Laguna de los Tres

Laguna de los Tres, and Monte Fitz Roy

Every so often, when searching for stock imagery requests or just passing time, I go through my old photo archives and find a photo that I passed over before. Instead of just leaving those old photos to “collect dust” on the hard drive, I’ll post some of them here on my blog, in a new category called “From the Vault“. The photos I’ll post will be ones taken in the same month as I post them (but different years).

This shot here is from Laguna de los Tres, one of the beautiful high lakes in Parque Nacional los Glaciares in Argentina. Above the lake towers El Chaltén (aka Monte Fitz Roy) and its lower neighbor Cerro Poincenot. I took this photo with my 4×5 camera in November 2008 during a one month photo trip in Patagonia. I used a polarizer to bring out the turquoise color of the lake under the midday sunlight.

This was my last shot from a very productive morning. I had woken up early and hiked up to this lake in the darkness and dawn light, arriving just in time to capture my favorite photo of the trip, of the sunrise alpenglow on Fitz Roy. From the lake I then climbed up the knife ridge of Cerro Madsen, to its summit which provided an in-your-face view of the peaks and glaciers of the Fitz Roy massif. This was one of the most fun and awe-inspiring summit scrambles I’ve done to date, all the more so since I was only going on my own surveillance of the route and was unsure if it would even be doable in the first place. Anyhow, by the time I returned back down to the lake in the late morning, the first groups of hikers were just starting to arrive.

First Ride of the Winter!

Hiking up snowy mountain

It’s been snowing the last few days throughout Colorado, and this morning my buddy Mike and I rode our first lines of the winter! Above is a view of the top portion of the line we snowboarded. It was very cold up there, more like mid January than October.

snowboarding in october

Mike Bryson shreds the powder. Despite a few rocks lurking underneath, the snow was light and fluffy, and all in all it was a great first line, especially for October!

snowboarding in colorado

Great Goosenecks

Great Goosenecks of the San Juan River, Utah
[+] Click for larger view

Sunrise at the Great Goosenecks of the San Juan River, as seen from Goosenecks State Park overlook on the southern end of Cedar Mesa in southeastern Utah, on the morning before my backpacking trip in the Grand Gulch this last weekend.

The San Juan River, which originates from the San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado, slowly flows through the 1000 foot deep canyon walls, forming one of the world’s best examples of entrenched river meanders. This is one river in the photo – it flows from left to right via three immense meandering curves. It is a very impressive sight to see, and to portray the full scene with all the different river bends, I needed to create a panoramic image.

I made this panoramic photo by stitching together 5 vertical photos in AutopanoPro. Each of those 5 photos were made with dual exposure blends, prepared manually in Photoshop, to control the dynamic range of the bright sky and darker canyon. So that was a total of 10 photos needed, which I shot as quickly as possible using manual focus and two manual exposure settings (one for the canyon and one for the skies), with preset white balance for all. Between the relatively long exposures and quickly changing sunrise light, I only had about 2 chances to get this right.

Grand Gulch Loop Hike

Cedar Mesa Kiva

Over three days and two nights this last weekend I went on a ~25 mile loop hike from Cedar Mesa in southeastern Utah. I hiked down Todie Canyon, to Grand Gulch, then out Bullet Canyon. Most of the way the hike passes through dramatic canyon scenery with vertical cliffs and dramatic rock formations. But the highlights were without doubt the numerous ancient ruins and pictographs along the way.

Check out all the photos from the Grand Gulch trek on my gallery site.

Walls Above Ouray

Snowy Cliffs above Ouray, Colorado

Snowy cliff walls above Ouray, Colorado. I took this shot from my porch today with my new Olympus 70-300mm telephoto lens, at 200mm (400mm equivalent in 35mm terms). With this lens I’ll never even have to leave my house to get mountain photos! It’s a pretty sweet thing to have a 600mm equivalent reach in a lens that’s only 5 inches long and weighs just over a pound. I’ve never been much of a telephoto shooter, but I look forward to seeing what I can do with this lens.

PhotoBards Interview

You may have noticed that I haven’t posted in a while; that’s because I haven’t been doing much recently – at least in the mountains. I’ve mostly been busy at the computer for the last few weeks, trying to plow through an intense list of projects before I move up to Jackson Hole for the winter. That’s right, in late November I’m moving up to Jackson Hole for 5 months! I’ll still be working from home up there, but I look forward to LOTS of snowboarding and generally having a good time. Oh, and maybe I’ll get out to take some photos too at some point!

In the meantime, check out my interview on PhotoBards.com.