Thursday, October 30, 2008

Autumn in the Desert

OK, so Flagstaff isn't in what most people would consider a stereotypical desert environment, but certain types of cactus do grow here, as evidenced by this little guy growing just off of Elden Lookout Trail. The Fall leaves surrounding the cactus are from the gambel oak tree, one of a few deciduous trees that grow here.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Sunset on McMillan Mesa

Yesterday evening, my wife and I took a walk on McMillan Mesa Trail, part of the FUTS (Flagstaff Urban Trail System). The trail is perfect. It's about 2 blocks from our house and, although it's right in the middle of the city, once you get out on the mesa you can't see anything, but forest and the Peaks. Unfortunately, they are currently doing some "developing" of the mesa; building an industrial park and some housing. I guess you can't stop "progress". :-(


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Red Rock Country

I took this photo halfway up Devil's Bridge Trail near Sedona, AZ. The spikey plant in the foreground is an agave plant and they, along with yucca, prickly pear cactus and juniper trees, are a very common species of plant found along Devil's Bridge Trail.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Inner Basin

Where Inner Basin Trail reaches the Inner Basin there is a pump house that pumps water from a deep well and pipes it down hill to the city of Flagstaff. It's just one of many wells located on the Peaks that supplies the city with clean drinking water.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Lockett Meadow

In the Fall, Lockett Meadow is one of the prime areas to see Fall colors. Unfortunately, we got up there about 2 weeks too late. Oh well, it still makes for a beautiful scenery.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Fun with HDR

Lately, I've been playing around with a photography technique called HDR. I'm still in the beginning stages of learning how to do it, but I have had some successes so far, I think. For those who don't know, HDR stands for "High Dynamic Range" which means, unlike conventional photographs, there is a wider (higher) range of exposure levels in the image. So areas in a regular photograph under the same light conditions would have areas that were lost to over- (too light) or under- (too dark) exposure, which causes loss of detail. HDR photos are made by creating a composite of 3 images of the same scene that were taken at different exposures. I use the Automatic Exposure Bracketing feature on my camera and a free program called Qtpfsgui 1.8.12 to combine the images. However, this technique can be used with other programs like Photoshop, Photomatix, GIMP, etc. I hope to improve as I continue to experiment with different lighting conditions and program settings. By the way, this photo is of our dining room in the evening when the setting sun comes streaming in the glass door.

Here's what a single image looked like with regular exposure of the same scene under the same conditions. Notice the detail that is lost in the dark and light areas of this photo.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Flare

I caught the light as it filtered through some Fall aspen on Veit Springs Trail.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Monday, October 6, 2008

Veit Springs Trail Color

Last week, my wife and I went for another hike. This time we tried a new trail called Veit Springs Trail. It is located just off of Snowbowl Road, the road that takes you up to Snowbowl Ski Area, northwest of Flagstaff. It's an easy 1.5 mile loop hike that takes you through wooded areas filled with ponderosa pine and aspen. The aspen in this area were already changing color to a brilliant yellow. Here's a macro photo I took while on the trail.