Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Simple Mesquite Trees in Black and White

My First Official D700 Shot

Well, I'm gonna make a little change from the Jackson Hole series and post a couple shots I took with my new - new to me - D700.  I'm still waiting to purchase some lenses for it, but I do have a 50mm 1.4 that I bought a while back and used with my D300s which works with a full-framer.  So here it is.

Mesquite Trees in Black and White

So a couple of weekends ago, I was out driving around trying to find things to shoot and I didn't have too much luck.  I went down to the Snake Farm near New Braunfels for something to do.  For some reason I always wanted to go there.  Now I have and won't need to go there again.  Pretty touristy and not really worth it.  Might  be fun for the kids though.  Anyway, while I was driving, I noticed this area where there were nothing but mesquite trees in a grassy field on a slope.  If you get the right angle there was nothing on the horizon but sky.  I thought that might be a cool place to get some black and whites.  This spot is located on the southbound side of I-35 south of exit 195 if I remember correctly.  I have linked up the location below the shot if you are interested in going out there to shoot them yourself sometime.

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Monday, February 25, 2013

Tetons and Snake River

Ansel Adams took one of the most beautiful shots ever from a view overlooking the Snake River with the Teton mountains above.  It is an iconic shot and is one of his most famous.  Below is the one I'm talking about:

I don't think I could ever accomplish anything close to his stuff and I must admit I'm a bit uncomfortable even trying to compare my work to his for that matter, but in this case I think the best I can do is at least compare locations.  From there it's all technique and he is the best and always will be.  So, my try from his spot is this:

Our tour guide from Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris is the one who recommended that we stop here and subsequently took us to this famous spot.  The location even has a little marker that talks about Ansel Adams' picture and how famous it really is.  So, I just had to try it myself and see how I could do.  I must say, it's my favorite from the trip!  I really like how the light from the sunrise hits the tops of the trees in the foreground. I also like the cloud formation halfway up the mountains from the temperature inversion at this time of the morning.  However, it's no match to Ansel's great image.  He had a great sky and a wonderful view of the river and was able to convey that like no other.  I bow to the master!

One thing I found interesting though, is the difference in the size of the trees in the foreground and how much of a difference there is between the two photos.  Ansel Adams' shot, which was taken in 1942 I think, shows a lot of the river due to the trees' youth.  Now the trees are so much bigger and the view is very different.  From what our tour guide told us, apparently there are some people that would like these trees torn down so as to get a better photo like the one from Mr. Adams.  I must say, I am not one of those people...

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Friday, February 22, 2013

My Skis and My Shadow

Just a quick post of a fun shot I took while skiing in Jackson Hole.  For half a day I ditched my poles and just skied with my camera hoping to get some nice shots on the slopes.  That was mostly a miserable failure, but I kind of liked this shot of my skis and my shadow while riding the Sublette chair.

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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Big Horn Sheep

Bought a Full Framer!

Well, I did get a new full frame camera like I said I would in a previous post.  Actually, it's not really new, but it it's new to me!  I bought a used Nikon D700!  I was torn between getting a D600 and a D800 but both have issues I really didn't want to deal with.  Plus, the price on this used D700 was one I couldn't pass up.  I can't wait to start posting pictures from this baby!  As a matter of fact, I want to thank Dave Wilson for his input on my purchase!  He's a great photographer who's advise I appreciate greatly!  Speaking of which, I will need to get new lenses for it since the ones I have are for a cropped sensor camera.  Therefore, I have listed my current lenses on ebay if anyone out there is interested!  They are in great condition with no scratches on the glass at all!  I don't have the original box or manuals for the fisheye, but otherwise they are all in mint condition!

Big Horn Sheep

This was a shot I got while out with Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris.  I took this shot through the window of the Suburban we were riding in.  This is a female sheep that was basically just hanging out and eating.  She came down from the top of the mountain in a few minutes while we were out searching for other animals and by the time we came back, she was right by the road!  This shot probably isn't the best technically speaking because she's in the middle of the frame, but I think it works here.  Besides, when I tried to crop it to make it more interesting, I think it just got worse...

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Friday, February 15, 2013

Teton and Trees

World Press Photo of the Year

If you haven't seen the World Press Photo of the Year, you should check it out.  It is a tragic photo, but depending on your perspective, could be a little political.  It has to do with the Middle East.  I must say that as tragic a picture it is, it is very powerful as well as technically impressive.  It almost looks as though it was staged because the processing is so good.  Anyway, it is quite a photo!

Teton and Trees

Speaking of technically impressive, I hope this one meets that criteria a little.  I took this at a scenic turnout on Highway 191 in Wyoming on the suggestion of a tour guide from Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris. They really know where and when to get the great photos you are looking for as well as having the knowledge to find wild animals in the local area!  I  highly recommend them!  As far as the shot goes, this is the Grand Teton mountain just as the sun was rising.  The little cloud layer you see halfway down through the image is what's known as an inversion layer where the temperature above the cloud is warmer than than temperature below.  It could be a difference of as much as 20 - 30 degrees!  When I took this shot is was about 5 below zero fahrenheit.  So it was probably about 20 degrees or so above the layer.  Interesting stuff!

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Back from Jackson Hole, Wyoming

What a wonderful trip

It's been a couple of weeks or so since I've posted anything to the old blog here, but I have a good reason.  A couple of weeks ago, Eileen and I left with our friends, Doug, Tricia, Valerie, Theresa and Ellen for a week of skiing and fun in wonderful Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  We had a great time!  The skiing was awesome as were the views!  Well, it was awesome for some skiers in the group.  One of the skiers, Tricia, blew out her ACL in the middle of the trip after um, let's say "catching some air".  It sucked because ski patrol had to bring her down off the mountain and she couldn't ski for the the remainder.  She took it very well and I think still had a great time as did the rest of us! 

Not only was the area at the ski resort beautiful, but the whole Jackson Hole (no pun intended) area is unbelievable!  It's up near Yellowstone Park so the mountain vistas are just awesome!  It made for exceptional photography opportunities as well as other great activities.  We even took a snowmobile tour through Yellowstone to see Old Faithful!  What a blast that was!  Anyway, I'll be putting out more content from this trip in the next few posts.  There's one shot in particular that I can't wait to post, so stay tuned!

Tram Building

This is the main building at the bottom of the mountain that houses the tram that takes you about 4000 vertical feet up to the very top of the mountain. You get dumped off on a run called Rendezvous which a wide open black, but it isn't too difficult as long as the wind isn't blowing too hard and it isn't snowing. ;-)

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