Al's Photography Blog

Al's Photography Blog
Folly Beach, South Carolina

Friday, August 13, 2010

Palmer Lake Reservoirs (2)

I had a couple of questions on how I get the lightning shots. These most recent three all had similar settings with f-stop between 8 and 11, to get depth of field without getting that annoying, unavoidable softness at very small apertures (larger numbers) that only happens on digital cameras. ISO was set to 100, so as to not let direct lightning wash out the whole picture. Focus was manual, set near infinity (in fact I let the camera focus on a distant light and then changed it to manual without touching the focus ring). The exposure time is a little trickier. I used a tripod and a wireless remote control so I didn't have to touch the camera. I use the "bulb" setting, in which one press of the remote opens the shutter and a second press closes it. Depending on the lightning I will leave it open for more or less time, which takes a little experimentation until it's right - even lightning that's out of the frame provides illumination. The more lightning, the shorter the exposure, and if there's something spectacular, end the shot immediately because it probably provided enough light with that one bolt. These shots varied from 16 to 73 seconds.

I've been able to get out hiking a few times this summer, and this week I'll take a break from Yellowstone to post some photos from one of these hikes. This is one that's close to home, Palmer Lake Reservoirs. I've posted it before (click on the Palmer Lake link below to see those photos) but I tried to get some different perspectives this time.

The trail leads up a canyon to a dam that keeps the water for the first reservoir.
The trail then continues to climb. I liked the shape of this wood.
This weather station is seemingly in the middle of nowhere, but I bet it's related to the reservoirs.
Eventually, another dam holds back the water for the second, larger reservoir.
I always love this old, rusted sign.
Near where I turned around there was an impressive grove of aspens. I'll have to get up there in the fall when they change colors.
Scenic Sunday


  1. Terrific captures as always, Al, and what a beautiful place! I would love to see those aspen in the fall! Looks like such a great place to hike! Gorgeous! Hope you have a terrific weekend! Enjoy!


  2. Grandiosa diga !
    Molto bello questo lago in questo verde incontaminato !!
    Ciao e felice fine settimana Al !

  3. these are gorgeous shots.. thanks for letting us see your world ...

    My Scenic Sunday here

  4. Very beautiful and scenic shots. The landscape is awesome.

  5. aloha,

    what a beautiful views you are showing us today, i love seeing all the various scenes of this dam

    my scenic sunday post is on my plant fanatic blog today :)

  6. Great shots Al!nice photos...

    Thanks for visiting my blog...

  7. What an awesome array of sights. You did a super job on all these photos. I truly enjoyed the tour.

  8. This World is full of beauty !!I really enjoyed the photos and posts !!Great work !!

  9. your sunday was really "scenic" :)

  10. Please do post photos of aspens in the autumn - I'm a sucker for aspens.

    The shot of the curved wall of the reservoir between the trees makes it seem very intimate in scale - a bit like a domestic swimming pool.

  11. If I had a nice digital camera, I'd be paying close attention to your instructions. They make sense for my old Olympus, but I really enjoy the fact that my pictures are viewable in an instant. They're not great, but life goes on.

    Your shots are just so "Colorado" for me! I'd like to see the aspen, as do many other people. ♥♫

  12. Beautiful photos and I love the place. We have a reservoir close to where we live and most weekend we visit there. It has a picnic and a play area. Thank you for sharing

  13. Hope the water is kept in place these days of several floodings all over the world :)


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