Yellowstone Through the Years

Thanks SmugMug!

You guys know I love SmugMug, and we’ve sent thousands of people over there to share their photos online. If you want to learn more, see my SmugMug Review here on the site. They are great, even if they have that not-so-great Comic Sans font in their logo. Let’s all talk them into upgrading their logo! hehe…

So, I’ve been putting up a lot of images this week, and the SmugMug servers have been cranking away. We are up to 29 million views this year, all served up from SmugMug. Here is a little SmugMug trick for you:

This website is wide, yes? Yes. I did this on purpose since I think a lot of people that love looking at art online have good resolution and good bandwidth. It cuts some people out, which is too bad, but it is a decision I went forward with. Anyway, the blog portion of this is 900 pixels across. Now, when images come in, I can bring them in at a higher resolution and then put width=”900″ in the HTML. However, this is bad because it makes the browser do all the recalculation AND it is a waste of bandwidth since we are sending down a version that is too big.

So something you can do with SmugMug is make their servers do the work of resizing. I change the JPG address from

http://stuckincustoms.smugmug.com/Portfolio-The-Best/your-favorites/267567676784ab64209bo/742621320_wMyz5-XL.jpg

to

http://stuckincustoms.smugmug.com/Portfolio-The-Best/your-favorites/267567676784ab64209bo/742621320_wMyz5-900×900.jpg

And that ensures that the image will be 900 pixels across (or tall). It helps everything load quickly!

Yellowstone Through the Years

The first photo below is a new one from just on the north side of Yellowstone. I took it just after one of those afternoon thunderstorms that sometimes pass across the countryside. This path was made by many years of horse-drawn wagons. There’s a ranch out this way, and motorized cars are forbidden… so it took a long time to make these tracks.

High Dynamic Range Photo

And here are some of my favorites from Yellowstone from over the years.

Below: The Stable

High Dynamic Range Photo

Below: A Storm Brewing in the Valley

High Dynamic Range Photo

Below:Sun Through the Trees
High Dynamic Range Photo

Below: Horses Wild

Below: Wall of Fog

Below: Horses of Yellowstone
High Dynamic Range Photo

Below: Morning. Coffee.  Yellowstone.
HDR Photo

Below: The Particolored Stream

High Dynamic Range Photo

Below:  The Atomic Mushroom Cloud
High Dynamic Range Photo

Below: The Falls of Yellowstone

HDR Photo

A Painting of Yellowstone

In case you missed this earlier in the year – I did a painting of Yellowstone that I put below. If you want to see more, see “Yellowstone on Fire“.

HDR-Photo

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Horse in Window

Daily Photo – Horse in Window

I can never decide if I enjoy naming photos or not!

I think I enjoy it when I come up with a good name, and I don’t like when I come up with a boring name. Let’s take this one for example: “Horse in Window.” I mean, how uncreative can I be? What’s wrong with me?

When I am editing photos, and the muse visits, I am like a man possessed. I can rip through a bunch of photos and make some nice little creations. But then I click “Save As…”, and I just blank out on a name. I think the creative part of my brain for making photos is different than the part for naming things.

I do enjoy writing, and I often find that the words flow easily. This bit of me seems disconnected from the photo-editing bit, though.

There is a small slice of solace, I think, in considering the names of some of the great paintings from my impressionist heroes. They have names like “Girl in Field” and “Sun on Water.” Not too exciting, but they do stand the test of time. But “Horse in Window”? I think not!

HDR Photo

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Horses at f/1.4

Review Update

House in Queenstown

Click to Zoom

Have you seen the Nikon 50mm Review? It’s been recently updated with a few new photos for you.

Staying in Queenstown

I had a heck of a time finding a house that looks to the west, so I can selfishly take photos every evening at sunset! Here is a quick photo of a place in Queenstown in an area called Kelvin Heights. We found this spot on Bookabach.co.nz — which is a great resource for finding rental houses. Thanks for all the suggestions to use that site from visitors here on the site. I appreciate it!

Daily Photo – Horses at f/1.4

Everything looks better at f/1.4! Kids, flowers, horses, and anything else with nice details really look amazing at f/1.4. In fact, this is a tiny little secret in the photography world. Even a rookie can make something look pretty special when using this lens! Sure, it doesn’t always work out, and you still need good composition, but some extremely unique photos pop out from time to time.

By the way, if you get one of these lenses, a simple tip is to focus on the inside part of the closest eye. That usually works out very well.

I saw this guy on a little photowalk in Yellowstone. I gave the photowalk group an assignment — to find interesting stuff and take photos on aperture priority. This is one of the ones I came back with to present on the big screen. It was fun to sit there with everyone after the walk and compare/critique photos. I usually don’t have a chance to do that on photowalks, but the leisurely pace was a welcome change in my too-busy life!

HDR Photo

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Horse in Field

Compression

Do you enjoy taking photos while making use of compression?  It’s sort of a geeky photography technique that involves zoom levels beyond what the eye can do on its own.  These end up having a bit of an “interesting” look, just because these view cones are impossible to the naked eye.  Personally, I don’t do a lot of it because my wide-angle lens is usually on… but I do enjoy the look.

I have this photo included in the full Nikon 200-400 Review.

Daily Photo – Horse in Field

In the afternoon, the horses at the ranch where I was staying are let out of the corral to graze in the meadow.  The sun gets low, and just before sunset, everything is lit with a very strong light at a low level of incidence.

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The Tracer

More from Rudyard

Who has ever heard of Rudyard, Montana? Not many people, I figure! This is where I had the privilege  of spending several days with Jack Horner on a dinosaur dig in the badlands… slept in a tipi and everything. It was a great experience. To see the other photos from Rudyard (which many of you know this trick, now), you can just click on “Rudyard” by this post or over in the categories.

Daily Photo – The Tracer

Late one night, after everyone was super-exhausted from digging up dinosaurs all day, we had a BBQ. After the BBQ, everyone got out a bunch of guns and we started playing around with them. Good times in USA! Anyway, hehe… one guy pulled out a giant elephant-type gun and loaded it with tracers. We fired them off into the distance to watch their awesome parabolas. I set up to capture some of the action…

HDR Photov

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