Monday, May 10, 2010
Mt. Shuksan, seen from Yellow Aster Butte. It’s worth noting that Yellow Aster Butte is not actually yellow. “But,” you might say, “the name doesn’t reference the Aster Butte that is Yellow, it is instead the Butte of Yellow Aster!”. And it’s true, there is some yellow stuff out there. But is that aster? I don’t know. I just don’t know.
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel XT, Tamron 28-300mm VC lens. 1/60s, f/9.0, ISO 200. Focal length: 55mm.
Friday, April 9, 2010
Man, I’m getting my posts out late this week. Almost missed business hours again. Please ignore that last sentence if you happen to work with me. Of course I’m writing these up at night, at home, outside of the time when you’re paying me to do other stuff. Right? Awkward silence.
I can’t remember if I’ve posted something similar to this one already or not. I could easily go back and check, but I’m going to assume that either I haven’t, or it’s been long enough that you don’t remember either. I have a whole bunch that are pretty similar but yet different enough to be (in my mind anyway) still worth posting, so I figure I may as well bang one out here so that the next time that I’m sitting here wondering what possible picture I should use, I can just grab the next one from the list.
This is Mt. Baker, seen from about halfway (or maybe two thirds of the way) up the Yellow Aster Butte trail. It’s near the western edge of North Cascades National Park, but not actually in it. Actually, the trailhead is up the highway that takes you to the Mt. Baker Ski Area, and not really anywhere else. It’s a fantastic trail, well worth the time, especially in the early fall when all the trees further down haven’t quite started changing yet. All the little scrubby grasses and bushes up higher have a really nice display of color (none of which is displayed here of course), definitely worth checking out on a nice day. And there are some nice mountain backdrops too if that’s your thing. Unfortunately, most of the cool mountains other than Baker and Shuksan didn’t come out too well in my pictures from my hike that day, because I had crappy equipment.
Right, my crappy equipment. For all the times that I mention how bad that Tamron 28-300 mm VC lens is, I sure seem to be posting a lot of pictures from it lately, huh? There’s a number of reasons for that I guess.. The main one being that, for a couple years it was *the lens* that I would use, so all of these cool places I went were documented in no other way. Also, I still haven’t gotten around to properly going through all the pictures I’ve taken with the equipment I’ve picked up to replace it, so these are just the shots I’ve got available. Whatever, the point is (I guess), that even with crappy equipment, you can get nice pictures. It’s just that it’s a lot easier to get nice pictures with good equipment, and there are things that you can get nice pictures of with good equipment that are harder to get nice pictures of without. So for the love of god get yourself some good equipment. Although, hold off a bit, because Monday I’ll probably post something from a point and shoot and talk about how you can get cool pictures from any camera, so don’t let the fact that all you have is a point and shoot hold you back. But in the context of just today’s post, I’ll assume that my message is totally consistent and I’ll speak with a tone that suggests I totally know what I’m talking about. And I’ll say “hey, do it this way and you’ll have awesome pictures and yay!” Yeah man, alright.
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel XT, Tamron 28-300 mm VC lens. 1/80s, f/10.0, ISO 200. Focal length: 84mm.
Friday, December 18, 2009
Hey everyone! As you were probably expecting, here’s a picture of Mt. Baker. This actually isn’t the picture I had in mind earlier this week when I said I was going to post an awesome shot of Baker today. I still have that one, and I still love it, and it’s still awesome. I don’t have a good excuse for why, but I decided that I’d rather go with this one instead. Do I think this one’s a better picture? No. Like I said, I have no reason. I just followed my instinct. Because that’s what they tell you to do, follow your gut. Which is really easy for me, because my gut has a pretty good head start, it sticks out past my feet. So I have plenty of time to react when it changes direction without notice.
This was taken on the Yellow Aster Butte trail, which is accessible from a little forest road that shoots off the north side of the road (Highway 542 I believe) that goes up to the Mt. Baker Ski Area and Heather Meadows. It’s a fantastic trail any time of year (that it’s not covered with snow) because you can actually get out of the trees and get some great views. But it’s particularly great during the early fall. There’s a ton of low-lying ground-cover type bushes and grasses that change colors nicely. But it peaks significantly earlier (a couple weeks to a month) than the trees that are at lower elevations. So make sure you time it right. But it gets you right up there among some huge peaks, so it’s a great way to spend a day. And if you bring a flashlight and stay out a bit later than you normally would, you can get some great late-afternoon views of Shuksan and Baker.
I noticed that my traffic plummeted the last couple days, down to less than half of normal. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming any of you. But I am thinking that a lot of folks are travelling for the holidays. So I’m considering making this the last entry until things calm down a bit. I’m not personally going anywhere, but why waste some good shots when there’s nobody there to see them, right? My supply of pictures, while not small and not about to run out any time soon, is finite, and it WILL run out sooner or later. (Although it’s true that some weeks, particularly during the summer and fall, I’m able to maintain a pace of producing more than 5 new pictures worth posting each week, that definitely does *not* hold true in the winter.) So, if you’re still around, and you want me to keep posting, either just let me know, or hit refresh on my page a bunch of times, preferably from different computers and browsers, and it would help to clear your cookies each time too. That way I’ll think you’re 50 different people, and I’ll totally feel the love. I’ll be keeping an eye on my traffic, because I’m obsessive like that.
Have a great holiday!
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel XT, Tamron 28-300 mm VC lens. 1/100s, f/9.0, ISO 200. Focal length: 92mm.
Friday, September 11, 2009
I’ve been going back and forth about whether I should ask you guys to do this, but I decided that I truly have no shame, and so I’m going to do it. There’s this website, see, that gives away these awards for blogs. But, it’s kind of a skeezy website, and it’s only quasi-legit. Basically, you nominate yourself, and then tell all your friends to go there… and that’s how they get their traffic. Regardless though, I’m in it to win it, so I need you all to vote for me to be the Best Photography Blog. They’ll make you create an account, and they’ll verify your email address and all that. Pure skeeze, right? Regardless, here’s the link. Please go there and vote for picture-of-the-day.com, and then never go back there again. http://bloggerschoiceawards.com/blogs/show/80957
There, now that I’ve taken care of that little bit of tastelessness… This is a view of Mt. Shuksan from the summit of Yellow Aster Butte, which is this weird stubby hill across the valley. I was there last fall, right around the end of September, and the colors were fantastic. Lots of scrubby little bushes and such that glowed red, orange, yellow and green. And of course, none of that color is in this picture. The views on the way up, particularly once you get above treeline, are amazing. Both Mt. Shuksan and Mt. Baker are right there in front of you, as well as whole ridgelines you wouldn’t otherwise see to the north. Unfortunately, it’s quite a drive to get there (3 hours plus from Seattle), and the views are almost as good if you just drive up to Heather Meadows (to put it another way, up to the parking lot for the Mt. Baker ski area), so whether or not it’s really worth it is a judgement call. As I mentioned though, it’s a great spot to catch high-country fall color, before everything else starts changing at lower elevations.
As I’ve mentioned a few times, I often try to time my hikes for later in the afternoon, because those few hours before sunset are when the really golden sunlight starts appearing, which is especially striking with fall color. That was the plan on this hike, and it worked out pretty well, although then the hike back got a bit dicey. We get really spoiled up here in the Pacific Northwest at the height of the summer, since it doesn’t get dark until just about 10pm, it’s really hard to get caught in the dark, so it’s easy to take the daylight for granted. But when it starts getting later in the season, sunset comes a lot quicker, and can really catch you off guard. I had a flashlight with me by chance on this trail, and that definitely helped out on the last quarter mile or so.
I’m totally rambling. I’m going to go ahead and cut myself off now. But don’t forget to sell your soul and vote!
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel XT, Tamron 28-300 mm VC lens. 1/100s, f/8.0, ISO 200. Focal length: 39mm.