Friday, April 30, 2010

Birthday Pie

This year my wife made me a birthday pie. The project started out as a birthday black forest cake, but when cake started to burn and didn't finish cooking, the cake filling became pie filling instead.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Colorado Spring time

It was 80 degrees out yesterday. The grass was green and the flowers were going strong. By the morning the snow was coming down fast and hard.


Sorry We've Been Gone

We've been out of touch for a while.  But there will be a new post later this evening featuring today's late spring snow......

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Pecos National Historical Park

Here are a few more images from the Pecos National Historical Park, near Santa Fe New Mexico. It was a stormy spring day. The sky was very overcast and we had a dusting of snow.



This detail is looking outwards from the Mission ruins.



And here is another outside view of the Mission.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Pueblo of Pecos

The Colonial Mission of the pueblo of Pecos is located along interstate 25 in New Mexico, between Santa Fe and Las Vegas, in the Pecos National Historical Park.


The park had recreated two Kiva's, and opened them up to entry.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Last few images from White Sands

Here are the last few images from our Spring break trip to Southern New Mexico.



The original digital images are in color, but I think they look much better in black and white.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Pikes Peak in Spring

Being above 12,000 ft, Spring comes to the upper reaches of Pikes Peak very late in the year. Some of the heaviest snow fall typically occur in the months of April and May.



This little guy was outside one of the shops on the way up. It was fascinating to see him overcome his fear of people to beg for food. You could see the internal debate going on in his head.



To keep the roads clear most of the year, the city runs these industrial sized snow blowers.



Only the first 15 out of 19 miles of the road to the top were open this day. Just pass this point was a wall of rock hard snow barring the path to the summit.

Monday, April 12, 2010

JPG vs. RAW

If you don't have a digital camera and/or don't care about such things, skip this entry. But if you do, I want to share an example that illustrates the difference between shooting RAW vs. JPG. I've got a Nikon D40 that I picked up a couple of years ago. For those not familiar with the model, it is, a now discontinued, entry level 6 Mega pixel digital Nikon SLR. Other than being at the lower end of resolution, it is typical of the kind of images you can get with a Nikon. When shooting outdoors and in good light, I typically shoot with the white balance set to the automatic setting. This typically gives adequate results.

This weekend I was shooting near sunset at Garden of the Gods, south of us in Colorado Springs. Up until recently, I followed Ken Rockwell's advice and only shot JPGs. He, as a professional photographer only shoots JPG's unless forced to by the client. My understanding of his argument is that RAW is over kill for most people. The images take more space, and CAN require more processing. So he argues to take your time and get it right from the beginning rather than fix the image after the fact. Over the last few months, I've started experimenting with shooting in RAW format. The Nikon has a mode that captures both a RAW and JPG file with each shoot. Below is an example of this:

This first image is from the RAW file. Notice that the colors aren't as saturated. The sky is purple, and the tree earth toned.


The second image is the JPG capture. The colors are significantly warmer. The red/orange rock and sky especially.


In the past, I would have been pleased by the warmness of the second image. But honestly, the first image is closer to the truth. It was overcast that day, and the clouds weren't in any way red. While I could have fiddled with the white balance to get the JPG to look exactly like the RAW image, the light was fading and I didn't feel like taking the time. So I went with what the automatic settings produced.

In the end its a matter of taste. The JPGs produce acceptable images, and for simple things I still use the JPG setting to have smaller file sizes. But more and more often, I find the RAW image to be closer to the truth, and preferable.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

Sacred Datura

A Nightshade used in Native American Religious Ceremonies