Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Whippin' Up a Storm

(Click to enlarge)

Last time, I talked about how the light of the late day usually makes for a more interesting picture. Weather also plays a good role. If you're hiking or biking, as I was (and also was when taking these pictures), it's a bit more of a risk. One advantage to these mountainous areas is you're able to see very long distances, and can sometimes see the storm coming. Storms can certainly catch you by surprise though, as one did to my hosts, who attempted to climb Teewinot Mountain, before being forced to turn around due to lightning and all around gnarly conditions. But a little bit of preparation, including a good look at a Doppler radar, can help. In this case, I knew the storm would be coming in from the west (as they usually do), but would probably miss me to the south. Unfortunately, the south was where my return destination was, so I had to scurry back quickly in order to stay dry.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

View of the Hole

(Click to enlarge)

The afternoon I chose to take pictures in Wyoming, I hopped on a bike, and rode to the aerial tram at the ski resort near Jackson. Unfortunately, my timing was off, so I had to pedal hard to make the last trip up the mountain before it closed. I made it just in time. This wasn't really by accident, though, because when you're taking pictures, it's often best to be out early and late in the day, as the sun is beginning to set. This strategy has produced some of my prouder pictures. So the last trip up the mountain is the one to get. It was still a little too early in the day to achieve anything that stunning, but an incoming storm provided a little visual drama.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My Current Desktop

(Click to enlarge)

Today's picture isn't the best I've ever taken, but right now it's my computer's desktop image. I chose this picture for my desktop for specific reasons. Instead of taking a picture of the whole mountain (along with sky and surroundings), this picture captures just a piece of it. Since you're only seeing a piece of the whole scene, it's like you're looking through a window, and you have to extrapolate the rest of the mountain in your imagination. This, I think, makes the mountain seem bigger than it would it look if you saw the whole thing (which is a measly 10,000 feet high). The computer desktop really enhances the "window" effect (no pun intended).

This is, by the way, the view from Rendezvous Mountain, in the Teton Range near Jackson, Wyoming.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Welcome to Wyoming

(Click to enlarge)

This summer, I visited my friend Caroline, who's smart enough to live in one of the more amazing places on this planet, Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I've been out west before, and I've seen mountains, but these... these were mountains. The trip was fun; I went camping for the first time, and got to experience some local flavor (such as eating breakfast while watching a guy my age try out his new rifle, while describing how he used an ax he found to chop off the antlers from an elk). Surprisingly, though, it was a difficult trip, photographically. One of the most amazing photos I've ever seen is this picture by Ansel Adams, which pretty much sums up the stunning beauty of the region. The problem is, with pictures like that out there, how can I compete? I decided I wouldn't try, and that I would just enjoy the trip. The pictures I'll be showing over the next week all come from the one afternoon that I took my camera with me.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Big Mountain, Little Mounds

(Click to enlarge)

Hikers use cairns to mark their paths. Together, they look otherworldly.

Alright, done with rocks, done with Mount Washington. Next time, moving to mountains somewhere else.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


(Click to enlarge)

On the topic of rocks, here's another one on Mount Washington. This one is covered by lichens.

Last Mount Washington picture next time, I promise.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Odd Rock

(Click to enlarge)

I'm a little bit of a geology buff, and so this rock near the top of Mount Washington caught my eye. It appears to be quartz, with pieces of graphite wedged in. The rest of the rock on Mount Washington is good ol' New Hampshire granite. A rock out of place is known as an 'erratic'. Normally, an erratic is taken from its home and deposited by a stream, glacier, or landslide. Gravity is involved. But at the top of the tallest mountain within thousands of miles, how did this get plopped down?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Nicer View from Mt. Washington

(Click to enlarge)

Taken during a beautiful hike near the top of Mount Washington.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Structures on Mt. Washington

(Click to enlarge)

Mt. Washington is the highest point in the northeastern United States. The top is known for some of the harshest weather in the world. It's also a bit of a tourist trap (which is admittedly how I got there). I've already taken pictures of Mount Washington's more scenic side. So, here's a different kind of scenery.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Covered Bridge III

(Click to enlarge)

Covered bridge again, different view. This way, you see a lot more of the granite in the riverbed. If I'm posting pictures of New Hampshire, you should see granite. It's a rule.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Covered Bridge II

(Click to enlarge)

Bath, New Hampshire. I spotted this scene (as if it could be missed) earlier in the day while I was biking. I knew I had to come back later, closer to sunset. You'll notice the sky is dramatically blue; it looks like I had some fun with Photoshop, though I didn't. That sky is due to a polarizing filter on the camera, which eliminates reflections. So, any haze in the atmosphere that would typically result in a less-blue sky are filtered out of this picture. Interestingly, this only works with reflections at a specific angle to the camera, as determined by the position of the filter. Because the lens used was at such a wide focal length (zoomed out), there are LOTS of angles at which light can be reflected into the camera. You can see that the right side of the sky isn't filtered the same way the left side is. I think this makes the picture look a little goofy. What do you think?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Covered Bridge in New Hampshire

Click for larger image

This photo was taken in Bath, New Hampshire, by the Ammonoosuc River. This shot was taken in the evening, and required a 30 second exposure, due to the darkness inside the covered bridge. I had to try the picture a number of times, because cars kept driving onto the bridge during the 30 seconds. A picture like this would only work in the evening. You can see the blue sky out the side of the bridge; during the middle of the day, the sky would be so bright that it would be washed out in the picture.

I haven't been posting for a while, for the simple reason that I haven't been taking many pictures. But I have some new ones now, and I'll be putting up a new batch over the coming days.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

More Earth News

An article is out in the most recent edition of EARTH Magazine by myself about recent findings about the earthquake threat to the Pacific Northwest. Seattle, Portland, and Vancouver...better watch out.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Mixed Signals

Dear traffic light on 53rd and Maplethorpe,

They say red is the color of love, and, well, I didn’t know you felt that way towards me. I never figured you were focusing on me, I mean, I’m just one guy in a Honda Accord, next in line behind the Volvo station wagon. I didn’t even think you saw me. But then, I get to your corner, and every day, you’re showing the same thing, and I mean every day. And I figured, hey, the only consistent there is me. Whenever I’m there, it’s red. But, traffic light on 53rd and Maplethorpe, here’s the thing. I appreciate it, I really do, and it’s not like I don’t, you know, feel a little bit that way myself. But you’re killing my commute. I know to you, it’s just 30 seconds or a minute or so with me, but for me, I wait there, then I miss the next light, and then the next one, and I know they’re timed, so unless I make the first one, and that’s you, traffic light on 53rd and Maplethorpe, then I’m late for work. I know how this sounds, like I’m putting work before my social life, or like I’m just throwing you to the side, and really, I don’t mean it like that. I notice you, believe me. I think what you do is, well, I think it’s great. I really respect you for it. And you certainly look good doing it. Those bulbs, they’re LED, aren’t they? At least the red one is, since, yeah, that’s the only one I ever get to see. So, I mean, I’d love to take you out sometime, or, well, I guess you’re always out, so maybe something else. But what I’m trying to say is please, if that’s how you really feel about me, let me go through. Please.

But there is one other thing. While you’re showing me the red there, I couldn’t help but notice that you’re giving the cross traffic green. And they do say green is the color of envy. So, I am getting kind of mixed signals from you. I get how it is, I’m the kind of guy, on 53rd, you want to marry, but the Acura speeding by on Maplethorpe is the one you want to date. And I’m going on 30 now, so I realize that I can’t let that kind of thing bother me, but, just, couldn’t you be a little bit less conspicuous about it? It would make me feel better, both about me, and, well, about us. So, though I like you, and I really mean that, I’m just a little wary. Like you say sometimes, yellow, you know, the color of proceed-with-caution. That’s a joke. I guess you get that kind of thing a lot. I shouldn’t joke about what you do anyway, I know you take it pretty seriously. Sorry. I guess, well, I’ll see you later? How about tomorrow morning? Good? Great. It’s a date.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Good news/bad news

Bad news: A magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti, and the casualties and damage will be staggering.
Good news: my byline in EARTH Magazine online.

And for those who care, I've had three articles in EARTH Magazine over the past few months. They are not, unfortunately, available online.