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Rocky Mountain NP #4446
07/20/06 11:24 AM
07/20/06 11:24 AM
Joined: Jun 2005
Long Island, NY
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Chris_A Offline OP
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Chris_A  Offline OP
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Joined: Jun 2005
Long Island, NY
Took a nice trip out there mid-June, just getting around to polishing up the photographic results. What a great trip...so little sleep to get some of these shots...but wish I'd had more than 5 days to do it, as there's so much to learn about a place when you're chasing photos...

All taken with a Nikon D200, most all with a tripod. I brought along a Nikon 300mm f4 with a 1.4x teleconverter (fine for most wildlife there), a Sigma 24-70, and a 60mm macro.

Here's Dream Lake...a bit of a hike with the photo gear - high altitude makes for easy winding...


A chipping sparrow looking for caterpillars...wish I'd caught him looking up with this composition...


This is Sprague Lake, great for morning scenics...


Broad-tailed hummingbirds were everywhere...


Here's a Least Chipmunk having a snack...


The very tame and grubbing Clark's Nutcracker always looking for a handout...


The Golden-Mantled Ground Squirrel, significantly larger than the Least Chipmunk...


Had to really go looking for this guy...spoke with every park ranger I could find to get a bead on where they might be...lo-and-behold, I found him in the middle of the trail, not 30 yards from me...headshot with a 300mm...



Here's a composite I made...not wholly happy with it, but...


Here's the campsite...awful view, huh? Great spot for burgers and beers at the end of a day of hiking...that's a rental car, a PT Cruiser...that's what they call "Compact" now.


Here's a duckling at Sprague Lake...


And here, a small rainbow in the spray from Alberta Falls


Thanks for looking!


-Chris
Re: Rocky Mountain NP [Re: Chris_A] #4447
07/20/06 11:27 AM
07/20/06 11:27 AM
Joined: Jun 2005
Long Island, NY
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Chris_A Offline OP
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Chris_A  Offline OP
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Joined: Jun 2005
Long Island, NY
A few second-edits, rejects, but interesting...

A marmot - big sucker. Very skittish.



The Wyoming Ground Squirrel, plenty of them posing...commonly called "prarie dogs," they're really not.


Lots of elk in the mornings, but getting close - and getting them to stand still...a whole other matter:


-Chris
Re: Rocky Mountain NP [Re: Chris_A] #4448
07/21/06 06:59 AM
07/21/06 06:59 AM
Joined: Feb 2005
Manhattan, New York, New York
James Morrissey Offline
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James Morrissey  Offline
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Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Feb 2005
Manhattan, New York, New York
Hey Chris,

I think some of these are really good. The ones I like best are your portraits. For example, the squirrel and the duck and the bird on the rock. All really nice exposures and perfect compositions.

Can you tell more about the landscape that you made? Also, the shot of Sprague Lake is great. The rainbow is really cool too - though the loss of highlights in the water falling is a bit distracting.

James

Re: Rocky Mountain NP [Re: James Morrissey] #4449
07/21/06 09:44 AM
07/21/06 09:44 AM
Joined: Jun 2005
Long Island, NY
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Chris_A Offline OP
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Chris_A  Offline OP
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Joined: Jun 2005
Long Island, NY
Hey James,

I like the animals best, too. I'm trying to build a knowledge base for myself on landscape technique, but I'm starting practically from scratch, there...so much to learn. For this trip, my goal was to use the 24-70 at f16 while finding the hyperfocal distance, hoping for very sharp, 3-D-like landscapes. Too bad I only even liked one or two of the results...but the hyperfocal experiment worked okay. I really have to settle in with visualization, and take my time with the comps, I think.

The landscape that I made? You mean the b&w with the moon? Well, the moon and the mountain were both in front of me, but the moon wasn't in a position I could make a good comp with - so I shot them separately. I used a 300mm with the 1.4x on a tripod for both, and converted them to b&w in PS, them pulled the moon shot in, reducing the sharpness first (it was so sharp it looked way fake), then the opacity.

Last edited by Chris_A; 07/21/06 09:44 AM.

-Chris
Re: Rocky Mountain NP [Re: Chris_A] #4450
07/21/06 03:53 PM
07/21/06 03:53 PM
Joined: Jan 2006
MA
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Joe Offline
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Joe  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2006
MA
Chris -

Very nice series of photographs. I don't have very much luck or experience photographing animals.

I very much like your image of Sprague Lake. Can you tell me a little about it? What time of day did you take the image? Would you care to share your post-processing that you did (if any) for this photograph?


Joe
Re: Rocky Mountain NP [Re: Joe] #4451
07/21/06 10:23 PM
07/21/06 10:23 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
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JeffDinPA Offline
Old hand
JeffDinPA  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2006
Chris,
Great work thanks for posting them all. I think they all came out pretty damn good. The landscapes are very good too, I think your efforts show. I love “Sprague Lake” and all the animal close-ups.


Thanks, Jeff
Re: Rocky Mountain NP [Re: JeffDinPA] #4452
07/22/06 12:01 PM
07/22/06 12:01 PM
Joined: Jun 2005
Long Island, NY
C
Chris_A Offline OP
Journeyman
Chris_A  Offline OP
Journeyman
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Joined: Jun 2005
Long Island, NY
Thanks guys - it was more of a vacation than a photo trip - understand that the lady was with me during all of these, so I had limited...patience levels...mixed in with this;) She's a sweetheart for putting up. "Hold on honey, I want a 58th exposure of this chipmunk thing."

The animal shots, Joe, are where I have the most fun...if only I owned a 500mm...I find the tricks to start with are getting to their eye level, for one - being very careful to watch the background, too - emptier the better (that moose was in a forest, lots of clutter) - and then making sure the eye is in focus. Art Morris' books on bird photography are my bible for exposure with them - lots of ways for the meter to be fooled with critters.

For Sprague Lake, that's about an hour after sunrise. It's a dual exposure, one for the sky and one for the foreground - made a sort of ND filter with a gradient mask in PS CS2, and blended them. Tweaked the saturation and the contrast, and that's it.



-


-Chris
Re: Rocky Mountain NP [Re: Chris_A] #4453
07/22/06 12:09 PM
07/22/06 12:09 PM
Joined: Sep 2005
Salt Lake City, Utah
Marty Everhard Offline
Old hand
Marty Everhard  Offline
Old hand

Joined: Sep 2005
Salt Lake City, Utah
Nice, Sprauge Lake in particular......


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