Tuesday, March 15, 2011
So, it turns out that Washington has a bunch of water in it. I often kind of overlook that fact, since I’m kind of a mountain guy. I didn’t grow up around the water, and I really don’t have much of an idea what to do with it. But if you’re in to that sort of thing, there’s a lot of options around here. There’s big lakes, tons of rivers, and a huge amount of salt water. I mean, shoot, the entire western edge of the state is made up of fairly nice beaches (although not the kind where you’d want to actually play around in the water – that sh**’s cold!), and we’ve got the whole Puget Sound (and the Hood Canal) on top of that. I heard awhile ago that Seattle has more boats per capita than just about anywhere else. I don’t know if that’s true or not (meaning I’m too lazy to check Wikipedia at the moment), but it’s still impressive.
Today’s picture was taken from a nice little scenic drive that goes from near Mt. Vernon on the southern end up to Bellingham in the north, called Chuckanut Drive. It’s a windy little two-lane highway that hugs the (Puget Sound) coast. If you like those watery views, you’d love this road. Especially around sunset. It’s very Pacific-Northwest-y.
Also, this is the 350th post on this blog. For whatever that’s good for.
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 lens. 1/200s, f/8.0, ISO 400. Focal length: 11mm.
Friday, December 10, 2010
Hey, you guys remember Monday? I mean, I know it was a long time ago and everything, but, do ya? That was the day that I posted a picture from my camera, because I didn’t have any other cameras with me at the moment. I said that I might post something that I got after I went back to the car to GET another camera, and that I would maybe post it later in the week. Well, it’s later in the week. And here’s a picture that I took after I went back to the car to get my other camera.
The sun was shining nicely on the back side of lots of the trees that were along the ridge, so it made for a nice scene. I didn’t get that nice illuminated ridge across the big valley that I wanted, but at least I got some decent stuff out of it all.
On an unrelated note, I noticed today that I’m getting frightfully close to having a total of 400 comments on this blog. (That only includes comments on this blog itself, not comments on my Facebook page, for what it’s worth. But it DOES include comments from me, which is probably 94% of them. Whatever.) So, I’m wondering if I should do anything special for whoever happens to post comment number 400. What do you guys think? Anybody care? Like, maybe a free print or something? It could be of any picture you see here. Well, it doesn’t even have to be that, it could be anything really, it doesn’t even have to be a picture I took!! Actually, yes, it does. Sorry.
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel XT, 18-55mm IS kit lens. 1/250s, f/7.1, ISO 200. Focal length: 24mm.
Monday, August 23, 2010
My original plan for this weekend was to FINALLY get out backpacking, since I haven’t yet been able to make it work this summer. But, once again, the weather intervened. Not that it was supposed to be particularly BAD up in the mountains, just that it wasn’t going to be good enough to make it work out. All of the forecasts I checked made it sound like it would be pretty nice Saturday, but then on Sunday it would just be cloudy and a bit chilly, with perhaps some rain mixed in. The chilly part didn’t bother me, but there’s a very particular kind of overcast that we get out here in the PNW that makes landscape type pictures pretty bland. Featureless grey, with nice flat light. So, since we had a bunch of stuff to take care of around the house this weekend, we decided, again, to bag it. Sigh.
Fortunately, that still left open the possibility of doing other stuff. So, as a result, we were able to check another item off my list: we drove up into Canada and checked out Manning Provincial Park. Manning Park is just across the border from North Cascades National Park, similar to how Waterton Park is Canada’s answer to Glacier National Park in Montana. There’s a highway that traverses the park east-to-west, which is about 3 and a half hours from Seattle. There’s a couple viewpoints where you can see some nice big craggy peaks to the south, almost all of which are actually across the border in the USA. (Although since vehicular access is basically nonexistent in NCNP, you can see American peaks from Manning Park that you would never see in the states without hiking for several days.)
So, here’s a Manning Park view. This was looking southwest-ish, so I believe those peaks you’re looking at are around the north end of Ross Lake, which is a narrow north-south lake (it’s a dammed river) that stretches all the way from Highway 20 (the road through North Cascades National Park) up to just past the Canadian border (about 23 miles to the north). There’s a small ski area in the park, which is now on my list of places to check out. So, while I checked one item off the list, it simply got replaced. Oh well, that’s how these things go.
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Canon 55-250mm IS lens. 1/640s, f/10.0, ISO 200. Focal length: 208mm.
Friday, May 28, 2010
It seems like every other day I’m posting a sunset pic from my Jamaica trip. But I’ve got a lot of good ones, so I don’t know what else to do! This was taken from Negril Beach, which is at the very western end of the island. I.. umm.. don’t really know what else to say here.
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Quantaray 70-300mm lens. 1/200s, f/8.0, ISO 200. Focal length: 300mm.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
I realized yesterday that I’ve been seriously slacking in posting more pictures from my recent Jamaican vacation. I posted one the day after I got back, but that’s been it. So last night I tossed a couple more online, and snagged this one for today’s post.
The island of Jamaica is kind of oval shaped, much longer east to west than north to south. Negril, the town where we stayed, is on the far western point. The main attraction of Negril is the famed 7-mile beach, which is really beautiful. White sand, turquoise water, all that good stuff. It’s fully developed though, so if you’re looking for privacy or calm, you should look elsewhere. But if beaches are your thing, and you don’t mind sharing with a few hundred of your closest friends, you can almost surely find a great deal on a place to stay. That’s not all Negril has to offer though. There’s also “the cliffs”, just up the road. My understanding is that Jamaica is primarily composed of volcanic rock, and that’s exactly what you’ll find up the road from the beach. There are a bunch of hotels that sit up on the rocky shoreline, anywhere from ten to I-don’t-know-maybe-50 feet or so above the water. It seems like most of them have combos of stairways and ladders to get you right in the water, so it’s not like you’re giving up that part of the vacation. If you need your sand, look elsewhere, but if you want sun, water, and quiet, the cliffs are definitely a great choice. (And they have the added bonus that there’s fantastic snorkeling and diving to be had right outside your room.) We stayed at the Rockhouse, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. Fantastic place. Also, that’s where I took today’s picture.
Sunset shots are an interesting topic. It’s pretty cool that such an otherworldly, beautiful experience happens basically every day. They’re a natural thing to want to take pictures of. Unfortunately, a lot of the time something that is truly awe-inspiring when witnessed in person can turn out pretty blah and uninteresting in the resulting picture. (This happens a lot with big panoramic viewpoints too, for what it’s worth.) Why is that? Well, here’s a couple possibilities. First, when you’re living through a sunset, the sunset is all around you. The entire sky is aflame with color. Everything around you soaks in the deep orange glow. It assaults all of your senses. It’s really BIG! And, just as important, there’s DEPTH. There’s always a challenge when you try to capture a “moment” in a picture, but in inherently emotional times like these, it can be particularly difficult. Pictures are small. Pictures are flat. Pictures aren’t a whole-body experience. So a scene that can be powerful in its simplicity can be.. kind of boring in a 4×6 print.
So, what does that mean? Well, it means that to get a cool sunset picture, you may have to spice it up a bit. How? Well, there’s a lot of different ways. One is to just add some depth. Put something in the foreground, that’s a neat trick that almost always works in just about any situation. If the viewer can see depth, it’s easier for them to put themselves in the scene. Another option? Add extra drama. Having a ton of color can sometimes work, but even better is to have contrasting colors. Clouds can be great for this, since they turn all sorts of crazy shades just before the sun goes down. (Clouds can be great for adding depth too.) Essentially, sunset pictures seem to work better for me if there’s something going on in there other than just the sunset. Although, to be fair, that’s not always possible. If you’re looking at a sunset over the water, and there’s no clouds, and there’s no boats, all you’ve got to work with is an orange ball and a horizon.. well.. I guess you’ve just got to work with whatever’s there. (Then again, it could be argued that half of what goes into making the perfect image is just dumb luck, being there at the right time to capture something cool. You win some, you lose some.)
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens. 1/800s, f/4.5, ISO 200. Focal length: 26mm.