Spending a little time…

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4-10-14 websitecover Lately I’ve been spending some time exploring my portfolio of landscape photographs. Though feeling physically and mentally much better between rounds of Chemo, I still haven’t quite mustered up the energy to spend much time outside, never mind having the oomph to be out early or late capturing any new good light on the landscape with the camera. That leaves me fondly reminiscing about some of the work I’ve already done, and as I do so, I get to spend a little time perusing my web site – and you know what that means… yes, tweaking.

As you can see from the screenshot above – http://www.acadiaandbeyond.com – I’ve abandoned (for now) my attachment to a single strong black and white coastal image in favor of a more eclectic, colorful, and assorted view of what is distinctly Acadia National Park – after all, there is so much to see in Acadia, why not show her off in all her glory?

We’ve had a lot of incredibly generous local support in response to our little medical emergency, and as a way to say thank you, Lori and I have been selecting prints that we think people might appreciate, and we’ve been ordering and delivering them as thank you gifts.

I’ve learned that it’s one thing to conceptualize, experience, and actually create any one of my photographs, but I have to admit, following the process through to where it physically gets printed and held in hand – whether it is printed on canvas, paper, or better yet, on metal – it is quite exhilarating to hold a piece, especially since many of these pieces to date have merely been images on the screen.

I’ve a couple of big pieces being printed on metal on the way as “thank you’s” to our friends, and I’ll be sure to grab a pic of what they look like “in-person” as it were when they arrive. In the meantime, if anyone is interested in purchasing from what I believe is a new and improved web site, please use the discount code “chemo” when in the shopping cart area – despite it’s not-so-nice meaning, it will get you 25% off any purchase 😉

Where I’d like to return to one day…

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The depths of winter have me reminiscing about a warmer place… Death Valley National Park in California couldn’t be any more different from Acadia, and probably because of that, I am very much drawn to it. When it comes to raw beauty, it certainly gives my favorite and more intimate national park here in Maine a run for its money. Sam and I visited this vast and wonderful national park a few years ago, and when looking back at our travels, I think it’s safe to say that we had ourselves the trip of a lifetime. In rather unusual conditions – it had rained in the desert about a week before we arrived – we experienced, among other things, the depths of the desolate salt-pan area known as Badwater, the iconic beauty of Zabriskie Point, and the incredible Mesquite sand dunes near Stovepipe Wells. And yes… that’s Sam silhouetted in the first photograph below.

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The recent rains had made some of the more desirable and remote locations within Death Valley inaccessible, so to make up for our disappointment and add to the adventure, we took a two-day detour out of the desert and cruised up CA 395 in the shadow of the Eastern Sierra. We marveled at the imposing height of a snow-capped Mount Whitney, we explored the unique the surreal landscape of the Alabama Hills, and we shared the incredibly still and tranquil area of Mono Lake with a pack of yelping coyotes. I, of course, made some landscape photographs along the way… as did Sam. Like I said… this is an area rich in opportunity for any landscape photographer, and it’s another area I would one day love to return to. Enjoy the original Jack-created soundtrack to the video 🙂

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A Window to the World

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I’m celebrating the fact that I actually got off my you-know-what and made a new landscape photograph – one that I’m actually prepared to share! I hadn’t visited Acadia in several months, but all that changed this past weekend when local photographer Chad Tracy and I cruised down to MDI for a quick photo expedition. Despite the below freezing temperatures and the biting wind, standing on the rocky shoreline of my favorite national park never felt so good!

I’ll share a few more photographs from what was a beautiful sunrise over the next few days, so stay tuned. After exploring a part of the granite “ledges” along the Loop Road near Thunder Hole, our original plan was to meander back toward Sand Beach to maybe do some long exposures with the surf. We got sidetracked though when I realized how close we were to this unique location, and since the sun was already up, I was excited to visit at a time when I wouldn’t get the willies from it being too dark.

The ecosystem within this sea cave is extraordinarily delicate, so Chad and I were extremely cautious about making sure to walk only on the solid rock. Although not a huge secret, and relatively easy to find, to further protect this little gem I made Chad swear not to divulge the location to anyone else. The approach to the cave – and the floor inside – was quite slippery and tricky to navigate, and to add to the mystique, this location is only accessible at low tide. It was quite an experience to spend some time in here, and as we looked through the window out onto Frenchman Bay, we appreciated the shelter from the chilly winter air. I like this photograph, and I’m going to add it to my portfolio.

If you haven’t seen my full portfolio yet – if interested – you can click on over and check out a selection of my favorite images on Acadia and Beyond (in addition to Acadia, I’ve shared images of Maine, Ireland, Death Valley, Yosemite). If you do visit the site, drop me a line… I’d love to hear your thoughts. If interested in purchasing from the site between now and the New Year, to save some cash be sure to type in the discount code “Acadia” when checking out. A bargain… Happy holidays!

And yes… I’m trying out a new blog theme. Feedback appreciated on that too 🙂

Thinking outside the box…

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… that is the camera viewfinder. So many iconic views are of broad, sweeping vistas, but when trying to capture this type of landscape within the frame of a camera viewfinder, much of the impact can be lost, especially if using a wide-angle lens. One solution to this problem is to shoot in panoramic format – either using a dedicated panoramic camera – or by using the magic of digital photography to get in a little tighter and then merge (stitch) several photographs together. Stitching multiple images allows you to go as wide as – if not wider – than your lens allows, yet still maintain the relevance of important elements within the composition. The result is a larger file with greater detail, and with that, an enhanced ability to print big. Most importantly, you also get to capture that expansive view in all of its entirety without being limited by the constraints of the camera viewfinder.

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Here are a couple of examples of what I mean… these are both from the Zabriskie Point overlook in Death Valley National Park, California, and were made on 7/30/07 at about 4pm local time in what were admittedly far from epic lighting conditions. The first photograph is a single shot – shot at f11, 1/160 sec, iso 100 using a 17-40mm lens at 17mm (generally considered pretty wide) – the resulting tiff file is 23.4 megapixels and at 200 ppi, I can squeeze a 17 inch x 11 inch print out of this one.

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In the panoramic image above, I used a total of 12 separate images – each shot in vertical orientation at f11, 1/160 sec, iso 100 using a 17-40mm lens, this time at a focal length of 40mm – the resulting tiff file is 88.1 megapixels and at 200 ppi, I could squeeze a 46 inch x 16 inch print out of this one. I used to have to manually and tediously “stitch” panoramics like this together by manipulating Photoshop layers and masks, but luckily many post-processing software options now automate that task quite easily. Like I said, there’s a significant difference in the quality of the larger file… the detail is sharper, the view is wider in scope, and the printed file is literally much bigger in size!

Pressed nice and fresh!

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Regular readers of this blog might have noticed a little spike in the number of comments posted recently. Let me explain…

On Friday I published the last in a four-part retrospective mini-series about a trip I made out west a few years back. Like many northerners this time of year, I had been suffering from an annual bout of winter-induced cabin fever, and my main goal with that little series was really just to remind myself of warmer times and help get me closer to the springtime. Besides, the 9 degree farenheit bone-chilling temperatures over the weekend here in Maine meant I didn’t have any new and original photographs to share!

I was working from home on Friday when I started noticing a slew of email notifications from the blog flying into my gmail account. Since this wasn’t the first time I had been freshly pressed, I figured out fairly quickly what had likely happened. I wandered over to the WordPress home page and sure enough, there it was… a photograph from my most recent post… Back into the Valley of Death …pressed nice and fresh!

From the WP folks about Freshly Pressed: “Each weekday, we hand-pick and promote approximately ten new blog posts to the Freshly Pressed section of the WordPress.com homepage. These posts represent how WordPress.com can be used to entertain, enlighten or inspire.”

My email box was pretty busy over the weekend, and a quick check of my stats page indicates that since last Friday alone at about 10:00 a.m. when the fresh pressing actually occurred, there have been close to 17,000 new views on this blog! And since so many people were kind enough to take the time to comment on my blog, I felt that it was only right that I reply to them… believe me, that’s a lot of replies 🙂

Anyhoo… it’s Tuesday evening now, and as my blog slides off the WordPress front page the frenzied pace of site views and email notifications has slowed somewhat, I can finally take a deep breath and relax. It has been a fun weekend though, and before resuming our normal programming here on the blog, I wanted to say a big thank you to everyone for their very kind and generous words.

Thank You!

Trip of a lifetime remembered

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In the early spring of 2010, Sam and I had a chance to make the trip of a lifetime to California, and more specifically, Death Valley National Park and the incredibly scenic Highway 395 which runs from south to north at the foot of the majestic and snow-capped Eastern Sierra mountains.

We were fortunate to see Death Valley at a time when Mother Nature was doing her transitional thing, flooding the lower elevations of the park to create rare and spectacular conditions. We enjoyed the contrast of warm, desert temperatures and then the sub-freezing landscape in the shadow of the Eastern Sierra. From the Owens Valley we watched the sun rise and illuminate Mt. Whitney, the highest mountain in the contiguous United States, we heard coyotes yelping along the shores of Mono Lake, and we were genuinely awed as we gazed up from the salt pans at Badwater (242 feet below sea level) toward Telescope Peak towering 11,049 feet above.

Lots of great memories made, and here’s a little slideshow I put together when we got back. As you will notice, the soundtrack is definitely original.

My Favorite Photographs from 2010

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I tried my best to resist the urge to follow along with the trend of posting favorite photographs of the year, but in the end I couldn’t stop myself. On a positive note, I do believe that reflection is one of the strongest learning tools one could ever employ – so I do this little exercise in the name of improving my photography skills.

Looking back over the year and picking favorites is not an easy task, and as you can see below I wasn’t exactly able to whittle it down to a top 10! Also, I know that just because I like a photograph it doesn’t mean others will like it, so though these aren’t necessarily my best photographs… they are my favorite photographs!

For me, there is usually a story to accompany each image, and it is more about the experience of having been there… hearing the early morning sounds that no-one else does, being amazed by the beauty of nature in a new place, or simply seeing something in a familiar place that I hadn’t previously noticed… these are why my photography expeditions are so personal.

Anyhoo… some from far away and some from close to home here in Maine… here they are, not in any particular order… my favorite photographs from 2010… enjoy!

It’s Like Finding a Dollar

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You know that feeling when you reach into your pocket and pull out a dollar bill you didn’t know you had? That’s what it felt like the other day when I made a discovery as I was downloading some photographs from my camera.

I had grabbed my camera to shoot some tulips in the garden when I realized that I didn’t have a compact flash card inserted. I quickly rummaged through my backpack and located a card I hadn’t used in a while. After shooting in the garden, I started to download the tulip images to my computer when I was pleasantly surprised to find a folder of images I hadn’t seen before.

Captured on the last morning of the trip that Sam and I made to Death Valley in February, these images show the classic view from the often photographed Zabriskie Point overlook. This is always a great place to watch the sunrise from, but on this morning the conditions for photography didn’t start out especially exceptional, with a large bank of clouds moving fast from right to left threatening to skunk the good light. However, as the sun made its official entrance on this morning, the early light lit the top of the snow-capped Panamint Range and the possibilities for landscape photography definitely started looking up. We hung around for probably a couple of hours after sunrise to enjoy the light that raced across the valley floor toward us, and these images are from sometime during that morning – it was a nice surprise to find them after all this time.

Book Publishing Made Easy

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You gotta love technology!

I wanted to create a lasting memory of the trip Sam and I took out to California, something that would be accessible to us and anyone else we wanted to share our trip with. Of course the blog is a nice mechanism for doing this, as are online hosting sites like Flickr and Vimeo, but not everyone is as excited about logging on and surfing the net as we are.

Searching for a more accessible alternative, one that could be enjoyed the old-fashioned way by holding it, I settled on using the “book” option within iPhoto to assemble and publish a hardcover, dust-jacketed, 10 x 13 book. I did some research on other online self-publishing options such as Lulu and Blurb, but settled on iPhoto largely due to the ease of use. Regardless of the tool you use, there are many options regarding size and shape, with beautifully designed templates making the compilation process very smooth. Choosing and arranging photographs was as simple as drag and drop, and the process of adding and editing text was easy.

I have been checking the FedEx tracking site almost every day since ordering, anxious to know when the finished product was going to arrive. The anticipation of seeing a printed journal of the adventures that Sam and I shared together has been very real for me, and much more intense than I had expected.

On order for about a week, the book – “Californiadventure” – arrived today, and I can happily report that I am absolutely thrilled with how it turned out. The quality of paper and printing is OK, but the overall production of the book – especially the dust-jacket – gives it a very nice feel. If you were to visit your local bookstore and find a copy of this book on a shelf there, the quality is such that you would probably never know it had been self-published.

As much as I enjoy the benefits of working and displaying images digitally online, there is something permanent and “real” about our book, so when we close the lid on the laptop and rejoin the analog world, this book will always remind us of the wonderful Californian adventure we shared together.

A Death Valley Icon – Zabriskie Point

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OK… I know that this is probably the most photographed scene in Death Valley National Park, but there is a reason for that. Well there are actually two reasons… first of all it is relatively easy to get to, as the hordes of tourists swarming all over the overlook will confirm. Standing as a gateway to the park for many, anyone willing to walk a quarter of a mile slightly uphill on a paved path will be rewarded for their efforts. Secondly, and most importantly, it truly is a sight to behold, especially if the elements all come together for the photographer willing to get there early or stay there late.

There is a “social” trail off to the right of the parking lot that leads up onto a ridge that skirts the right hand side of this scene. This trail will offer the intrepid photographer some exceptional and less traditional views of the valley, Telescope Peak, and Manly Beacon. In the interest of being more original than most of the photographers who would set their tripods up along the ridge in front of the overlook as I did in the photograph above, Sam and I debated hiking this trail on our morning visit to this location. However, we decided since we would need to navigate the steep and narrow path up onto Red Cathedral considerably before dawn, that it would not be a great choice.

As we hung around the evening before, we saw every other person leave pretty much as soon as the sun dipped below the mountains across the valley. Apparently they weren’t aware that it was then that the light starts to get interesting.

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When I checked the NPS road conditions page on Sunday night it said that the way to Dante’s View was now open! I have been up to Dante’s view before, and though it is a very impressive sight, the real reason we were so happy was that we would finally be able to see somewhere new!

We set the alarm for 5:00am, planning on making the 40 minute drive to high above the park. We packed all of our belongings and left the valley floor for the last time, excited to be able to check out a place that had previously been inaccessible during our stay. We passed by the dark and deserted Zabriskie Point parking lot, and accelerated on up Route 190 toward the Dante’s View turnoff. Imagine our disappointment when we got there to find that the road was still closed higher up where the snow and ice was.

We had discussed this possibility, and immediately switched to Plan B – to re-visit Zabriskie Point and spend some time among the tourists. At least this time we might get some nice light, since the skies overhead were filled with fast-moving and dappled clouds.

Before dawn the light was really cool, though our concern was that the clouds were actually moving too fast. As they raced across the sky from right to left, it soon became obvious that they were not going to sync with the sunrise as we had hoped. As always, being in a place as beautiful as this was reason enough to celebrate, so we chilled with the other 13 tripods and 50+ tourists and enjoyed the muted but pleasant show. I tried a couple of longer exposures using a 6-stop ND filter, trying to deepen the colors and capture some of the feeling of movement in the sky.

When we thought the best of the light had come and gone, we packed up our gear and made the short climb out of the valley. It was with mixed emotions that we said goodbye to Death Valley, a place that gave us so much in the short time we were there. Definitely a place to return to someday, we were also anxious to start our journey back home to be with Lori and Jack.

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On our last night in the park we made a reservation at the Furnace Creek Ranch so that we would be closer to the route we would be taking back to Vegas in the morning. We had checked out Badwater as a potential evening shot, but it was under water and a bust. Earlier in the day we had enjoyed a cool hike in Golden Canyon, and after a yummy burger for an early dinner we settled on checking out Zabriskie Point.

Zabriskie Point is traditionally an early morning shot. When standing on the overlook the suns rises behind you and lights up the peaks of the Panamints before racing across the valley toward Manly Beacon. Zabriskie Point is an icon that is photographed by just about anyone who visits Death Valley, and who can blame them?

Not really expecting to capture anything exciting, I set up my camera and tripod anyway, and we just hung out enjoying the antics of the many tourists who huffed and puffed their way up to the overlook. We shared a bag of Flamin’ Hot Funions – not something we can get back in Maine, and as the sun went down it was a very relaxing evening.

Most of the people left after the sun dropped behind the mountains across the valley, though it was only after this that the light started to get nice. While everyone was looking across the valley, I grabbed this first image of the earth shadow above the folds and creases to the south. The second image is from about half an hour after the sun had set, and it shows the colorful sky as a backdrop to Manly Beacon. Both images are manual blends to address exposure issues the camera has with dynamic range – and both images better represent what the actual scene looked like to my eyes.

We will be at Zabriskie Point again in the morning for what we hope will be a classic sunrise – fingers crossed 🙂

Badwater, Death Valley

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On the one hand leaving home a day early to avoid the bad weather on the east coast was incredibly exhausting as we crisscrossed the country over a two day period going from Bangor to New York to Indianapolis to Charlotte to Las Vegas… but on the other hand we earned ourselves a bonus afternoon and evening in Death Valley.

As we neared our destination, it quickly became obvious that the park had not yet recovered from the winter storms that ravaged the area a few weeks back. There was standing water in many places along the roadside, with mud and debris often strewn across the blacktop. When we reached the valley floor, we were greeted with some warm sunshine and high clouds which was a nice change from the weather we would have been experiencing back in Maine. We were happy to be here enjoying the relatively warm temperatures, and we both marveled at the vastness of the landscape before us. After scouting a less-traveled trail just to the right of Zabriskie Point for another morning, our first task was to choose a location for our bonus evening of shooting. We both agreed that seeing the unique and surreal salt flats at Badwater would be a great way to start our adventure.

At 282 feet below sea level, these salt flats are an amazing sight. Blistering temperatures throughout much of the year usually mean that this landscape is parched of all water, leaving behind incredibly interesting polygon shaped ridges of salt scattered over a very wide area. As we ventured out onto the flats this evening though, we realized we were seeing this place in an even more unique state, with pools of water covering much of the valley floor.

Sam and I both set out to explore the area, looking for pleasing compositions that might capture the grandeur of where we were. It was VERY cool to see him working with a tripod for the first time, and he totally embraced the process of trying to represent the beauty that we were seeing with his camera. It was funny though to see him pack up his camera right after the sun went down only to be completely surprised and delighted by the spectacular light that arrived about 10 minutes later. He hurriedly set everything back up again and was able to take advantage of the late magical light show we were blessed with, learning a very valuable lesson about the fleeting nature of good light. All evening he worked the scene like a pro, and I was a very proud father seeing him get so excited about something I too love to do. He truly does have a wonderful sense of how to compose an image, and I will share some of his photographs here in the next few days. I am hoping that he will write about his experiences too.

As the sun set to the west behind Telescope Peak (11,049 feet), the skies above us absolutely lit up with an amazing array of colors. We saw a range of warm winter light, cooler blues and pinks as the skies overhead were reflected on the ground, and as the last light faded we were treated to a final blaze of color leaving behind silhouetted shapes of the rugged and dramatic mountains that surrounded us. The salt flats creaked and hissed as if they were alive, making for an eerie after dark experience as we navigated back to the car. This was an awesome start to our vacation together, and I am eager to see the rest of our adventure together unfold. The alarm clock is set for 5:15am, and our intention is to return to the salt flats again, this time to witness the morning light illuminating the snow capped and majestic Panamint Mountains. Here are a few from this evening…

Death Valley, Plan B and Plan C

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OK… when I check the road conditions at the NPS web site that are updated every other day or so it would appear that the winter storms that reached into Death Valley in recent weeks have had a more serious impact on the landscape than I initially thought. Many of the backcountry roads are still closed due to either snow and ice, or debris and mud from flood damage – bummer.

What if the situation isn’t more stabilized by the time we are scheduled to arrive? A big part of why we chose to visit Death Valley was to experience the power and vastness of the largest national park in the US… that and the possibility of some weather that is warmer than we are getting these days in Maine!

If we are restricted to major roads and cannot get to some of the more remote locations we had planned on visiting we will be disappointed, but I realize that we will still be able to see amazing sights, and am sure that we would thoroughly enjoy visiting many of the iconic and more frequented locations in the park that would be available to us.

The image above is from one of those icons – Zabriskie Point. The early morning light had climbed over my left shoulder to warm the distant Panamint Range. After I made this image, the light quickly stretched across the valley floor, chasing the shadows toward me and lighting up the weathered and crumpled folds in the foreground. I intentionally composed this photograph with the dominant expanse of sky to try to accentuate the scale and immense size of this place. Though it looks like I might be in a place devoid of other humans, there were about 50 other people enjoying this beautiful scene with me… some of them photographers, and many of them conveniently deposited here from a luxury tour bus. Despite the crowds… a spectacular place that everyone should witness at some point in their life.

We will be keeping a close eye on the conditions and hoping that no more moisture makes it to Death Valley in the next week or so, and as we get closer to our departure date we will be considering three possible scenarios.

Plan A is to stick to the plan hoping that everything gets back to normal in time for our arrival.

Plan B is to forge ahead even if some of the more remote places are still inaccessible. If we can’t get to places like The Racetrack, or some of the higher elevations, we can still experience the park in most of its glory through the more often visited iconic locations. Who knows, the rains might even offer a fresh perspective on the desert. We might also make a side trip over to 395 and the Owens Valley to see some of the sights there.

Plan C is if things don’t look so good in Death Valley to make a right turn out of Vegas and instead of going toward California, head over toward northern Arizona and southeastern Utah where will be able to find some different, but nonetheless spectacular scenery and landscapes.

Stay tuned…

Favorite Photographs

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I like taking photographs.

I have recently been reading some blog posts by photographers about the task of paring down all of the images you might have taken in the past year, and presenting your favorites for others to see. These photographers are very active shooters, who have enough images to actually make this a more worthwhile activity. I haven’t really been shooting all that much in 2009, so rather than limiting myself to just the past 12 months, I decided to take on the challenge of creating a collection of favorites from all of my images.

New to the blog are several pages that can be accessed from the menu above under the heading “Gallery” –  from there you can access several categories that I thought best suited the path that my photography has taken.

These are my favorites… not just based on how the final image is presented, but also because of the story behind how each of them was obtained, and the places and experiences I have been able to enjoy along the way. Many of these images were created either early in the morning or later in the day, usually outside of the general population’s tolerance for hanging around. Quite often I am alone in very pretty and peaceful settings when these images were made, and that often means more to me than the making of the actual photographs – though it is nice to empty the memory card and see what I was able to capture.

Here’s one of my all-time favorites to get things started:

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Wrapping up from Death Valley

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Thanks to everyone who followed me on this trip. I appreciate your support, and have enjoyed interacting and sharing the preparations, experiences and photographs from what was an awesome trip. I had a wonderful time both in person in California, and virtually here in the blogosphere.

I am probably going to self-publish a book from this blog to help remind me of the experiences I had. A print run of one – aren’t Web 2.0 tools amazing! Not entirely sure what online publisher to use, so if anyone has any recommendations, they’d be appreciated.

Thanks again to everyone who viewed and commented on this blog. I had a great time and am looking forward to the next big trip… the 17-day family vacation this summer to California to see the Owens Valley, Yosemite National Park, San Fancisco, and Big Sur… should be a blast, and of course I will be bringing my camera gear.

In the meantime, most of my images can be found over on Flickr. I will be adding to the collection there as I make new ones. Here’s one last image from the trip to California. This is Mobius Arch, or Galen’s Arch – from the Alabama Hills area. This version is composed at a little wider angle than the one I already posted, and it was made earlier that same morning, this time before the sun had risen. Later…

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Manly Beacon and the Badlands

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manley_beaconNow that I am not driving, I have the chance to go back through the folders of images that I made on this trip. As always, there are some that dropped through the cracks that might be worth sharing. Here’s a couple more from the morning spent at Zabriskie point.

Manly Beacon is an icon of Death Valley. Named after William L. Manly who guided Gold Rush prospectors out of Death Valley in 1849, this spire stands as a beacon overlooking the valley floor and the Golden Canyon Badlands. This is a very popular vista, and surely anyone who visits Death Valley has made a photograph from Zabriskie Point with it included?

In the image below, you can see the effects of intense rainstorms and their erosive power. Death Valley doesn’t get that much rain in any given year (less than 2 inches on average), but when it does, the power of the storms can be literally earth-moving.

This surreal landscape originated when sediment was deposited here from long-ago dried-up Furnace Creek Lake. With no soil or vegetation to help anchor the land, heavy rains attack the fragile mudstone. As the water rushes and seeks a quick way to lower ground, it creates gullies and troughs that remind us of the immense power of nature. In the background you can also see the snow-capped top of Telescope Peak in the Panamint Range, towering 11,049 feet above sea level.

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Zabriskie Point

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These images are from another Death Valley photographic icon. There aren’t many people who visit the park and don’t photograph this place… and I couldn’t resist either. The first is at the height of the sunrise and is the traditional take on Zabriskie Point, and the second is a little later, looking back into the sun a bit toward the folded and weathered hillside.

On the edge of the Funeral Mountains, Zabriskie Point offers an elevated overlook that looks out over a landscape of badlands with a foreground of gullies and hills, leading to the Badwater Salt Flats and across the valley to the Panamint Range and Telescope Peak.

I got here nice and early again, hoping that there would be some nice wispy upper-level clouds and a display of light as the sun came up. Although not disappointed with how things transpired, there was an absolutely amazing display of early light right behind me, overlooking the not-so picturesque parking lot! I couldn’t help wondering what things looked like down the road a bit at the Mesquite Dunes where one would have been able to incorporate the wonderful sunrise.

Lots of other photographers here this morning… everything from a busload of tourists to serious photographers shooting 8×10 format. Hard to do justice to the first shot with a wide angle lens, so I also shot some images to try to stitch a panorama together later.

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