Monthly Archives: March 2010

March 24, 2010 – Hiking on Whistler Mountain

Half Note Trail, Whistler Mountain

Half Note Trail, Whistler Mountain

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

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Here it is, folks. The last image you’ll be seeing from me for a couple weeks. I know, I know, you thought this day would never come. For awhile, it sure seemed like it wouldn’t. But, time kept rolling on, as time does, and now it’s time for me to get the heck outta town. I would promise that I’d miss you all, but I probably won’t. I’ll be too distracted by fun stuff.

This picture was taken along the Half Note trail on Whistler Mountain. I’ve posted some other pics (well, at least one) from this same trail before. Whistler is a great place to go in the summer as well as the winter, because they have those magical lifts that take you way up into the high country, without you having to do any of the work. Ah, it’s a beautiful thing. That’s why I love Europe, because those kind of things are all OVER the place. Here in the northwest, they’re few and far between, and the mountains are steep, and the roads all follow the rivers way down in the valley, so if you want to get up to the pretty stuff, you have to work your ass off. Unless you ride up the gondola (and the Peak Chair) to the top of Whistler. Then it’s almost free! (Well, not monetarily, but whatever.)

This picture was taken with my super wide angle lens (Tokina 11-16), which I only acquired at the end of last summer. (Thus, it hasn’t been used too much.) It should get plenty of use this summer. Although, it might not, because I *also* got my hands on the Tamron 17-50, which is itself much more wide-angle than any lens I was using before (previously 28 was as wide as I could get). The difference between 17 and 11-16 is a lot less than the difference between 28 and 11-16, so I may find myself able to get most of the wide-angle shots I want with the other one, we’ll see. Or, more likely, *I* will see, and you will just continue to see random pretty pictures. That works too.

Have a great couple of weeks!

Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tokina 11-16 f/2.8 lens. 1/250s, f/11.0, ISO 100. Focal length: 11mm.

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March 23, 2010 – Kubota Japanese Garden

Kubota Japanese Garden

Kubota Japanese Garden, Seattle, Washington

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

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Uh oh, only one more post until the two week drought! How are we all going to make it through?? Well, dumb question, I know exactly how I’ll make it through. With lots of cocktails. On the beach. Oh, it’ll be rough, for sure. It’s you all that I’m worried about. How will you survive without your daily dose of wit and pixels? You probably won’t, I’ll probably just no longer have an audience when I get home. Sigh.

Today’s picture takes us back to the Kubota Garden on the south side of Seattle. It’s one of two (that I know about) Japanese gardens in town, the other being in the arboretum just south of the university. They’re both really nice, but the Kubota Garden is bigger and has more little nooks. (Although it’s worth noting that they have about the same number of crannies.) This picture was at the very limit of what the equipment I had could handle. In fact, the image quality isn’t *quite* what I’d be happy with, although it’s what I got, so I guess I’ll just have to be happy with it. It was really dark in there, which meant using a long shutter speed and a wide-open aperture. So my depth of field wasn’t what I would have wanted, and the shutter speed I was using (1/40th of a second!) allowed for a little bit of both camera shake and motion blur. Either one of those can trash an otherwise nice picture, but I think this one made it through just barely. I suppose I could have jacked up the ISO to compensate, but this was with my older camera (the Rebel XT) which didn’t handle high-ISOs very well, nowhere near as well as the T1i anyway.

Tomorrow I’ll be posting a picture that I’ve threatened to post a few times, starting back in Canada week. I’m finally going to do it tomorrow, and then you’ll have to look at it for 2 weeks. That’s okay though, it’s a nice one. See you then!

Notes: Canon EOS Rebel XT, Tamron 28-300 mm VC lens. 1/40s, f/3.5, ISO 400. Focal length: 28mm.

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March 22, 2010 – Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

Monday, March 22, 2010

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So it’s full-on spring now in most places, which is always bittersweet for me. Spring is pretty and all that, but it means the end of winter. And, more importantly, the end of ski season. This season in particular is a bit rough on me, because I’m missing a good chunk of the end of the season being out of town. (I missed all this last weekend, and I’m about to leave for two weeks! Aaahhh!) That being said though, spring means flowers, and flowers are things that you can take pictures of.

Today’s picture comes from the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, which takes place every spring (usually throughout April) in the Skagit Valley, which is about an hour north of Seattle (around Mt. Vernon). I think this one was from a couple years ago, since I was unable to make it last year for one reason or another. I’m really hoping to make it again this year, but we’ll see how the schedule works out. If you have a chance, you should definitely check it out. It can be intimidating just because of the sheer number of people that head up there (parking and driving around can be a real pain) but it’s a great chance to try out some crazy picture ideas, to play around a bit.

Notes: Canon EOS Rebel XT, Tamron 28-300mm VC lens. 1/400s, f/8.0, ISO 100. Focal length: 28mm.

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March 17, 2010 – Snow Ghosts

Snow Ghosts

Snow Ghosts, Whitefish Mountain Resort

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

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Hello everyone, welcome to my Friday! That’s right, after today I’m gone, which makes this the last post you’ll be seeing this week. Wooooo! I imagine that’s quite a bit more exciting for me than it is for you. But that won’t stop me from celebrating.

These are snow ghosts. Well, okay, they’re trees. But that’s what they call them when they develop that nice thick crust of snow and ice. You see it a lot in Idaho and Montana and inland BC (and probably Alberta, but I haven’t been there to verify that). These actually look more tree-like than a “true” snow ghost, but it at least gives you the idea. (When I was at Big White Ski Resort a number of years ago, a lot of them were so encased in snow and ice that they were just weirdly shaped white lumpy things, kind of like that one in the front row here.) These in particular lived at Whitefish Mountain Resort (formerly Big Mountain) in Whitefish, Montana. Whitefish happens to be one of my three all-time favorite ski mountains (along with Mt. Bachelor in Oregon and Schweitzer in Idaho), so if you’re looking for a place to go this weekend, you should consider it. Personally, I’ll be in Chicago, and I’ve heard rumors that the skiing sucks there. Dang.

Be good this weekend everyone, don’t forget to pay the bills and feed the children. See you on Monday!

Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens. 1/250s, f/14.0, ISO 200. Focal length: 17mm.

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March 16, 2010 – Stehekin Valley

Stehekin Valley

Stehekin Valley, North Cascades National Park

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

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This is pretty similar to another picture I posted awhile back, but trust me, it’s not quite the same picture. It’s taken with different exposure settings, and it’s framed a little differently. This is how I roll. I can usually do a pretty good job of tossing out all the really crappy shots, but when it gets down to a few shots that are all technically decent enough, I have a really hard time picking the one that’s my favorite and sticking with it. It always comes down to liking one part of the first picture that’s not in the second, and one part of the second one that’s not in the first. And then it becomes like trying to pick which of your children is your favorite (and which one should be tossed out). Not an easy call. So I generally avoid the decision by just tossing them all online and moving on with my life. That’s what happened here.

This is the Stehekin Valley in North Cascades National Park. This was several miles past Cascade Pass on the (duh) Cascade Pass trail. We hiked in over the pass, then stayed for the night at a campground that was … well, just about where I was standing when I took this. This was the view at sunrise the next morning. If you go down that valley far enough, you’ll eventually reach Stehekin, which is a really small settlement at the far end of Lake Chelan. (Which is a super long (like 60 miles!) and narrow lake that cuts from the eastern slope of the Cascades into the heart of the range.) It’s only accessible by boat (or hiking), and I have never been there. It would have been a few more days walking from here to get there, and sadly my understanding is that the most interesting part of the hike was already behind me. We were just out for a quick out and back though, so this is as close to Stehekin as we got. Cascade Pass is a great hike though, even for just a day hike, up to the pass and back. Getting to the trailhead takes forever though, so leave early. (Or leave the night before and do some car camping.) Good times, good times.

Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 28-300 mm lens. 1/500s, f/7.1, ISO 400. Focal length: 28mm.

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