Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Rocky Mountain National Park - First visit of 2007

I said I would post some of my normal pictures from my RMNP weekend from 5/11 - 5/13, so here they are!

I had the good fortune of spending a couple days with a friend who has been shooting professionally for over 20 years. Jay and his Red Healer, Blue, drove in for a couple days from Tennessee. The three of us got along splendidly, and really had a great time.

Starting out with something a bit out of the ordinary (I do that a lot), I seem to have created the world's largest panorama. Okay, it's probably not time to call Guiness quite yet, but it is ridiculously large. It consists of 10 stitched images, in a 400MB uncompressed file, of a clear capture in the park of a grandiose mountain range. I'm sure I'm not the first to create a panorama of this view either; as I recall, a few years back, the RMNP map actually had something similar to this, although I doubt it encompassed quite the range that I did.

Too small to see?
Here's a link to a page where you can see this photo in greater detail

To stitch the images, I tried several techniques and freeware/shareware stitcher and panorama software. Each time I was dissappointed with the results. In the end, I found it easier to stitch the images by hand (or mouse, rather). I laid them into photoshop one at a time, and aligned them, and made minor exposure adjustments to have them all match up. Does anyone know of a good poster or print company I could market this behemouth to?

Here are just a few more of my "normal" images from these couple of days with Jay in the park.Jay perched seemingly precariously, yet amazingly at ease, on a steep rock.

Blue, looking alert as ever. His herding instincts are strong, and once he realized I was "part of them", Blue would not relax until both Jay and I were squarely in sight, and rounded-up.

A mangy elk, backlit by the morning sun. I had to laugh when Jay commented that the elk this time of year look as if they just picked up their coats from a thift store!
I really have a thing for shooting trees, and these were shining just right in the morning sun, with the shadowed mountain in the background. I was disappointed about the lens flare in the lower right, but still like the image. To see the same scene in a wider perspective see my post about Pinhole Photography. These trees are the same ones in the right side of the second pinhole photo.

Blue and I doing some macro shots at the river, as candidly captured by Jay. Jay was perched on a rock in the middle of the river, and while Blue and I were searching for that perfect vantage point for the next shot, Jay got our attention and snapped the shot. Notice that both Blue and I have the same crooked grin. Yikes.

"The Master at Work"
This is one of my favorite shots from the weekend, and find it really pleasing in black & white.

And, of course, the obligatory sunrise shot. Not interesting enough for commercial use, but I like it.

Overall a wonderful start to the spring/summer adventures. I'm looking forward to many more to come!

I also uploaded a few more images from the weekend to
For more information about my photography, contact me at 1-888-4photo2, or send me an email through the link at the top of my blog.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Timelapse video of thunderstorm over Denver

Now for something completely different! I've always thought storms were pretty exciting, and when the skies went black over Denver on Monday at about 6:30 in the evening, I grabbed my SLR and tripod and set it up against my back window, and took a shot every few moments. I didn't really time the intervals between shutter clicks, just guessed at anywhere from 15 - 45 seconds. If there were interesting clouds I took more shots.

170 frames played back at 10fps...

Click here to launch the video....

The quality is not great, but there it is. In the middle part of it, when it is raining, streets flooded within about 10 minutes. It was gone as quick as it came, though...

Seems kind of silly doing this with a still camera; maybe someday I'll buy a nice DV cam.

Kind of a fun experiment...

Monday, May 14, 2007

Pinhole Photography - Part II

I did an initial post a couple weeks back regarding my recent diversion with pinhole photography. I'm proud to say I've made quite a bit of progress in learning how to build the cameras, what to look for as far as subject and exposure, and how to get decent results out the darkroom. I completed the setup of my darkroom, and it is functional, although I'm still having a hard time finding a tape with strong enough adhesive to keep the black sheet hanging from the ceiling inside the door of the room. I am currently using HVAC tape used on aluminum duct work and furnaces. I returned home after the weekend to find it had fallen again. It's funny that sometimes the most simple tasks of a project are the most vexing!

Regarding the final photos, I love the antique and rudimentary look of them, as well as the extreme wide-angle that that adds drama to otherwise unremarkable landscapes.

I unexpectedly spent the weekend in Rocky Mountain National Park with a photographer friend. Before I left, I loaded up two of my home-made candy-tin cameras with photo paper, and packed them in my truck. Knowing that I only had two pinhole exposures for the weekend, I selected time and setting carefully. I have not yet picked up a Changing Bag for the changing out the light-sensitive paper in the cameras, so for this trip I was limited in the number of exposures, at one per camera. I had to laugh; the instructor for my class said that I don't really need a changing bag - I can just bring along a million cameras!
I took this around 9 am on Sat, under hazy skies with a 360-sec exposure - other than a slight light-leak on the left of this one, I thought it was interesting, and really looks nothing like what I was seeing at the time of the shot.

Taken Sunday at 7am, just as the sun lit up the valley under clear skies - 180 Sec exposure. (Click on images for large)
This is the setup for the previous shot, taken at 24mm. I'm sure it looks hilarious to see me walking around in the wilderness with a Christmas tin in my hands! The tiny white specs at the base of the trees at the far left were a herd of elk grazing in the meadow.

I am attending the Intermediate Pinhole Workshop at
the Center for Fine Art Photography this upcoming Sunday, and am excited to learn even more about Pinhole Photography. You can take a look at the photography of Micheal Butts, instructor of the class. A few of his photos are at , and do a search for his name, or "pinhole".

Stay tuned, I'm sure there's more fun to come! I'll also be posting some of my "normal" photos from the RMNP weekend soon...

For more information about my photography or Pinhole Photography in general, contact me at 1-888-4photo2, or send me an email through the link at the top of my blog.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

A Dog's-eye View of the 14th Annual Furry Scurry

Today was the
14th Annual Furry Scurry, a 2-mile walk with over four thousand dogs, and their people, mingling, drooling, and frolicking in Washington Park in Denver.

I arrived at the park with "Puppy-Cam", holding my tripod upside down, with the camera just inches from the ground, at dog's eye view.

Who can resist a curious puppy?

Dog's facial expressions are the best!

I love it how some dogs look so intellectual.

With my remote shutter in hand, and the inverted tripod in the other, I wandered, and let the dogs sniff the camera. Their varied responses to the camera were hilarious. A lot of times I would snap a shot just to make the shutter-noise to attract the dog's attention to the camera, and then get the shot as they approached.

"Running with the Big Dogs"

This charity event, in it's 14th year, hosted by The Denver Dumb Friends League, raised over a half a million dollars to go towards the Denver Dumb Friend's League Animal Shelter.

It was a Paws-itively Great Day for a very good cause!

For more information about my photography or this event,
contact me at 1-888-4photo2,
or send me an email through the link at the top of my blog.