Thursday, June 30, 2011
Hey again everybody. I apologize that the last two mountain-y pictures I’ve posted have both been wintertime shots. That wasn’t really the intention, it’s just kind of the way things worked out. But, I figured this one was appropriate because I just used it (earlier today!) to enter some cheeseball photo contest that Crystal Mountain (the ski resort) is having. Normally I make it a policy not to enter photo contests. Officially, my reasoning is that photos themselves (and the “quality” thereof) is entirely subjective, and thus the judging of photos to choose the “best one” is completely absurd. That there can be no such thing as a “best” photo, and so to pretend that you are judging photos as such is kind of insulting. Unofficially though, the real reason is because I know I wouldn’t win, and then I know that would make me feel bad. I generally prefer to not feel bad, so I save myself the trouble and I don’t enter, convincing myself that the *real* reason I didn’t enter was the one stated above.
So.. why did I enter this one, then? Not really sure, I guess I was just in a photo contest entering mood. And that’s a total lie. The reason I entered this one is because they were showing some of the other photos that had been entered so far, and they all basically sucked. I mean, like, photos-taken-with-cell-phones sucked. So I basically qualified my reasoning from above, by adding the clause “once the photos meet a certain, fairly low quality bar”. As in, “Once the photos meet a certain, fairly low quality bar, there can be no such thing as a ‘best’ photo”. I still don’t think I’ll win, because I figure the chances are pretty low that mine will be the only “real” (ie non cell-phone) photo entered, and it’ll probably be fairly arbitrary which one is picked as the winner (meaning, “somebody else will enter a picture that’s actually really effing cool”), but hey, we’ll see what happens. The rules were somewhat strict, in that it had to be a picture of Mt. Rainier taken from somewhere on Crystal mountain. But, since you can basically only see Rainier from the ridgeline at the top of the resort, most of the photos entered looked… basically the same. This one’s just a little bit different from the standard view (an example of which can be seen here, which was almost the one I submitted), so I’m hoping that counts for something. I had some *really* different shots, zooming way in so you could just see some of the trees you can see in this shot against the glacier in the background, but it wasn’t readily identifiable as Mt. Rainier, so I figured that might be a bit of a stretch. So, I settled on this one, and then moved on with my life. Which is also a lie, because clearly I’ve been talking about this stupid little photo contest for two paragraphs here on my entirely unrelated blog, so obviously it’s been on my mind most of the day, which is absurd. But, there it is.
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Canon 55-250mm IS lens. 1/200s, f/14, ISO 100. Focal length: 65mm.
Friday, May 13, 2011
In honor of it being the end of the work week, I’m going to take you all back to Hawaii. I’m not a surfer, but this picture (and a couple others that I got that I may post soon) makes me seriously consider taking it up. I mean, holy crap, what a moment. This was taken on the north shore of Oahu, just like the last couple Hawaii shots I’ve posted, so nothing groundbreaking there. Not a bad place though, not a bad place…
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Canon 55-250mm IS lens. 1/200s, f/8.0, ISO 100. Focal length: 250mm.
Friday, April 29, 2011
So, today’s post wraps up the month of April. Another month, come and gone. Man, I should have something poignant to say about that.
This is (I think, although I haven’t verified) the last weekend of this year’s Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. they bloomed late this year, so I’m sure it’ll be fantastic up there. (And, the tulips will probably last past this weekend, but I don’t know what the deal is after the festival officially ends.) I was up there earlier this month, right after they started blooming. As you can see, a lot of them hadn’t opened up all the way yet (and there were a lot of steps that were still totally green.) So, I think I’d recommend heading up there later in the bloom cycle (like, say, *now*) as opposed to hitting it at the beginning. But, take what you can get I guess. The weather’s looking good this weekend though, so if you haven’t made it out there yet, just freakin’ go!
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Canon 55-250mm IS lens. 1/500s, f/7.1, ISO 200. Focal length: 250mm.
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Hey everyone. This was supposed to be posted yesterday, but by the time I got around to it, the day was over. So it got pushed back today. This is another picture from my recent trip to Hawaii. I took this from the Turtle Bay Resort, where we were staying. Turtle Bay is on the north shore of Oahu. I hadn’t realized it before we headed out there, but that’s the famous “North Shore” that gets all the huge waves that are legendary among surfers. We saw some decent-size waves, but the REALLY big ones never made an appearance while we were there. What waves we did see though tended to roll in right around sunset, so we had the opportunity to watch some folks surf while sitting at the hotel bar each night. Good times. The landscape around the hotel worked out pretty well, because it sits on a spit of land, so you’d get to watch these waves roll right on by as they were breaking (as opposed to sitting on the beach and watching them break way out to sea.) Thus, I was able to get this picture. It was (obviously) getting dark, so I had to crank up the ISO and underexpose the shot in order to get a reasonable shutter speed, so the colors aren’t as vivid as they would be otherwise. But whatever.
Anyway, enjoy the rest of your day, and I’ll try to get another one posted tomorrow, I promise.
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Canon 55-25-mm IS lens. 1/400s, f/8.0, ISO 400. Focal length: 400.
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.