Friday, April 30, 2010

Sedona Sunrise Walk

This morning, Friday April 30th, we had perfectly clear weather and I took a hike up to Bell Rock once again to see what I could shoot. This is my early morning collection.

1.  Walking up to the rock at 5:15 am to catch the 5:38 sunrise. It was 21 degrees out and everything had a frosty coating.

2.  Before sunrise - a 49 shot HDR image

3. The first rays reach the far side of the valley.

4. From the knoll overlooking the valley

5. Back on the trail again and the sun a bit higher in the sky.

6. Ahhhhh, a cup of coffee.

Most of these shots are 21 images in an HDR composite. Sure wish we had a few clouds to give the sky some color.....
And here is the link to the gallery of shots I took yesterday, April 29th.

Sedona Arizona

Today started a bit later than usual as we slept in until about 8:00.  I got up just before sunrise and it was completely overcast so I went back to bed. Today we toured Sedona  and did a lot of hiking as well. We had every sort of weather today from warm sunshine to cold winds and hail and rain, go figure. I think tomorrow we may be driving in snow. . .  We hiked the trails near Bell Rock early this morning, walking there from our motel. We then drove to...

Cathedral Rocks. We hiked up and over a ridge and then down into the valley where Oak Creek flows.  This first image is taken from the middle of Oak Creek looking back toward the Cathedral Rocks. We also saw a wedding going on here near the creek. Carol was using my monopod as a walking stick, which seemed a good use for it. Hiking down from the ridge we found this arroyo and I had to take a shot. From the Cathedral Rocks we drove over to:

The Chapel of the Holy Cross. This Sedona landmark is a fantastic chapel set high in the rocks overlooking Bell Rock to the south. The wind was blowing up here at about 50 knots which made for difficult walking.  Just below the chapel was a fantastic house with it's own observatory, waterfalls and a 4 car garage... it can be see in this panorama.

The Wildflower Inn has been home for a couple of nights and I thought I would share the view from our balcony. Carol is on the phone in this shot talking with Jason.  Tomorrow morning we are off to the Grand Canyon, just a couple of hours up the road.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Las Vegas to Sedona

Today was another great road trip with lots of interesting stops along the way. After a good breakfast at the Big Kahuna we checked out of Treasure Island and underway, but not before shopping a bit. . .  Our first stop was:

Hoover Dam on the Nevada Arizona border.  Construction is well underway on a new Route 93 bridge and highway expansion.  The new bridge can be seen in some of these panoramas. The Memorial to the workers is certainly inspiring with it art deco styling. Since I was here last a new parking garage and gift shop was built. We also discovered an ice cream shop. . .

Desert In Bloom.  We took a side road somewhere in the Arizona desert south of Kingman to get a closer look of what was in bloom.  All I can say is that every color seems to be represented out here in the springtime. These plants are amazing.  Pictures of the dam and the flowers can be seen in this gallery.

Jerky.  We passed may roadside places each with it's own speciality.  This was a Jerky stand and it's owner, Gus, makes his own style of Jerky.  It was very tasty.  A lady we talked to there said that the desert is only in bloom for about a month each year.  We are here at the right time.

Bell Rock, Sedona.  We arrived in Sedona just in time for a spectacular sunset. This image of Bell Rock is an HDR image composed of 49 exposures. We are staying at the Wildflower Inn which is just about a half mile from our door.  I see lots of hiking in our future as we are here for a couple of days. Keeping it short and sweet today, need to get up early and go hiking.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Weather Update

Just a quick note - the wind here in Las Vegas is gusting to over 50 mph and apparently doing about the same in Sedona.  We were just watching the weather channel and it looks as though Yellowstone has had 28 inches of snow - I may be buying boots, coats and a set of chains soon. They also had a lot of snow last night in Yosemite... we just got out of there in time. But right now it is 80 degrees and sunny and we are off to get breakfast before hitting the road.

Yosemite to Las Vegas

Today was a long driving day.  We left the Yosemite Cedar Lodge around 8:30 this morning and began our drive to Las Vegas.  Sometime around 10 am we had breakfast in a roadside breakfast place in a town who's name I can't remember. I had biscuits and gravy while Carol was a bit more responsible with pancakes.  Sometime later we stopped in Kingsburg CA, a town of all Swedish decent and it is also the home of SunMaid Raisins.

SunMaid Raisins Company Store... good stuff but a very small store.  We purchased several varieties of figs and raisins. Carol's comment was that this is the other use for grapes. I had to shoot a panorama in such a scenic place...???

Windmills on Route 58 East.  We were amazed at the sheer number of windmills and i am afraid that this VR doesn't do them justice as they are a bit far off.  But we were also amazed at the color in the desert - everything was green.

Valley Wells Rest Area on route 15.  This is later in the day, I would guess a couple of hours from Las Vegas.  The wind was really whipping it up out here and was it ever hot and dry.

Las Vegas at last.  We arrived here right as the GPS said we would, at the front door of Treasure Island at 5:49. This is my first shot on the strip just after sunset and I think likely the best of the strip as the color in the sky was fantastic.  It was still very hot and windy here.

In the shopping area at the Bellagio.  I wanted to get a shot of the water show they put on at the Bellagio for my son-in-law Dan who highly recommended the show... we walked the 800 or so miles down here to find that it had been cancelled because of the high winds, but I got his shot of the inside of the shopping area.

The Venetian - Walking back along the strip I took several more shots, and thought this one turned out pretty well.

So that is about it for the photography from today.  I put away my camera and Carol and I had a genuine Las Vegas buffet at Treasure Island (yum - I forgot my diet for a while), where we are staying, and then went to see Mystere a Cirque du Soleil performance.  WOW what a fantastic extravaganza. I would highly recommend this show to anyone visiting Las Vegas. So now it is about 1:30 am and I am trying to finish this up -- tomorrow off to Sedona AZ for a couple of days.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Carol on route 120

We stopped along Route 120 to stretch and I snapped this shot of Carol... it is amazing just how fast the scenery changes in this part of California when you are driving from west to east. This was cattle country as you can see by the cattle loading chute behind Carol. Our SUV turned out to be a Ford Escape and seems a very comfortable car. This will be the last post this evening I promise.

Halfdome in Yosemite

A view of Halfdome - not a 360 just a snapshot. I must have taken a hundred shots from this spot. Many with a large telephoto lens -- thanks for the loan Karl.

3 views of Yosemite National Park

I am sitting in a hotel lobby (the only place to get internet and I have no phone signal) along route 140 in the town of El Portal just outside the gates of Yosemite National Park where we spent the afternoon. It is 9:59 Monday evening here as I write this.. it has been a long day.  We traveled from our son Jason's house this morning out across the valley where we had fresh oranges and almonds and of course bought some souvenirs. After an amazing drive up the serpentine route 120 (hundreds of switchbacks) we arrived in Yosemite, and it was mid afternoon. We thought that we would drive straight to the valley visitors center, but it was necessary to stop about every hundred yards because the views just kept getting more and more spectacular. The image above is a view of El Capitan from the valley floor.  NOTE: These may take a while to load as they are a bit higher resolution than I normally post here.  Click on the image to view the 360 degree panorama.  A view of the river just below Bridal Veil Falls is here.... I love this shot as I shot it at f22 with a long exposure time blurring the water.  Another interesting shot is of an area we drove through which had been burned over. I hope you enjoy these shots... I took many more and may post them later. ... after all, it my vacation..... Will post again tomorrow.  We are off to Las Vegas in the morning

Jacuzzi Vineyard

While touring Sonoma Valley on Sunday we stopped here at the Jacuzzi Vineyard.... you just can't travel this area without stopping at a vineyard.  We had a great time touring the valley, but poor little Benny was a bit ill -- by this morning he was feeling much better.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Monday Morning Update

Just a quick note.. We had a great day yesterday going off to wine country and touring around SF.  Watched the sunset over the pacific from the beach and then a great time with family in the evening.  It is noe Monday morning and we are packing to got to Yosemite.  Will write again later.  So far, a great trip. I have taken a lot of photos and should be able to stitch and post some this evening.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Overlooking the Golden Gate

The whole family overlooking the Golden Gate from the highlands. This was just one of our stops today... Click image for larger view.  More to come

Saturday, April 24, 2010

San Francisco View

The trip begins. We have arrived in San Francisco and made it to Jason's house which rests high on a hill overlooking the sunset, Golden Gate Park and the Golden Gate Bridge as well as downtown SF. We are having a good family reunion... I have all my kids here.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Rhode Island Statehouse

Today we visited the Rhode Island Statehouse where Karl Wadensten, the President of Vibco broadcast his daily radio show which focuses on Lean business practices. Governor Carceiri, a friend of the show, stopped by and chatted on air for a while. Whenever I stand in this rotunda I stand there in awe of the sheer beauty of our statehouse. This image is a composite of 35 exposures and blended using HDRI techniques.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Warren Avenue at dawn

Shot this yesterday morning before breakfast - still need to get out earlier. This was an interesting shoot as it was cold and I forgot my jacket and in the middle of the shoot my friend Chris came along and walked through the shot. So all in all it turned out OK. Still a little too light for my liking so will reshoot but the Bradford Pear trees have already begun to turn green.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Quick animation

Here is a link to a quick little 30 second animation I did for Vibco. They created a new even more powerful dumpbody vibrator that will just shake the snot out of a big truck. Our guy in the field said that when they ran it for the first time you could feel the vibration in you chest while standing a good distance from the truck, and it emptied the truck completely. So I made this little ditty a bit dark and tried to get the feeling of something that is all business and doesn't take any s*** from anyone. I really didn't spend much time on this and didn't develop any 'story line' -- just took off --- even created the logo while making the piece. I got a lot of good feedback and encouragement from everyone at work, thanks guys.

4/15/10 UPDATE: The guy who bought the first one just ordered another 10 units! Works well!!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Opening Day at Frosty Hollow

Opening Day at Frosty Hollow. This well stocked little pond is a popular place for kids to come and go fishing as it is only open to people under the age of 14. There are some hidden messages that you can rollover in these two panoramas as we had some 'high drama' while we were there.
Ben and Dan and I had a great time fishing even though it was a bit chilly and we didn't catch anything.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Frosty Hollow

Click on image to view panorama
Yesterday morning we all went fishing and our first stop was at Frosty Hollow Pond just off route 165 in Rhode Island. This is well stocked pond for kids only and try as he may Ben just couldn't land anything. I walked down along the river and took this shot. I think this is the upper reaches off the Wood River, but it may just be a tributary. Shot with my Nikon D300s, this is a seven shot image and is not an HDR panorama.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Westminster Street, Thursday Evening

Along Westminster Street in Providence, Rhode Island. I shot this returning from my friend Allen's place as I was heading to the car. This is an HDR panorama composed of 35 exposures, shot with my Nikon D300s and a 10.5 mm lens. Each view was bracketed at 5 exposures one stop apart. I made the mistake of shooting this at low resolution as I was shooting a stop motion animation earlier in the day and forgot to reset my image size in my camera... going feeble I think. All in all I think it turned out OK but this area has great possibilities and I may go downtown in the near future and shoot some more.

World Wide Panoramas time once again

It's that time again that I participate in the World Wide Panorama event, which is held at every solstice and equinox. I had already posted my panorama here of the us having lunch at Vibco. I thought that maybe you would like to check out the work of the other photographers that participate in this event.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Old Stone Dam just after the flood

The flood came on Tuesday the 30th and I couldn't get near the river as the National Guard had all the roads blocked off and they were flooded anyway. On Thursday morning after the flood waters began to recede I took this shot of the Old Stone Dam on the Wood River which was still raging. I know you must be getting tired of seeing my car in these shots but there was no place else to park this time....