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.
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.
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…
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!
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.
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:
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 :)
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 :)
Looks like I will be posting the “Best of 2009″ pictures till the end of the year! Kidding :) In all seriousness though, it did take me a long time to go through all of the pictures, pick the ones I liked the most, then have Lola look at them and give her opinion, after which I would repeat the process multiple times until I got to a reasonable number of pictures.
As promised, here are some pics of the Snowy Owl that has migrated to Colorado this winter. Special thanks goes to our fellow birder and photographer Tom, who was kind enough to not only show me where the bird is, but also to drive me there before sunrise!