Diptych

More to Come?

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Dryptich

Not much else to say other than if I can get a shot with a similar subject matter with the North Star in the center perhaps I will make a Triptych. Your thoughts on these? Should I try more?

Has It Been This Long

photos of speaking engagement

So how did I end up going almost 3 weeks without a post? Anyone have a time machine to send me back so I can catch up with the missed weeks?

 

Speaking of going back in time, a while back I mentioned about volunteering for the Senate Campaign of Lily Tang Williams. Many things did not go as planned, but I still was able to meet up with her and spend some time with her. To understand more of her positions you can go to her website at Lily4Liberty.com. Lily is the first Chinese Immigrant to run for the US Senate, and someone I am very excited about having and promoting. She received a unanimous nomination for the Libertarian Party of Colorado for the Senate race.

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Above: Lily waits for people to arrive before a speaking engagement in the western slope. If you ever have a chance to hear her speak do it. She is regularly speaking on the radio and events all over Colorado and places in other states as well

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She regularly speaks about her experiences growing up in China under the Maoist system and some parallels of modern US policy.

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Not only is she an amazing speaker but she is a great listener

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So check her out. If you like what you see, perhaps show her some support. I know many of us are looking for an alternative to the current line up.

Lily4libery.com

Lily4Libery Facebook Page

and while you are at it

My website

Facebook

Instagram

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Rifle Falls

return to Rifle Falls

Rifle Falls is a very popular waterfalls in western Colorado, a State Park about 14 miles north of the town of Rifle. It is comprised of 3 waterfalls each about 80 feet tall and is as close to a tropical feel as you can get in a largely semi arid Colorado. It was my first time at the falls for a shoot in several years, and is the first time I had used my Rokinon 14mm for something other than astrophotography. I timed my visit to the falls during a very rainy afternoon, in fact we had a strong thunderstorm that produced a gust of wind that toppled my camera with the 24-105 L lens over, luckily the camera and lens survived unscathed though my heart almost gave out when it happened.

 

This first one below was still taken with the required standard landscape lens. the Canon 24-105 F4L, all of these images are blended from two or 3 exposure, one for the foreground, one for the sky and if needed a 3rd with a really long shutterspeed to create the silky smooth water. The day was still bright enough that any accurate exposure at even F22 didn’t produce a long enough shutter speed, and though I do not have a ND filter, I learned how to produce the effect in layers in PS CC

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The following were taken with the Rokinon 14mm, I have up to this point exclusively used it for astrophotography. It has proven to be quite efficient as an ultra wide angle lens for landscape though a little soft on the edges even in apertures not in the extreme wide. It will still be used mainly for astrophotography, but I now know I can get away with some grand scenics with it.

 

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The falls has some really nice Lilac bushes to the right of them, but as of the shooting of these the leaves have barely started, seemingly a couple of weeks behind.

Back to McClure Pass

I was happily able to return to the McClure Pass region, this time during our recent massive spring storm that dumped several feet of snow in some mountain areas. Luckily it didn’t drop that much in the McClure Pass region, but it definitely had a wonderfully wintry feel. Two aspects of spring storms in the west that makes it an exciting time to get out is the wetter snow, it clings to trees better than the dry powdery snow of winter, and the fact that it is warmer so snow will not accumulate on roads as much. The drier Winter snows may be better for skiing, Colorado and Utah are known for this and is what brings millions of skiers and billions of dollars to the states economies, and the spring storms have a tendency of dropping significantly greater amounts of much heavier snow which can still create major travel issues. So it may not be all unicorns and puppies. For this photographer these spring storms are the opportunities to get out to capture some of the missed winter scenes that the slight colder winter temps kept me inside next to a heater.

I ended up with almost 500 photos that day and could have gotten more. Here is a hint, try not to forget where you put your extra memory cards, or better yet, don’t forget about those memory card pouches on the main camera compartment flap on your camera bag. It sure could save you some headaches, especially when those slots are staring right back at you.

Below are a few examples of that day. It’s been a long process of going through these and fine tuning the photos to fit exactly my experiences of the day. Each one of my photos is given it’s own personal touch as each photo was taken with a new and unique experience, even if it is taken from the exact same spot. It’s a long process to go through all 500 photos and with many more to be discovered in addition to the ones posted here, the post processing journey is as exciting as the trip itself.

The above two were taken at a small unnamed lake just west of Marble, it was a constant change of lighting almost the entire day with periods of snow and periods of sunlight with periods of snow with sunlight. A common experience in this dry western climate

A couple of scenes along the Crystal River further down from McClure Pass and much lower in elevation taken during sunrise, the opposite time of day from the above two photos

The dramatic weather and scenery along highway 133 between Carbondale and the town of Marble which is situated at the foot of McClure Pass.

The last two above are the exact same spots of the same mountain peaks. One minute the sun is shining and the next I am getting snowed on. The top photo shows the falling snow

 

 

Galactic Core Returns

Once again the center of our Milky Way has risen above the horizon for us in the Northern Hemisphere and will remain so until the end of October. At this point it sits low enough in the sky to make some dramatic panoramics.

nature photography with the Milky Way

 

 

The above image is a 12 image stitched panoramic from just west of my town in western Colorado. You can see the glow of the lights of the town and the much larger town of Rifle further east in the center of this image. to the far right  is the faint edge of Grand Junction’s light pollution and to the far left is Mt. Logan of the Roan Plateau.

At this point I will not be able to photograph this for another couple of weeks, these last few days it has been cloudy and rainy and will be that way for a couple more days, once it clears out I will have to contend with moonlight as we approach the full moon. Once the moon is no longer a factor the Milky Way core should be even higher above the horizon. Perhaps high enough to photograph it in the mountain areas

 

This current storm system is giving me an opportunity to get out and take some landscape photos of western Colorado desert regions with rare dramatic storm light. Plus some heavy snowfalls in the nearby Elk Mountains including McClure Pass.

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Above Photo: Haystack Mountain above a meadow with farming communities not too far outside of town in western Colorado. Most of this region is desert but there are obvious pockets of greener soil

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Above is a 3 photo stitched image of Chair Mountain from the Marble Valley, it is at the foot of McClure Pass, the road is visible below Chair Mountain as a dark straight line through the trees. This area has received several inches of fresh snow during this powerful spring storm, a huge opportunity for me tomorrow to head up here for some new photos.

Just Finished

New Canvas Wrap completed

I just got this 48X32 Canvas wrap finished and sent off to it’s new home. I want to see this happen more often.

Many more choices are available from my website. International Shipping is available.

 

 

New lens

Sigma 70-200 F2.8

despite all the craziness going on in my life as a photographer, I still get the good things goings ons. Obviously many people seem to talk about the negative things in their life including yours truly, but the positive should get as much attention

One of the positives is the purchasing of a new lens. I recently am in possession of a Sigma APO 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM. I have heard a barrage of statements that you should own at least one 70-200 regardless of make, well this is my second. The other is the still currently owned Canon L but only at F4, so now I have added the faster F2.8

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quite the hefty little lens (little compared to a 400 or 600mm lens). I have taken it for a spin recently though I have not had the opportunity to really test it out yet, when I get time I will definitely take it out more.

Above are two photos taken with it, both testing at different focal lengths at the widest aperture of F2.8. Of course shooting anything at F2.8 let alone a telephoto lens leaves little room for error on the focus, and these photos show the extremely narrow DOF, but there is no doubt of the potential that this lens has. Just an FYI  my shooting with fast lenses is almost exclusively during my astrophotography, that being, my go to Rokinon 14mm f2.8 is used a good 90% of the time. This 70-200 has other plans in it’s future.

 

Who else has shot this lens? This is my first experience with a Sigma, and my first non Canon L series zoom lens with my current camera.