As you recall from Part One, I hiked the South Rim of the Grand Canyon in 2010 – the South Kaibab Trail down and the Bright Angel Trail up. Not easily sated, I returned two years later and tackled the much, much longer North Kaibab Trail.
The North Rim of the Grand Canyon is a long way from anywhere. It is over 1,000 feet higher in elevation than the South Rim, and its northern exposure makes it a dumping ground for snow for seven months of the year (the North Rim is closed to visitors from mid-October to mid-April). The flora and fauna are different, too. The access road from the one-trick hamlet of Jacob Lake passes through terrain that looks like Yellowstone. “Beefalo” – cow and bison hybrids – graze peacefully along the roadside, and sub-alpine meadows are home to wildflowers during the warmer months. The scent of pine is all around.
Continue reading “Hiking the Grand Canyon – Part Two”
It is late May and it finally feels like summer in East Tennessee. The weather has been unseasonably cool and rainy, until just a few days ago, when – almost overnight – temperatures shot up into the mid-80’s. Now that’s more like it!
Out West, May is an ideal month for exploring the National Parks of Utah and Arizona. I took several road trips while residing in Los Angeles to the Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest, Lake Powell, and elsewhere. It was four years ago when my car seemingly drove itself during one of the hottest weeks of the year to one of the hottest places in the country: beautiful Monument Valley.
Continue reading “Photo Locale of the Month – May 2016”
I don’t always consider myself to be a good photographer. I am self-taught, which is respectable, but as shutterbugs go, I am not the most patient. Additionally, I so often pack my tripod for a trip and then opt not to haul it around. As such, night photography is often in “P” (Program) mode rather than “M” (Manual) mode. I still pull off some good shots, but I don’t deny that they could have been better.
One category in which I excel – I think – is panoramic photography. It isn’t so much that I’m a natural; some places simply lend themselves to “wider-angle” photography. Natural wonders are obvious choices – the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, the Alps, I could go on and on. On rare occasions, cityscapes make for terrific panoramic images as well. The trick, of course, is a) to seek these vista points out, b) to step back and recognize a place’s potential, and c) to have a camera on your person.
Below are several of my favorite panoramic photos from my travels. My process is to snap snap snap an epic view from left to right, then “stitch” the individual images together in post. I use Windows Live Photo Gallery for this feature. It is a free program; don’t be surprised if a version of it is already installed on your computer.
Unless otherwise indicated, pics were taken using a Canon Powershot or a Nikon DSLR. You may have to click on them to see the full detail.
Continue reading “Photo essay: Panoramas”
Happy New Year! I hope your Christmakwanzaakuh was special, and I likewise hope you spent New Year’s Eve with someone special. As you may know, Loyal Reader, I spent my Christmas and New Year’s Eve holidays with family in Tennessee, and only just returned home to Mexico City yesterday evening.
The days between Christmas and New Year’s should be spent relaxing, of course, but should also include some reflection on the past 365 days, and on what you hope the next 365 will bring. Between hearty servings of zesty goulash, thin spaghetti, tender turkey, and light-as-a-feather mashed potatoes, (the turkey baked to perfection by my sister, who, as it turns out, is one helluva good cook) I did just that. I do just that every year, in fact, but I don’t always learn much. It’s time to pay closer attention.
2012 highlights and lowlights
Continue reading “Looking Forward and Back – Part One”