Monthly Archives

July 2011

John Moulton Barn, Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton, Wyoming

The John Moulton barn is the second of the two iconic early 1900’s barns on Mormon Row in the Antelope Flats area of Grand Teton National Park and is often called “the most photographed barn in the United States”:

John Moulton barn at sunrise with Teton Range, on Mormon Row in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

John Moulton barn at sunrise with Teton Range, on Mormon Row in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.
Image ID: 26965
Location: Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, USA

Once a working farm and part of a small group of early 1900’s Mormon settlements, the John Moulton Barn was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997 along with nearby T.A. Moulton Barn located just to the south. We visit Grand Teton National Park today in ease and comfort, staying in nice hotels and driving SUVs at the foot of the Teton Range as we admire bison, antelope, bear and elk. However, ponder how tough it must have been to maintain a homestead in this very place 100 years ago, especially in the harsh winters that saw the surrounding sage brush land covered deep in snow. Quite a view, yes, but quite a lot of work as well.

Thanks for looking! If you like this, please see more of my Grand Teton National Park photos.

T.A. Moulton Barn, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Grand Teton, Wyoming

The Thomas Alma Moulton barn is one of two iconic and oft-photographed barns that lie on Mormon Row in the Antelope Flats area of Grand Teton National Park:

T.A. Moulton barn with Teton Range, on Mormon Row in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

T.A. Moulton barn with Teton Range, on Mormon Row in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.
Image ID: 26914
Location: Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, USA

Along with the equally picturesque John Moulton Barn just to the north, this barn was once a working farm and part of a small group of Mormon settlements. This quintessential Western building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997. The T.A. Moulton barn’s orientation — facing the rising sun — and spectacular backdrop of the Teton Range makes it a popular early morning photo subject year-round.

T.A. Moulton barn with Teton Range, on Mormon Row in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

T.A. Moulton barn with Teton Range, on Mormon Row in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.
Image ID: 26918
Location: Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, USA

Thanks for looking! If you like this, please see more of my Grand Teton National Park photos.

Teton and Yellowstone Sound Check

Grand Teton, Video, Wyoming, Yellowstone

I recently joined my family for a reunion in Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park. It was not a photography trip, but I did manage to grab a few photos and some video clips as we visited some of the iconic and touristy spots in both parks. This little video is a test of a Sennheiser mic I am using on the Canon 5D Mark II. Not sure I am 100% happy with the sound quality but its better than the built in mic. Once the video has begun to play, be sure to select 720p HD in the lower right corner, since by default Youtube plays this video only in 480p which is not the best quality.

Enjoy…

Stock Photo Gallery: Penguins!

Antarctica, Falklands, Galleries, Penguin, South Georgia Island, Southern Ocean

Stock photography of Penguins

I’m gradually revisiting my website galleries and improving them, removing images of lesser quality (unfortunately a lot of those!) and updating existing galleries with new material. If you enjoy penguins please take a look at my collection of Penguin Photos. With one exception**, all of these penguin photos were taken on a single long trip I made to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia Island and the Antarctic Peninsula (see my lengthy PDF trip journal if you want the deets, or you can view the same info as a series of blog posts). I was thrilled, nearly everyday of my trip to the Southern Ocean, to see penguins in the wild, sometimes in vast numbers, and I cannot wait to return to those places again. Within a few months of returning, one of the images was selected as the cover and inside spread in Nature’s Best, which was a real treat as I had not had an image published in that great magazine in some years. Thanks for looking!

Stock Photos of Penguins

King penguin colony. Over 100,000 pairs of king penguins nest at Salisbury Plain, laying eggs in December and February, then alternating roles between foraging for food and caring for the egg or chick.

** The exception is the Galapagos Penguin underwater photo which was made in, you guessed it, the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador.

Yosemite Falls and Star Trails

Astrophotography and Night Scapes, Yosemite

Stock Photos of Yosemite National Park.

I’ve updated my collection of Yosemite photos, including the one below which I made at 2am a few evenings before the last new moon. One of the spring lunar rainbows that form in upper and lower Yosemite Falls — which are a lot of fun to see but which attract considerable crowd of people and cars that remain throughout the night — took place on the full moon a few weeks prior. I was not able to get up to the Valley for the lunar rainbow event, so instead took my daughter on a Sierra roadtrip a few weeks later to hike the Mist Trail as we try to do each spring. She elected to stay with Grandma at Bass Lake while I went into Yosemite Valley for some night and sunrise photography. On this night, with a nearly new moon, I did not encounter a single person in Cook’s Meadow between 11pm and 4am. The light that the crescent moon shed onto the upper waterfall was quite thin, but I was still able to make a clean image by using a 40-minute time exposure which rendered the stars as arcs in the night sky. Polaris, the “North Star”, is the bright star that lies nearly at the center of those arcs at upper right. My main interest interest in photographing in the valley was in making a few very high resolution reflection panoramas of the flooding Merced River, for potential printing 10′ wide or more. In several places I waded into the Merced to find perfectly still water and the composition I was looking for, since my 6′ tripod allows me to work waist deep or more if needed. The water was not as cold as I expected so I did not even bother with waders. Boy how I love Yosemite in early summer, so green with cool shadows and crisp water contrasting the warm dry air and blue skies! After a sunrise and morning of landscape photography I (mostly) put away the camera, spending the remainder of the trip hiking a couple favorite trails with Sarah and making iPhone panoramas with her. She really likes the immediacy of iPhone photography and enjoys seeing how in-phone panoramas turn out just moments after making them. I can’t blame her as the results are often surprisingly good. Anyway, back to my stock photography: if you like the image below, be sure to see more Yosemite National Park photos. If you like this image, please see my website devoted to my full collection of Landscape Astrophotography images. Thanks for looking!

Yosemite Falls and star trails, night sky time exposure of Yosemite Falls waterfall in full spring flow, with star trails arcing through the night sky, Yosemite National Park, California

Yosemite Falls and star trails, night sky time exposure of Yosemite Falls waterfall in full spring flow, with star trails arcing through the night sky.
Image ID: 26853
Location: Yosemite National Park, California, USA

The above image is a single image, not a composition. There is no masking or blending used, just a judicious choice of exposure along with curves, saturation and white balance in Lightroom. What looks sort of like a halo just above the cliffs is actually the faintest hint of sunrise I believe, since I ended this exposure just as astronomical twilight was beginning in order to obtain a true blue sky (rather than natural black sky, or a blue sky created by manipulating the colors of the sky). The Photographer’s Ephemeris app on the iPhone is a great help in determining such times, if you like apps.

New Work – July 2011

Galleries, New Work

I was fortunate to make a return trip to Joshua Tree National Park with Garry McCarthy to try to improve on the night time arch photos we made there earlier. I think I succeeded, producing three keepers including one large panoramic image of the Milky Way spanning the night sky over Arch Rock. Printed, without interpolation, this image would be 9′ long! I also managed to join Mike Johnson on the ocean for a few days, where we had a couple photography opportunities that yielded images of bottlenose dolphin above water and strange planktonic colonial gelatinous tunicates (salps) below the waves. My daughter Sarah and I took a little road trip to Yosemite National Park for our annual hike up the Mist Trail, giving me a chance to wade into the Merced River in search of new reflection shots of the spring-flood waterfalls pouring into the valley from the granite heights above. My favorite of the bunch is the panorama below, of Yosemite Falls reflected in a sidewater of the Merced that has flooded a nearby meadow. We then continued up to the recently opened Tuolumne Meadows and Tioga Pass and on through a clearing storm in Mammoth and Bishop where we were treated to some beautiful but fleeting storm-laden sunrise light above Convict Lake.

Click the photo below to see the latest edition of my gallery of “New Work July 2011“. Thanks for looking!

Yosemite Falls reflected in flooded meadow.  The Merced  River floods its banks in spring, forming beautiful reflections of Yosemite Falls, Yosemite National Park, California

Yosemite Falls reflected in flooded meadow. The Merced River floods its banks in spring, forming beautiful reflections of Yosemite Falls.
Image ID: 26887
Location: Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Here’s a tip for photographing Yosemite Falls in spring and early summer: wait for the sun to rise high enough that it lights the falls directly. This occurs about 9:30 to 10am. Earlier than that and the falls will actually be in shadow. Once the light hits the falls directly, they visually “pop” off the rest of the shadowed wall making for a more striking photograph than that taken just 30 minutes earlier. When Yosemite Falls is fully lit, it will also appear with greater contrast when reflected in the Merced River. The easiest, and one of the best, reflection images to make of Yosemite Falls is from the middle of the Swinging Bridge at the west end of the Leidig Meadows area. Swinging Bridge is sometimes closed when the Merced River is too high, but when that occurs there are plenty of other reflection pools you can use.

Italy 2011

Skip's Trips

From Skip:

We flew from Paris to Florence on May 9, picked up a rental car (EuropeCar) and headed out to the small hill towns of Umbria and Tuscany. These photos are from about 18 days there and include the following towns we stayed in or visited: Cortona, Spoleto, Bevagna, Gubbio, Assisi, Porto Santo Stefano (Monte Argentario), Orvieto, Pitigliano, Savona, and Lucca. We mostly stayed in small hotels and B&Bs and in agritourismo hotels (small hotels on working farms). We had fabulous meals but had done considerable research on places to eat before leaving. However, several times we asked hotel staff to recommend local places with ”typical food” and these usually turned out to be excellent.

Click the photo for more great images!

Paris 2011

Skip's Trips

From Skip:

We stayed in Paris for four days sandwiching out 18 days in Italy. The main downside to this strategy is that you have to go to the Charles de Gaulle airport and back an extra time (At $90 per trip for a taxi). As we stayed on isle St. Louis we often found ourselves around Cathedral Notre Dame and took lots of photos, as you can see. On weekends there were numerous, and usually quite good, street entertainers, from musicians to circus acts, and one Russian 8 piece band (3 accordians!) near Rue des Rosiers that was off the charts. What a great city!

Click the photo for more great images!

iPhone Panorama Photos, #2

iPhone

Making iPhone Panorama Photographs.

See my first set of iPhone Panorama Photos.

Here are a few more iPhone panoramas that I’ve made recently. These panoramas were all shot with my iPhone 4 by my daughter (age 11) and took about 60 seconds each to make! Normally, I stitch the individual frames into a panorama right in the phone using the $2.99 Autostitch Panorama app. In this case, these were cool enough that I downloaded them to my Mac and stitched them again using Photoshop CS5 Photo Merge. These are “quick and dirty” panoramas, shot with the camera that I always have in my pocket by virtue of the fact it is also my phone — and yet the quality is quite good and in many cases these panoramas will yield fine prints.