Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Okay, enough of a break, back to the bright yellows from my Colorado trip. This is another one from the approach to Ophir Pass, a bit south of Telluride. And, this is another shot that would have been better had my equipment not been giving me problems. Specifically, this is yet another victim of the corner/edge softness in my Tamron 17-50. (If you’ll remember – I ended up sending it in for warranty repair after this trip. They apparently did indeed find some things wrong with it, so I’m currently waiting for it to get back here in the mail.) You can see what I’m talking about along the top ridgeline. And, I also had to crop the image some (pained me quite a bit to do that – as I felt that the original composition was better) because the stuff that used to be along the right edge and in the top right corner were just too distracting in their blurriness. Sigh. Oh well.
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens. 1/250s, f/6.3, ISO 200. Focal length: 43mm.
Thursday, October 25, 2012
I went for a hike last weekend around these parts. Some snow fell. It was lovely.
This was along the Gold Creek trail, which heads out from the Gold Creek Pond picnic area. The Gold Creek Pond picnic area is somewhat interesting because it as formerly a gravel pit – it’s where a lot of the raw material to build I-90 over Snoqualmie pass came from. But they turned it into a little natural area after they were done with it, so it’s a nice little spot. There’s some fantastic fall color up around there now, so today was a perfect chance to go check that out, and see some snow (which was fully expected) as well.
There’s a few reasons this image is mildly interesting. I’ll do my best to iterate them all.
First, this was a pretty long exposure. I couldn’t find my tripod (or more specifically, I couldn’t find the *mounting plate* for my tripod) so I ended up just bringing my gorilla pod with me. That works, except that then you’re limited to things close to the ground. So it wasn’t as useful as I had originally hoped. But, occasionally I could find stuff to put it on, to get some decent views. The real reason I’m mentioning the long exposure as a mildly interesting point is that it was actively snowing (pretty hard actually) at the time. So fast exposures would have lots of big fat fluffy flakes in them, and this image had a long of vertical snow trails visible. I did a little bit of post-processing on this one (mostly just brightness/contrast) which was enough to fade a lot of them into obscurity, but if you look at the full-size image, you can definitely still see them there. I’m not sure how I feel about those – on one hand they’re kind of distracting. But on the other, they do kind of set the mood, as it was indeed snowing.
Secondly, I just recently (after the somewhat-debacle that my Colorado trip turned out to be, what with the focus issues and such) upgraded my camera body! I had my eye on either a 7D or perhaps a full-frame sensor, but the former hasn’t been refreshed in a loooong time and the latter would be way too much of an investment for me right now – given that it would mean upgrading all of my lenses as well.) So I went with the T4i – and so far I’m pleased with it – the high ISO performance (even coming from a somewhat-recent T1i) is really striking! So this is the first photo I’m posting that was shot with the new body.
Third, I ended up getting a new lens as well. If you’ll remember, I’ve recently been expressing some frustration with my Tamron 17-50, particularly in regards to edge/corner softness. They had a used 17-40 L-series at the camera shop, so I jumped on it. I was 95% sure I was going to return it, but as I was doing some simple photo tests around my house with that and my 17-50, the issues with the 17-50 became painfully apparent. So, I brought the 17-40 with me today, and I’m quite happy with the results. At the same time, I packaged up my 17-50 and sent it in for warranty repair, to see if they’d find anything wrong with it. They did, it turns out, and I’m currently waiting to get it back. So, once that arrives, I’m super curious to see what the results of further testing are – will I be able to tell the difference between that and the 17-40 L? If so, I think I’m still inside the window where I can bring the 17-40 back – I’m not expecting the Tamron to be significantly (or even noticeably) *better*, but it would certainly be *cheaper* to keep the one I’ve got, and get the hundreds of dollars back that I spent on the L. We’ll see. But it’s of course a very frustrating time for me – thinking back on all of the images that are ruined (in many cases) or at the very least degraded due to the issues with that lens. Like, a large number of the pictures that I got in Colorado – many of which aren’t usable at all. SO. DAMN. FRUSTRATING. Oh well, now I know, and now I can move forward. So… is the Canon 17-40mm F/4.0 L a *better* lens than the Tamron 17-50 F/2.8? Unclear. Is it a nice lens? Absolutely. Would I recommend it as a good choice to somebody that doesn’t already have a solid lens in that range? Without question.
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T4i, Canon 17/40mm F/4.0L lens. 1s, f/16.0, ISO 200. Focal length: 27mm.
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
A couple more days of break from the bright yellow Colorado fall pics. I actually had some Washington fall pics lined up for the past couple days, but I never got around to posting them. Perhaps tomorrow I’ll use one of those. As for this one, I didn’t remember until after I was halfway through posting it that I used another one from this series “recently”. (Meaning, just a few posts ago – although that post came like a year ago in real time.) Oh well.
I don’t actually remember what lens I used to take this picture – it was either my old Kiron lens (that doesn’t have electronic anything) or with an extension tube. (Or perhaps both!) Regardless, there was no EXIF data about the lens or even about the focal length. Since my record keeping is nonexistent, there is no way to tell. (Although the last one I posted from the series might say – so if you’re super curious, you could check that.)
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T4i, Unknown lens. 1/640s, unknown aperture, ISO 400. Focal length: unknown.
Thursday, October 18, 2012
As promised, here’s a small break from the bright yellow of aspens in autumn. This was taken earlier this summer in Seattle, in the shadow of the Space Needle. Yes, it does get warm and sunny enough out here to go play in the water. For at least a few days each summer. Okay, not many. And by warm enough, I mean 79 degrees. That’s warm, right?
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens. 1/1000s, f/9, ISO 100. Focal length: 22mm.
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
So.. umm.. yes, yet another shot from the Colorado trip. Not sure how you’re feeling, but I’m getting to the point where I need a break from bright yellow. I *love* bright yellow fall color, but it’s getting a bit overwhelming. Need to figure out what to do about that. Also, I’m getting a tiny bit tired of looking at that same right-side-softness from my Tamron lens day after day after day. It’s just a constant reminder of the pictures I *should* have gotten on the trip, but didn’t quite. So frustrating.
Anyway, this is the view from the road right outside of the “Mountain Village” part of Telluride. I didn’t know this until I was there, but Telluride is split into two pieces – the town and the “mountain village” part (which is purely part of the ski resort). That part in and of itself is not uncommon – especially in Colorado where you have old mining towns that later open up ski resorts – you’ll have the town itself that is a bit removed from the ski resort, sometimes 10 or 20 minutes apart. Telluride is pretty unique in my experience though, because the ski hill sits literally right between the two. As in, both sides (city and resort village) have access to the mountain, and there’s a gondola that takes you from one to the other, right over the ski hill. So if you’re staying there, either side will get you walking distance access to skiing. Pretty cool. So, as I mentioned, this is the road just outside of the resort village area. Gorgeous country out there, I’d love to go back.
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens. 1/250s, f/7.1, ISO 200. Focal length: 31mm.
Monday, October 15, 2012
Another shot from Colorado today. In fact, another shot from near Kebler Pass. I can’t help it – that’s where I found the aspens. Today I did something that I generally find a bit distasteful. A lot of times when you see people posting panoramic images, it’s because they couldn’t figure out a way to get an interesting composition using a standard frame size. I immediately start to suspect that there was uninteresting stuff either on top or on the bottom, so rather than take a better picture, they said eff it, and just lopped it off.
For this picture, it’s a totally different story, you see. I really liked this view. But I just couldn’t seem to find a way to frame it that didn’t have a bunch of boring stuff at the bottom of the frame. So I cropped it. Totally different. Uh huh. Yeah.
Whatever. This is Ruby Peak, near Kebler Pass, as I mentioned. And lots of aspens. In the fall. You may notice some softness on the right side of the frame. You will *definitely* notice it now, even if you didn’t before. Assuming you’re reading this, which you may not be. That’s a problem with my lens. I’ve suspected it for awhile, but I did some testing to verify that, yes, the right side of the frame in the photos I take with this lens is all effed up. So I’m going to send it in for warranty repair. Hope that takes care of it. Sigh. It makes me sad to think of all the photos I took that could have been so much better without that issue, especially those from this trip. Poop.
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens. 1/250s, f/8, ISO 200. Focal length: 28mm.
Thursday, October 11, 2012.
After a 2 day hiatus from pictures from my Colorado trip this fall, we’re back where we left off. This was taken along the Cliff Creek trail, a bit west of Kebler Pass. That wasn’t the trail we were originally aiming for – but there was a bit of confusion on the map, so this is where we ended up. Turned out to be a pretty nice trail – the first half a mile or a mile hiked through some really nice aspen groves, and there were some nice views to be had all the way up to whatever pass you go over.
In other news, I think I figured out what was wrong, that caused the majority of the Colorado pictures that I was so excited about to not turn out. I believe that one or more of my focus points are on the fritz. I’ve long known that if you use full-autofocus, my camera body gets confused and will end up focusing on.. nothing at all, really. And, one point in particular (the top right) just plain won’t focus at all – it will just search back and forth endlessly. So, for a significant portion of the trip I used one particular focus point (lower right), and I think that’s why so many of the images came out blurry. The problem occurred with each of my 3 lenses, so I was able to (mostly) rule out any of them in particular being the issue. (Although it was particularly prevalent with my telephoto, so there might be further issues there.) Anyway, I think that’s just yet another sign that it may be time to upgrade. So now the decision comes down to either the T4i (available now) or wait and see if they replace the 7D anytime soon. (I’ve heard rumors about January, we’ll see. And, it’s quite likely that I wouldn’t have the cash for that anyway, so in all likelihood I’ll end up waiting for that, and then just springing for the T4i anyway.)
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens. 1/250s, f/5.0, ISO 200. Focal length: 42mm.
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Let’s take a break from Colorado pics today, and head back home to Washington State. I was able to sneak out for a bit this last weekend, to try to track down some more local color. Turns out I (mostly) aimed wrong, and the area I went to (near Salmon la Sac) wasn’t at peak yet. Instead, I should have headed north to North Cascades National Park to go larch hunting. Oh well. There were still some nice views to be had, just not quite what I was looking for.
This picture was taken not too far from the roadway, on the way to the trail I ended up hiking (which was the Paddy-Go-Easy Pass trail.) That’s Fish Lake in the foreground, and that mountain in the background is called Cathedral Rock.
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens. 1/250s, f/9, ISO 400. Focal length: 50mm.
Today’s picture is another one along Kebler Pass Road. This one was taken from the road itself – it winds itself right around this peak, which I’m fairly sure is called Marcellina Mountain.
I’ve realized over the past few days that I’m not going to be able to keep this one-picture-a-day-from-my-Colorado-trip thing going as long as I hoped to, because a lot of my pictures just plain didn’t turn out. Multiple equipment malfunctions, it turns out. Specifically, just about every picture I took with my telephoto is complete garbage. Like, not even close to in focus, stuff like that. I think a lot of it has to do with the new polarizer I got for that lens, but I can’t yet put my finger quite on why that would have made such a drastic difference. I mean, it’s not totally unexpected – since it had been so long since I had really been out taking pictures, I figure there’d be hundreds of little things that I’d just be forgetting about (forgetting to compose pictures in certain ways, forgetting about little tips and tricks to make things come out better, etc), but it’s still superbly frustrating, seeing pictures that I was *sure* I had nailed turning out not quite right, or in many cases, not turning out at all. Sad. Very sad. Sigh. Oh well, I think I’ve got at least a couple more in me, we’ll see.
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens. 1/200s, f/5.6, ISO 200. Focal length: 42mm.
Friday, October 5, 2012
The next entry in the series of shots I got on my fall color trip to Colorado last weekend comes from Kebler Pass, west of Crested Butte. A lot of the state was past the peak for colors, but the west side of Kebler Pass was flat-out unreal. HUGE aspen groves that were just bursting with riotous color. The phrase “breathtaking” gets tossed around lightly a lot these days, but it truly applied here – the views gave me tingles. Amazing, amazing, amazing.
I’m going to take a break over the weekend, then next week I’ll post some more shots from my trip.
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens. 1/250s, f/8, ISO 200. Focal length: 42mm.
Thursday, October 4, 2012
Another fall picture from Colorado today, from my trip last weekend. This one is approaching Ophir Pass from the west. Ophir Pass is a fairly rough road that crosses the mountains south of Telluride, cutting through to a point just north of Silverton, in the San Juans. We attempted to drive over it, but it got pretty gnarly pretty quickly, and I wasn’t sure how much clearance our rental car had. I’m pretty sure we could have made it, but I’ll admit that I got a bit spooked, and at one particular river crossing I decided that we had pushed it enough. We got just about to the end of the aspen groves though, so while we definitely missed some great views higher up, we had seen about all the color there was to see, at least on the west side of the pass.
I’m seeing some corner softness in today’s and yesterday’s pictures. This is frustrating for me, I’m not sure why I’m noticing that a lot more now than in the past. Maybe it’s always been there and I just never knew. Maybe it’s time for some new equipment. Hmmmm.
Oh, and: yes, I used a polarizer on this one. Duh.
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens. 1/320s, f/5.6, ISO 200. Focal length: 42mm.
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
I’m going to try to start posting again. At least in the near-term future anyway. Because, see, I finally got to take some pictures. That doesn’t happen too often anymore. But, I just got back from a trip to Colorado, where I got to see some cool stuff, like this. So I’m going to hopefully be posting a few of the pics. And, thus, here’s the first one.
This was taken from the ski area at Telluride, which sits between the town and the little mountain village area. It was fall. It was colorful. Those are aspens. Hooray!
It’s also worth noting that I’ve (finally) decided to change my strategy for what to do when somebody clicks on the image. Up until now, I’ve had it open up my blog in a new tab. The thinking there was that people viewing the entry via email or an RSS reader would then arrive at the webpage proper, where they could then click around and discover all my other content, for whatever that’s worth. But now, I’ve instead decided to make available larger versions of the images (which, let’s be honest, look a lot better). So if you click on the image, you’ll see a larger version. I think I settled on 1200xwhatever. Maybe tomorrow I’ll go all the way to 1600 so you could actually use it for your wallpaper and stuff. And maybe I’ll get around to doing the same for some of my historical updates too, if I get bored. We’ll see.
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens. 1/250s, f/10.0, ISO 400. Focal length: 22mm.