In looking back on the 2009, I realize that I’ve been extremely fortunate to travel to so many different locations around the globe. This year alone I took over 6400 photos in Tanzania, Hawaii, Utah, Oregon, Washington, and Colorado. I would be thankful for an itinerary like that any year, but the economic turmoil of 2009 has given me a new level of appreciation for a stable job at a great company and the ability to get out and see the world.
Here are some images that I’ve never shown from each of the locations I’ve traveled to this year. Most of these got lost in the digital shuffle of thousands of images on my hard drives or ended up on the cutting room floor because there were better images I wanted to share. In any case, I’m glad I’ve rediscovered them as they help keep the great memories of this year fresh in my mind.
Kalalau Valley, Kaua'i - Nikon D300, Tokina 11-16mm, Singh-Ray Color Combo & grad ND, f/16, 1/6 sec., ISO 200
A Storm Approaches, Utah - Nikon D40 (converted for infrared), Nikon 18-200, f/16, 1/125 sec., ISO 720
Multnomah Falls, Oregon - Nikon D300, Tokina 11-16mm, f/18, 1/6 sec., ISO 200
Aspens, Rocky Mountain National Park - Nikon D300, Tokina 11-16mm, Singh-Ray Color Combo, f/16, 1/10 sec., ISO 200
Wildebeest Fighting - Nikon D300, Nikon 200-400 f/4 VR, Nikon TC-14E, f/8, 1/500 sec., ISO 200
Coyote - Nikon D300, 18-200mm, f/5.6, 1/200, ISO 200
This morning I set out to take photos in Rocky Mountain National Park for the first time this winter. I wasn’t expecting to get any great landscape photos because I was more interested in testing out my winter gear and my own perseverance. I arrived at the Bierstadt Lake trailhead well before sunrise and I immediately noticed how little snow there was in RMNP. I had fully expected to use my snow shoes, but the trail was mostly barren. That didn’t stop it from being cold and windy, though. I don’t know what the temperature was, but IF it was above 0 F it wasn’t by much. Within minutes of being on the trial, the water in the tube that runs to the bladder in my backpack froze solid. I’ll definitely have to figure out how to solve that problem before I attempt longer winter hikes. I also think that I will need to strictly limit the amount of camera equipment I carry. It’s nice to have every lens and filter with me so that I can adapt to changing conditions, but winter hiking adds a lot of other gear like snow shoes, poles, ice axe and all the extra clothing. I need to pull a Galen Rowell and hike with only what I absolutely need. A carbon fiber tripod would be nice too!!
Aspirations of becoming road kill - Nikon D300, 18-200mm, f/5.6, 1/125, ISO 200
With the lack of snow and dull sunrise this morning, I didn’t even take out my camera on my hike. But the day still had something in store for me. As I was driving back down through the park, I spotted a pack of Coyotes. They were headed someplace and stayed close to the road for a few miles. In fact, they walked ON the road for much of the way. Good thing it was still very early and there were no cars. I quickly grabbed my camera which was sealed in a zip lock bag warming up after my frigid hike (this helps to prevent damaging condensation). Of course, all the settings on the camera were set for landscape photography, not wildlife photography. In the excitement of the moment, I didn’t think to change the settings so a lot of the photos didn’t turn out so great, but I think it was more fun just seeing them. There’s always something special about seeing wildlife in their natural habitat.
Coyote Stretching - Nikon D300, 18-200mm, f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO 200
Coyote Playing - Nikon D300, 18-200mm, f/5.6, 1/60, ISO 200