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Saturday Ramblings

I haven’t posted for a bit. Between a very busy day job, trying to keep up with the other job, school, bowling, and then being sick last Saturday, I’ve had a whirlwind existence lately. Tomorrow I’ll go in to work for awhile to get a head start on next week (for my comfort), take Patrón for another walk, then I’ll head to a friend’s for dinner.

I was able to go for a walk last Sunday and was saddened to see that someone had moved the weathered board so there were no more tufts of grass growing through its holes. Maybe that grass just blew away, but I doubt it. I was hoping for the grass to grow longer for a bit and be able to take another photo. I was sorry to see it no longer looked as it did. And I wondered that someone could come along and not see the artistry in that mess of old wood and clumps of grass.

Today I got homework done and that’s a relief. It was due Friday and we had a reprieve, thankfully. I was at wits end trying to figure out how I was going to get that done. What a relief. Just four more weeks, I think.

After bowling is over (two more weeks), school is over (fourish more weeks), and I’m not allowed overtime at the day job, I can take weekends and go sometimes. I’m tired of being trapped at home either having to do something — or thinking I should.

Today I downloaded a new camera app for my iPhone and I think I like it. I am disappointed with the native camera’s abilities and this app will at least make the photos look more vibrant. I’ve seen so many others’ photos from their phones and they look so good — and my phone photos kind of just suck. Anyway, the photos’ editability still isn’t great, but colors are vibrant and I am able to capture light and dark in a composition that is wildly different in tonal values. The name of the app is Pro HDR-X. It’s a toy, but a fun one.

Looking Toward Junction

I drove a little way up Unaweep Canyon this evening and took this picture.

Looking East

This I took a little earlier on my walk on the desert. The clouds, where there’s nothing to block them, are so pretty.

Sunset at the Parking Corral.

After driving up Unaweep Canyon for bit, I backtracked to the Gunnison River Bluffs/Old Spanish Trail parking corral. As the sun set, I captured this. I didn’t get light adjusted properly, but even so, I thought this turned out cool. I had to wait until a hiker’s silhouette fell below the horizon. For the longest time, while the sun set lower, there was a solitary figure walking from the left to the right along the top of those hills in the background. Had I been able to zoom in on him, that might have made a nice photo, too, but with the phone, he would have just been too small for any artistic impact.

It’s been a nice quiet day and I’m ready to call it.

Happy Saturday!


What to Do?!

For the class I attend this semester, Office Procedures, my classmates and I are each tasked with making a presentation. We’re not allowed to use Powerpoint so I believe I’ll have to do a video, then figure out how to post it to my YouTube channel. I’ve done it before, but mostly of my silly Patrón, or a montage of photos I’ve taken.

The biggest challenge is to decide what to present to the class. I’ve presented HDR photography before, and that is fun. It has to be a relatively simple task since the entire presentation should take somewhere between five and ten minutes.

This morning I thought perhaps, if making a video isn’t too complicated, I might try demonstrating how to make an omelet. I also thought it would be possible to get a small burner and actually cook one in class.

Alternatively, I could demonstrate how to put drops in a dog’s eyes. The fact she does not like the process could make it that much more comical. The process includes straddling her so she can’t get away, then prying open her eye—a hair-width, if I can. I then hope some of the drops that hit her lashes ooze their way into her eye where it will do some good.

Perhaps I could show how to draw a sun. With a face.

Or change a photo to art using a filter package.

How to irritate Patrón? THAT should be pretty easy. I’ve had lots of practice.

Any ideas out there? I have until Monday to get it figured out and complete.

As irritating as it is that I don’t have any wonderful ideas, this will be fun—whatever the result. I’m excited to see what others produce.

Meanwhile, here are some close-to-the-ground photos. This is such a different perspective.



It was pretty warm on the days these were shot. It’s supposed to snow this weekend. In fact, I hear there’s supposed to be snow on the ground in the morning. I’d like that—and time to take some pictures.

Happy almost Friday!

Beautiful Western Colorado Weekend

Surely it will be winter again soon. But while it’s warm, I’ve taken advantage by getting Miss Patrón out for her walks. I think she’s slimming down, too. She and I went on a long one today and she never tired, so she’s doing better. I took these pictures yesterday, but I left the camera in the vehicle today. She got impatient with all the stopping we did yesterday. I owed her a real walk.

We walk on the desert behind the landfill. It doesn’t take a long time to get far enough out that it seems pretty remote. Yesterday, while we were walking, I saw something move in the distance. Since the landfill is not very far away, there are some pretty large ravens out there—but from a distance, I can’t really tell what I’m seeing. I’ve heard rumors of big cats, and I’ve seen wolves (or coyotes—I don’t know). So, I’m observant and cautious when I’m not sure. Since I walk alone (except for that silly dog who I believe would roll over and not help protect us), I’m not cavalier about the possibility of meeting wildlife. So, when I saw movement but couldn’t tell it was only a big bird, Patrón and I turned around. Once I got on top of a hill to look back, I saw it was actually a very large raven, dining on his catch. The pictures I took are below. While they didn’t turn out well, I’m posting them anyway. It was pretty fascinating to watch, but I about got an eye cramp waiting for that bird to move. He was pretty busy with his meal. Based on the number of times he took flight, I suspect he was trying to figure out how to transport his leftovers.


raven raven raven raven

Patrón, irritated at having to sit, rolled on the ground next to me, bumped my arm, and generally made a pest of herself.


I’ve stopped, yet again, to snap a picture, and you can see she just can’t seem to believe I’ve stopped again.


And again.


I can safely say I drove her bonkers yesterday. It’s my job.

The weekend’s over. Back to work and school for me!

Have a good week!

Fall, Bighorns, and Light Painting

I took some pictures yesterday (October 26, 2013) as part of a Landscape Photography in Lower Monument Canyon group hike led by Donna Fullerton, and put on by the Colorado National Monument Association. We started at 4pm and the last time I checked, it was 9pm as I was in my vehicle and on my way home. It turned out to be an ideal evening for a hike; sunny and warm in the late afternoon, and not too chilly when the sun went down. I finally got a few fall pictures.

Lower Monument Canyon Trail, October 26, 2013.

Lower Monument Canyon Trail, October 26, 2013.

Lower Monument Canyon Trail, October 26, 2013.

Lower Monument Canyon Trail, October 26, 2013.

Lower Monument Canyon Trail, October 26, 2013.

Lower Monument Canyon Trail, October 26, 2013.

Lower Monument Canyon Trail, October 26, 2013.

Lower Monument Canyon Trail, October 26, 2013.

We were treated to a herd of desert bighorns—not just a couple, but more than a dozen. I had never seen that many at one time. Sighting the bighorns kept us in one spot for a long time; taking pictures and being really quiet. My camera didn’t do a good job of capturing them, but I did get proof I saw them! I took several long-distance shots when it was far too dark to get good pictures without a tripod. Shooting in RAW allows for changing the exposure in post-processing, but what I get is really noisy and not much use for anything but my own memories. I guess that has to be good enough. (My reasoning for not taking a tripod was because the information about the hike said it wasn’t necessary. Hereafter, a tripod will always be a necessary item on such an outing.)

Lower Monument Canyon Trail, October 26, 2013.

Lower Monument Canyon Trail, October 26, 2013.

Lower Monument Canyon Trail, October 26, 2013.

Lower Monument Canyon Trail, October 26, 2013.

When we got to Independence Monument, it was almost dark, and stars were beginning to appear in the sky. While we posted to Facebook or set up our cameras to take night shots, it got dark enough for something I’ve wanted to do for a long time; light painting.

This process requires a strong light shone on whatever you’re hoping to capture—in this case, Independence Monument. The light is shined on the rock just as you might paint it; shining it up and down and all around, touching every part. I got a lot of help from Donna who let me borrow her tripod and helped me figure out what to set exposure and f-stop on. Another hiker, Jeff (I think his name was), gave pointers about focusing on something your camera can’t see to focus on. The first picture below was taken with my camera on Donna’s tripod. The second photograph I took behind her setup with the camera laying on my jacket. The red light in the foreground is the busy light on Donna’s camera. Ideally, that wouldn’t have appeared in the picture, and I could have taken it out, but I like it there. The third shot isn’t of Independence Monument, it is of the night sky just before we headed back down the hill with our headlamps on. For this one, I laid the camera on the jacket, kept the settings that Jeff set for the rock, and opened the shutter for 30 seconds.

Light painting. Lower Monument Canyon Trail, October 26, 2013.

Light painting. Lower Monument Canyon Trail, October 26, 2013.

Light painting. Lower Monument Canyon Trail, October 26, 2013.

Light painting. Lower Monument Canyon Trail, October 26, 2013.

Lower Monument Canyon Trail, October 26, 2013.

Lower Monument Canyon Trail, October 26, 2013.

How cool are these?!

This hike was so much fun and I learned so much. I hope to be able to do this, or something similar, again. Classes are great and I learn a lot. But, what I gained from “doing” with experienced photographers can’t be beat. I enjoyed the company of eight people of varying levels of expertise—all generous with their knowledge, each with very individual “eyes” for composition, and a love of photography and nature. It was a great way to spend a Saturday evening.


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