Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Death Valley National Park, March 2013

We headed out early Friday afternoon for a Spring Break 4-Wheel Camping adventure and made it to the Panamint Dunes road.  We bounced the 7 miles of washboard to the end of the road and made camp.  The next day we hiked the 2+ miles to the dunes with our dog, Hazel.  It got so windy, Hazel turned into a little sanddog and Jill ended up putting her in her backpack for the return trip to the camper.  That was the last of Hazel's major hikes; she was sandburned, sunburned, and had some tender dogs of her own the next day.  Our Death Valley adventure continued that day and we headed into Stovepipe Wells to pay fees.  We wanted to make a camp close to Titus Canyon and made it up to a remote canyon off of Daylight Pass Road/Hwy 374, a short distance over the Nevada border.  The next day Jill drove the exciting and beautiful Titus Canyon road and it surely is the most beautiful auto tour road in the park.  We've been on nearly every one, including the Butte Valley Road which heads out of the south end of the park over Mengel Pass.  After we toured Titus Canyon, we saw that there was/is no gas available at Scotty's Castle, so we had to circle back to Stovepipe Wells, filled it up, and then headed north to Ubehebe Crater.  We walked down into the crater, trudged back up, and then circumnavigated the rim.  What a view!  Onward to Teakettle Junction, the Racetrack, and some very crowded camping.  The next day I got some real nice shots of the Racetrack with my early birthday present, a Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L ultra wide angle lens.  Finally, we made it to the incredible Eureka Dunes on the north end of the park via Big Pine Death Valley Road past Crankshaft Junction.  It was quite windy next to the dunes, so we waited until the next morning to summit the 700' dunes.  And what a calm, beautiful morning it was.  The dunes are the tallest in California and it felt like ascending Muir Pass in the Sierra (with a little more oxygen).  Again, it was a landscape photographer's dream come true.

The pictures below are as follows:  Jill on Panamint Dunes with Hazel; an old rusted out car on Panamint Dunes road; overlook from pass on Titus Canyon Road; Ubehebe Crater; Mike on the Racetrack (nice shot Jill); a mysterious Traveling Rock on the Racetrack; Eureka Dunes; and from the top of Eureka Dunes.

68mm, f/5.6, 1/640 second, ISO 50

24mm, f/9, 1/160 second, ISO 100

24mm, f/8, 1/500 second, ISO 100

24mm, f/8, 1/500 second, ISO 100

16mm, f/10/ 1/250 second, ISO 100

16mm, f/10, 1/4000 second, ISO800

27mm, f/9, 1/250 second, ISO 50


35mm, f/8, 1/1600 second, ISO 200


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Apricot Flowers and Bees

I have appreciated and enjoyed the results of my macro work with the 7D and my favorite lens, the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L macro lens.  However, I was really excited to try the lens on the 6D and sure enough, the images are stunning compared to anything I've done before.  I am now able to achieve what I've always wanted to in close up photography.  I did have to crop all these shots, most 100%, because of the bees!  But, that shows even more how clearly and resolutely the 6D and 100mm work in tandem.  Even cropped, the images are sharp.

From Top to Bottom: 100mm, f/8, 1/1000, ISO 500; f/3.5, 1/60, ISO 50; f/11, 1/1000, ISO 1250