I was lucky enough to go on a business trip to Denver last week. I stayed with my Mom and got to visit a bit with her and her friends. I also got to see my sister LaDonna and brother Jim and their families in Denver and my brother Rob and his family in Colorado Springs.
On the way to Rob’s, I stopped by the Garden of the Gods for a couple of hours. (Note: you can click on any of these photos for a larger version).
The Garden of the Gods park is run by the city of Colorado Springs and is about an hour south of Denver. You take I-25 south and exit right onto Garden of the Gods road. I hadn’t been there before. The rock formations are spectacular and unlike anything we see in Florida. If you go, early morning probably has the best light. I wasn’t able to arrive until around 10 am and by then the lighting was pretty harsh. I wish I had been there earlier or that there had been some nice clouds in the sky to work with, but you take what you get and I was happy to be able to see it. I did some bracketed exposures to work with in HDR and converted some photos to black and white. I like the way they turned out.
Rock climbing is allowed and I made a few photos of a couple of climbers.
While in Denver, I also took a walk through Waterton Canyon and made a few photos.
And one night, my nephew Jared and I made this panorama of the night-time skyline visible from my Mom’s place.
My other photos for this post are here
Well, we had a tripod swap this week, so I went out last night to try my “new” used tripod. I made this photo in my front yard using my D90, Tokina 12 – 24mm zoom, and my new Nikon wired remote release. I set the lens at 12mm, f7.1, and exposed for 25 seconds at ISO 200, using matrix metering. I also set Exposure Delay mode on, Active D-Lighting on Auto, and used Long Exp. NR on. I recorded it in RAW and processed it in Adobe Lightroom. If you click on it, you can look at a larger version.
I like the way the palm tree leads your eye to the constellation Orion in the top right part of the photo, and the wide angle distortion causes both trees to lean in and point up. I also think the dynamic range here is pretty impressive. The moon is completely blown out of course, but the detail in the trees (lit by street lights) along with the how the stars are captured by the sensor in this camera is something I’ve never seen in a photo I’ve made before. Especially with such low noise.
Also interesting is that at 25 seconds, star trails are already visible. 25 seconds = 25/(24*60*60) or ~.1 degree. At 12mm, this lens has about a 99 degree field of view, so .1 degree is about 4 pixels.
By the way, I found out recently that the reason the wired release changed from the D80 to the D90 is that the pin out had to be modified to accommodate the GPS unit. Otherwise I could have kept and used my D80 wired release.