June and July are already nothing but memories. August starts, and brings with it the beginning to the end of summer in the high country.
This exposure was tough for me, unfortunately it is beyond my processing skills to avoid the dark tree tops. When I get some free time I plan to sit down and learn some new tricks to correct these issues. The good news, I'll always have the RAW file to go back and improve when I do. Still, I felt like this one was worth posting.
I had to scramble to get my pack off and get my gear out to get these couple of photos. I had doubts about taking these because I'd been hiking at this point for about 4 1/2 hours and was almost back to the trail head. When I saw how good the light was getting and this nice foreground I couldn't resist trying to get a couple of pics.
Uinta Wilderness, Utah.
Canon 5D. 17-40 L. 3SS GND filter.
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Chris and I decided to take a weekend backpacking trip to Lake Blanche and Sundial Peak in the Twin Peak Wilderness area of the Wasatch mountains. We both knew the forecast called for a chance of rain but didn't hesitate to head up the trail.
We were gifted some amazing light for photography but paid a price later that night. Earlier in the evening and during sunset I saw some of the best light I've had a chance to photograph. After a productive session we were walking back to our tents and I looked over my shoulder to see a violent lightning bolt strike miles away in the valley below, and I said to Chris half joking, "that storm is probably going to hit us around 2 this morning."
Unfortunately my prediction came true. We were camped on an exposed bluff and all hell broke out at almost exactly 2 am. After severe winds and rain combined with one hell of an active electric storm things finally started to calm down. Our tents were maybe 5 ft apart and we couldn't hear each other yelling at the top of our lungs because of the rain and wind. It sounded like a freight-train passing by. The worst was a bolt that struck so close I was convinced it had hit the tree our tents were next to. We were both shaken by the proximity and the intensity of the lightning and almost had each other convinced to walk the 3 1/2 miles back in the dark at 3:30 in the morning. After a careful examination of the skies and the perceived threat, we decided to stay up on the mountain and walked down the next morning. It was a hell of a good photo adventure, one that I'll not soon forget. I still have a few more shots to post from the light show we witnessed.
If you made it this far, thanks for hanging in there.
Lake Blanche. Wasatch Mountains, Utah.
Canon 5D. 17-40 L. CPL. 3GHS GND.
From earlier in the evening looking down the valley:
I took my first solo backpacking trip this past weekend to the Red Castle area in the Uinta Mountain Range. Of all the vistas I've seen in my travels, this is definitely one of the most humbling. The place has a true "wild" feel to it, the trailhead is around 12 miles away from this point. I'll have a short journal entry with a couple of the trips highlights.
I still have loads of ideas for photos in the area, I think I'll make this an annual trip.
As often happens with nature photography great light is coupled with foul weather. This scene was a calm and relaxing prelude to the oncoming storm that blew up and over this exposed ridge. To hear more about that read the story with this photo: [link]
Twin Peaks Wilderness, Utah.
Canon 5D. 17-40 L. CPL. 3SS and 2HS GND filter's stacked.
I took this photo while backpacking in little lakes valley with the Forest Service. We are building a trail re-route and creek crossing just below this fall.
Once again the mosquitos were absolutely HORRENDOUS in the whole area, especially around twilight hours. They were so bad it was almost impossible to actually take the photo. Only having my hands exposed during the time, I literally couldnt even adjust my exposure or look through the viewfinder without each becoming infested with them.
As the sun began to set and illuminate the clouds the amount of reflected light hitting all around me was mind boggling making this photo look boarder line surreal. I knew while I was taking the shot that some would not believe me that the color and amount of yellow warm light reflecting from the clouds was real, but I assure you this was how it really was.