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Old Aug 16, 2009, 9:17 PM   #1
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Today was frustrating - I decided that I'd go find the closest waterfall that I know about, which is about 50 miles away. Drove all the way there and then noticed that the national forest still requires a pass for parking, and mine was at home in my purse (DL was in camera bag). URRR! Then I thought that since I wasn't far away from a Samy's, I would head there. Unfortunately it was only 8:30 and the store didn't open until 11. It didn't make sense to try taking pictures off the Santa Monica pier because the marine layer was in. So I gave up and started the long drive back home. As I was driving, I figured I'd try to find something blue for this month's challenge and I stopped at the visitor's center at Vista Del Lago, overlooking Pyramid Lake.

The lake is actually one of a series of reservoirs that are part of the California Aqueduct system. The only access to the shore-line is by boat and from a different point. This was about the best I could get - the people were small dots to the naked eye. These two are significantly cropped and were taken with the DA*300.





Then I drove up to Quail Lake, another reservoir that water heading to Los Angeles goes through. This one is much smaller and they don't allow swimming or boating. But access is much easier. An exaggerated view with the 10-17:



A more normal view with the same lens:



Here's one of the fishermen that were scattered around the shore. I was a bit late with my timing, but it's still an interesting shot - if you look at the top of the frame you'll see the floats and sinkers (or something like that) sailing through the air:



Another person fishing. He looks well organized and comfortable. I would probably be totally bored doing this.



This was the other picture I thought about posting for this month's challenge. These last two pictures were taken with the DA*200.

So in spite of the fact that my day didn't go the way I wanted, and I couldn't practice taking pictures of waterfalls, I still had a reasonably good day.
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Old Aug 16, 2009, 10:09 PM   #2
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Interesting how we always find something to do with our cameras. Nice job, Harriet.

I didn't realize there was a visitor center for Pyramid Lake. Where's the access? Passed by there a ton of times and never knew how people got down to the lake.

You're going to have to stop posting images with the 10-17. It's going to be on my list soon if you keep this up. That shot is so interesting.

Patty
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Old Aug 16, 2009, 10:27 PM   #3
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Patty - The visitor center is accessed right off of the I-5, the Vista Del Lago exit (it's the ONLY thing at that exit). You can see the visitor center from the freeway - it's on a flat spot high above the lake. However, there's no lake-side access from there (they won't let you walk down to the lake's edge - the picnic areas below the visitor center can only be accessed by boat). The only lake access is from the Smokey Bear Road exit, further north, and they charge for parking and lake access, whether you have a boat or not. It's enough that I've never bothered, since there's no hiking trail around the lake and I'm not a boater.

I know what you mean about the 10-17, I've wanted it for a while but didn't think I'd use it enough. I'm now sure I will, though I'm still glad I got the 12-24 first. I learned a great deal about how to use a wide angle properly with that lens, which has helped me figure out ways to use the fish-eye more effectively. I'm still getting used to it though.
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Old Aug 17, 2009, 2:20 AM   #4
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Nice shots, I'm glad you are having some fun with those new lens.

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Old Aug 17, 2009, 12:16 PM   #5
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Better look out... all the water is going to flow out of the reservoir in that first shot with 10-17!
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Old Aug 17, 2009, 12:38 PM   #6
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OK, no question about it - I'm just going to have to rob a bank and buy one of those 10-17 lenses.

Hopefully there'll be enough left over for the K-7.

So in case you hadn't guessed, I like the fisheye photo!
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Old Aug 17, 2009, 9:57 PM   #7
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GW - I'm not worried, there's something called gravity. I thought it looked like half a globe when I took the picture.

Keith - now that I have one, I've been thinking of all sorts of different ways of using it, its a lens for creativity and fun, not for perfect representation. As I hope I showed with the second picture, you have quite a bit of control over how much of the fish-eye effect you get.
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Old Aug 18, 2009, 6:56 AM   #8
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Aha, now I know what that building is you can see from the road. We're usually on our way to the airport when we go by there. I figured there had to be some way to get down there as I see people there all the time. But, never really saw any beaches or anything. (Of course, flying by at 70 mph and with only the small opening you see through could be another reason.)

Thanks, Patty
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Old Aug 18, 2009, 7:58 AM   #9
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Love what you've done with the FE...due to its short focal length, the DoF is tremendous and can (as you have shown) produce some wonderful effects! I like how it acts like a traditional wide angle lens at 17 mm and a true FE at 10 mm... I've got to pull mine out and use it sometime!
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Old Aug 18, 2009, 9:58 AM   #10
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Patty - there are restrooms in the visitor center (can come in handy since there is nothing else on that 35 mile stretch of freeway) and there's a display about the aqueduct system. For instance, there's a relatively small hydroelectric power plant just north of Pyramid Lake that generates most of the power needed to pump the water up and over the mountains. It's quite an engineering feat and most of the people in Los Angeles don't appreciate what it takes for them to have water for all their needs. If you can, take the time to stop some day, but not when you are trying to catch a flight!

jelpee - get out the FE and go have some fun with it! It's great to have an unusual tool for creativity.
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