April 5, 2010
Well, as the tile of the blog suggests, I have seen a lot of Texas! From Austin to ‘Port A’, from Study Butte to Lazbuddie, from Canadian to Notrees, it is, as the tag line reads, “like a Whole Other Country”.
But Death Valley National Park is like a whole other Planet! Continue reading
The plan for the weekend was to just kick back, relax, and enjoy beautiful Lake Tahoe. After the almost storm-chase intensity of seeing a good part of four major National Parks over the last five days we were looking forward to the down time. Sit on the beach, sip wine, read! Lake Tahoe is at quite a high elevation – 6225 feet above sea level – and is fairly large: 12 miles by 22 miles. It is also quite deep at 1,645 feet!
As I mentioned in a previous post, I had done a fair bit of planning so that we could get the most out the limited time we had in each of the Parks. A great help for anyone interested in photographing, or even just visiting Yosemite, is “The Photographers Guide to Yosemite”, by Michael Frye, and is currently available at Amazon or at The Ansel Adams Gallery (which is located in Yosemite) for a reasonable price. T
his book is so highly regarded that when it was out of stock for a while before the wedding it was selling in some places for twenty times the sticker price! It became available again (whew!) about a month before we left and got it through the Gallery at the normal price (and it turned out to be an autographed copy!)! The book suggests all sorts of ‘secret’, or at least ‘off the beaten track’, locations for photo ops that would otherwise go unnoticed. We chose Cathedral Beach along the Merced River for a morning El Capitan study.
Michelle got very creative and decided to hang over a big log to get the camera right down to the water level to maximize the mirroring effect of the calm water!
Started the day in Visalia, CA after the long drive the night before from DVNP. Wow, California actually has freeways, and is, in some places, densely populated. Like Visalia – it actually has over a hundred thousand people! I jest, but that is how it kinda felt after seeing so much of ’empty’ California, and then getting back to something even slightly urban. Continue reading
… and and a few Harleys, etc. So after the first day exploring Death Valley National Park we checked in to the clean and basic motel-ish Furnace Creek Ranch (not the super expensive Furnace Creek Inn) which is 214 feet below sea level and actually situated in an oasis! Continue reading
Did the 17 Mile Drive along the coast, west from Monterey, around the Monterey peninsula. There was a fairly strong short wave trough heading southeast from the Aleutians which produced a response at the surface with a dry cold front and a surface winds of around 35 knots out in the Pacific. Continue reading
Wow! It turns out that the Sea Lions we saw before our Sunset Cruise from Pier 39 in San Francisco (photos at the bottom this post) have suddenly and mysteriously disappeared! They had been hanging out there for 20 years (their initial arrival was apparently just as unexpected)!
Reason for this seems to be unknown, but some are positing following some new food source. Who knows for sure – but I am glad we had a chance to document them!
Sorry for the delay in getting more stuff out there, it has just been very busy! Michelle and I can give a big recommendation to anyone ever going to San Francisco who is considering a city tour to go on ‘Dylan’s City Tours’: http://www.dylanscitytours.com/citytours.html There are many tours of The City available, may are large using large buses, or ‘novelty’ vehicles, but what sets Dylan’s City Tours apart is the personality of the proprietor and tour guide, Dylan. Continue reading
I have edited and posted most of the wedding set on YouTube to share with all y’all!
Thanks so much to the band:
Ed Greene – Lead Vocals
Molly Kao – Keyboards
Michael Cuffaro – Bass & Vocals
Howard Strong – Drums
And thanks so much to Chris Hyson for documenting the set. Chris had up to three camcorders running at times (one on a tripos at stage left, another clamped high up on a pillar at stage right, and something hand held during one song) which supported the editing I’ve done. I was also able to remove most of the guests – people tend to make a funny face when the realized they have accidentally wandered into view!
I also post-processed the audio in ProTools – syncing, sweetening, and mixing Howard’s rear stage digital audio and Chris’ Stage left camcorder audio into stereo.
After hiking to see the Largest Tree On the Planet (pics to follow) in Sequoia National Park, we waited in a line of cars for a Pilot Car (kinda like Chasing, eh!). We noticed some deer off maybe 80 feet at roughly 2 o’clock (pics to follow).
They were content to graze for a few minutes, but then they seemed a little agitated and moved away swiftly. A couple of minutes later Michelle looked up and said, “Oh My God – a Bear!”.
She had the 50D with the superb 70-200 F4 IS lens and promptly got off a series of shots with the Bruin bear (EDIT: turns outs the term ‘Bruin’ only applies to the Brown Bear, and our friend here is a brown Black Bear) quietly foraging about 50 feet from us at about 4 o’clock:
Apparently a lot of the Yosemite bears are night bears (an adaptation to all the human activity and associated increased opportunities for food availability) and have been ear-tagged (the more natural behavior for the black Bear is day-activity and most of these are not ear-tagged).
Looks like this might be one of the more non-adapted specimines – nice shot sweetie!
Michelle and I and our wedding party – big thanks to Kelly Temple for the great wedding photography!
My guys – who I have all known since the 1960’s!
The Wedding Party:
Many more to follow!
We are back! Thanks to everyone who helped make the Wedding and Reception go so well!
Will start the image sharing with this self portrait of Michelle and I on the 7th at Pebble Beach Golf Links:
What a hole and what a beautiful course/place!!!
As you can see the weather was just perfect – and those conditions held throughout the trip (huge rains inundated California the day after we left) – what great luck we had.
Many more images to follow!