Posts Tagged macro photography

Desert Whirlwind 3

I love aspen trees.

I love them when they’re young, when they’re old, when they’re green and, especially, when they’re decked out in Autumn colors. Generally, aspen leaves turn yellow. On rare occasions, they turn orange or red or coral pink. That’s a real treat.

As we drove over Boulder mountain on our race back to Zion NP, we came across some red aspen leaves. Of course we had to stop and photograph them. I did a kind of general landscape shot, then a closeup of some of those great red leaves. I hope you like them as much as I do. (Remember to click on the images to see them full size and with decent color.)

Aspen Forest

Aspen Forest

Aspen Leaves

Aspen Leaves

Then we made it to Zion. I haven’t been here for a long time. Passed through a couple years ago, but I was in a hurry to get somewhere, so I barely stopped to look around. On the way in, I remembered that it was about 35 years ago to the month that I took a photo workshop with my friend Duck. That workshop was with photographer John Telford, who pretty much owned the desert in those days. We came to Zion and did some amazing photography, and that’s when I got hooked. Hooked on both the desert and on photography. So I guess this is a sort of pilgrimage for me.

Stopped in the upper park and I got this photo of one of the spires Zion is so famous for.

Zion Scenic

Zion Scenic

More to follow,

Bob

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Another one of those days

Well, it was a day to remember. Lots of stupid stuff happened, but some good to offset it.

I decided to go to the Procession Panel today. I had it in my mind to do a panorama of the whole glyph. That is, take three or four images and merge them together. I haven’t seen anyone do this yet, so figured I’d be the first one to publish it.

Off to a bad start. I forgot to set my odometer to tell how far I’d gone and identify the right parking place/trailhead. I knew I had gone much too far, so decided to explore (exploration means never having to say you’re lost) and get the panel tomorrow. I pulled into a parking area and decided I must be close to one of the more famous ruins in the area. The parking area looked familiar, but there were benches there, something I had never seen in the area.

Along with the benches were signposts, pointing the way to whatever was up there. (More on that later.) I headed out to see what I was going to see. About 1/4 mile down the trail my boots started to eat my heels. These are boots that I’d broken in already, so I thought they just needed to warm up. Besides, I had already put bandaids on the spots these boots used to bother me. It just got worse. Of course, I hadn’t brought a spare pare because these were broken in. And it only really caused a problem when I was going uphill. The last half of the hike was to be downhill. (That’s a lot different from what happens when you hike with Tom. With him, the first 95% of the hike is uphill and the last 95% is uphill.)

So I followed the cairns and realized that things looked familiar. Continuing on, I saw that I had inadvertently found the right parking place, and was on the way to the Procession Panel. Wow! Now here comes something odd. All my whining and sniveling in the past about not being able to find the panel must have been heard on high, because there was a BLM sign with an arrow pointing to the trail to the panel. What the…

So I got there and got the shot. On the way I found (Ma Nature strikes again) some flowers blooming and saw a lizard scurrying under a rock. It’s way too early for either of those phenomena in my estimation. There’s still snow on the ground up there!

Anyway, here’s the flower, actually larger than lifesize:

LPFs, Procession Panel

LPFs, Procession Panel

And, of course, the Procession Panel isn’t the only glyph in the area. Here’s a dope playing with a snake:

 

Snake Dancer

Snake Dancer

And here’s the Procession Panel panorama. I am not sure how this will come across on your computer, but I just had to try it. You may need to scan left and/or right to see the whole thing.

Procession Panel

Procession Panel

I gotta run and pour some beer on my blisters. From the inside.

More to follow,

Bob

 

 

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Icy, I see!

Well, the snow and ice melted off the roads pretty well, so I went back to see if the ice crystals Nick and I found a couple years ago were there. They weren’t. But I found some new ones. Got out the macro lens and snuck up on them.

Then I went to where I had found a couple of cairns in a very odd place a few years back. I had just read Craig Childs’ House of Rain, and was intrigued by the idea he presented about ‘twins’ being a theme in this part of Cedar Mesa for the ancestral Pueblans who built the ruins we find scattered all over this area. The cairns I found were two, placed about a foot apart. I looked through them like a gunsight and found they made a perfect line between the highest peak in the Abajo Mountains and the hightest point on this part of Comb Ridge. Pretty cool, but I wasn’t convinced that was right. A friend suggested I should have sighted along the line they made rather than through them, so I’ve come back a couple times to try to find them and sight that way. Today, I found then. They pointed to a gap in the mountains about five miles away and to a pointy pile of rocks about 200 meters away. I went toward the rock pile. Beyond that, and in line, was another high point. I went toward that, realizing that the line wasn’t quite accurate, but figured from on high, I could see what I could see. I found what appears to be a way down off the ridge. There was almost a road leading down to a wash that could well make it to the bottom without the risk of a big fall.

I didn’t go down to explore the route further, because when I do something stupid I prefer a witness to be able to tell the rescue team where I fell. The location does seem to match an apparent way down we’ve seen from a few miles away, so further recon will be necessary.

But the ice, what was that like? Here:

This one looked to me like someone gave a kid a pencil and paper and said, “Make a line.” It’s fascinating how the dark streaks seem to e randomly laid down. I suspect, but don’t know for sure, that the lines are caused by water flowing under the ice.

Ice drawing

Ice drawing

When I saw this scene, I could only think of Nick with a sadistic smile on his face. You see, he takes stuff like this and makes jigsaw puzzles out of it. Give me a dollar and I won’t let him use this one.

Ice crystals

Ice crystals

Then there’s Ma Nature’s sense of humor. I came across this in an area that is supposed to be littered with arrow heads. I’ve never found one, so I can’t attest to that, but maybe Ma Nature was telling me something. Or she was making an angel fish, I’m not sure what this is.

Fish or fowl?

Fish or fowl?

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Think Small

Well, today was an interesting day. We started by heading down into a slot canyon I call Nick’s Canyon to see if we could get a decent image of The Castle from down there. It had snowed here a couple weeks ago and there was still a lot of mud in the canyon bottom. The kind of mud that makes you an inch taller with each step. We weren’t sure if we’d be able to avoid hitting the power lines with our heads after a few steps in the canyon.

While we were waiting for the sun to hit The Castle (it did eventually, shortly before we became hypothermic), I started to look around and saw this leaf in a mud puddle. It’s sitting on a slurry that’s about the thickness of melted ice cream. I had to suspend the camera by the tripod over this glurp and avoid getting into it while composing and shooting. The only damage was to my tripod mast and a strap that holds the tripod in one piece when I carry it. They should dry out in a week or so, then I can scrape the sand off with some luck.

Leaf and mud

Leaf and mud

After that we moved on down the road toward the Boneyard. Nick wanted to photograph a rock that looked kind of like an angry Pacman dot muncher, so we found it and started shooting. Turns out I did a self-portrait while there. Here it is. My friend Sara did some portraits of me in Alaska, and they’re better, but I’m not ready to post them here. You don’t need to see how old I’ve become.

Self-portrait

Self-portrait

After the self-portrait, I turned around and saw this cotton hanging on one of the desert plants. (I can name two plants. One is Sagebrush, the other isn’t. I have no idea what this one is.) I thought the stark white cotton looked cool, so shot it.

Weed

Weed

More to follow,

Bob

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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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