I drove like a madman up into the mountains tonight so I could get some pictures of the sunset over the next range over. I took a lot of pictures, and some of them turned out really nice. I tried to get some of the moon over the mountains, since the moon was in a perfect position for pictures, but there was just too much contrast - so the moon was blown out or the mountains were pitch black. I should have gone about 30 minutes earlier. But, my timing was good for the sunset:
Today I spent over four hours in a car with my old adviser's newest graduate student. It was interesting, since we had never met before. We actually found a lot to talk about. One of the things that we both share is a love of photography, so we stopped about 5 times on the way from Snowmass to Boulder to take pictures. Along the way, she took about 150 pictures while the car was going. The trip is absolutely beautiful. If we had an extra 2 hours, I would have stopped 10 more times and taken some very nice pictures, but we had to be there by a certain time (we were late anyways, since we stopped 5 times...) I was very jealous of her, since she got to take so many pictures. Here is one of the pictures that I could take while stopped at the "No Name" exit on I-70. It is of one of the less impressive parts of Glenwood Canyon.
I took a walk this evening and took a huge number of pictures of flowers (about 130 pictures). I figured that flowers in Colorado are very different than flowers in Michigan, so I should take some pictures. Here are two of my favorites.
I raced to the top of independence pass to get some nice pictures of a sunset with mountains in the background. I got a lot of very nice pictures, but nothing like I really wanted. Here is the closest to what I wanted. I think that it is a fantastic picture, and most likely, I will actually put this as a background image for my computer. I only wish I got a little more mountain in there and maybe that the bottom wasn't soooo black. I have some where you can make out what is in the black part (snow and some water, which looks very nice), but then the sky is lighter and doesn't look so spectacular. Trade-offs, right?
I took a LOT of pictures today, but many are of friends and family, so I can't really post too many of them. I think that some of them turned out really well. I also have a great picture of CrabGirl with a very large squirt gun, looking like she is Rambo in a bathing suit (with peace signs on it!) But I figure that I shouldn't be posting pictures of my 12 year old daughter with a bathing suit on....
I was trying to get a nice zoom in on this bug and the flower with my 70-200 zoom with a 35mm extension tube on it. The problem is that the autofocus is for crap with the extension tube. So, I get them as focused as I possibly can and take a picture. But, you can't really tell if they are in focus or not, since you only have the tiny screen. Grrrrr. I used my tripod, though! This is one of the only tripod pictures I have posted.
I spent a few minutes outside with my lens extenders playing with different lens. I used my 80-200 lens first, which is a great lens. The problem was that the focus is too in between with the 35mm lens extender. I need to stack them together to use this lens. Then I will lose a lot of light. I need to play with it. Then I took out my 50mm lens, still with the 35mm extender. I could get very close then. With a f-stop of 1.8, the depth of field was something like 1mm, which is Uber-tight. For many of the pictures, I closed it up a bit with an f-stop of between 11 and 22, which allowed me to get in there very close, but not lose so much depth. Another thing that I am learning about Macro is that you really DO need to use a tripod. With a 1mm depth of field, any shaking at all, and you lose the picture you want. I experimented a lot, but didn't get many pictures that I liked at all. Here is one that I did like.
I was not too inspired today, a good 20 minutes or so before sunset I went outside just to see what I could find. I took about 20 pictures of the sky/ground combo, since they make a nice contrast this time of day, but as I was walking back to the house a dead tree caught my eye. I snapped a few pictures, and here is what I got. Last night I discovered that I didn't have to manually shoot everything - I could actually do an exposure compensation, which tells the camera to underexpose or over expose stuff. I love it! This picture, however, was completely manual, since it is so underexposed.
I have to be honest - I did not take a picture today! I am tired and unmotivated. But, I did take a very nice picture yesterday of a flower that is very cool. I really like how this looks sort of like purple fire.
CrabMama says that this is garlic. I think that it is an UberCool plant. The top pod-like thing starts out milky white. It then grows transparent, opens and then opens further. Here are the three phases:
CrabGirl has been asking me for a while to take a picture of her fish, Dr. Finklestein. All of the pictures were pretty awful, but this one is semi-cute, since it had its mouth open. To take the picture, I should have used a tripod and an additional light source. Maybe I will try to take it again sometime.
On this, the 250th day of our wonderful little get together, I present to thee a Thistle. These used to be all over our yard when we first bought the property, but we have slowly destroyed them all. Except those that are too stubborn to die. They are quite lovely, as long as you don't touch them.
Tonight I didn't know what to take a picture of, so I just took some pictures of flowers. I don't have a macro on my new camera (very sad), and I refuse to use the old camera (stubborn arrogance). This is one of the pictures that I got.
CrabGirl and CrabBoy standing in front of the falls in the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.
A grizzly bear.
A pelican. I took a bunch of pictures of the pelican on the water. None of these turned out very well at all. Then a woman walked up to the water and the pelican took off, and I got this picture.
Once again, we got a little unlucky with the weather in Grand Teton. We couldn't actually see the mountains at all during our time there. It was better than at Devil's Tower, but it was still a bit sad. I have two shots to highlight the mountain pictures. Here is the first.
The first is the second picture of the mountains. On our third day in the Tetons, the sun came out a bit, but the mountains were still in clouds. Oh well...
This is from Cheyenne, WY. I am not sure what goes on in this building, but it really makes you think that the government is listening to you. Not a great picture, but, holy sh*t.
The final picture is another abstract one. I took these abstract pictures because CrabBoy asked me to take some pictures that he could use as a screen background image. I took maybe 10-15 of these types of shots, and I think that they turned out beautiful. They are relatively easy to do, since they are completely flat, but I think that they are beautiful anyways.
This is a picture of Devil's Tower, but you just can't see it!
A little abstract art here. It is a picture of the ground in Yellowstone, where things can be colored differently.
A waterfall. Quite common in Yellowstone. I took a bunch of pictures of this, just to see what it would look like in different speeds. I think that I like the slowest speed, which shows the fluidity of the water.
Do you have food for me?
I like this one because of the subtle little heart in the lower left. I took a bunch of pictures of this, the Roaring Mountain, when I noticed the heart. I zoomed out and took this.
It is clear that I have fallen behind in my duties in terms of posting to my blog. I do have a valid excuse, though, since I was away from the internet for many, many days, and very busy the other days. We drove from our current state out to South Dakota and Wyoming, then back. It was a total of more than 4000 miles of driving. Needless to say, I saw a lot of things and took a few pictures (1809 pictures on my camera, and 653 on the compact camera, which CrabGirl was in charge of, to be precise). Since I obviously can't post even close to this many pictures (CrabMama did upload about 320 pictures to Picasa), I will post a very small selection (1% of the pictures that I took, or 18).
In this post, I show some shots of the first few days:
This is in the Bad Lands.
Also in the Bad Lands.
I would show a picture of Mt. Rushmore, but I think that you have all seen one, so I will show a picture of goat instead.
I never new that the Needles in the Black Hills existed. Here is a sample.