Glacier National Park Fall 2014

Glacier National Park Fall 2014

I’ve been been chomping at the bit to explore Glacier for many years. This September seemed like the perfect op as the park was starting to show it’s fall colors and the park’s summer crowds were subsiding. In fact with only 2 of the park’s 10 hotels open, I had the place all to myself. An added bonus was some spectacular weather…cool mornings, mid 70s during the afternoons. That’s not to say that storms can’t hit without warning…the park received 14 inches of snow the week before I arrived. The first part of the trip started in the Many Glacier section of the park, which is considered to be the best single spot for hiking.  The view below is right in front of the Many Glacier Lodge perched above Swiftcurrent Lake.   Share...
HDR for beginners

HDR for beginners

A number of folks have recently asked about HDR Photography:  how it works, what’s the best software out there to use. Here’s a very simple premier on the subject.  HDR allows the camera to see the world the way us “humans” do.  For example, while you can easily see your friends on a beach looking into a setting sun, your camera can’t.  The dynamic range between the bright sun and your buddies is too great (resulting in a silhouette style photo).  Likewise, most nature shots either expose the sky properly (with the foreground too dark) or the foreground ok (with the sky blown out). HDR to the rescue!  In the example below, I’ve taken three shots (Zion National Park:  shot A is 2 stops under exposed, shot B is neutral and shot C is 2 stops over exposed. Our first shot renders a pretty good sky, but the rest of the photo is really dark!  Eckkkkkkk   Our next shot is done at neutral exposure.  The foreground looks better, but still pretty dark and lifeless.  We’re also starting to lose sky detail.   Now to try 2 stops overexposed.  The foreground looks better, but the sky is totally blown out…almost stark white. Now lets put HDR software to work.  HDR programs take the best pixels in each of our three photos and merge them into one magnificent blended image.  Err…at least that’s been the theory.  Much of the earlier HDR work was done directly in PhotoShop.  The results were ok, but had a rather unnatural look them Then came Photomatix, which was until recently the industry standard.  The photos...
Some great “water” pics near Steamboat Colo.

Some great “water” pics near Steamboat Colo.

Mount Zirkel I recently had the opportunity to hike the Mount Zirkel Wilderness Area (located about 40 minutes from Steamboat, Colo.) in late June.  Many of the high elevation lakes were still covered by snow & frozen over.  Three Islands Lake, however, had recently thawed and the 2.5 hour hike to it afforded some great flowing water shots along a stream bed running a “full bore” with the Spring runoff. The silky effect for the water was achieved by using long exposures of between 10 & 25 seconds (camera mounted on a tripod).  I also used a polarizing filter to cut glare.     Rabbit Ears Pass Later that evening, we enjoyed a great sunset at Rabbit Ears Pass. Fish Creek Falls One of our final stops was Fish Creek Falls, one of the favorite hiking spots near the ski area…also heavily travelled. Share...
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