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.
Monday, January 31, 2011
Welcome back, everyone! Through an unusual turn in the weather this last weekend, we actually got some sunshine around these parts, at least in the northern half of western Washington. I mean, sure, it’s not unheard of for us to see the sun in the winter here in the Pacific Northwest, but to get a day of wall-to-wall blue skies, well that doesn’t happen too often, at least not west of the Cascade crest. So, I decided to take full advantage of it by heading up to Mt. Baker for the day. For those of you not familiar, the Mt. Baker ski area is notable for primarily two reasons. First, it holds the world record for snowfall in one season. That should give you the (correct) impression that they get a lot of storms rolling through, and most of the storms drop a LOT of precipitation. Second, the scenery up there – when you can see it – is UNBELIEVABLE. Seriously, there are few places on this earth that can match the quality of the views up there. It’s truly unreal. The second point there is what made it perfect for yesterday.
The skiing yesterday could probably best be described as “decent, but not great”. We had some fairly warm weather late last week, and a cold front that blew through early in the weekend. As a result, it was fairly icy. But it was great for pictures, which is really the main reason I wanted to head up there. I’ve only just begun going through the shots I got (I really only dipped my toes in just enough to find a picture to use for today), so I’m sure you’ll be seeing plenty of them over the coming weeks, months, and potentially years. So, get comfortable!
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens. 1/400s, f/10.0, ISO 200. Focal length: 24mm.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Hey everybody, welcome back! Hope you all enjoyed your long weekend if you live in a place such that this last weekend was a long one. Alternatively, I hope you enjoyed your regular-length weekend followed by your fairly typical Monday! My traffic dropped fairly precipitously over the weekend, so I’m guessing that means that most of you were indeed not around a computer. Either that, or you had very little confidence that I’d actually be posting anything. Or, most likely, both.
The weather around here was crap this weekend, which cancelled my plans to go backpacking near Glacier Peak. I still hope to make it back to that trail, but this weekend wasn’t looking like the right time. Instead, Julie and I headed over to the desert, where the forecast (which was correct) said it would be 70 and sunny. I didn’t really realize it until this weekend, but holy crap! There’s some absolutely GORGEOUS terrain over there! I definitely need to get out there and explore it more. You can probably tell that today’s picture is absolutely not from the desert, and if that’s what you were thinking, you’re correct. I’m still following my rule that I won’t go through my new pics until at least a couple days since I’ve taken them. Which means, I’ll start looking through them tonight or tomorrow.
So, since I couldn’t look through the weekend’s pictures last night, I ended up instead looking back through some old pictures that I’ve still got on my hard drive. (Eventually I archive them off to DVDs, but I’ve got a few years of pics that I haven’t done that with…) I’m still slowly trudging my way through my old pictures, digging out any that are even remotely interesting. I’ve mentioned this several times. But, last night, I went even further back than that, and revisited a bunch of pics that I had already dug through and grabbed everything that I thought was worthwhile. But, I suppose I was in a different kind of mood or something, because in 4 or 5 months worth of images, I found 23 that I had previously passed over that are at least worthy of putting in Rate Dave’s Photos (which is a pretty low bar, honestly.) This being one of them. Not all of them are any good of course, but some of them are good enough to toss up here. (Well.. okay, yeah, still a pretty low bar. Shut up.)
This was taken at Mt. Baker Ski Area, which is in the northern part of Washington State. I’ve only skiied there once (the day I took this picture), although I have also snowshoed there, and I’ve been up there a whole bunch of times in the summer (it’s inside Heather Meadows Recreation Area). This was I believe on closing weekend a few years back, so mid to late April. Checking the timestamp on the image says yes, April 27. So, almost into May. Now you can see one of the things that frustrates me: why do they have to close these mountains so early?! They clearly still had plenty of snow. I suppose you could argue that by then, most folks have already hung their skis up for the season, so it becomes more and more difficult to keep running the lifts profitably, but whatever, I’m not concerned with the bottom line, I just want to ride a line to the bottom! Sigh, oh well.
It’s worth noting as well that Mt. Baker Ski Area holds the world record for snowfall in a single season. I believe it’s not just the world record for ski areas, but for any point where snowfall is measured. That could be wrong, but I think it’s right. Anyway, the record was set in the 1998-1999 season, when they had 1,140 inches of snow fall. (That’s **95 FEET** of snow, or 29 meters!!) That was a La Nina year (you know, the opposite of El Nino). Oh, did I mention that La Nina is also scheduled to make an appearance this season? Yes. Yes it is. Excellent.
I should also note that this picture was NOT from the record breaking season. This was just from a more typical season, where they average 647 inches. Still not too shabby, kinda makes you wonder why I’ve only skiied there once, huh? Oh, right, it’s more than a three hour drive. That would do it.
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel XT, Tamron 28-300mm VC lens. 1/500s, f/11.0, ISO 100. Focal length: 109mm.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
I don’t like this picture. I mean, I *really* don’t like this picture. The foreground is all muddled up with a shapeless mess of green stuff, and not only does it not nicely frame the mountain in the background, it actually partially blocks it. I really really don’t like this picture. But for some unknown reason, it seems that everyone else does. At the time I’m writing this, it’s got 53 votes, with an astronomical average of 8.96!! What?!? I mean, I can understand the odd high vote here and there, but normally by the time a mediocre picture gets 53 votes, sanity has prevailed and the average rating has fallen to a more reasonable level. But not with this one.
Am I wrong here?? What do you people see in this picture that I’m missing? There’s got to be something, right? Anyone??
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel XT, 18-55 mm kit lens. 1/200s, f/5.6, ISO 100. Focal length: 22mm.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Today brings us back to Mt. Shuksan, and the Heather Meadows Recreation Area in northwestern Washington state. This was taken from the usual viewpoint, but it’s a bit of a different setup than you usually see. It’s of course hard to argue with the usual shot, because if you can time it right when the lake is mirror-smooth, it’s such a classic image. But I still like this setup too. I’m actually a bit disappointed in the quality of this image though. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to try to use a small aperture and keep the mountain totally in focus, or if I should open it wide and really focus on the tree. So instead I went to this annoying in-between state, where it looks like it’s supposed to be in focus, but it’s just not quite there. And then I over sharpened it a bit to compensate. Sigh. Oh well, good enough for a Thursday. And, actually, at the time I probably THOUGHT I was getting it perfectly in focus. This was back when I was still using my Rebel XT, which had a tiny little screen, so it probably looked razor sharp at the time, just not on the big screen. That’s one of the big reasons I upgraded this summer to the T1i, to get the nice big high-res screen. It definitely doesn’t *eliminate* moments like that, but it definitely does make them less frequent. (That’s not meant as a dig on the XT though, it was still a fantastic camera, and I was really happy with it for the entire 3 years that I used it.)
Okay, see you all tomorrow…
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel XT, Quantaray 70-300 mm lens. 1/200s, f/5.6, ISO 100. Focal length: 70mm.