The trail was steep, but the light was flat...


but at least I got rained on.

So saturday, I had my first chance to get out since our little guy was born back and the end of April.

I chose as my destination sundial peak and lake blanch, the twin peaks wilderness. The idea was lake, wildflower (I had reports they were going off), and peak. The trail is 2.5 miles with 2700 feet of elevation gain. For you non mountain folks, that translates as STEEP. However, if you time it right, at sunset the peak is bathed in a warm glow of the setting sun.

I started hiking about 5:15 figuring about 2-2.5 hours to make the hike, which would put me there right for the golden hour. About a mile in, I could see the clouds start building to my southwest. Storms can build quickly in the mountains in the summer. Undeterred, I pressed on. As I kept going the clouds got thicker and thicker. Then I heard it. The low rumble of thunder in the distance. It got louder and louder. I could see the clouds building over the ridge in front of me. I passed group after group descending, yet I still pressed on. I paused in an open meadow to see if I could figure out the storm. A watched bolt of lightning steak across the sky directly overhead. CRACK!!! That's it. Exposed in a high alpine meadow is not the place to be in a thunderstorm (lighting kills more people in utah every year than any other weather related death). Time to call it. I was 1/2 mile from the top.

I snapped a few frames, just to make myself feel worthwhile. While I was doing so, it started to rain. Perfect.
The highlights are blown, but I kinda like the raindrops....

About 1.5 miles down canyon, after the rain had stopped, I peaked over the side of the trail to see a wee little water fall. I grabbed a few more frames, and felt better about these.

I made it back to the car in the pitch black (my orignal plan was to hike out in the dark).

It did feel good to get out, I just need to be more productive next time I get the chance....

Oh no, not MATH!


On my drive in today, I was thinking about my sunset pic from the other night.  This shot was taken a couple of days ago, right off my back deck. (Yes, I have a nice view).

The exif info is stripped out of it, but it's as follows.
Focal length 200mm
Shutter Speed 1/200 sec
ISO 1600

Since I was shooting with my 70-200 f/2.8, and I had my camera in Shutter priority mode with the shutter speed at 1/200 as to minimize visible camera shake in the final image (things were moving to quickly for me to pull out my tripod).  As a result, I got a final F-stop of f/3.2.  That's a pretty wide open aperture, which we normally associate with a shallow depth of field, yet looking at the picture, most of it is pretty sharp and the depth of field appears infinite.  How'd that happen?

I did a quick pull on google earth and measured the distance from roughly my house to the mountain in the shot.  I figured, in round numbers, that it was about 12 miles away, or 70,000'.  Plugging this info into the Depth of Field Calculator, it gives me the following.  This is a great site, and I have it bookmarked on my smartphone.

Subject distance 70000 ft
Depth of field
Near limit 1351.3 ft
Far limit Infinity
Total Infinite
In front of subject 68648.7 ft
Behind subject Infinite
Hyperfocal distance 1378.5 ft

If you look at the near limit number, which is the closest point of acceptable sharpness, it's a meer 1351 ft away, and extends to infinity.  Since everything in the frame is farther away than than 1351 ft, then the entire image is in focus even almost wide open with an F-stop of f/3.2.  This would be counter intutive to me (and most of us) had I not done the math (albeit after the fact).   I would have thought that I needed a smaller aperture and tripod to get everything in sharp focus.  In this case, distance was my savoir.

The bottom line here is knowing a little bit the math and physics behind photography can help you utilize and exploit the limits of your equipment....

To see more of my photography, visit my website



I get my inspiration from a lot places.  There are lots of folks who's work I admire and look up to.  So I put together an incomplete list of photographers who's work I think is inspiring.

Check out their sites...

Aaron Reed -
Adam Barker -
Adam Burton -
Adam Clutterbuck -
Adam Salwanowicz -
Alain Briot -
Alain Proust -
Alex Nail -
Andris Apse -
Andris Apse -
Andy Mumford -
Ansel Adams -
Antony Spencer -
Art Wolfe -
Ben Jacobsen -
Bill Hatcher -
Bob Hudak -
Bruce Dale -
Camille Seaman -
Carr Clifton -
Charles Cramer -
Charlie Waite -
Chip Phillips -
Chris Friel -
Christian Fletcher -
Christophe Carlier -
Christopher Burkett -
Colin Prior -
Cristal De Givre -
Dan Baumbach -
Daryl Benson -
David and Marc Muench -
David Burdeny -
David Clapp -
David Fokos -
David Langan -
David Noton -
David Tolcher -
David Ward -
Dennis Frates -
Everton Mcduff -
Fran Halsall -
Galen Rowel -
Garry Brannigan -
Geoff Ross -
George Lepp -
gordon wiltsie -
Guy Edwardes -
Guy Tal -
Helen Dixon -
Iain Sajeant -
Ian Cameron -
Ian Plant -
Jack dykinga -
James Kay -
Jay Patel -
Jeff Jones -
Jeff Swanson -
Jeremy Walker -
Jim Brandenburg -
Jim Clark -
Jim Paterson -
joe cornish -
John Greenwood -
John Sexton -
John Shaw -
Jon Gibbs -
Jon Cornforth -
Josef Hoflehner -
Kah Kit Yoong -
Keith Aggett -
Ken Duncan -
Ken Schory -
Kennan Ward -
Kevin Mcneal -
Lee Frost -
Maciej Duczynski -
Marc Adamus -
Marcin Bera -
Mark Denton -
Mark Gray -
Mark Voce -
Matt Lauder -
Michael Anderson -
Michael Fatali -
Michael Frye -
Michael Gordon -
Michael  Kenna -
Michael Levin -
Michael Nichols -
Michael Reichmann -
Michael Schlegel -
Mike Mc Farlane -
Murray Fredericks -
Olivier Seydoux -
Patrick Endres -
Patrick Smith -
Paul Schilliger -
Paul Wakefield -
Peter Eastway -
Peter Watson -
Rafael Rojas -
Randy Dyar -
Rhys Davies -
Ricardo Silva -
Rob Hudson -
Rodney Lough Jr. -
Rolfe Horn -
Ryan Dyar -
Sally Gall -
Samuel Bitton -
Scott Hotaling -
Shawn Thompson -
Simon Beedle -
Tad Moyseowicz -
Tom Mackie -
Tom Till -
Tomas Kaspar -
Tony Sweet -
Tristan and Cyril Campbell -
Tristan Campbell -
Uwe Steinmuller -
Varina Patel -
Vincent Munier -
William Neill -
Xavier Jamonet -
Yann Arthus-Bertrand -
Zack Schnepf -