Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Man, when I fail, I fail hard. Remember back in the day when I was all talkin’ up a big game about how I was going to put up a post every (week) day of the week? And remember how I was all high on myself when I made it all the way up to Wednesday and was shooting 3 for 3? Yeah, well, not only did I miss Thursday and Friday, I failed to put up any posts **for the entire next week**. Eesh, that’s the last time I try to hold myself to any kind of goal.
So, anyway, we’re back, at least for today. To celebrate, here’s a shot taken near Cascade Pass in North Cascades National Park. No, this wasn’t taken this weekend. Life got in the way this weekend, and I didn’t make it out anywhere to take any pictures, which is the same story for the rest of this year. At some point in the past, I posted another shot that looks really similar to this one, but no, it’s not the same picture, and in fact it wasn’t even taken the same day. I took one of them on the way up and over the pass, and I took the other the next day, as we went up and over the pass again on the way home. And no, I don’t remember offhand which one this was. Not really important, I don’t think. I wasn’t trying to take the same picture twice either, it just so happened that both times I was standing there, I noticed that it was a nice setup for a shot. And, it just so happened that the light was pretty similar on both days, so the resulting images came out pretty similar. Kind of an interesting experiment, really. Shows that, at least within a 24 hour period, my photographic instincts are pretty consistent, that given the same inputs, I’ll probably produce the same results. I’d be curious to see if the same held true over a longer period, like a month, 6 months, a year, whatever. But, we’ll never know. So don’t hold your breath. Probably a safe bet to not hold your breath about when the next post will appear here either, we’ll see.
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 28-300mm lens. 1/250s, f/14.0, ISO 400. Focal length: 35mm.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
So umm, yeah, this is Venice. Not really a surprise there. And no, I wasn’t recently there or anything, this is just yet another one from the archives from that big trip I took there, which at this point was “awhile ago”. One of those places that I’ve got to make it back to someday I suppose. So, until then..
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel XT, Tamron 28-300mm lens. 1/400s, f/8.0, ISO 100. Focal length: 39mm.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
It’s been awful sleepy around these parts lately, hasn’t it? I mean, I know that Will is sitting there hitting refresh over and over and over, waiting for me to put something else up here, but the rest of us have been checked out for awhile. Something about the holidays, blah blah. And, don’t get your hopes up too much, I’m telling you now that this will be the only post this week. I don’t want to put all that wear and tear on my keyboard if Will is the only one reading it.
Anyway, today’s picture comes from Grand St. Bernard Pass, which lies right on the border between Italy and Switzerland. Rumor has it Napoleon marched his army through these parts back in the day. Actually, that’s not a rumor at all, it might even be true. There’s a monastery right at the summit of the pass that’s been here for hundreds of years, and yes, that’s where they breed the dogs of the same name (the ones with the fictional barrels of brandy or whatever around their neck, that (non-fictionally) are intended to rescue people caught in avalanches and such. ) Thus, the cross. The cross isn’t intended to endorse any particular religion or anything, but since it’s the time of year for Christian holidays, and I live in a predominantly Christian society, this is the kind of thing that I (and now you) get to see all over the place. Actually, I should be slightly more specific: that cross is TOTALLY intended to endorse a specific religion. However, the PICTURE of it isn’t, nor is the inclusion of it here on this blog. There, everybody on the same page now? Cool.
So, enjoy your holidays! Or, at the very least, enjoy the latter part of December! I’ll see you all on the flip side.
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel XT, Tamron 28-300mm lens. 1/400s, f/6.3, ISO 100. Focal length: 42mm.
Friday, September 17, 2010
It’s Friday again! Yesssss! Unless you’re reading this on Monday. In which case. Umm. Booooooooo. This picture was taken on the Cascade Pass trail in North Cascades National Park. It’s on the western side of the pass, probably about a quarter of a mile from the crest. It was taken in late July, last year, if that’s useful information at all. Cascade Pass is one of the more popular trails in the park, although I get the feeling that it’s more people that are local to Washington State than the alternative. (That’s actually pure conjecture, I truly know nothing about the demographics of the people that visit the park – but my feeling is that it’s much less of a destination park than, for example, Yellowstone or Yosemite or the Grand Canyon.) But, regardless, there are a fair number of people that take this trail, and if you plan on staying overnight, it’s very important to get to the ranger station early to get a permit for the campground you want.
This picture was taken at an odd time in my epic comedy of misadventures relating to my preferred lens(es). I had somewhat recently decided that the Tamron 28-300 mm VC lens (VC = image stabilized) was crap. I had sent it in for warranty repair, since the autofocus was just plain wrong the majority of the time. I had gotten it back, but still wasn’t convinced that it was working any better. (And there was no clear indication that they had actually done anything to it.) So, I had decided instead to use my previous lens for this hiking trip, which was the *non-VC* version of the same lens. It’s also never been my favorite lens, but especially as I go back and look at pictures from both of them, it seems to perform significantly better than the other one. (Although, to be fair, I used them differently. Knowing your lens has image stabilization means you’re not afraid to try using slower shutter speeds, etc.) For some inexplicable reason, I decided to leave my ISO at 400 for the whole trip. As in, it wasn’t that my ISO was set at 400 and I just didn’t realize it. No, I made a conscious decision to leave it there. I can’t possibly fathom why I would have done such a thing, it really makes no sense. The fact that I did that frustrates me to this day. Oh well, nothing I can do about it now. Anyway, getting off topic there… So, I took the regular 28-300mm with me on this hike, and it did okay. I’m less disgusted with the results than I was with the previous several sets of shots I got with the IS version, but I’m still not really happy with them. It was very soon after this that I made the call to go first with a super wide-angle (I decided on the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8), a different mid-range lens (the Tamron 28-75, which was/is a FANTASTIC lens – showing that there’s definitely no problem with Tamron as a brand, just with their attempt at a superzoom – and I suspect I would have had the same experience with ANY brand of superzoom), and for the telephoto end, I fell back on my trusty old Quantaray 70-300, which was dirt cheap, and was the first lens I bought to use with my first digital SLR.
Anyway, this hike is definitely worth doing, and I plan to make it back there, hopefully soon. Since this summer turned out to be a total wash weather wise, it didn’t end up happening. Perhaps I’ll make it out there this fall, but I’m pretty busy, so it’s definitely questionable. Anyway, the pass itself is totally suitable for a day trip. You can go further up, to Sahale Arm, which I gather is a fairly difficult hike. Still doable as a day hike if you’re in good shape and get an early start, but definitely a butt-burner. There are several campgrounds in the area though, so it lends itself naturally to an overnighter. (There’s one campground just a little ways past the pass that’s a great choice, there’s one up at Sahale Arm that’s always the first one to fill up, and then there’s another one further down the far side of the pass, which is where we ended up.) Despite the fact that I just closed my parentheses, I’m going to expand on that last one – the campground we stayed at. Turns out, it’s further down elevation-wise than the trailhead is. I didn’t realize that going in. Coming back the next day was tough, especially since we had gotten soaked by a surprise thunderstorm the previous day, and so everything was wet, including my shoes. Oh well, that’s all the complaining I’m going to do. It would have been nice to make it up to Sahale Arm, but I didn’t have any juice left in my tank (I can’t speak for the other guys there with me, but I was done). That’s on my to-do list for when I make it back.
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 28-300 mm lens. 1/200s, f/16.0, ISO 400. Focal length: 30mm.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Man, I swear I was supposed to be born in the Alps. I would LOVE to live over in Europe (preferably either in northern Italy or southern Switzerland), but unfortunately I’m not the type that has the courage to make huge life changes like that. Sigh. I guess I’ll just keep dreaming.
This is yet another picture from Parco Nazionale Gran Paradiso (Gran Paradiso National Park), in the Aosta Valley, which is in the far northwestern corner of Italy. The valley is capped at the end by Mont Blanc (they call it Monte Bianco), and this is also the valley that has both St. Bernard Passes (both Grand St. Bernard Pass – where they breed the dogs – and Little St. Bernard Pass), which cross into Switzerland and France, respectively. At the time I was there, not only did I not have any kind of wide-angle lens, the widest I could get was 28mm, which is a travesty. I guess I just need to go back.
This was along the Alpe Money (moe-NAY) trail, which spits out of the village of Valnontey and follows the river up the valley. We only had just under a week to explore all of northern Italy, so the fact that we were able to spend two nights in the park and go hiking for a full day was pretty amazing in and of itself. Some day I’d love to just spend a whole bunch of time hiking and exploring. But this stupid job thing just gets in the way. Sigh.
Anyway, enjoy the rest of your Wednesday!
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel XT, Tamron 28-300mm lens. 1/250s, f/9.0, ISO 200. Focal length: 35mm.