An ICM photo taken from our daughter’s deck in Alaska
Here is the third (and final) version of my windmill photo (see Adventures in Compositing and Adventures in Compositing, part 2), which I used for this month’s photo club. It is a composite of the windmill and Granite Mountain- with lots of layers in Photoshop, including the use of Topaz Glow and Texture Effects and On 1 software. Fun to do!
It is almost a tradition with us to go out driving into the forested side of town on a snowy day to see what we can see. Although we live in a relatively small town, there are definitely microclimates within the town. Our neighborhood is definitely a high desert climate, but a few miles away (and a few hundred feet higher), it is more of a mountain climate. They get more snow- and it is really pretty!
I took this through the front windshield as we drove toward the Thumb Butte, which was shrouded in fog that morning. We only have patches of snow left at our house- but I would imagine there is still a lot of snow left in this part of town.
Granite Mountain is the stark backdrop to the northwest area of Prescott and one of my favorite views. On Labor Day, my husband and I decided to take a short hike on the trail leading over to the mountain. As we walked along, we saw bikes and horses as well as hikers; it’s a popular area. After walking for a half hour (and continually stopping for me to take photos), we could see the mountain getting closer, but we were not yet near the base. It was time to turn around- we definitely plan to come back on another day.
Gates near the beginning of the trail:
I’ve just returned from a wonderful, quick midweek getaway to Tucson, where we celebrated our 44th anniversary at a beautiful resort. We did a couple excursions in the mornings and then spent the afternoons relaxing by the pool- my kind of vacation! I always say (correctly so) that I am not a landscape photographer- I don’t have all the best gear, I hate to use my tripod out in public, and I don’t like getting up early to get the best light! But recently it dawned on me that, when I travel, I always take landscape photographs anyway- usually without a tripod and never in good light- even though I KNOW BETTER. I decided that on this trip I would take my tripod and perhaps even use it in public if appropriate. Since we had a view from our hotel room of the mountains, I decided to get up early one morning and do it right. The night before, I put the camera on the tripod, attached the cable release, and adjusted the settings. I set my alarm and got up well before the sun came up; I haven’t counted the photos but I clicked that cable release many, MANY times over the course of an hour. I really like how the rays of the early morning sun peek up over the horizon in this image. I also took my tripod along when visiting the Mission San Xavier del Bac- but you’ll have to wait for those photos!
After leaving the plains of Kansas, we drove to Colorado, spending the night at Limon. We decided to get up early-ish (early for us, late for landscape photographers) the next morning to drive to Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs before heading to Santa Fe. We woke up to overcast skies and got to the park around 9:00 or 9:30. Garden of the Gods is a public park with paved walkways among gorgeous red rock formations. It was relatively uncrowded, probably because it appeared that it would rain at any moment. We were both eager to see the iconic view of Pike’s Peak through the red rocks, but of course, you couldn’t see the mountains because of the clouds. I love the combination of gray clouds and red rocks, but I was really hoping to see Pike’s Peak!
After walking through the park for awhile and monitoring the skies in case we had to make a dash to the car, we finally decided a drive around the park might give us a glimpse of the mountains. We drove around, but all we saw were clouds and red rocks- and more clouds. But as we got out of the car to look at the Balancing Rock, we noticed that the skies were beginning to clear a bit.
Persistence pays off!