Fun Friday: Peek-a-Boo!

Today’s Fun Friday post comes from Glacier NP, where I spent a week in early July. At Logan Pass, this cute little Columbian Ground Squirrel (Urocitellus columbianus) wanted to play “Peek-a-Boo” with me:

Columbian Ground Squirrel

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D body
  • Canon EF100mm-400mm, f/4.5-f/5.6 IS lens, shot at 400mm
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 250
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter 1/1000 sec.
Posted in 2014, Blog, Fun Friday post, Mammals, National Park, Nature Photography, Travel Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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A Nice Place for Lunch!

Looking for a nice place for lunch? Why not try Gray Copper Gulch?

Gray Copper Gulch, Colorado

Gray Copper Gulch, Colorado

Gray Copper Gulch, Colorado

Gray Copper Gulch, Colorado

While jeeping in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains, we stopped at this extremely picturesque place for lunch … take a bite of the turkey deli sandwich … make an image … eat a potato chip … make an image … what a wonderful pattern!

Gray Copper Gulch is located south of Ouray, Colorado. There are several small ponds, all giving wonderful reflections of the Red Mountain in the background. On this day, we were on a full day jeep adventure, starting in Ouray and ending in Silverton, before returning to Ouray. Quite an exhausting, but very wonderful day … and what a wonderful picnic area!

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon EF28mm-135mm, f/3.5-f/5.6 IS lens, with IS “Off” and shot at 50mm to 135mm, with Circular Polarizer in place
  • Bogen 3221 tripod with Graff Studioball SB-QR ballhead
  • ISO 200
  • Aperture f/16
  • Shutter 1/40 sec. to 1/160 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2014, Blog, Landscape Photography, Nature Photography, Travel Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
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My Solution

In yesterday’s post (“What Would You Do?”) I featured a towering waterfall located in Ouray, Colorado. The photo of the entire Cascade Falls shows the magnitude of this beautiful waterfall, but (at least, to me) seems to gloss over the many smaller features of the falls. I posed the simple question, “What Would You Do?”. I did this for a couple of reasons: (1) to get you to think of how you would best show this waterfall in photos you might make, and (2) not being a longtime landscape photographer (but which I am trying to learn all the intimate details of how to better my landscape images), I wanted to see what your thoughts/ideas were.

But back to my photo trip … what did I do? Well, using the old phrase “Divide and Conquer”, I broke down the waterfall into smaller, simpler segments and then composed images of these smaller parts. And how did I define what I would photograph? Well, I first put on a longer lens (my Canon EF100-400mm, f/4.5-f/5.6, IS lens) and zoomed around the falls, looking for things that caught my eye, or things that seemed to represent the waterfall’s beauty. Here are a few images of what I came up with.

First, I started at the top of the falls and worked downward, until I found my first interest, the topmost part of the “cascading” falls:

Cascade Falls

The next stopping point was 2 medium-sized boulders that caught my attention (towards the top of this photo). And I really didn’t like the large boulder at the bottom of the photo (seemed a bit “out of place”), but left it in, anyway:

Cascade Falls

Moving in a bit tighter, I focused on the 2 boulders (and cropped out the large boulder):

Cascade Falls

Following the falls downward, I made several captures of the large, cascading shelf (seen towards the bottom of the above photo):

Cascade Falls

Cascade Falls

And finishing my autopsy of the falls, I captured several images of the water flowing around the colored rocks that were present in the resulting stream:

Cascade Falls

Cascade Falls

Being part of a group, we had limited time at the falls, so we would not miss our afternoon jeep tour into the mountains. So there was not a lot of time to think about the strategy to capture the falls. And being my first time to the falls, I had no idea what to expect before seeing the falls. So tell me, anything I missed (for when I revisit the falls on my next trip to Ouray)?

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon EF28mm-135mm, f/3.5-f/5.6 IS lens, and Canon EF100mm-400mm, f/4.5-f/5.6, IS lens
  • Bogen 3221 tripod with Graff Studioball SB-QR ballhead
  • ISO 200
  • Aperture f/16
  • Shutter ~1/10 sec.

 

 

 

Posted in 2014, Blog, Landscape Photography, Nature Photography, Photography Tips, Travel Photography, Waterfalls | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
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What Would You Do?

While photographing wildflowers in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains, I was based in Ouray, Colorado. Inside the city limits, just a few blocks from where I was staying, is a beautiful waterfall, Cascade Falls. Easily accessible, it is located in a small park just a block away from the main drag of town. From the parking lot, it is a short (1/4 mile) walk to get to the falls.

I was really surprised to walk around a bend in the trail and see how tall the waterfall was!

Cascade Falls

As I’m sure you can see, it is a lot taller than the normal waterfall we often find. Shooting the waterfall in it’s entirety, as I’ve done above, gives a good sense for it’s towering height, but does not really “show off” it’s wonderful attributes and character. So, I’m asking you how you would photograph it?

Tomorrow, I’ll show you some more images of the Cascade Falls and how I decided to “break it down and show it off”.  :o)

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon EF28mm-135mm, f/3.5-f/5.6 IS lens, shot at 130mm (Circular Polarizer in place to help slow down the shutter speed)
  • Bogen 3221 tripod with Graff Studioball SB-QR ballhead
  • ISO 200
  • Aperture f/16
  • Shutter 1/8 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2014, Blog, Landscape Photography, Nature Photography, Photography Tips, Travel Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
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Marsh Marigold

In the soggy meadows of Governor’s Basin, Marsh Marigold (Psychrophila leptosepala) wildflowers were prevalent, sometimes even growing in standing water. These little beauties are only 4-8 inches tall and the flowers are from 1 to 1 1/2 inches wide. They are found in wet sites of the Subalpine and Alpine areas, particularly near melting snowbanks, early int the summer season. Those featured in this post were found in/near running water from snow that was melting in slightly higher altitudes.

Here is a single flower, in which a macro photograph was made:

Marsh Marigold wildflower

And across the rough road, this large patch of Marsh Marigolds formed a nice foreground for an old mining building in the background:

Marsh Marigold wildflower

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon EF180mm, f/3.5 macro lens (top photo) and EF28mm-135mm, f/3.5-f/5.6 IS lens (bottom photo)
  • Bogen 3221 tripod with Graff Studioball SB-QR ballhead
  • ISO 500 (both photos)
  • Aperture f/3.5 (top photo) and f/16 (bottom photo)
  • Shutter 1/1250 sec. (top photo) and 1/80 sec. (bottom photo)
Posted in 2014, Blog, Landscape Photography, Macro Photography, Nature Photography, Travel Photography, Wildflowers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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King of the Mountain

Another mountain favorite of mine is the King’s Crown (Rhodiola integrifolia). Growing only 4-12″ tall, and with flower heads to 1-inch wide, when you find a nice clump of them growing, it can be a wonderful sight! Here are a few of my favorite images:

King's Crown wildflower

King's Crown wildflower

And here is an 8 image focus-stacked macro I combined:

King's Crown wildflower

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon EF180mm, f/3.5 macro lens
  • Bogen 3221 tripod with Graff Studioball SB-QR ballhead
  • ISO 500
  • Aperture f/16
  • Shutter 1/13 sec. to 1/20 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2014, Blog, focus stacking, Landscape Photography, Macro Photography, Nature Photography, Travel Photography, Wildflowers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Last Dollar Road

While in Ouray, Colorado, a short drive took me to Last Dollar Road and a majestic field of wildflowers at the foot of some photogenic mountains:

Field of Wildflowers

Field of Wildflowers

I learned that this luscious field was at the foot of the Dallas Divide Mountains (in the background). As with all wildflowers, being there at peak time is the objective … and we made it there in good time!

The bulk of the wildflowers appeared to be the Dwarf, or Bush Sunflower (Helianthus pumilus), but I’m not positive on the ID. Sprinkled among them is some Indian Paintbrush and an occasional Aster wildflower. Quite an assortment in quite a photogenic area!

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon EF28-135mm, f/3.5-5.6 IS lens (IS “Off” while on tripod), shot at 47mm and 85mm (a circular polarizer was used on front of the lens to reduce reflections, and to help saturate the foliage)
  • Bogen 3221 tripod with Graff Studioball SB-QR ballhead
  • ISO 200
  • Aperture f/16
  • Shutter 1/10 sec. to 1/25 sec.
Posted in 2014, Blog, Landscape Photography, Nature Photography, Travel Photography, Wildflowers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Fun Friday: Not “(Quite)” What It Looks Like!

During my July trip to Glacier NP, I caught some flack from my wife. As we drove along the top of the Going-to-the-Sun Road, I was mesmerized by the many waterfalls that were active across the valley. At one point, I saw a good pullout and decided to grab a scenic shot of one of the waterfalls. While setting up, I envisioned getting that clump of purple wildflowers in the image as the foreground. Meanwhile, this is what my wife saw, from the car:

A Photo Is Born

A Photo Is Born

It kinda looks like I was about ready to go over the edge of the cliff. Well, truthfully I was close, but not as much as it looked. Sometimes our eyes and our cameras can deceive us a bit … at least that’s what I’ve been trying to convince her of! :o)

I was crouched down low because I was trying my darndest to get the wildflowers in the frame as the foreground. Here is one of many images I ended up with:

Glacier NP scenic

But this next image is closer to my earlier vision:

Glacier NP scenic

And everyone was safe! No slips, trips, or sliding. But to shoot in these situations, it is imperative that you are very careful, that you maintain your footing, and that you are constantly vigilant as to where you are … and where the edge is!

Photographic Equipment Used (for bottom, landscape photos):

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon EF28-135mm, f/3.5-5.6 IS lens (IS “Off” while on tripod), shot at 50mm (a circular polarizer was used on front of the lens to slow down shutter speed, to reduce reflections, and to help saturate the foliage), shot from 122 to 132mm
  • Bogen 3221 tripod with Graff Studioball SB-QR ballhead
  • ISO 200
  • Aperture f/8 (image #3) and f/36 (bottom image)
  • Shutter 1/1000 sec. (image #3, which was an oversight when shot) and 1/30 sec. (bottom image)
Posted in 2014, Blog, Fun Friday post, Landscape Photography, National Park, Nature Photography, Travel Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
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Shades of Red

During my Colorado wildflower road trip, I saw several species of Indian Paintbrush, each being a different color. Today’s post features one of the reddish varieties:

Indian Paintbrush wildflower

Indian Paintbrush wildflower

I captured 15 images of the last image, varying the focus point and combining them together to get a nice, in-focus image (focus-stacking):

Indian Paintbrush wildflower

I’ll share some of the other colors of Indian Paintbrush in upcoming posts.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon EF28-135mm, f/3.5-5.6 IS lens (IS “Off” while on tripod), shot at 50mm (a circular polarizer was used on front of the lens to slow down shutter speed, to reduce reflections, and to help saturate the foliage)
  • Bogen 3221 tripod with Graff Studioball SB-QR ballhead
  • ISO 400
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter 1/2oo sec.

 

 

Posted in 2014, Blog, focus stacking, Macro Photography, Nature Photography, Travel Photography, Wildflowers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Yankee Boy Basin, Colorado

When we jeeped to Yankee Boy Basin, we had a wonderful waterfall (I featured that in a couple of earlier posts), and below the waterfalls, a great little stream with wildflowers lining the bank:

Wildflowers along a mountain stream

This is a focus-stacked image, combining 3 images of varying focus point in Helicon Focus software. In the foreground are some luscious, rose-colored Indian Paintbrush, which I’ll feature in an upcoming post.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon EF28-135mm, f/3.5-5.6 IS lens (IS “Off” while on tripod), shot at 50mm (a circular polarizer was used on front of the lens to slow down shutter speed, to reduce reflections, and to help saturate the foliage)
  • Bogen 3221 tripod with Graff Studioball SB-QR ballhead
  • ISO 100
  • Aperture f/6.3
  • Shutter 1/10 sec.
Posted in 2014, Blog, focus stacking, Landscape Photography, Nature Photography, Travel Photography, Wildflowers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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