Posts Tagged Alaska

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, Fall, Winter, Fall, Winter, Winter, Winter, Winter

The title of today’s blog is a sort of recap of Wyoming’s seasons. At least what we’ve had so far. It’s snowing again, and I think Winter is going to set in for good now.

Between the two or three snowstorms in September and October, the cotoneasters in the front yard got all autumny. I went out several times to do some close-up photography (most photographers, including me, generally call this macro photography, but as I understand it, that’s wrong. It’s really micro photography. But if you’re in the .1% of people who insist on being right no matter what, one can sound kind of goofy. So what I’m about to show you are macro shots). (Oh, man, I love parenthetical phrases. They’re so confusing and cool. And they make even me lose my train of thought. Here’s what I was going to say before I so rudely interrupted myself.) Every time I went to make images, Ma Nature turned on the wind machine so I couldn’t get a good image. I finally sort of snuck up on here and got these shots.

Anyway, here are a couple new autumn cotoneaster shots and one you’ve seen before, but one that is something of a victory for me. I’ll tell you more later.

I’d say fall is my favorite season, followed by winter, then spring. I hate summer with its heat, bugs and heat and humidity (in some places) and heat. No, I can’t explain why I’m drawn to the desert, which invented heat. Here is why I like autumn best:

Autumn Cotoneaster 1

Click on image to enlarge

Here’s another example.

Autumn Contoneaster 2

Click on image to enlarge

This fern has driven me nuts. I photographed it in Alaska and put it on the blog as an hommage to Ansel. After all, when I saw this image, I instantly recalled his fern and horsetail shot in, I think, Glacier National Park. I had a poster of that image until life happened and in the transition I managed to damage it. But I always liked that image. I had to emulate Ansel with this scene. When I got home I started to get the photo ready to print. I still can’t explain why, but I can tell you what went wrong. No matter what kind of B&W conversion I used, I got a color cast to the image. Kind of green. Something I hated, but that people who looked at the print said they kind of liked. Well, being the potential-customer-oriented salesman I am I ignored their comments and continued to try to get the stupid thing black-and-white. I finally got there, although I can’t tell you how and probably can’t ever replicate the process, but here is the image I came up with.

Another fernBW

Click to enlarge

Ansel did it right, starting with black-and-white film. Cheers!

 

More to follow,

Bob

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Denali Mountains

We traveled alongside the Alaska Range from Anchorage to Denali. In the park we saw some beautiful landscape. One of the first stops was at Polychrome Pass, where I did a quick HDR of the scene. I think it worked out pretty well.

Polychrome Pass, Denali NP, Alaska

Polychrome Pass, Denali NP, Alaska

Our guide said that on average, only 30% of visitors get to see Mt. McKinley (what the native Alaskans call Denali and what the European-descended folks call “The Mountain,” or just “it,” as in, “Did you see it?”

We saw it. I posted an HDR of Denali last week, here’s a non-HDR view from a different angle.

Mt. McKinley, Denali NP, Alaska

Mt. McKinley, Denali NP, Alaska

More to follow,

Bob

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Alaska Critters

It’s been forever since I’ve tried any wildlife photography, but one just can’t pass up the opportunity at Denali. I may have an alignment problem with my lens or just with my eyes, so will spend a little more time practicing with critters to figure it out. At least I got a start.

Here are a couple of Dall Sheep hanging out on a cliff. There were three others directly below the bus, but the German across from me glommed on to the window and wouldn’t move to let me get a good shot. Reminds me of me.

Dall sheep, Denali NP

Dall sheep, Denali NP

And, of course, what trip would be complete without seeing a GRIZ. Or several. We saw two groups of three, both made up of a sow with two cubs (I think they’re yearlings) and one boar. The boar didn’t get very photogenic for my small lens, so here’s a cub wondering what sort of trouble he can cause next.

Grizzly cub, Denali NP

Grizzly cub, Denali NP

More to follow,

Bob

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Alaska Adventure Day n

Yeah, I kinda lost track of time. After several days shared out between Denali and Seward, we came back to Anchorage for a couple days of meetings. They were pretty busy, but productive, so it was all to the good. I was chair of the Board of Directors that met, so I had to keep everyone on track. Wasn’t really too hard and we got some good stuff accomplished.

But, of course, we all figured that today was a play day, so a few of us took a drive to Thunder Bird Falls. (No, it’s not in Arizona, seems the Native Alaskans like that name, too.) Saw some water and some ferns. It’s kind of a rainforest here. At least we got rained on and we were in a forest. Here are some of the things we saw today.

Ansel Adams has a wonderful photo of a fern, I think taken in Washington or Alaska. I saw this and decided to pay tribute to the master. It still needs some work, but I like what I’m seeing to this point.

Homage to Ansel

Homage to Ansel

For someone who’s used to the desert (and still prefers it), I am fascinated by water. We see a lot of it up here. There’s that ocean thing out my hotel window, lots of rivers and some creeks (I guess that’s why all the restaurant menus are infested with dead fish). That doesn’t count the water that comes out of the sky. Here’s Thunder Bird Creek.

More Water

More Water

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Alaska, Day 3

We faced every kind of weather except snow today. Sun, hot, rain, cold.

Went back to Denali for a short drive (private vehicles are pretty well banned from the park) and a quick hike. Hot and sunny.

Drove to Trapper Creek through rain and we encountered the brightest rainbow I’ve ever seen. Added bonus: it was accompanied by a full double. Then we found some interesting flora, so broke out the macro lens.

Here’s what we saw today:

Hiked up the Savage River and found some nice reflections in the braided stream. It cried for black-and-white.

Savage River, Denali NP

Savage River, Denali NP

And then rain and cold, but we were rewarded by this:

two rainbows

two rainbows

Of course, the rain leaves other clues that it was in the area:

Rose Leaf, Alaska

Rose Leaf, Alaska

potentilla fruiticosa, Alaska

potentilla fruiticosa, Alaska

That’s enough for now.

More to follow,

Bob

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Alaska, Day 2

Went into Denali National Park today. Our guide (you gotta have one) told us that we were among only 30% of park visitors this year who saw even a part of Mount McKinley. Apparently it’s been socked in for most of the season. I took several exposures of the mountain, and I kind of like this HDR.

The second image is of some interestingly scarred tree bark at Wonder Lake.

Critter shots happened, but my eyes are too tired to tell if they’re any good. I’ll check those later, but suspect I’ll throw them all out. Trying to stay awake to see the aurora borealis tonight. Looks like it’s clouding over, so that may be a sleep deprivation event. I’ll let you know soon.

Mount McKinley

Mount McKinley

Tree bark

Tree bark

More to follow.

Bob

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