Monthly Archives: April 2011

April 20, 2011 – Harriman State Park, NY

Harriman State Park, NY

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Back to the east coast for today. It seems like forever ago, but I think it really was just last fall that I was out in New England. The memories from that trip are a little bit bittersweet though, since the weather didn’t quite work out where I was intending to go (Vermont), so most of the decent pics I got I got on the way there. Like this one, from Harriman State Park, in New York. (It also didn’t help/hurt that Vermont was past its peak by the time we were there, but this part of New York was right in the thick of it.)

One of these years I hope to head back out there and maybe do a bit of backpacking in the fall. Not sure when I’ll ever actually be able to make it happen, but it’s definitely on the to-do list. Someday, right?

(Update: This image was affected by the issues I had with this lens – it was later repaired under warranty. Sigh.)

Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens. 1/200s, f/5.6, ISO 200. Focal length: 20mm.

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April 18, 2011 – Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

2011 Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

2011 Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

Monday, April 18, 2011

Hey everyone! It’s tulip time here in the northwest, so in a rare break from my usual behavior, I’m actually going to post a picture here to the blog that was actually taken in the last 24 hours. Crazy, right? Totally.

So, as you’ve probably guessed by the title of the post, this was taken at the 2011 Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. I can’t tell you exactly where I was at the time, because I was just walking around some random field of tulips that was off the side of the road. But it’s tough to go wrong once you get up there – just find some flowers and go look at them.

Sadly, this was about the only good picture I got this year. I’m not sure why, but I have a few theories. First, I just wasn’t really in that much of a picture-taking mood this year. So, I snapped a few, but my heart just wasn’t in it. Then of course there was the problem of this freaking annoying cloud that was just hovering right there between me and the sun for most of the time I was there. It wasn’t blowing by like most clouds should, it kept billowing around and reforming right where it was the most inconvenient. So about two thirds of the time I was there the light stunk. Probably the biggest problem was that I didn’t really think through ahead of time what kinds of shots I would want to try to get. I did that last year, and correspondingly I got a lot of shots I was happy with. This year, I of course fell back on some of the same ideas I used last year, but since I already got them last year, I didn’t really try at all this year, and thus the ones I did get were junk. So, umm, whoops.

I still totally recommend that you go check it out yourself – especially if you’re a photographer. As I’ve mentioned in the past, there are TONS of great themes you can play around with. But, it’s definitely worth the time to do some planning. I realize that may be tough if you’ve never been there before and don’t know how things are laid out, but it’s still worth doing. Just sort of make a mental checklist of things you want to play around with, different ways of putting all the elements together. Some of the primary themes are of course the expansive fields of color, all made up by mostly-repeating (but all subtly different) patterns and flower-shapes, the orderly rows of flower beds, the contrasts between plots of different types of tulips, and of course the external elements (like barns, mountains, trees, and clouds). But beyond that, there’s lots of things you can do, lots of different lines and colors and elements to work with. It’s can be a great time.

Unless you’re lazy, like I was this year. Then it’s just meh. But, do go check it out. And plan on traffic being a bit annoying. And plan on paying 5 bucks to park each time you stop. Plan on hitting a few different fields, to get different combinations of colors. And, definitely plan on seeing plenty of people, and having to be creative to keep them out of your pictures. If you go into the experience planning for those things, you’ll have a much better time when you’re there. (Oh, and head north to Highway 20 on the way out, otherwise you’ll be hating your life.)

Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Canon 55-250mm IS lens. 1/2000s, f/5.6, ISO 200. Focal length: 194mm.

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April 13, 2011 – Mt. Baker Ski Area

Mt. Baker Ski Area

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Turns out it’s still ski season here in Washington, which is awesome. Although no, this picture isn’t THAT recent, it’s from earlier this year, end of January I think. Remember how I said that I headed up to Mt. Baker that one particular day to take advantage of the sunshine? It’s still true! And this is from then!

The terrain you’re looking at (which is part of the Mt. Shuksan massif) is all out of bounds, probably inside the National Park boundary (and I’ve mentioned all this before.) Nice little slide right there on that little hummock. It’s not clear if those people you see in the picture caused it or not. I have an earlier picture two of them are standing on the top of the ridge above it, and the third guy is well below it on the next hummock down. By analyzing the ski trails, it looks like there’s a decent chance that he did start it. But, all three of them look pretty relaxed, which is definitely *not* how I’d look if either me or my buddy just narrowly avoided being buried in a slide that I/he/she had triggered way in the backcountry. So, I’m going to just say it’s “unclear” and leave it at that.

Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Canon 55-250mm IS lens. 1/500s, f/10.0, ISO 100. Focal length: 250mm.

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April 12, 2011 – Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii

Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Hello everyone! Here’s another shot from Hawaii. I took this one when we were out on a snorkel tour in Kaneohe Bay. Which, as you can probably guess, is the bay that’s right off of the city of.. umm.. Kaneohe. There’s a neat sandbar out there where the boat took us, where they cooked up some burgers and stuff. The snorkeling wasn’t any good there though, but after lunch they actually took us to a reef where there were actually, you know, things to see. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t quite work out (something about the wet season, rain forest, and blah blah blah), so I wasn’t able to get any crazy turquoise water shots that a sandbar would normally be good for. Oh well, maybe next time. It was pretty odd though, standing on a thin strip of sand that was an inch or two above the water level, taking a picture of the boat that had taken us way out into the bay. Weird.

Those mountains in the background are ridiculously beautiful. Seriously. You have to see them for yourself. I was trying to get a good picture of them the entire time I was in Hawaii (we spent the entire time on Oahu). But, the weather just never worked out, at least not when I was in the area. Again, the whole “wet season” thing. This was on the windward (eastern) coast of Oahu, which is the cloudy/rainy side. (Since the weather rolls in that way, and the moist air turns into clouds and rain as it gets pushed over those mountains.) But, hey, I didn’t pick the dates of our trip, so you can blame my buddy Mark and his new wife Michaela for that.

Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens. 1/200s, f/5.6, ISO 100. Focal length: 23mm.

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April 7, 2011 – Autumn Leaves

Autumn Leaves

Autumn Leaves

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 lens. 1/200s, f/13.0, ISO 200. Focal length: 28mm.

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