much so I was able to get this shot of the Satsop RR train without any people. Sometimes, I just don’t like people…in my shot.

Elbe Train Ride

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