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Old May 28, 2012, 10:50 PM   #1
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Default Week 12 of 52

Monday found us waking up after our first night in Estes Park, Colorado. We had checked on the status of the Trail Ridge Road when we arrived on Sunday and figured that Monday was the best day to drive this road through Rocky Mountain National Park. I probably should do another thread about the park as I have far too many pictures than I should put in this thread (and the few birds I took are in another thread). Iíll just include a few of the many pictures I took.

This first one is my favorite of the day. Taken with the K5 and FA 31 with a circular polarizer.



The drive is spectacular! While there was no snow around Estes Park and lower elevations, there was still some at higher elevations. I did a number of panoramas, the scenery along the road lends itself to it. But Iím not going to post them here Ė the forum doesnít really do them justice and Iíll put one or two in a different thread on our trip.

It seemed strange to me that the highest point on the road is not the Continental Divide, which is further west and at a lower elevation. Iím not going to post my obligatory divide sign shot here, but I did take one.

On our way back across the Trail Ridge Road after a lunch at Grand Lake, we got to see our first elk. It turned out to not be our last view of the magnificent animals. They are shedding and look very rough.



Tuesday morning we went for another drive, though one much shorter since we were to meet friends for lunch. The clouds were really interesting.



One of our stops was an alluvial fan that was created in the mid 1980ís by a dam failure. Tons of rocks and trees were washed down, creating an alluvial fan where it hit flatter land. We walked to an overlook of the cascading water. I had left my tripod in the car (dumb!) and didnít want to take the time to walk back to get it. So I got the slow shutter speed by resting my elbows on the railing of the bridge I was standing on (earlier I used a rock). I donít know how successful this picture really is Ė I got the silky smooth water and I got the rocks of the alluvial fan. But Iím not so sure that it works as a photograph. This picture makes me want to get closer, but the picture I took that was closer I thought was rather boring Ė the patterns werenít interesting enough to make a good abstract.



The photo that is just the rocks and water is here: http://mtngal.zenfolio.com/p487897818/e3a0b7340 , Iíd be interested in which you prefer of the two pictures.

Wednesday was the main day we had set aside for getting out of the car. We took a relatively short hike, my GPS said it was just under 4 miles total. It took us past 3 lakes. As you can see, the clouds had moved in and the sky was very grey.



We decided to start back when the water started to look like:



Those white streaks were not raindrops!

That evening, as the last light was fading, Dan went outside to have a last smoke in the rain. He stuck his head back in the room and told me to go outside with a camera, that there was an elk eating a tree beside our building. I put the DA300 on the camera Ė another mistake! This awful picture was the best I could manage, I should have put either the 50-135 or 200 on. Oh well Ė the light meter and focus worked quite well, since there wasnít all that much light.



It continued to rain off and on. Thursday the high country looked pretty spectacular from lower down (the Trail Ridge Road was again closed):



I hiked to a waterfall. Those pictures I will post elsewhere, because I thought they were interesting Ė I took one at 1/3200 sec, one at 1/125 (or around there) and then one with slow shutter speed. It was neat to compare them.

On the way back to Estes Park, we spotted some more elk. Conditions were dreadful Ė hereís my first attempt, taken with the DA*50-135. Iím not entirely sure what the camera was focusing on:



I switched to the DA300, Dan moved forward a bit and still couldnít get the camera to focus. Switched to manual focus and still had trouble. Iíll post those in a separate thread.

We sadly said goodbye to Estes Park on Friday morning, heading back to west, spending the night in Cedar City, Utah. A quick shot at a rest stop along the interstate, still in Colorado.



Saturday we drove the rest of the way into Vegas. Since I knew I wouldnít have time to take pictures in Vegas, we took a side-trip to Kolob Canyon, part of Zion National Park and just off I-15 not all that far south of Cedar City (another panorama).



As expected, we stayed busy with family stuff Sunday during the day. The evening found us somewhere that they didnít allow cameras in, so I decided to figure out how to use the camera on my cell phone Ė during a concert. When we got back to where we were staying, I used photoshop to put together this collage of the cell phone picture and another one I took of the tickets.



We sure had ďFun, Fun, Fun (till her Daddy took the T-Bird away)Ē.
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Old May 28, 2012, 11:20 PM   #2
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WOW, the Beach Boys, wish I was there!

Tom
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Old May 28, 2012, 11:23 PM   #3
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Sorry, back to the photos, I really like the silky water photo with the hard edges of the rocks around it.

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Old May 29, 2012, 5:51 AM   #4
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Nice images from Rocky Mtn National Park. I visited in 2010 and will return later this Summer. Also hoping that Trail Ridge Road is open...it was only open till Rainbow Pass during my October 2010 visit.

Jehan
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Old May 29, 2012, 2:46 PM   #5
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Tom, the concert was great fun. Our seats were almost "nose-bleed" ones, but we had a clear view of the stage. The music sounded much like it did in the 60s. There was no warm-up band, it started with them walking out on the stage. There was one intermission, but otherwise they sang just about the whole time. The whole production was very well done and we had such a great time. What was really neat is that my 20-something niece and a friend of hers went also. Her friend didn't really know anything about the Beach Boys and I think went mostly to have something to do. The first number woke her up and she kept saying things like "oh, that's one of my absolute favorite song". Both girls had big smiles on their face at the end (but then, how can you not when the music is so upbeat?). It was neat to see all of the remaining original members together again, singing their songs as they had years ago. Was it really 50 years ago when they were big? Sure doesn't seem that long ago.

Jehan - this year they opened the road earlier than they have in years - there's not a huge amount of snow and the weather was pretty mild. Except for some storms that bring ice, I think it will stay mostly open until fall now. It really is an awesome drive. While it's only about 50 miles one way, it can easily take several hours or more. It's not a drive that should be rushed, rather one to enjoy the stops along the way.
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Old May 29, 2012, 6:07 PM   #6
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That's a seriously diverse week. I look forward to your photographic adventures.
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Old May 29, 2012, 8:32 PM   #7
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Your photos of RMNP bring back some wonderful memories! Three years ago I attended a conference in Denver. I flew out a few days early and spent three days exploring and hiking in the park. Your photos make me want to return.

Regarding the alluvial fan, I like both photos, but my preference is for the one you posted here -- the wider angle view gives me more context. The shot you posted on zenfolio is a really interesting image, but if you hadn't told us what was going on, I wouldn't know what I was looking at.

Just curious -- which three lakes did you hike to on Wednesday?
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Old May 30, 2012, 2:39 PM   #8
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Thanks, Paul!

mtnman - I thought of you and your pictures when I was there, figured you might recognize some of the places we went to. The hike with the 3 lakes is one that's very popular - Nymph Lake, Dream Lake and Emerald Lake, the trailhead being at Bear Lake. The trail is pretty easy (though some of the remaining snow drifts made things challenging) so its a lot of great scenery for not that much effort.

Jehan - if you are going this summer, the Bear Lake Road is under construction and is one-lane some of the way. That meant there were delays waiting as they escorted traffic from the other direction. It wasn't long waits when we were there, but it was still off-season and there weren't all that many people there. The shuttles weren't running yet either, so while we, as early-birds, didn't have trouble parking, the lots were pretty full by noon. We would have made use of them if they had been running - more convenient to let someone else do the driving and parking.
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Old May 31, 2012, 11:30 PM   #9
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The landscape images are absolutely marvelous, even the shot with the focus issues has great atmosphere (not just a pun).

Magnificent.
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Old Jun 1, 2012, 9:52 AM   #10
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Great shots, Hard to chose a favorite but I would have to go with the river rafters and the high country shot in the rain. Nice series

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