I have started to go through some of my shots from China, which seemed like it was years ago when I went, because it was. Still one of the coolest places I have ever visited. These two panoramas were taken near the highest overlook of Longshen in the Ping’an area. Both were taken in the evening as a storm was passing by. Of course both are quite underwhelming unless you click on them to see the larger size in flicker..
Last week we took what I thought would be a grand paragliding odyssey to Utah, Wyoming, and maybe Colorado. We first went to the Point of the Mountain and quickly became demoralized due to our lack of skills in high wind and having to learn around a huge amount of people while trying not to cause collisions between others. So failing that, we thought it would be nice to go up American Fork Canyon and hike Timp from the Timpanooke Trail. I’ve hiked from the Aspen Grove side more times than I can remember, but only once from the Timpanooke side, which is also the prettier, but longer trail.
Anyways, we were only able to make it just under 3/4’s of the way from the peak due to thin snow bridges with no alternate way around them. I’ve never been stopped by snow before on the Aspen Grove side, but I guess there are very limited spots to ascend on the Timpanooke side. I don’t even care about the peak, but I was super bummed as I really wanted to show Amber Emerald Lake and get some pictures from there; one of the prettiest spots on the planet if you ask me. Here is a shot near the end of the trail for us looking back towards the backside of Alta and Snowbird. Yeah, I grew up just a few minutes drive from here near Aspen Grove. This makes me miss it!
The full sized panorama’s can be found by clicking on the pictures and going to the larger sizes in flickr, these small sized shots really blow..
Boy do I have a crazy job.. I worked one hour last month, but stayed on call and made full wages. This month I have worked 1 hour, but basically not on call, just prepared to work within 48 hours of notification if things suddenly get real busy around here. So we have been taking a few trips to here and there and remodeling our house, mostly painting every square inch of it. Last week we did a little backpacking in the Black Hills and also took a trip to Bear Butte.
In the background is Bear Butte and that is Bear Butte Lake in the foreground. It is basically a few minutes out of Sturgis, SD. You should have seen the view 10 minutes before I took this shot when the sun was not behind the clouds! Oh well, still kind of pretty.
The rain follows me whenever I dare sleep in a tent, and the night we spent at the lake was no exception. Luckily, despite a terrible forecast, the weather held out for us to quick climb the Butte, mostly scouting the paragliding possibilities, which look to be beyond my abilities and I would guess not allowed anyways. Here is the view towards the Black Hills. It is a stitched pano and the grass and trees look kind of harsh and I cannot figure out why. Oh well.
And here is the view from the other side, which I think is looking towards the nothingness of North Dakota? I guess the butte is sacred for the local Indians, so they tie up a pinch of tobacco into a bit of cloth and hang them in trees, everywhere. I personally think it looks pretty trashy to see that hanging from the few trees that remain on the mountains, but it is still a neat spot to visit.
My wife is here in Nebraska with me now and I have been busy finding a house to purchase while finishing up my job training and thus kicking photography to the curb for the time being. For some reason I didn’t want my archives on this site to skip the month of February, so I will quick upload a shot I worked on a while back that I thought was only so so before I jump into bed for my midnight shift. This shot is looking off into the Cappadocia horizon with little rock churches strewn about with Mt. Erciyes looming in the background. I believe this stitch is from about three or four shots as well.
Our first stop on our road trip from Idaho to Georgia was Teton National Park. We quick pitched our tent to secure a camping spot then took off down the road for a hike to Bradley Lake. We didn’t know it at the time, but this blue sky during the hike was the last we would see until we were almost in Georgia. The rain began a couple of minutes before we reached the car and then it turned into what felt like a full on monsoon. Breaking the tent down in the morning was fun using the break-down-the-tent-while-still-inside-of-it-leaving-the-rain-fly-for-last technique. This place is definitely needing further attention from me in the future.
Eight Shot Pano. Full size can be found HERE in all of its glory.
We took a trip to a swamp in Southern Georgia with a crazy sounding name, Okefenokee. The swamp is pretty massive and full of spiders, alligators, snakes, and godless killing machines, aka bears. Consequently, I am not about to go camping here anytime soon! I took this 4 vertical shot panorama from the top of a lookout tower that was about 50 feet high. AutoPano Pro is pretty amazing software for stitching. I had a tripod set up for these shots, but the wind was blowing and 3 people on top of a lookout had the top swaying quite a bit, yet it still seems to have stitched even the foliage without a hitch.
After dropping down the east-side slope of the the Big Horn Basin, we eyed this scenic pullout off of I-90 near the town of Sheridan, Wy. I was blown away by the amount of green your eyes take in at this spot. I thought I had to shoot a pano to try and do this view some justice, but sadly, it does not even come close to how neat it was as the sun was setting. This is a series of 5 shots stitched together in Autopano Pro.
It is hard not to miss all of the exploring of ancient relics in Turkey such as Anavarza Kalesi. Me and a friend hit this one early in the morning and quickly climbed to the top to witness a vividly golden sunrise without a soul in sight. I am always fascinated at the thought of ancient times and how this place must have looked. It is hard to find information about reliable dating for this site because it is just so damn ancient and the area has changed hands so many times that it is difficult to ascertain the age. The amazing thing is that this castle has a sprawling city remains below that has yet to ever be excavated even to this day!
So I grew tired of paying WordPress an annual fee to edit my theme CSS, so I finally reverted to a free theme that allowed me to change the background and header. I have quickly put together my own haphazard header and background, but I think I am partial to a lighter background for viewing photos, so I will probably change that in the future. The only problem is that I cannot change the color of the text, so the background might have to remain dark so the text remains readable. I also do not understand why every theme they have leaves a huge amount of unused space on the edge of each column??? I want to display and view pictures as large as possible!
Wow, I have been without Internet for a little over a week since I just moved from one location to another. I don’t even know what to do with myself if I cannot read about photography or go through blogs or Flickr. I actually started playing games or processing photos when I had free time. I thought I would quick post up a 360 degree panorama of Snake Castle (Yilankale Kalesi) comprised of 7 frames and made up of 34 shots spaced @ 1 EV and then merged together using Photomatix’s DRI function. You have to view this one at max size to really appreciate it.
The sunsets in this area are amazing, probably due to the plethora of burning fields present during the later parts of the year. Anyways, I was driving back home from Snake Castle last evening while the sun was disappearing behind the horizon and thought I had finally found an interesting shot a little too late of this creepy looking gas station. The HDR really pulled out the colors on this shot even though the sun was only casting indirect rays on the horizon by then.
There were some other abandoned buildings that I had spied nearby that I will have to visit again. I sure am glad I have my big-bad-evil tripod Demonicus when I am in these seedier areas. It was definitely a little bit spooky since my past experiences in Turkey is that there is always someone in the bushes, behind the trees, or in an old building even if it is out in the middle of nowhere.
This weekend we did an overnight trip to the Japanese Alps to climb Tsubakuro-Dake. I was amazed, in fact, it makes me quite frustrated to see such an awesome area and have to go back to big-city Tokyo. I would love to be living at the foot of these mountains because they are absolutely spectacular!!! Here is a 3-picture-HDR-stitch panorama taken from the peak, which is 2,763 meters high (9,065 ft.) We hiked up in a thick mist, which is exactly how I imagined hiking through the mountains of Japan would be, and even hit snow midway up the trail. We really had no clue what the scenery looked like on the way to the hut because of the heavy mist and thick fog near the ridge line on the final push. We ended up staying at a really nice hut that served pretty damn good food. In the evening it cleared up for a little bit and saw the most unexpectedly amazing view, and realized the actual peak was a mere skip and a hop away. Anyways, here is a shot of the Enzanso hut at night with the full moon about to peer through the clouds. Needless to say, it doesn’t feel right to stay in such a nice building near the top of a mountain, but I can’t say I didn’t enjoy the food, the comfortable rest, and the warmth since it was really cold at night. My dumbass forgot to check my camera ISO again and took all of my shots @ 800, which is pushing the D80 beyond its’ limit. I didn’t realize this until I was packing to head down. Doh! I hear this is the easiest hike of all the peaks in the Japanese Alps. This hike wasn’t all that difficult, even in the snow. Below is a picture of the mid-mountain hut that gets supplies via a rickety old tram. I recommend the curry Ramen. I feel kind of bummed I will be leaving soon and will miss out on more trips to this area. If anyone is interested to see some amazing pictures and stories of some sketchy ascents of other peaks in the area; look no further than this blog right here. Just don’t blame me if you suddenly find that you have just lost track of the last couple of hours going through the posts.