Clouds and Peak, Jasper National Park, Summer 2006

A peak along the Trans-Canada Highway peeks out from low morning clouds in Jasper National Park of Canada. The low clouds and fog that would pour over the mountains in Jasper were one of my favorite attributes of the park.

My Black & White technique could perhaps use some work–I am not sure this is as alive as it could be, but this is a technical achievement that will take some more time.

I leave tomorrow for my friend Cal’s wedding, outside Boston, and hope to get a few interesting shots at the wedding.

Marmot, Yoho National Park of Canada, Summer 2006

Marmot, Yoho National Park of Canada, Summer 2006

I told this story elsewhere, but I think it worth repeating:

I spent two or three hours shooting a pair of marmots in Yoho NP (Canada), not because I particularly wanted to shoot them for that long, but because the rock the marmots were sunning themselves on was very near the road, and I, with a tripod and long (70-300mm) lens, was conspicuous as someone shooting wildlife. For someone who has never been to the Rocky Mountain National Parks, any wildlife spotted on the road will lead to a long lineup of stopped cars and people crowding around the animals, ussually with stupid little digicams lacking appropriate zoom capabilities to get reasonable shots. While this should excite the elk and cause them to charge, the local elk sseem remarkably inured to such treatment, contrary to the much more aggressive elk I have seen in other places.

After spotting the marmots grazing somewhat near the roadside, I had parked down the road and approached quietly, waiting for them to reappear from the underbrush and go onto their rock, standing very still for stretches of time. This behavior was essentially unique, though: mostpeople, upon noticing me, pulled off right there, including a whole busload of Japanese tourists. One couple insisted on walking up to try to get a shot of them with their P&S, and couldn’t be argued out of it, despite the fact that they had to be so close to them they had to essentially be standing on the same rock, with the predictable result that the marmots ran away and hid (it had to be a 20mme lens…).

I took up deliberately misleading people by pointing my camera at the nearby mountain vista whenever I heard a car coming. This worked for the most part (but not on that last couple). The result was that I could never coax both the marmots into a good position on the rock before they would be scared off. When I got home, I noticed that the mountain vista was actually quite an attractive subject in its own right, though I didn’t make anything good with it, and I have seen the same peak featured in sevveral photos since.

This is my favorite of the one-marmot photos I managed to get. It is perhaps oversharpened in post-processing, and may have acquired a slight yellow tint–I need to work on that.

Abstract of Tree and Hoover Tower, Stanford Campus, Palo Alto, Spring 2006

I am trying to spend some time wandering about the Stanford campus and taking some photographs each time I go home to visit my parents. It is odd to walk around Stanford: as a graduate student, I have spent some seven years in higher education so far, with three different universities becoming intimately familiar to me. I am quite familiar with Stanford, but as a local of the Palo Alto area, not as a student, and I have no sense of ownership, no areas of emotional significance associated with events in my education, nor any real sense that I might chance upon a friend while walking across campus (though I am acquainted with at least a half-dozen people who might regularly be found there). I have a very real sense of being an outsider, a sense that is not helped by the difference in status between Stanford and my undergraduate campus, UCSC.

The Stanford campus is much neater and more organized than the Toronto campus–which isn’t surprising, given that it is an actual semi-planned campus, as opposed to a semi-coherent tangle of city properties that are affiliated in some way with a university governing body in the heart of a big city. In fact, the city thing is something of a sore point for Stanford: so long as I can recall, they have been trying to secede from Palo Alto, an issue that is periodiccally exacerbated by disputes over housing ddevelopment on Sand Hill Road (though that may have been resolved by now–I am more than a bit out of touch).

Fog and Trees, Dawn, Glacier National Park, Summer 2006

Fog and Trees, Dawn, Glacier National Park, Summer 2006

I took this on Swiftcurrent Lake at the very beginning of an 11-mile, all-day hike up to the Grinell Glacier and back. As dawn was just breaking, the clouds and fog were constantly on the move, making it a wonderful time to shoot. I had intended to shoot the reflections on Lake Josephine with the 4×5 Speedgraphic, but I was so taken with shooting the morning light, clouds, and fog with the Digital Rebel that I did not get it out. In fact, I started out with a pack with three cameras (4×5, Elan, and Digital Rebel), and used none but the Rebel all day, regretting the extra weight of the other two on the 5.5 mile climb to the Glacier itself.

This is my favorite shot of my entire 24-day trip from California to Toronto, on which trip I visited Glacier/Waterton NP, Banff NP, Jasper NP, Yoho NP, Kootenay NP, Mount Robson PP, Glacier NP (Canada), Mt. Revelstoke NP, Elk Island NP, Prince Albert NP, Riding Mountain NP, and various small stops in-between. It needs some work before it is printed, but I am looking forward to the result.

Cypress, Point Lobos, January 2007

Cypress, Point Lobos, January 2007

I was running to find a place to get this image, and ended up there rather late–I wanted the moon to wind up in the crook of the curved top of one of the cypresses. This location afforded an excellent candidate, but I had wasted too much time, and wasted more setting up my tripod and fiddling with my compact flash cards, so the moon is rather high. Distant foliage really brings out the inherent resolution limit to my 300D’s sensor, and this image could be better. Nevertheless, I like the composition, and will have to make a project out of improving on this shot next time I have a chance to go to Point Lobos with a full moon.

Sunset, Point Lobos, January 2007

Sunset, Point Lobos, January 2007

My favorite shot from a trip to Point Lobos with my family. I was focusing on shooting the couple watching the sunset; when the birds came into the image, I shot quickly, and forgot to bracket the images, which unfortunately means I cannot recover any detail in the sun. I think that the overexposed sun can work here, and while I am not as happy with it as I might be, I value the birds in the image more than a properly-exposed sun in this case.

A New Start

Sean Winslow, Point Lobos, January 2007

Sean Winslow at Point Lobos, January 2007 (camera held by Neal Winslow)

In retrospect, this image would have been considerably better if I have been holding the ccamera away from my face, but since I handed the camera off after composing it (it is a picture of me, after all), I did not notice this problem until later review. Still, the light an color that day was exccellent, and I thought I should start the blog with a recent photo of the author. The next post will be my favorite image of that day.

Much delayed, this blog is now active, and I plan to be posting to it regularly from now on, at least one photo a week, hopefully more. This is a project to keep me working on my photography and to share it with my family, friends, and anyone else who may be interested. I will also be introducing other categories as this matures, covering my other interests. The RSS feed may be found at the base of this page, and I encourage readers to follow the blog this way.