Hiking around lower Cataract lake

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Fuji S7000 @ 7.8 mm, 1/1000 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200, 9 July 2005, PP Exposure, Highlights/Shadow, Sharpening

In an effort to avoid yard work today, we decided to go hiking in the mountains. We picked a two mile hike around the lower Cataract lake outside Dillon. It a very nice wild flower area and it was a hike we felt was hard enough for us. We haven't exercised much lately, so we wanted an easy walk. The walk would probably have been easy if we had followed the signs to the trail we should be on. We ended up on another and had to scramble upwards a lot to get to our trail. That consumed pretty much all energy I had and more than twice the energy my wife had…

Anyway, it was one of the nicest places we've seen in Colorado and we've never seen so many Columbine flowers. The lake and the surroundings are very scenic. It even has a cascading waterfall. We will return to this trail!!!

So with all these views and flowers just begging to be photographed, I decided that the best photo was of dead wood in water? Actually yes. We got a lot of nice views of the lake and pictures of flowers, but I liked the looks of these have-been trees in the shallow water. I realize that to some this is a test photo, meant to be deleted. However, I like the look of the branches and how their shape looks in the water.

This is one of my first attempts at using Photoshop to improve a decent picture. I know I probably went overboard with some things, not far enough with some, and probably forgot to use some tools. Leave a comment if you see something I need to work on.

The lone Cypress

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Fuji 4900z @ 23.9 mm, 1/550 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200, 16 May 2002, PP Saturation, highlights/shadow, sharpening

I had hoped to skip the old pictures for one post and have some fireworks picture from the 4th of July celebration here in Denver. However, no picture was good enough. I tried to improve them with PP, darkening the sky made them look more like computer art than a photo. I guess I need to practice more on photographing fireworks and on the PP for them.

So back to California and 2002. This is the lone cypress at Pebble Beach, Very beautiful area and they claim that this is the worlds most photographed tree. It may be, there must have been at least 25 who were snapping pictures when we were there. The tree is between 200 and 300 years old and clings to a rock out in the ocean.

Trapped in a tree

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Fuji 4900z @ 16.7 mm, 1/320 sec, f/4.0, ISO 200, 12 May 2002, No PP

I know this is highlights galore. But, I still like the picture. To me it's a fun picture where my wife is looking out from the inside of an old redwood. The tree is hollow and lying down, it's so big that she could stand up inside it with no problem at all. This is from Avenue of the Giants in Northern California.

I like the natural skin colors and the natural weather bitten look of the wood in the parts that are in shadow.

You may wonder if I'm going to keep publishing old photos from a vacation a few years ago. The answer is that I will continue with this vacation for a little while. I like a lot of the pictures we got on that trip, but it'll not be that many and each picture should be different as they are all from different parts of California. I'll add more recent photos when we get a nice photo from a photo outing.

And if you ever get a chance to visit the northern part of California, just know that you have to see the Avenue of the Giants. It's an experience you'll never forget. I hope to one day go back and wonder off in the woods searching for beautiful pictures of the trees and the nature in this part of the world. If only money were no object…

Balloon view

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Fuji 4900z @ 18.2 mm, 1/350 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200, 10 May 2002, No PP

Yet another picture from the Napa Valley balloon ride. Some of my favorite pictures was taken this day. Part of the reason I like them may be my memory of the event. So if you don't like them, I hope you'll enjoy other pictures more.

This picture was take soon after we took off (is that the correct term for a balloon?). I like how it captures the early morning light and all the other balloons over the beautiful valley.