Monthly Archives: January 2011

January 21, 2011 – Spider


Friday, January 21, 2011

Welcome to Friday! That means the week is over, which is probably a good thing. I had a really hard time picking an image for today, as it turns out. Not because I just wasn’t finding anything good to toss up here, but because I had no idea what kind of picture I should go with. I had my buddy Roy help me pick one, and the choices I gave him ranged from stuff like this, to flowers, to snowy mountains, to some east-coast fall-color stuff. But out of the eight choices I sent him, he picked this one. Sorry that it’s a bit, ahh, disgusting.

As you probably know, I spent a fair bit of time this summer running around after bugs. As it turns out, there really aren’t very many interesting ones here in Seattle. I mean, if you were to head out into the actual, you know, woods, you’d probably find a few, but if you’re just looking at what’s running around my neighborhood, there’s really not much. There are a couple different kinds of flies, and a couple different kinds of bees. And then there was predominantly one kind of spider, which you’re looking at right now. Almost all of them that I saw were probably around an inch across, so not really exceptionally large in any way (although not too small either, for sure), although I saw some slightly larger ones as the summer came to a close. As it happens, it can be pretty difficult to get a decent shot of these guys, because they tend to hang out right in the middle of their web. But, webs move. So, while I’m trying to focus on the spider, the web can move several inches in either direction with even the slightest breeze. And there are almost no times at which there is no movement. If you’re not using a flash, it’s not as big of a deal, because then you can just let the shutter rip (although since you’re not using a flash, you’re probably using a longer shutter speed, which can cause problems due to the movement itself.) But if you’re using a flash (particularly a really cheap one like I was, that takes forever to recharge), it can be a real pain in the butt.

But, it’s not impossible, and then you get stuff like this. I’m not saying stuff like this is particularly great, I’m just saying that this is the kind of stuff you get, you can be the judge for whether it’s worth it or not.

Anyway, have a great weekend!

Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 90mm macro lens, Phoenix macro ring flash. 1/160s, f/20.0, ISO 100. Focal length: 90mm.

Subscribe to the Picture of the Day via: a feed reader (RSS) or email

January 20, 2011 – Pine Needles

Pine Needles

Pine Needles

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I’ve been sitting here for awhile now trying to figure out what to, you know, say about this picture, but nothing’s really coming to mind. It’s a shot of some pine needles, taken with a reverse-mounted kit lens. Uhhmm… Yup, that’s what it is.

Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, reverse-mounted 18-55mm kit lens. 1/250s, ISO 400.

Subscribe to the Picture of the Day via: a feed reader (RSS) or email

January 19, 2011 – Tonga Ridge

Tonga Ridge Trail

Tonga Ridge Trail

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Today’s picture comes from the Tonga Ridge trail, which is right smack in the middle of the Cascades, along Highway 2 a little ways to the west of Stevens Pass. It’s advertised as a nice, easy to get to ridge walk (the road gets you basically right up to the ridge, so you don’t have to hike up to it first), with supposedly incredible views for most of the trail. As you probably can guess by the way I worded that statement, I don’t feel like it lived up to the hype. I mean, sure, it was nice to get outside for the day, but the views were only “good”, definitely not “great”. Oh well, it happens sometimes. Anyway, I’m still going through the pictures from that day (I’m about 10-20% of the way through that day, just like every other day that I went hiking. One day, I hope to um, finish them all. Hahaha, yeah right), so this is just a shot of the trail meandering through the woods.

That’s not what I’m here to talk about today though. Today, I’m here to recommend to you all that you go check out this timelapse video of the northern lights over Tromso, Norway. I throw around terms like “breathtaking” and “awesome” a lot, but this video truly deserves such superlatives. Go check it out. Seriously. Not kidding. You’ll thank me later.

Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens. 1/160s, f/7.1, ISO 200. Focal length: 17mm.

Subscribe to the Picture of the Day via: a feed reader (RSS) or email

January 18, 2011 – Silver Queen from Crystal Mountain

Silver Queen from Crystal Mountain

Silver Queen from Crystal Mountain

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Hello again, everybody! I once again want to apologize for my spotty posting over the past couple of months. I really do want to get back into it, now that all the craziness of the holidays and such is over, and a myriad of other excuses. In fact, I came into this week fully planning on putting up 5 shots. But, then I realized that it was already Tuesday morning, that I had already lost a day due to the holiday yesterday, and I had to give up on that dream. So, the current, updated plan is to put up 4 shots. We’ll see.

I decided that it had been long enough since I posted a skiing picture, and that today was a great day to toss another one up here. So, here you go. This is a view of Silver Queen Mountain, from the summit of Crystal Mountain. Silver Queen Mountain is actually in-bounds for skiing, if you were wondering. Well, that’s a bit misleading. There’s a chairlift that goes to the very tippy top, and everything on the LEFT side of the ridge coming down is skiable. But everything on the RIGHT side is not. Some people still do, as you can see by the presence of tracks over there, but if you do decide to ski it, my understanding is that you are: 1) putting yourself at a decent avalanche risk, 2) setting yourself up for a VERY LONG hike back out, or a VERY LONG trip down through some extremely gnarly trees and probably very spotty snow coverage, down to the (closed) highway into Mt. Rainier National Park, which is probably four or five thousand vertical feet down. But hey, if that’s your thing…

Also, to continue the theme established last Wednesday, this is not a recent picture. I think it was taken back in 2005 or 2006, with a pocket point and shoot. But, last I heard, that mountain is still there.

Notes: Canon PowerShot S500 (Point and shoot). 1/800s, f/8.0.

Subscribe to the Picture of the Day via: a feed reader (RSS) or email

January 12, 2011 – Maroon Bells and Maroon Lake

Maroon Bells and Maroon Lake

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

We’re reaching way back into the archives today. Although, oddly enough, this is the second picture in a row from Colorado. I just noticed that. Huh, oh well. This shot was, obviously, shot in the fall. The day that I took this was the only day I had in Aspen. We had stayed in town the night before, but shortly after this was taken, we started driving back to my parents’ house in Colorado Springs. (Notice a common theme here? Right, yes, the theme is: my parents live in Colorado Springs. Thus, I sometimes find myself in Colorado. On those occasions, I, um, take pictures.)

This was my second time at this viewpoint. Well, technically, it was my third, but for now, we’ll call it the second. The FIRST time I was there was a year or two earlier, right at the beginning of the summer. Or maybe it was even the beginning of May. Not that important. What WAS important was that I slept in my car in the parking lot (I was laid off, so I didn’t want to spend the money on a hotel), but right at sunrise, there was a super nice reflection from the lake, with the sun shining right up the valley, illuminating the peaks. It was great. So this time around, even though it was three months later in the year, I decided to try the same thing. So, I got up before sunrise and drove out there. Then, the sun came up. Then, I realized that the whole “sun shining right down the valley” thing had a lot to do with the fact that it was May. That in September, the sun rose at a different spot on the horizon, and thus, I’d have to wait a few hours for it to finally rise over the valley wall. Whoops. So I ended up hanging out for awhile waiting for it. Fortunately, I had a book.

But, that’s not when I took this picture. I took a lot of pictures then, yes, and I’ve even posted a few of them here already. But then I headed back to town, where my wife was asleep in the hotel room. Well, I mean, she was asleep when I left, but she was actually starting to get a bit worried, since I told her I’d be back in half an hour or so, and it was now approaching 5 hours since I had left. Whoops. I could have called, except that, right, I was in the mountains, and had no coverage.

So, that was fun. Eventually, we got some breakfast and such, and then we headed back out here. (Thus, my third time here.) By then, they had instituted the no-cars-allowed policy (for most of the day, the only option is to take a shuttle in), but that was fine. My wife and I rode on in, and I got another set of pictures from the viewpoint. The afternoon breezes had kicked up though, so there was no more nice still reflection like early in the morning. That’s okay though, it was a nice view in its own right.

Okay, that’s it for today. Also, that’s also probably it for this week, since I’m really busy at work the next couple days. I mean, sure, there’s a chance I’ll put something else up here, but I’m not planning on it. But hey, optimism is awesome, right?

Notes: Canon EOS Rebel XT, 18-55mm kit lens. 1/200s, f/7.1, ISO 100. Focal length: 31mm.

Subscribe to the Picture of the Day via: a feed reader (RSS) or email