Monthly Archives: November 2013

A Little Pink

I don’t like to wear pink nor do I like pink in my meat. I do like it in my sunsets though. Last Saturday evening around sunset time I noticed Mount Rainier had this pink hue all around it. It was pretty spectacular but I didn’t have my camera with me, doh! I went out the next evening for sunset and it was pretty nice. Some of the pink was back but it just wasn’t as pink as the previous sunset.

A Little Pink

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The Creeps

I visited Anderson Island, WA for the first time last weekend. I wasn’t really sure what to shoot while I was there but I heard there was an old ferry in one of the harbors on the island. So, I got up for sunrise and went to check it out.

The morning started off gray and overcast. Just before I got to the spot where I set up to take pictures I passed a barn/shed that had an old truck in it and two ropes hanging from the rafters with nooses at the end. I’m sure there’s perfectly good reason for that but I thought it was kind of creepy. To get to the picture spot I had to cross a large marshy field and when I finally got there it was eerily quiet. Almost too quiet. I don’t know why but like Luke on Dagobah I had this strange feeling like I was being watched. On top of that every so often the silence was broken by gunshots in the distance from someone taking some target practice. I was a little on edge to say the least.

Fortunately, as the sun was coming up it finally broke through some clouds like a beacon of hope and all was well with the world again. I was able to sit, take some pictures, and enjoy the scenery for a bit before scurrying back to my car.

The Creeps

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Drama

Do you ever have a hard time choosing between black and white and color? I know I do especially with shots that I don’t have black and white in mind when I take it. I’ll usually get done editing the color version and then flip the black and white switch to get a new perspective on the shot. Sometimes it just adds more drama to the shot and like a 13 year old girl, I like drama…only in pictures though 🙂

Drama

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Break from the Chaos

I rarely took people pictures before I had kids of my own. I guess it just didn’t interest me, but now that I have kids things have changed. I’ve come to experience how crazy and stressful people shots can be. Getting a two year old to sit still or stop crying is quite a task. Then being outdoors with the light changing you’ve got to be on top of everything. Luckily I had help from my wife but it’s a lot different than the calm and peaceful landscape shots that I’m used to taking. It can be just as rewarding though when you get a good shot.

Anyway, in-between taking some shots I went down to a river bank thinking this would be a good place for a family shot. Then I saw how muddy and wet it was and quickly changed my mind. I couldn’t waste the nice view so I took a minute to watch some ducks swim around and clicked the shutter a couple times. Nice and peaceful. The way photography should be. A nice break from the chaos…I mean family photo fun 🙂

Break from the Chaos

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Three Ton Cap

I don’t know about you but sometimes my camera gear feels like three tons. If I’m out hiking with my family I’ll also have my toddler in a kid carrier backpack (I have a Deuter Kid Carrier 2 which I recommend). This puts me at about 15-20lbs in the front and about 30 lbs on my back. It’s great for strength training but it would be nice to lighten my load.

I’ve been intrigued by the mirrorless cameras which are so compact and now, with the Sony A7, come in full frame. The drawback is that it lacks the lenses (or glass if you want to sound cool). Micro 4/3 sounds cool and has a lot of lens options but I prefer a bigger sensor. Mostly because I like to print big. I would print a picture to fit on the side of my house if could. The neighbors might not like that though.

This leads me back to Nikon. Like a sucker I watched all the Nikon Df videos in anticipation of the new camera. It was at first rumored to be a full frame mirrorless camera so I thought this could be what I was looking for. Then I heard it wasn’t. I heard it didn’t have video which I don’t really care about in a camera so that was fine. Then I started to read it was retro. I didn’t shoot with an older camera so I didn’t really care for that. It was then rumored to be more of a manual camera which was something that would force me to learn new things.

With all these things I convinced myself that this would be my next camera. It was full frame, smaller, and had a Nikon D4 sensor. So then it was released. The price…$2,800. [Queue the music you hear on Wheel of Fortune when someone hits bankrupt.] Way out of my price range. What a disappointment. This may conclude my ramblings but my search continues. Sony is sounding more intriguing…

This photo is from the marina in Des Moines, Washington

Three Ton Cap

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Grand Finale

The fall is probably my favorite season. I like to think of it as nature’s grand finale. The trees save up all their energy for the year and then bam! It explodes in awesome reds, yellows, and oranges. You got to be quick though because once the fall colors hit you know there’s a wind or rain storm just around the corner waiting to knock all the leaves off.

Grand Finale

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Closer Than You Think

The first time I went to Flaming Geyser State Park in Washington I thought I’d see a geyser like Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park. Not as big of course but something shooting out water. So, I did a little hike around the area and saw Bubbling Creek where ground has turned gray from the methane coming up. When I was finished with the hike I was disappointing that I didn’t see a geyser. I thought that was weird that I didn’t see it since I was on the main trail. I went back to the start and saw a small crater in the ground which I passed thinking it was a fire pit or something. Well that was it. The geyser wasn’t a geyser of water but a spot where the methane coming out of the ground was lit creating a geyser of fire. Hence the name “Flaming” geyser.

Closer Than You Think

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Flaming Geyser State Park

I guess it’s been a while since I’ve been to a state park in Washington State but I was unpleasantly surprised to find out they cost $10 for a day pass per car. I know that’s not that much but they used to be free and I had some visitors in a separate car with me. I felt bad having them pay when we’d only be there for maybe 2 hours.

When I got into the part of the park I wanted to photograph there was a construction gate blocking it off saying that you would be fined $87 if you went through. It was open but I didn’t feel like risking it so I went back to my car really annoyed. Luckily, on the way back to my car I heard someone asking a park ranger about it and the response seemed positive but I couldn’t fully hear what was said. So, I went and asked him and he said they weren’t doing construction on the weekend so you could go through. I asked him about the sign and he kind of laughed and said they forget to take the sign down when they’re done working. My first thought was why didn’t he take it down? Who knows how many people turned around like I almost did.

Flaming Geyser State Park

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Scouting

Here’s another lake along the Naches Peak Loop trail in Mount Rainier National Park. I was looking south-west towards the mountain when I took this shot so this would be a good place to come during sunrise. I’m sure this area gets some nice wildflowers so I’ll have to come back during that time. I’m kind of weird in that I don’t really like doing trails more than once but sometimes it’s definitely worth it. I’ll consider this a scouting mission.

Scouting

Posted in HDR, hiking, lakes, Mount Rainier, Mount Rainier National Park, Mountains, National Parks, Washington | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Going to the Sun Road

The Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park, Montana is a very dangerous road. Not because of ice, rock-slides, or sharp turns. It’s the views. You’ll find yourself gazing at the spectacular mountains so much that you’ll forget to look at the road and drive off a cliff. It’s an amazing place. You might even see some wildlife on the road. One time I was up there towards evening time and a big horn sheep walked right by our car.

Here’s some of the views just before Logan Pass. This was probably of my favorite sunrises I’ve photographed. We, my wife and kid who was 9 months at that time got up really early with me (around 4 AM), started at Two Medicine Lake and headed for sunrise at St Mary’s Lake. We continued on the Going to the Sun Road for some brilliant views and morning light.

Going to the Sun Road

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