So this summer some friends and I embarked on the Sierra High Route (SHR) which is an unmarked route developed by Steve Roper. It travels from Road’s End in Kings Canyon National Park to Twin Lakes, which is north of Yosemite near Mono Village. As can be expected on a journey of this magnitude, everything did not go as expected. Nonetheless, we completed about two thirds of the route and went many days without seeing another human.
This trip travels similar terrain to the John Muir Trail, but instead of following a nicely graded path over a dozen or so passes, this route climbs over precipitous passes almost every day. Miles were limited to around 8 per day, less than half of what I’d normally do. It really was an experience, and over the next few weeks and months I will be describing the trip and showing some of my photos. I thought I’d give a little teaser right now and show you a few of my favorite photos from the trip.
Enjoy, and stay tuned for more!
Well, I finally got a chance to visit the US Open down in Flushing, NY. It was my first time, but definitely won’t be my last.
Louis Armstrong Stadium is first come, first serve for most of the seats. We were lucky and got in quickly, obtaining nice seats. I liked our vantage point from the corner of the court. No neck strain watching the ball go back and forth. The first match we saw was Robin Soderling vs. Nikolay Davydenko. After winning the firs set against Robin Soderling, Davydenko lost the next two and then retired. Still fun. Below is a photo of Davydenko in the air after a serve.
Next we walked around and watched some juniors before heading off to Arthur Ashe Stadium, where we watched Melanie Oudin make it to the quarterfinals, quite and accomplishment for a 17-year-old! She’s been getting a lot of press for her shoes, as you’ll see in the next picture.
All photos were taken with my Nikon D300 and the 18-200 VR zoom. I have to say, it’s a decent lens on the wide end, but certainly is not “butter” on at the telephoto end. Anyways, I have a bunch of fun ones, but I’m only posting a few. Check ‘em out by clicking…
Well, my wife and I finally got a chance to have a little vacation. My great aunt used to live in Atlantic City, NJ and now her apartment has stayed in the family. It’s on the 10th floor and has a balcony right over the boardwalk. Little did we know that the days we chose coincided with the annual air show!
With a perfect view of the action, I was able to get some pretty cool shots of the planes, which ended with an amazing display by the Thunderbirds. Here are a few sample shots! These were all shot using my D300 and my nikon 70-200 lens.
Over on Luminous Landscape, a wonderful in-depth article on digital photography and mountain climbing by Alexandre Buisse has been posted. The discussion ranges from technical concerns to aesthetic decisions and everything in-between. The article is accompanied by a number of wonderful photographs from his recent trip to Peru. Be sure to check out his portfolio and blog. (Right now, since I don’t know the rules about posting other people’s photos, I can’t add any here, but I’d like to. If you know of a good resource about proper usage and crediting of images and content, please let me know!)
I’ve been thinking a lot about digital photography in the backcountry and hope to use my upcoming hike of the Long Trail, where I will follow the fall foliage southward, to begin to articulate my ideas from many hundreds of days shooting in the backcountry. (By “backcountry” I mean anyplace where there is no access to electricity. Usually these situations occur many days in a row.) Stay tuned!
All photographers get it, and for good reason. The sensors in today’s DSLR’s can pretty much outresolve most lenses on the market. In fact, the sensor in the D5000 is no worse than, and some may say better, than the top of Nikon’s DX lineup, the D300. What many users of the D300 know, but most likely users of the D5000 do not, is that that tube of plastic and glass attached to your camera makes all the difference.
Initially one may think the sharper the lens, the better. Sharpness may be of the utmost importance to a landscape photographer, however in many other applications, other factors may be more important. A list of these include, but certainly are not limited to: weight, maximum aperture, light falloff, focal range, bokeh, color rendition, contrast, minimum focus distance, ease of focusing, build quality, image stabilization, filter size, autofocus speed, autofocus accuracy, flare, chromatic aberrations and of course that hard to describe “rightness” of a lens.
It is true that although I love my trusty 18-200mm workhorse that accompanies me in the backcountry, I can instantly tell when I’m viewing a photo shot with one of my pro lenses, such as the 14-24mm. I could go on forever about this topic and people can get very animated over lenses. But where do you go when you want to make the first steps toward deciding if a lens meets your needs?
That’s a very good question, and although there are endless “reviews” out there, there are only a few that I feel are clear and consistent. Use these as a starting point and then read a FEW opinions online. Once you’ve made a decision, use your lens as soon as you get it and don’t be afraid to return it, or try out another copy.
And if any of you readers out there know of other sources of of good lens reviews, please let me know!
Yes Eli Burakian is…. Eli Burak! Surprise, surprise. To make a short story really short, I recently married in September and my wife and I combined our last names. I get to keep mine and she gets to keep the “-ian” suffix which often denotes Armenian descent.
But it’s also a new me because I’ve finally finished the new website! Well, not necessarily “finished” but it’s good enough to see the light of day I think. Especially, since it’s the only place to buy MY FIRST BOOK!!
That’s right, my book Moosilauke – Portrait of a Mountain will be hitting shelves…and hopefully coffee tables in a month! I’ve been pulling a number of all-nighters to get this done, so I’m going to have to keep this first post short.
Check out the site, and let me know what you think. (Buy a book or print! My wife will love you.) Although I’m not quite a “starving artist”, I probably would be if she didn’t get me to eat during these extended work vigils. Anyways, it’s time to pay back Visa for all the help they provided me with my self-publishing.
This blog will be updated often (I swear it this time!) so check on back. Thanks for taking the time to drop by!