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Old Nov 1, 2010, 3:03 PM   #1
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Default Saturday SoCal Surprise

We visited family this weekend (end on October), and as usual when going there, we got up at our normal 4 am time (drive up Saturday, drive back Sunday). The weather prediction was for some more rain, possibily heavy but not for long. Imagine my surprise when I looked out to see the car looking like this (see, Ira, you aren't the only one who sees water falling in solid form):

We ended up following the storm for a while on our drive. The sunrise was another spectacular Mojave sunrise:

I can go years without seeing a rainbow, and now 2 in one month - very unusual for me. We spotted this one on the north side of Barstow (not the best picture in the world as it was raining and there were water drops on the lens).

Couldn't decide which of these pictures I liked better, so I'm posting both of them:

We eventually came to the edge of the storm (somewhere along I-15):

Distant mountains in sunlight while the desert floor was still covered with clouds. These mountains are so stark and jagged compared to Mole's mountains.

We went from snow through rain to bright sunlight in 300 miles. While this isn't all that unusual in January or February, the snow was very unusual for October.
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Old Nov 1, 2010, 3:09 PM   #2
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Snow in Southern California... we're all gonna die from climate change! Nice work, Harriet. Which lens did you use on that first rainbow shot? The 12-24?
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Old Nov 1, 2010, 3:12 PM   #3
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Beautiful set.

Really like #2, #4 and 5. 2 amazing golden morning color.

Kit lens 18-55mm
Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro Autofocus
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Old Nov 1, 2010, 4:08 PM   #4
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# 3 Rainbow shot...I'm betting Pentax 10-17 Fisheye ? I have both the 12-24mm and the 10-17mm FE and I think the lens used for that marvelous picture probably is the 10-17mm at around 15mm to 17mm...all depends on the angle of the shot. It's got a valley look to it.

Mtngal...great pix...but I really like the last one...those 'layered' mountains....and that sky....that pix really appeals . It would be a picture to have in one's portfolio....both in the original version (pictured) and in a cropped version...bottom 1/3rd or so, cropped out.

BTW, I like it both ways.


Last edited by lesmore49; Nov 1, 2010 at 4:15 PM.
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Old Nov 1, 2010, 7:31 PM   #5
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Wow, you folks in California really take the old saying to heart: if you don't like the weather, just wait five minutes. I'm not a huge fan of power lines in landscape shots, even though I know it's nearly impossible to find any landscapes without them (except perhaps for national parks and forests). Because of that, the third rainbow shot is definitely my favorite. I also like how the rainbow ends in what looks like SoCal's version of Stonehenge.

Despite my distaste for power lines I must say that I really like your second rainbow shot. I love how the early morning low angle light illuminates the wires and the pole (did I really just say that?).

I also love the otherworldly quality of your last shot, with the jagged mountains fading into the distance.
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Old Nov 1, 2010, 8:00 PM   #6
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What a surprise, Harriet. We haven't had snow yet, but the next few mornings it will be cold enough.

I really like the last one of the mountains going off in the layers of the mist. Beautiful!

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Old Nov 1, 2010, 8:05 PM   #7
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The ones with the rainbows are stunning! And how fortunate to be able to capture the whole thing...end to end!
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Old Nov 1, 2010, 8:10 PM   #8
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Hi Harriet,

This is quite an impressive set, IMO!!!

I really like the irony of a snow covered car with CA plates -- something about that makes a Chicago boy smile. . .

The last shot is very nice! The gradation of the mountains from dark to light and from low to high is just about perfect.

The rainbow shots speak for themselves. . .

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Old Nov 1, 2010, 9:39 PM   #9
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Thanks, everyone, for the compliments.

#3 was taken with the 10-17 at 10mm. I used LR3's distortion correction feature to correct some (but not all) of the fisheye effect. There is still some, but not much. I took a couple of other shots using different focal lengths, but they didn't quite get the second rainbow. I haven't been using the 12-24 much recently - due to shoulder problems I've had to really lighten my camera bag. Now I keep the DA 35 macro and the FA 77 Ltd in the bag full time, with various other lenses wandering through. In this case, most of the pictures were taken with the DA*50-135 (both of the other rainbows, the sunrise with the signal and the last one of the mountains). The one of the snow and the one showing the edge of the storm (posted because of what it said about the weather) were taken with the DA 35 macro. Because of the weight of the DA*50-135, I took the 10-17 instead of the heavier and larger than the 12-24. I keep hoping that the shoulder will settle down enough to allow me to carry a bigger, heavier bag.

Snow isn't unusual for February, we occasionally have a bit at the end of November. This is the earliest I've ever seen it though. It was very unexpected - the forecast had been for snow above 8,000. The house is just under 6,000 feet. It didn't last long - it was gone by the time we returned Sunday and they are talking about record heat (90 F) in L.A. for the next couple of days.

I was really pleased with the mountain shot - I've tried something similar in the past but the conditions were never right and they never worked. I was delighted that this one actually worked.

The third rainbow shot had wires but they were easily cloned out. I couldn't do that with the second one, and I liked how the pole looked in the early morning light. In my opinion the light and color of the third one is more rainbow-like, all of the colors are represented. The second one has wonderful not-quite-sun-up light and more unusual over-all lighting, plus I've always wanted to somehow use the ruin in a picture so I was delighted with the conditions. It was taken within a couple of minutes of the yellow sunrise picture - about a mile away.

My satisfaction with the pictures made getting up so early on a Saturday morning, to drive 300 miles to visit family well worth it.
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Old Nov 1, 2010, 10:44 PM   #10
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Hi Harriet, great to see you get snow before we do for a change.

The sunrise with the lights is one of my favorites, along with the last one, although I don't think I have ever have seen a round rainbow.

Nice series of shots.

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