Trip to Utah – Part 2

Canyonlands #1

This is the second part of my trip log to Utah.

As we wrapped up Arches, we headed up to Canyonlands National Park while the weather was still OK. Afternoon at Canyonlands turned out to be rather productive and the sky got filled up with some gorgeous multi-layered clouds:

Canyonlands #3

Love those clouds! We snapped a few pictures with the clouds on the way up:

Canyonlands #1

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Trip to Utah – Part 1

The Sign

I have been putting off working the Utah images for a while and I have finally decided to finish working on them this weekend. I decided to divide the photos to two parts – the first part is primarily Arches National Park and the second part is Canyonlands National Park. Although we spent about three full days in Utah, the weather did not cooperate half of the time, so we tried to shoot as much as we could while it lasted. On top of that, as I have indicated before, I lost about 8 gigs of photos from the last two days. Hope you enjoy these!

I was initially planning to go through I-70 directly to Grand Junction and stay overnight. After a rock fell on the highway and destroyed a portion of it, we detoured through highway 287. On the way to Grand Junction, we stopped at a local farm to take some pictures of the cows early in the morning:

Cows

This one looked at me, wondering what I was up to:

Cow Looking

Next, we headed straight to Arches. The park was flooded with rain from a couple of days before, so there were plenty of interesting pools in the area:

Pool

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Delicate Arch at Sunset

Delicate Arch at Sunset

To be honest, I have not even had a chance to review all images from my Utah trip yet. One of the reasons is probably my frustration over the lost 8 GB of photographs, because of my own stupidity. I was so tired on the day we came back from the trip, that I completely forgot that I had photos from the last two days of the trip stored on one of the 8 GB flash cards that I had in my bag. I copied everything but that one card and never checked all of the images, assuming that I had everything.

Last Sunday we photographed a wedding and I happened to format and use that exact same card that contained the last two days of the Utah trip. I found out about it after we came home from the wedding and it was very painful to realize that those images are gone forever. I had plenty of great pictures on that card, including some sunrise pictures of the Dead Horse Point.

Oh well, next time I will know better!

Anyway, just wanted to show you a sunset image of the popular Delicate Arch that is proudly displayed on all license tags of Utah cars:

Delicate Arch at Sunset

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Back from Utah

Looking down

I’m finally back from Utah after a 7 hour drive from Moab. To get home before midnight, Sergey and I left a little early and missed the last sunset. The weather sucked during the last two days (we had 3.5 days total), so we only had a day and a half of good shooting. Nevertheless, I managed to snap 25 gigs of images, but I already know that most photos are going to be deleted. This was the first time when I tried shooting HDR panoramas in three rows and processing those images is going to be a very long and painful process. We only had time to check out some good spots at Arches and Canyonlands, although we did visit a couple of good spots for photography in the area.

Looking down

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Great Falls in Winter

Great Falls National Park

Mukhsim and I spent the second day of my trip in Great Falls National Park (Maryland side). Although the falls are magnificent, the scene does not look so pretty in winter. Leafless trees, dirty snow and pale rocks, in addition to a windy and cloudy day did not present good opportunities for photography. We hiked for about a mile back and forth and finally went back, because I just could not see anything worth taking a picture of. Mukhsim said that the Virginia side looked prettier, but I bet it looks about the same at this time of the year…

Here are a couple of pictures from the day:

Great Falls National Park

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Dunes and Snow – Wallpaper

Dunes and Snow

I have been really wanting to go back to sand dunes and take some more pictures in the winter, but it has been extremely cold out there and driving for three and a half hours one way to freeze myself and my equipment to death is not something I wanted to do. Hopefully it will start getting warmer soon (at least on the weekends) so that I could go back and take some more pictures of this amazing place!

Here is one of the images from my last trip to the park:

Dunes and Snow

It is very odd to see when sand and snow mix together…

And here is the 1920×1200 Widescreen Wallpaper for you to enjoy :)

Yellowstone Pools and Streams

Deep Pool

I seriously cannot wait to go back to Yellowstone this year (hopefully it won’t blow up before then, like in the movie “2012″ :)). Jokes aside, Yellowstone is one of the most magical places on Earth and I truly fell in love with it. Here are some of my favorites pictures of pools and streams from the park in large resolution.

Deep Pool

1) Deep Pool 1920×1200 Widescreen Wallpaper

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Zone-tailed Hawk

Zone-tailed Hawk

I have been trying to get a good shot of a Zone-tailed Hawk for quite sometime now. For some reason, the ones I see are very shy and fly away as soon as they see me.

This guy took off right away, but flew over me for about 10 seconds before flying far away, so I was able to snap a couple of pictures of this beautiful bird:

Zone-tailed Hawk 2

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Best of 2009 – Landscapes (Part 3)

Aged Colors

This is part three of the “Best of 2009 Landscapes” series. A couple of things that I wanted to mention here:

  • The “Double Rainbow” image is a little soft, because it was still raining when I took the picture
  • Although the composition is pretty much absent, I still went ahead and decided to post the “Fall” photograph as one of the best of 2009, because it has a special value to me. I took the image with a very long lens after an unsuccessful attempt to chase a bird and fired about 8 horizontal shots hand-held. I was sure that those images would end up in being deleted, but after I came home, I tried to stitch them together for the heck of it and ended up having this picture :)

And here are the images:

Aged Colors

1) Aged Colors 1920×1200 Widescreen Wallpaper

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Best of 2009 – Landscapes (Part 2)

Dune Sunset

This is part two of the “Best of 2009 Landscapes” series. Although I’m not an expert on building panoramic shots by any means, I believe these ones came out all right from what I shot last year. One thing for sure – I need to get a good panoramic head, because I enjoyed the process of shooting, then stitching panoramas. The largest panorama I have done so far is composed of over 250 images and it was so darn big, that I had to downsize it to 25,000 pixels. Not sure if I want to do that again, since it took forever to stitch the damn thing, but I think up to fifteen vertical images on a panorama is quite workable :)

Oh by the way, all of the shots below with the exception of “Zabriskie Point” were shot hand-held.

Dune Sunset

1) Dune Sunset 1920×948 Panoramic Wallpaper

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