Al's Photography Blog

Al's Photography Blog
Pikes Peak As Seen From Our House

Monday, January 31, 2011


We just got back from a weekend at the Keystone Ski Resort. Although I didn't ski, I had a fun time with the family and got lots of photos to share. I'll start with several random ones, but there are much better shots to come. First is the view off the deck of the condo in which we stayed.
I was amused at the unit number of the condo. One of my favorite rock bands is called Rush, and they've got a famous album called 2112. So, while it may not make sense to most of my readers, here's the door of our unit.
I liked the way the sunlight was playing on the cables of these lifts high up the mountain.
And finally, I found the following pedestrian tunnel under the highway interesting.
There's more to come, including jagged mountains and a sleigh ride. In the meantime, you never know what you'll see at My World Tuesday.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Yellowstone Buffalo

The wild animals at Yellowstone are amazing. The Lamar Valley has some great opportunities to see buffalo (they're actually bison), and here are some shots from there. We were lucky enough to find a huge herd.
They weren't afraid of people. Unfortunately, a lot of people weren't afraid of them either, and you should be very careful around these animals, as they are unpredictable and can move remarkably quickly.
For more animals, wild and otherwise, visit the excellent Camera Critters meme.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Balanced Rock after Sunset

After work today I went to Garden of the Gods to try to get a photo of the 700-ton Balanced Rock in the evening sunshine. Unfortunately I was too late as the Sun had already dipped behind the nearby mountains, but I made the best of the remaining light for a couple of Skywatch Friday shots.
For more photos with lots of skies, both blue and otherwise, visit the awesome Skywatch Friday meme.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Air Force Academy Saber

The United States Air Force Academy is in my city, so it's a big part of our town's culture. For this week's My World post, here are some photos of the saber that graduates are entitled to get. It might be technically defined as a sword, but by tradition it's called a saber.
Before anyone asks, I did not have the privilege of attending the Air Force Academy. For lots more photos from around the world, visit the My World Tuesday meme.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Inspiration Point (Yellowstone)

Near where the Yellowstone River goes down two large waterfalls are two overlooks, one on either side of the canyon. Both were among my favorite places in Yellowstone, and here are a couple of shots from the northern one to illustrate why. This one is known as Inspiration Point.
For more scenic shots, visit the Scenic Sunday meme.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Window Moon

Sometimes I like to experiment with photography - even if the results aren't great, I can learn and become a better photographer. I liked yesterday's Moon as it faded between clouds, and decided to get a photo of it looking through one of my house windows.
I found it very difficult to illuminate the window (which is high and dark) without completely washing out the bright Moon and its surrounding clouds. This might be an example where multiple exposures and HDR processing could help, although I'm not normally a fan of HDR. I don't think this is a particularly successful photo, but it's how I learn, and it's my Skywatch Friday entry for the week.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Ice on the Avenue

In My World we don't hate winter, we celebrate it. Right next to Colorado Springs is Old Colorado City, and each year they hold a small festival called Ice on the Avenue. Despite continuing to try to fight off a cough (which materialized from a mild flu), my wife and I went down there today. There were a handful of ice sculptures, such as this cowboy through which people were sticking their faces to get photos.
There was an area set up to pan for gold.
But for me, the most interesting part was watching how the artists started with these 300-pound blocks of ice...
...and using their various tools, in this case an electric chainsaw...
...turned the ice into sculptures.
Unfortunately I didn't get to see this one finished as we needed to leave. Visit My World Tuesday to see lots of other interesting sights.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Snowy Garden of the Gods

On the way to work on Monday I made a small detour into the Garden of the Gods to get some photos of the fresh snow. First is the classic huge Gateway Rock - I think this shot is mandatory every time I visit.
Here's an intentionally overexposed attempt to capture the strange nature of the light in the middle of the Garden.
In places there was a reasonable amount of snow.
And finally, I though this one looked like something out of Disneyland, as if somebody had spraypainted fake snow on it.
However many times I visit it, I always think that this is one of the most scenic areas I've ever seen, and it's right within my city. For more scenic areas, visit the Scenic Sunday meme.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Trees & Pikes Peak

I've got a couple of different Skywatch Friday shots from the last week. First up is a beautiful winter sky from Saturday's Fox Run Park hike with Socks.
And next is a cold, snow-covered Pikes Peak on Monday morning, after a brief snowstorm had moved through.
I'll post more snowy photos this weekend, since I took a brief detour to Garden of the Gods on the way to work after the storm. In the meantime, visit Skywatch Friday and I'm sure you'll find lots of beautiful scenery.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Fox Run Park In January

Snowy roads.
Tall pine trees.
Pretty trails.
Interesting textures.
And fabulous views.
All photos were taken on a hike with my dog Socks on Saturday. This local park is one of my favorite places, and some winters it might not be very accessible this time of year without snowshoes or skis. But so far this winter it's been fine! For more worldviews, visit My World Tuesday.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Yellowstone Wet Springs

A couple of weeks ago I posted some photos of dry springs at Yellowstone. Here are some wet springs.
Visit Scenic Sunday for lots of gorgeous scenery from around the world.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Night Plane

Here's a real Skywatch photo from back in August, literally looking at nothing but the sky. I was trying to catch shooting stars during one of the meteor showers. I didn't have any luck, but I did get this shot with some clouds and a plane on the left, seen by its flashing lights moving down the photo.
This was a 13-second exposure. Visit the Skywatch Friday meme for lots of different sky shots.

To answer a couple of recent questions:

1. I get my lightning photos with long exposures. I've learned to judge just how long based on how bright the lightning is, so I use the "bulb" setting where one click of the remote starts the exposure and another stops it, but 15 - 30 seconds is typical at night.

2. The previous wildfire photos were not from a prescribed burn, but an out-of-control wildfire. Wildfires in winter here are uncommon, as the weather is usually too cold and there's often snow on the ground, but we've had some small ones locally this winter.

3. Palmer Park is right in the middle of Colorado Springs.

4. I've not heard of people with the great Christmas light displays getting money for charity. Most people take them down within two weeks after Christmas.

5. Regarding my Yellowstone shots and whether it's near a volcano, the whole park is a supervolcano. The last time it exploded was 640,000 years ago, and we'd better hope it doesn't go off anytime soon, as it would be a disaster of Biblical proportions!

Thanks for all the comments, and I'll try to be more prompt about answering questions.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Burned Forest

Wildfires are an unfortunate part of the American West - back in 2002 the Hayman Fire burned over 138,000 acres and 133 homes just 35 miles from Colorado Springs. The smoke blanketed the city. We make sure we keep an area around our house that's free of trees and dead grass, in case a wildfire goes through our neighborhood. The following photos are from Yellowstone this summer, showing the results of a recent wildfire there.
For more pleasant views of the world, visit the My World Tuesday meme.
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