Photo Blog

Photography and assorted thoughts


Watching the water in the Smokies

Living in Front Range one of the things that you don’t get to see is a lush environment. But for my last major photo trip I went to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, where you do get to see it.

Roaring Fork

Roaring Fork

I think this was along the Roaring Fork Motor Trail, so it was literally just yards off the road. But it looks like something you could have photographed in the 1800s. Of course in those days, with the emulsions requiring so much light, that the water would have been even softer. The pictures would have probably been in black and white. Then again our modern lenses have so much more clarity.

Here I was enamored of the flow of water tumbling around the rock.


A few more meters down the road I came to this.

We ended spending about 45 minutes in this section of the park. We all had a great time exploring our individual vision.
One of the things you find at a workshop is that you can be standing right next to someone, and your shots look entirely different than their shots.


Night Photography

I’ve made it out the last two weekends to do some night photography. This weekend, was more urban night photography, and I had a chance to try out what Tony Sweet was telling us, that you can overlay multiple shots to make a more interesting picture.

Saturday night on I=25

Saturday night on I-25

Here we took two pictures and used the lighten blend mode to overlay them. Since it was lightly sprinkling, we had some reflections working for us. The two shots were 25 seconds each, and since I had my iso set to 64, I didn’t need my neutral density filter. It does rely on the fact that you have a good tripod.

Tony had shown us a demo, where in the small town he was photographing in, where you could make a small town look like it had the traffic of the Las Vegas strip. In this case, the traffic on I-25 wasn’t bad either.

Since I was doing urban night shots, we didn’t need a cloudless sky.

In the next picture, I was out at Mt Evans, where I was trying out some software that allowed me to stack star shots and align them automatically.

Stars and Bristlecone pines

Stars and Bristlecone pines

Here this was 4 shots that I stacked. I was using Star Stacker Pro to do the alignment. This technique should allow me to use higher iso levels without paying the noise penalty. Thankfully last weekend, the clouds cleared up before nautical twilight. This 4 shots were all shot at 25 seconds each as well.
If you click on this photo, you can see how many stars are in it. I did get a comment on Facebook asking if there were really that many stars.

Mt Evans is still within the Denver light pollution, and later this summer I hope to take pictures on the other side of Rocky Mountain National Park where it will be darker.