It was a nice overcast and cool (~50 F) morning for a run along the National Mall. After my run I stood in line for about an hour to get a ticket to go up to the top of the Washington Monument—the world’s tallest free-standing stone structure at 550+ ft. I went back at 1 pm for my trip to the top and took these through the viewing windows there. Well worth the trip!
It’s been many years in the making, but this summer I captured a large and detailed panorama of one of my favorite places to visit in Wyoming—Lake Marie in the Snowy Range. Wyoming is a special place for me as I’ve been transformed many times over my visits to the state over the last two decades. I first learned to love hiking, photography, and mountains here. I have a feeling I’ll be making a very large print of this one!
I am having trouble uploading the full size image to my website, but managed to upload a version to share via my old Flickr account. Hope you enjoy!
Arriving at RMNP on 6 July I drove up Trail Ridge Road to the Forest Canyon Overlook and tried out my new X-T3 in some challenging shooting conditions. The shot with the sun is a composite of multiple frames. It’s not a super great image, but I wanted to try out the exposure bracketing function on the new camera and so it was a good learning opportunity. After admonishing some fellow humans to stay on the paved walkway and not destroy the delicate tundra flora, I waited out a short rain storm to come back and try out some of the multiple focus points on the camera as well. I ended up focus-stacking the image with Long’s Peak in the background and learned that I need to take even more images at various focus points in order to get all of the foreground in focus as well as the background. I think this one was only five focus points and I think I would probably need about ten to make this image again.
The third image is of Bierstadt Lake. I made the early morning hike to the Lake (about 1.5 to 1.8 miles one way) and arrived not too long after sunrise on 7 July. Another friendly photographer said that the lake was bathed in a glow that had since passed and was covered with a bit of fog earlier—almost all of which had evaporated by the time I arrived. Nonetheless, it was a great morning adventure that paid off with a beautiful mountain lake!
The fourth image is a Milky Way shot that I took from the Bear Lake parking lot on 23 July. I used my 12mm Rokinon (manual focus) lens which performed admirably. The best part was that Alison got to experience her first Milky Way viewing (at least as an adult) with me! Jupiter is the bright planet just to the right of the galactic center.
Drove up to Lake Marie this morning and had a great time photographing the area. These are some of the photos I snapped with my iPhone, but I’ll have more to come once I get them processed.
New X-T3 /
As Alison and I arrived in Yellowstone National Park on 23 June 2018, we drove along the road to Slough Creek Campground when we spotted a wildlife photographer pulled over with a giant lens on his tripod. He was pointing at a rock wall. I pulled over and asked what was interesting him that day and he informed me that he was photographing a golden eagle nest. We were watching the parents circle overhead and heard the chicks making calls to remind their parents of their presence! I quickly attached my rented telephoto (Fujinon XF 100-400mm) to my camera and began making photos. It was really the first time I've ever used such a large heavy lens, but the circumstances made it a great experience. Although I handheld the lens that first day, over the next three days we returned to the spot a few times--with a tripod--to photograph the chicks and eagles--wonderful to watch and listen to them!
After a night at a Roosevelt Rough Rider Cabin, on 24 June 2018, we set off to explore the Lamar Valley--known as "America's Serengeti" for its abundance of wildlife. We spent the day hiking and wildlife watching. Although we missed seeing a wolf in person by mere seconds on multiple occasions, we did observe: bison (w/calves), coyotes (w/pups), golden eagle (w/chicks), peregrine falcon, elk, deer (w/fawn), pronghorn antelope, and ground squirrels.
We spent our third day in Yellowstone near the Slough Creek Campground. As Jack, the campground host, told us, bears are the "real deal" around here. He wasn't wrong. After setting up our tent we left the campground around 6:30 AM on 25 June 2018. On the gravel road out to the main road in the Lamar Valley Alison spotted two bears making their way back to the campground. Since we were at least 100 meters away, I jumped out of our car with the rented telephoto lens (Fujinon XF 100-400 mm) and began trying to get some images of the bears. I was also surprised to find two large sandhill cranes in the field keeping a watchful eye on the two bears. (Once I opened the files on my computer at home I realized the two cranes were accompanied by two chicks!)
After photographing the bears and cranes, we drove back to the campground to let Jack and guests know there were two bears headed toward them. When we returned later that evening to sleep, Jack told us about some of the bears antics --needless to say, bears are the "real deal" at Slough Creek Campground!