In late February, I spent a week on the eastern side of the Sierras and in Death Valley. The core of the trip was a five day workshop long scheduled with Marc Adamus. I took another workshop with Marc two years ago on the Olympic Peninsula and Columbia River Gorge. At that time, I found it to be a whirlwind adventure, with every day filled with photo taking from before sun-up to after sun-down. This trip proved to be the same, with treks to many of Marc’s favorite locales. The weather wasn’t great for picture taking, but I still came home with quite a few “keepers,” as I think you will see in the galleries at Eastern Sierra/Death Valley Galleries.
I have made, or are in the process of making, a number of changes to the Samcos website:
- New Photo Gallery Software. I have long been looking for new website software with the ability to give ancillary info along side the photo galleries themselves. For example, I often would like to give a trip description, moving panoramas, and videos along side photos from a trip. But, at the same time, I didn’t want to compromise on the quality of the photo galleries themselves, especially on phones and tablets. Well, I found an apparent candidate and tried it for showing the images from my Southern Utah-Northern Arizona trip. Since originally posting those galleries, I have continued to tweak their look and function to the point that I am extremely pleased with the result. Therefore I have decided to start only using this software (TTG’s Photoswipe plugin for Lightroom). As time & energy permits, I will be converting previously posted galleries to it, especially those where I wanted to give more information and couldn’t.
- New Website Look. As a result of the above effort, I propagated some of the new image galleries’ look & feel to the rest of the website. In short, I change the typography and simplified even further the simple, white theme. There are still a few rough edges that I intend to smooth out in the short term.
- Reprocessing of Previously Published Galleries. I have been extremely pleased with Lightroom’s most recent 2012 image “development” process as I have worked on new images these past few months. So much so that I started going back and trying it on images processed with earlier Lightroom versions. In many instances the improvement was significant. And, better yet, much better results were achieved with much less effort. Therefore I have gone through all of my website galleries, reprocessing images that “needed some help.”
- Removal of Grandson’s Galleries. Marcus recently turned four and I hadn’t put out any public picture galleries of him for two years. Therefore I felt that it was time to remove his “baby photos.” Many are still getting their “Marcus fix” through Facebook postings.
Hope that everyone enjoys these changes!
In mid October, my good friend Bob and I took a week and a half trip to explore the sandstone country with our cameras, mostly around the Utah-Arizona Border. We investigated:
- The Maze Petroglyph to the west of Coyote Buttes;
- Cottonwood Cove sandstone formations in South Coyote Buttes;
- White Pocket sandstone formations east of Coyote Buttes;
- Colorado River’s Horseshoe Bend south of Page;
- Paria Toadstool hoodoos between Kanab & Page, next to highway 89;
- Cottonwood Canyon Road between highways 89 & 12;
- Anasazi ruins below confluence of Calf Creek and Escalante River;
- Burr Trail area, especially Strike Valley Overlook in Upper Muley Twist;
- Capitol Reef National Park’s Cathedral Valley;
The picture galleries can be found here. Unfortunately we weren’t able to obtain a permit into The Wave … hopefully next time!
About a week ago (August 17-19), four of us hiked into my favorite lake in the Oregon Cascades, Golden Lake. This year’s Cascades snow melt is extremely late and therefore I estimate that the wildflowers are also almost 3 weeks late. In addition, the flower displays seem quite anemic. Nonetheless, we had a great time and I came back with some “keeper” images: Golden Lake 2012 Image Gallery.
Earlier this month (August 7-8) I took a two day hike to check out the wildflowers in the Canyon Creek drainage at the eastern foot of Three Finger Jack. Specifically, I hiked into Upper Canyon Creek Meadows, a place I have visited each of the past two years. However, similar to last year, I found the flower display to be disappointing. The lower meadows had an average display, but the upper meadows were nowhere near even a normal year’s show. Nonetheless, I did bring back a few good images: Canyon Creek Meadows 2012 Photo Gallery.
I did discover that Circ Lake, on the flanks of Three Finger Jack above the upper meadows, had burst through part of its moraine dam a few days before. As a result, it lost 10-15′ of its water and washed a huge amount of glacial mud and rocks down on the northern quarter of the meadows. In addition, a large winter avalanche had deposited a lot of timber debris on the same area!