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I’m Baaaack!

I may not write much, but I might. I mostly want to post pictures of where I’ve been and what I’ve done as well as some art I’ve been doing — both with software and with my hands. It won’t probably be anything very serious at all. Thanks for looking in on me again.

The two pictures I’m posting tonight are of some trees and the moon. It was so pretty this morning, and it’s warm again, although it’s going to get cold pretty soon.

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Black Canyon, East Portal—Topaz Labs

This is a photo I took in October. I filtered it using Topaz Labs’ Impression. The first photo is the original picture. The following are the same picture, filtered differently in Impression.

To see detail, click on an image. A full-size image will open in another window.

What fun!

Black Canyon, East PortalBlack Canyon, East Portal

Black Canyon, East PortalBlack Canyon, East Portal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black Canyon, East Portal Black Canyon, East Portal

 

The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.

—Pablo Picasso                                   www.brainyquote.com

Black Canyon, South Rim

Make a Wish

Today, I drove the south rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. Upon entering the National Park, I could go straight, to see the overlooks and the Visitor Center, or head the other direction which went to the bottom of the gorge. The ranger warned me that although the roads are good, the grade is 16% and so quite steep. The payoff was great though.

On the way down, the colors were gorgeous and vibrant.

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Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Colorado.

 

The river is running clean, the fish were jumping, and the light was getting long. It was fairly quiet there, too. There weren’t a lot of people.

Gunnison River. Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Colorado.

Gunnison River. Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Colorado.

 

I love these things. They’re not too special, but I got a good shot.

Make a Wish

Make a Wish

 

I went further up the road and was able to take a shot looking the other direction.

Gunnison River. Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Colorado.

Gunnison River. Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Colorado.

 

More little plants and a bug behind.

This was just interesting.

This was just interesting.

 

This bug was so pretty, but by the time I saw him and got focused on him, he turned shy and then flew away.

Shy bug.

Shy bug.

 

The bug was not the only shy critter I focused on today. This deer was not too happy about my stopping and was getting ready to run.

Deer. Black Canyon of the Gunnision, Colorado.

Deer. Black Canyon of the Gunnision, Colorado.

 

I had a really nice day. I took more pictures on the top, then got some sunset and sundog shots outside of Montrose.

What a pretty place to live.

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.

No Fall Drive This Year

I just can’t believe I didn’t capture fall pictures this year! Between the weather and work, I was unable to head out to the hills. I can’t remember a year recently that I didn’t get out at least a bit. Perhaps there’s still some fall color up Unaweep Canyon, and maybe I’ll be able to get away this weekend. The oak brush in the canyon is gorgeous this time of year—if I’m not too late.

So, in lieu of new photos, I’m posting pictures from my drive over Owl Creek Pass, Fall 2012.

With cooler weather, interesting storms pushing through the valley, and the explosion of quaky color in the mountains, this is my favorite time of year.

Owl Creek Pass

Owl Creek Pass

Owl Creek Pass

Owl Creek Pass

Owl Creek Pass

Owl Creek Pass

Owl Creek Pass

Owl Creek Pass

Owl Creek Pass

Owl Creek Pass

Owl Creek Pass

Owl Creek Pass

Owl Creek Pass

Owl Creek Pass

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