Thursday, November 10, 2016

Split Mountain Sunset

Recently we had to opportunity to visit the Uinta basin near Vernal Utah, I have been to Vernal several times in my life, but always to visit the dinosaur national monument, and never took the time to look around the area and those places are worth seeing at least once in your lifetime.

On this visit though I was on a photographic mission, we had considered going to canyon lands in southern Utah, but upon finding that every other person had the same idea, we could not get a motel room, so my wife suggested Vernal, we hadn’t been there for quite a few years, don’t know what could have changed, it’s just dinosaur bones, and rocks, right?

On our way out of Vernal the morning after we arrived I noticed a bunch of billboards that said things like “Split Mountain Motel” and such, which got me curious about what is Split Mountain, so I started to search that out, come to find out there are a lot of things in that eastern desert to see, and do.

Actually it is quite varied, and beautiful in it’s own way, pictured here is Split Mountain, but we also visited Red Fleet reservoir, and Donkey Flats, both beautiful, while your there you might want to check out the very large phosphate mine, you can’t miss it, it is huge!! You take highway  191 out of Vernal going north, this highway also takes you to Flaming Gorge, and Red Canyon, on the map the road looks quite, well flat, but as you travel the road one section has nine switch backs, in just a short distance, and not one, not two, and not three, but four runaway truck lanes, and some of the passing lanes going up are just about as long as a semi truck with a trailer, you would have to be quick to make that pass!!

Once up to the plateau there are a few things you can see, one of them is the Red cloud Loop, I just confess I am not really sure what there is to see on this loop, because once we got on it we got sidetracked on another dirt road which took us to spirit lake, once we got to the lake, which was partly frozen over, it looked like any other lake in the Uinta mountains of Utah, but the creek that came out of it, Sheep Creek, has some beautiful parts of it, on my web page you can find Sheep Creek Falls, small but beautiful!!

You can also go from there to Flaming Gorge, and Red Canyon, both beautiful, and the Green river where it comes out of the damn is crystal clear, and teaming with trout.

If you decide to not take that route, you can head east to the Dinosaur monument, if you don’t go to the visitors center and the excavation site you can travel to the Green river, and the Split mountain overlook,  it is interesting to see the river cutting through the mountains, which is why it is called Split mountain, at this location if you get there at the right time of day, and season the sun is just low enough to backlight the cottonwoods that grow along the river, giving them that translucent look, just stunning.

Another route you can take is going south on highway 45, then onto Glenn Bench RD. and lastly turn onto  Coyote Washington RD, best to ask for direction at the Dinosaur museum in Vernal, anyway this take you to a place called Fantasy Canyon, we got there in the middle of the day, and the light was not good, so I never got any photographs of this canyon, but it is interesting, not a lot of different colors there, but cool rock formations.

And of course there is also Josie’s Cabin, which is part of the Dinosaur national monument, the cabin is ok, but there are a couple of box canyons there that are beautiful, if you look for my photograph “The Light in the Forest” that was taken in “BOX Canyon” just a stones throw from the cabin, Josie used to graze her cattle in this canyon because it was easy to block off, considering it truly is a box canyon, one way in, and one way out, unless of course you’re a lizard, or a bird.

The Uinta basin truly is a beautiful place to visit, and explore, and so much more to see than just dinosaur bones, when your there take the time to look around.

Thank you for reading, I hope your day is fantastic, now go out and make your day a picture perfect day!!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

The Beauty of Nature

The Beauty of Nature.

Here is another example of a file that could have easily been deleted, we are just now getting to the end of autumn in my area, but this is not an image from a month ago, this image sat on my computer hard drive for 11 years, each time I looked at it I wondered what I was thinking, then decided that I must have been thinking something, but what?

As we learn new techniques it opens up new possibilities, but new techniques is not enough, perhaps our vision changes, we see new possibilities for old subjects. I think this is one of those old subjects, we have not had a real vibrant autumn for a few years, some years when it is good the colors only last for a few days, maybe a couple of weeks, other times it lasts for a month or longer, and who knows why.

Back when I did a ton of portraits autumn was always the hot time of year, everyone wanted their portraits done in the fall colors, I would spend hours scouting locations that would work for different sized groups, then start chasing color, as it would end in one location it would just be getting beautiful in another. I would make appointments days in advance, and some years I had to cancel those appointments because the color would just be gone, maybe a freak snow storm, maybe rain or hail would knock the leaves off, but I digress.

On this particular autumn I had taken my truck and ventured into the mountains of the Wasatch looking for color, I got a few photographs that I was happy with, but more that I was not, and in this case, right now I cannot for the life of me remember why I was not happy with it, it could have been because while it had possibilities, those possibilities that I recognized those years ago, I couldn’t see them because of my lack of knowledge on processing images.

When digital first came out, and it was obvious that  film was going to be a thing of the past several of us jumped on the digital bandwagon. It opened new possibilities, I could now retouch my portraits saving my customers several dollars just to get rid of a couple of pimples, or a scraped cheek, but color was another story, and it was difficult to get good, accurate colors with the software that was available to us at the time. I found myself disappointed with the color more than once, and I did everything right, I shot in RAW, I used a white card to get my white balance because “if you start with a good white balance everything else will fall into place” not true for the time, and if you weren’t a “Photoshop” guru you were lost. Now you can get good color right out of the camera…or can you, perhaps that comes with learning new techniques, that somehow seam second nature now after 14 years of working with digital files.

On this image, as I looked at it for the umpteenth time I seen some possibilities for it, and having a whole new arsenal of technique I could make that vision that I had those many years ago come to life.

I guess the point is, if you have the vision never stop learning new technique to help that vision see the light of day.

As always I hope you have a great day, I hope you enjoy my images, and I hope  your day is a picture perfect day!!!

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