Month: February 2014 (page 1 of 2)

New Edit of “A View from the Pemberton as Dusk Approaches”

I’ve been re-editing photos that gave me trouble in the past.  This is my current attempt, below, of a photo I had taken while on a bike ride using my Sony RX100 back in September 2012.  I’m still not especially happy with it, but I think it’s a lot better than my earlier attempt.  Perhaps my editing technique will be even better in a couple of years?


Here is a link to my earlier attempt.  If you click on the photo above, you should be able to directly compare the two in the lightbox.

I took this shot at around the time when I started shooting RAW, but was still unsure about RAW file processing.  For a while, I had my camera set to save both RAW and JPEG files. I don’t do this any longer, but having this file provides me with an opportunity to show what an out-of-camera JPEG looks like.  The only thing that I’ve done to this file is to scale to a smaller size.  This is the -0.7 EV exposure.  I had considered posting the 0EV exposure, but it’s not all that much better; the sky is more blown, but the foreground is very slightly lighter.




Four Cats

I took some cat photos while testing a new lens earlier this evening, a Sigma 105mm f/2.8 macro lens.


20140226-_DSC5835-medium Callisto:

20140226-_DSC5839-Edit-medium Minstrel:


Minstrel’s daughter – she doesn’t have a name yet:



I took this photo while hiking the Piers Gorge Trail with my family in late June of 2013.


Thumbnail Pinnacle (New Edit)

Below is a new edit of a photo that I took back on Sept 27, 2013.  It’s a photo of the Thumbnail Pinnacle in the McDowell Mountains.

20140225-DSC09933-Edit-Edit-mediumThis is the original edit from that hike:



Friday Fitness Hike

We started off hiking part of the Pemberton and then the Scenic Trail for last Friday’s hike. When we got to the Cinch Trail, several of us went on, eventually making it over to Stoneman Wash, returning by way of the Pemberton.  Amy continued on the Scenic Trail with the rest of the group.  Total distance for those of us doing the long hike was 9.5 miles. The short hike was roughly 4.5 miles.

This is a view of Four Peaks from the Scenic Trail.

20140221-DSC02565-Edit-Edit-medium The Brittlebush is starting to bloom.20140221-DSC02574-Edit-medium

We took this photo at the intersection of the Cinch and Scenic Trails.  Nancy, Janet, Norm, and Hiungi hiked the Cinch Trail with me.  Amy lead the rest back to the Trailhead Staging Area via the Scenic Trail and then a short section of Pemberton.

From left to right are: Janet, Norm, Christina, Siw, Hiungi, Sten, Amy, Per, Michael, Joanne, Jill, Nancy, and George.
20140221-DSC02601-medium Nancy stands at the end of a tunnel on Shallmo Wash.20140221-DSC02624-medium A view of some of the hills in the Competitive Track Area.


The poppies are in bloom too, and have been for several weeks now.

20140221-DSC02633-Edit-medium A view of Red Mountain framed by a pair of ocotillos.

20140221-DSC02642-Edit-medium On our way to Stoneman Wash…

20140221-DSC02654-Edit-medium Sections of Stoneman Wash have steep banks that seem break off vertically as shown here.

20140221-DSC02669-Edit-mediumOther banks of Stoneman Wash are also steep, but not vertical.  The two barrel cacti growing together near the top caught my eye.

20140221-DSC02684-Edit-medium Other parts of Stoneman wash are very wide.  We hiked several miles in Stoneman Wash.  This section was unusually firm due to clay underneath a thin layer of rocks and sand.

20140221-DSC02696-Edit-medium A decaying piece of wood.

20140221-DSC02699-Edit-mediumWe saw this tree where Stoneman Wash crosses the Long Loop.  You can see the trail at the bottom of the photo.


Lots of new buds on this saguaro:

20140221-DSC02717-Edit-mediumStill in Stoneman Wash, but nearing the Pemberton…

20140221-DSC02726-Edit-mediumThis is a small feeder wash just off the Pemberton.  (It feeds into Stoneman Wash.)
20140221-DSC02729-Edit-medium Fairy Duster:


A Belated Happy Valentine’s


Hope you all had a great Valentine’s Day!


Casey’s Snowplow

A photo from Mara…20140217-snowplow-Edit-medium

Granite Mountain Big Loop

Marilyn, Nick, and I did a big loop out in the Granite Mountain area on Sunday.  We did a loop starting at the Granite Mountain Trailhead just off of 136th St.  We rode Bootlegger to Granite Mountain Loop Trail, and turned left.  From there it was Granite Mountain loop Trail to Balanced Rock Trail; Balanced Rock Trail to Chuck Wagon Trail; Chuck Wagon Trail to Powerline Road #2; turn right; Powerline Road to Vaquero Trail; turn right; Vaquero Trail to Wrangler Trail; Wrangler Trail to Cone Mtn. Trail; Cone Mountain Trail to Upper Ranch Trail; turn left; Upper Ranch Trail to Brown’s Ranch Road; turn right; Brown’s Ranch Road to Corral Trail; turn left; Corral Trail to Dry Gulch Trail; Dry Gulch to cholla Mtn Loop Trail; turn left; Cholla Mtn. Loop Trail to Branding Iron Trail; Branding Iron to Granite Mountain Loop Trail; turn left; Granite Mountain Loop Trail to Bootlegger; Bootlegger back to parking area.  Total distance was somewhat over 16.5 miles.20140216-DSC02478-Edit-medium 20140216-DSC02484-Edit-medium 20140216-DSC02499-Edit-medium 20140216-DSC02529-Edit-medium


Friday Fitness Hike

Fourteen hikers showed up for the February 14 Fitness Hike.  Starting at the Wagner Trailhead, we crossed the road and took the Tortoise Trail to the Pemberton.  From there, we hiked Pemberton to Stoneman Wash, and Stoneman Wash to the Bluff Trail.  At that point the group split up with Amy leading the majority of the group back to the Wagner Trailhead.  Bill, Janet, Nick, Linda, and I went the other way on the Bluff Trail, eventually returning on the Wagner Trail as well.

A buckhorn cholla on the Tortoise Trail:


A dead tree on the Pemberton:


Anders said that this is a 1960 Chevy.  There had been speculation in the past that it was a ’59, but Anders said that the 1959 Chevy had bigger fins.

20140214-DSC02234-Edit-mediumFrom left to right are Amy, Jill, George, Linda, Mary Ann, Christina, Venie, Nick, Janet, Mary Lou, Per, Anders, and Bill.  We had such a big group today that not much of the car is visible in this photo!  (And they made them really big back then!)
20140214-DSC02242-Edit-mediumEven though it’s a fitness hike, Amy tells us about desert mistletoe during one of our water breaks.

A view of Stoneman Wash.  The green plant at the lower left is called Bebbia, but is also known as Sweet Bush or Chuckwalla’s Delight.  (Thanks to Amy for researching this and sending me this information after the hike was over.)20140214-DSC02279-Edit-medium

A chuparosa bush in bloom:

20140214-DSC02316-Edit-medium Janet, Nick, and Bill wait for me on some rocks.20140214-DSC02331-Edit-medium Linda took this photo of me next to a chuparosa bush.  An ocotillo is behind it.20140214-DSC02337-Edit-medium A fairy duster in bloom:20140214-DSC02340-Edit-medium The McDowells with a bunch of boulders in the foreground.

20140214-DSC02349-Edit-medium A similar view, but this time with a saguaro in the foreground too.

20140214-DSC02352-Edit-medium A boulder strewn wash:20140214-DSC02355-Edit-medium A view from the wash:

20140214-DSC02367-Edit-medium We encountered many large boulders on our hike.20140214-DSC02370-Edit-medium 20140214-DSC02376-Edit-medium 20140214-DSC02379-Edit-medium Another dead tree:

20140214-DSC02382-Edit-medium 20140214-DSC02385-Edit-medium Making our way towards a quartz outcropping:


A field of small quartz rocks:

20140214-DSC02397-Edit-medium Two views of the quartz outcropping atop a hill:

20140214-DSC02400-Edit-medium 20140214-DSC02403-Edit-medium Another rock formation beside a wash:

20140214-DSC02421-Edit-medium An unusual saguaro:

20140214-DSC02430-Edit-medium A dead saguaro; it seems to have fallen recently.20140214-DSC02439-Edit-medium

Janet examines the roots of the fallen saguaro.

20140214-DSC02451-Edit-medium A poppy:


The remains of a burnt tree on the Delsie Trail:

20140214-DSC02460-Edit-medium Christmas Cholla: