Saturday, July 31, 2010

Mayflower Gulch revisited

I revisited Mayflower Gulch last weekend. I went there two years ago or so with my friends Ben and Dave. Ben has this extraordinary picture in his gallery from this place (middle image on this page). I did not come accross a similar image this time, but I am still happy with the images I did capture. I posted two images before from this trip. The nice thing about this place is that the 4x4 road goes quite close to the bowl but very few people are there even in the weekend except maybe a few photographers. I did this easily in my Subaru Legacy from the trailhead to the spot of the old mining camp. A compact car would have more trouble getting up there. I highly recommend this place for a sunset outing.

This is the view from the point in the road where one parks and starts hiking to find good spots.

As you can see the clouds were quite threatening and the weather could have gone either way. In the end, I got a few minutes of good sunset light. Clicking on the images will get you larger versions of the images on my smugmug site. Use the back button to get back to this post.

This is the view through the window in one of the cabins you saw in the previous image

Another window view looking at the second cabin

The wind was blowing quite hard this day, so I had to shoot at quite high ISO to keep the flowers from blurring completely while still keeping enough depth of field. Most of the following images were done at ISO 800 and f/22.

Yellow flowers and sunset light on the mountain range

Pink paintbrushes

Elephant trunk flowers

Mossy Waterfall

(There is a version without light on the mountains here)

Looking back at the sunset

At this point, the sun had set and the wind completely died down, which allowed me to use low ISOs again. However, the light was not as nice anymore
Mossy fall 2


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

$200M garage sale?

Just saw this linked on Ken Rockwell's site. Apparently somebody found 65 lost negatives made by Ansel Adams, arguably one of the most influential landscape photographers. He bought the boxes for $45 and apparently they are worth near $200 mills but more importantly they provide a record of Adams' artistic development (sorry for the pun) in that era. This also reminds me of a very interesting video I saw recently where you can see Adams at work in his darkroom. A lot of his images were made to shine in the darkroom from the rough (raw) negative.

EDIT: an interesting footnote is placed on this number on the excellent "online photographer" website. Apparently the veracity of the claims is not widely accepted and we are dealing with an echo chamber effect here mostly caused by the $200M number that might have been pulled out of thin air (to use a more polite term than the author of the post linked to).

Monday, July 26, 2010

A few seconds difference

These two images were taken last Saturday evening in Mayflower Gulch (click for a bigger version, return by hitting the back button). They are only 37 seconds apart. You can see that it pays to pay attention to the light in landscape photography because of the very different moods in the two images. There was only a window of good light of a few minutes that evening where the setting sun shone through between two layers of clouds.

I have some more images from this little outing that I'll post later. There are a lot of flowers in the high country this year.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


From a height

I just heard that my old friend John Snellenberg died unexpectedly while coming back from a vacation in the Czech republic. He was the drummer in the band I used to play in when I was in college in Utrecht, The Netherlands. He is pictured above in our rehearsal and recording studio built inside the old Fort de Gagel (clearly visible in the satellite image here). A fort that was part of the Dutch Waterline, built to resist invading armies and proven quite useless in WWII (the Germans just flew and parachuted over it). I haven't spoken to John in many years, but I am quite sad that he is gone. We had a great time playing with our band The Mailmen (three of the bandmembers (Gido, Paul, and John) used to work the nightshift in the Dutch postal services) at gigs and in the rehearsal room. The rehearsal room was in an old ammunitions room inside the fort which we rented from a pigeon club that owned the place. We even brought out a limited edition CD/tape recorded ourselves in the fort using 8-track equipment. Here we are perched on the side of a pillbox behind the fort:


From left to right, Jao van de Lagemaat(me), Paul van Soelen, Gido Boekschoten, John Snellenberg.

A while ago, I put a set of images on flickr.

I also made a little slideshow video with shots I had in my library of us in the fort and mixing our CD at Paul's place. It is set to the Mailmen song "Bill the Cowboy". If you maximize the video, you can access a High Def version. Sometimes this video can stutter I noticed. Try pausing it and waiting a little so some more data can be loaded ahead of time.

Rest in Peace John!