All posts filed under: Nature

Me, My Camera, and the Night Sky

Before all the rain and flooding came to Colorado I had started working on one area of photography that I am very weak at.  That is night photography or photographing the night sky.  So a couple of times during September, at two o-clock in the morning, I dragged myself out of bed, grabbed my gear, started up the car and headed out in a direction that I felt would have the least amount of light pollution. Which meant I headed west.  Driving through Big Thompson Canyon at two o-clock in the morning was an adventure in itself.  There are sections of that canyon at that time of night that are so dark that you have no sense of what is around you.  In those sections it is pitch black all around you.  The darkness seems to envelop you and you can experience a feelings of being claustrophobic.  But if you pull over and get out of your car and look straight up you will see the night sky just above the canyon walls.  In studying …

Three Notes and Observation

 It’s not the camera, silly One of the pluses about living in the Fort Collins area is the number of photo galleries that are within driving distances.  As I have visited these galleries I have noticed more and more photos being shown taken with the camera built inside a iPhone.  Nope these images are not huge twenty-four by thirty or bigger images but the photos are remarkably interesting.  A couple of curators have informed me that these iPhone images are selling.  Yep, even in the digital world, the old adage “It is not the camera that makes a good image it is the photographer” is still true. 2.  Hey whatever happened to straight photography. In my days of shooting film, post processing was all about cropping, burning and dodging, underexposing, and overexposing the print.  Today, especially when it comes to nature and wildlife photography post processing seems to be about, up the saturation, intensify the colors,  removing stuff, cloning stuff, blur this, sharpen that, creating textures and so on and so on.  Photos today look …

Chasing the Light

A few years back when I decided to concentrate my photography on landscapes, nature and wildlife I figured it wouldn’t take long for me to become an overnight success.  I envisioned a life of visiting exotic locations, creating photographs that Ansel Adams would be proud of.  I saw myself camping out under the stars and eating in small diners where the cliental and staff would be enamored with my photography and my philosophy of life.  I would meet attractive middle age woman who because of my profession and success would have teenage-like crushes over me.  In the evening I would frequent bars across the country and have wonderful conversations about photography and about the location I was visiting.  I would give lectures on my photography.  Tell stories of tracking bears and how to photograph mountain lions safely.  Galleries and art museums would plead with me to have the opportunity to showcase my work.  Yep, back then I had an active imagination. I must admit that even today I do too much daydreaming. Daydreams are rarely …

Delete, Delete, Delete, Maybe Delete

For me, last week was a photographer’s nightmare.  I just got a fantastic new DSLR, the D800 and practically every day I was out photographing everything in sight.  You name it I was photographing it.  People, scenics, wildlife and architecture, I was photographing it.  The Nikon D800 produces fantastic image.  It nailed the white balance, my photos were sharper than any photo I have ever taken with a DSLR camera.  The problem, I will be honest, the photos while technically perfect, nevertheless they sucked.  When I was looking through the viewfinder my brain was seeing something that was not reality.  I was seeing what I wanted to see, not the reality of the moment. Actually, that is not uncommon with us human beings.  Our brain has a way of changing reality.  We gaze upon what we consider the perfect face and then a day later see a photo of the person and we notice all the imperfections.  We look out at a waterfall and ignore that ugly dead bush that is in the bottom right …

Eldorado Canyon State Park

After five years living in Wyoming I am finally getting to really explore Colorado. Last weekend was beautiful, full of sunshine and temperatures in the mid-sixties. So my wife and I found our way to Eldorado Canyon State Park.  The snow was melting which made for muddy conditions when walking around. But the snowmelt had brought to life the small waterfalls and cascades that flowed throughout the park. I discovered over the winter just how much I had gotten myself out of shape. My bones were stiff and climbing around on slippery rocks with a tripod was an adventure. I am sticking to the story that all this stiffness in my body is a result of not enough winter activity and not because of my sixty years of age. If  your thing is watching people scale canyon walls then you should check this park out. There were rock climbers everywhere and they really made me ashamed of my current physical shape. I am going to take those pounds off in the next two weeks. Sorry, …

A Once in a Lifetime Encounter (Hopefully)

Last night around midnight I found myself sitting on the front porch with my mind jumping from one topic to another. I was so wound up I just had to get away. So I jumped into my car drove west of town about ten miles to a little spot by the North Platte River. I parked the car off the side of the road and with my trusty little flashlight walked the trail about forty to thirty yards down to the river bank. I sat down on a rock and gazed out at the river and the starry night that was stretched out before me. About three months ago my wife and I discovered this little isolated corner of Wyoming. I was enamored by the river and beauty around it. So much so that when feeling troubled, I would secretly come to it to ease my mind. It always had a calming effect upon me and last night it worked its magic. Within ten minutes of sitting on that rock I was relaxed and at …

Another Photo from Rocky Mountain National Park

Here is a photo from Rocky Mountain National Park that I have never been able to figure out what to do with.  The greens in the photo is kind of unusual for the park. I think the light is kind of interesting and I like the clouds.  The photo breaks the photographic rule of thirds.  But I like it.  I still think this could be a special photo if I figure out the proper way to print it and tweak the post processing. It does look a lot better when you see it big such as ten and a half by sixteen. Also it is a lot sharper than what is appearing on the blog. Still have to figure out the proper sharpening for this blog. I hope you like it. – CG