The Pillows

Lately I’ve been making a weekly trip to the mountains with who ever I can talk into coming along. While this isn’t out of the ordinary at all, there is a special reason for these trips. And that reason is called the Pillows. It’s magical enough that every week it’s worth a two hour drive to the mountains and a grueling kilometer and some hike through thigh deep snow.

(This is a post of fiddling around with different ideas and experiments. Notes will be in photo captions.)

Sometimes doing things in the old style is best
Sometimes doing things in the old style is best
Right down to the test strips.
Right down to the test strips.

This place is one of the most fun places to snowboard once you get to it. The snow is always fantastic and untouched. The whole place is just a big boulder field. But once you cover that in snow, it turns into a big play ground.

Though this photo doesn't give any sense of scale, the cliffs at the top are in the 25 foot range, the mid sections are in the area of a good few meters, and the low one in about 2 meters.
Though this photo doesn’t give any sense of scale, the cliffs at the top are in the 25 foot range, the mid sections are in the area of a good few meters, and the low one in about 2 meters.

To find this place you have to know someone who is an old ski bum, or as in my case, explore the woods until you stumble upon it. (Then pick up the name from old ski bums)

Here's a hint. (I just made this to practice After Effects)
Here’s a hint. It’s somewhere in the circle. (I just made this to practice After Effects)

I’m going to continue to go up there every week, so in the next couple of weeks I’ll probably have photos of people dropping the big rocks. Plus, next week, I’m going to take the time to hike around so I can drop the cliffs. Can’t wait for Wednesday!

My buddy Harry in one of the few pictures of people present.
My buddy Harry in one of the few pictures of people present. Also, At one point I decided to dig a hole. So I took this while standing in a 2 meter deep hole.

This post isn’t as focused as I’d like, but I just wanted to try a few different things with the photos that I had. Thanks for checking it out!

The Undesirables

A few more from the Zoo. I’m almost done with these. I’m still on the tail end of a bit brain fart/ creative block so I’m still milking things that I have that I know work. I’ve promised to myself that after I get through those photos that I already have I’ll be back to running ahead at full steam to learn more!

Now back to the present. These are a few of the photos I took of critters that are rarely call “pretty”, but more often referred to as “my pretties.” (By witches) I’ve decided that I’m going to talk about these only with the knowledge that I had as a kid. Which was still quite a bit because I was glued to the Discovery Channel half the day and reading about dinosaurs the other half.

First up is the Komodo Dragon. While not poisonous on its own, it is still regarded as one of the most toxic land animals on the planet due to all the rotting food in their mouths. They have an immune system that can digest weeks old rotten meat the same way that that you eat a Sunday brunch. All the more importantly, Holy Shit, they look like dinosaurs!

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Just as girls on facebook make duck faces, komodo dragons make dinosaur faces whenever a camera is around

Next on the list is one indigenous to the North Western US. It’s the Turky Vulture. Like most vultures they have a featherless head to keep from getting gunk stuck on them as they dive in to carcasses. Though they are indigenous and not on any sort of endangered lists, they are still uncommon enough that if you see one on the side of the freeway and point it out, no one will believe what you saw. Or even know what it is for that matter. But did you see how much that Dragon looked like a dinosaur?! I bet Mark Shultz has used these as drawing references!

The vignetting is caused by the railing of the bleachers that I was shooting up through at this fellow.
The vignetting is caused by the railing of the bleachers that I was shooting up through at this fellow.

And the final and perhaps the most undesirable thing here. The Golden Orb Weaver. This is one of very few web making siders that is large enough that on rare occasions they have been seen to catch and eat small birds. Their body can get up to a couple inches long. Once you include the legs they can be up to the size of a grown person’s hand. Unfortunately, when hit with a boomerang, they don’t leave a Golden Skulltula Token. Also, they’re scary as hell because you know they want to attach them selves to your face!

I want your soul!
I want your soul!

Actually as a kid I was very interested in spiders. I wanted to be an entomologist for many years, right under space pirate and paleontologist. So it was a small leap for me to like spiders. This all changed one morning before school. It was in the summer and mosquito eaters were abound. I felt a gentle tickle at my face and thought it was one of these friendly flyers. After a casual brush with my hand didn’t make it fly away I went cross eyed to get a better look at it. Just in time to see a very large, and now panicking ground spider go for the closest cover around. My mouth. The next few minutes involved a violent dance around the kitchen that combined trying to spit without chewing and smashing my own face with a broom. Ever since then, I can do without spiders.

If you’ve made it this far, thanks for taking the time to scroll, or perhaps even read, all the way to the bottom!

Lovely Dancer

Hit play on the song watch the elephant dance to it. Just passing some time with a little fun. I was listening to this song as it did it so it matches up fairly well. Good day to you!

The elephant at the zoo was actually dancing for a good 5 minutes.
The elephant at the zoo was actually dancing for a good 5 minutes.

Also, I’m going to start doing weekly find Fridays again, because there’s too much goodness on the web not to share!

 

One for the Birds

A few days ago I went to the local zoo with a couple of buddies. For a portion of the day my friend Matt and I traded lenses to have some. I got to used his 50mm prime and he used my 18-135mm.

These are a couple of the shots from the 50!

These little fellows were very kind to constantly pose in their little bird dome.
These little fellows were very kind to constantly pose in their little bird dome.

All in all this made me super excited to get a prime lens of my own! It’s so easy to get the focus incredibly sharp! Consider me a believer.

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The blue walls in the bird dome helped too.

I’ll post more soon! I’m currently sitting on a few more photos from Sun Valley, more from the zoo, and some from doing some back country snowboarding yesterday!

Planes, No Trains, and a Bus if that Counts as an Automobile

After getting stuck in a large learning curve of getting over my head with after effects projects for a couple weeks, I went on a trip. I spent the night at my folks place then we boarded a plane for Sun Vally, Idaho. So here are the first few photos from there! Starting with the plane!

Also, we stayed in the town Ketchum, Idaho, which I am positive is named after the world renowned Pokemon champion Ash Ketchum.

Watching the sunset out the window was nice, but watching the droplets in the window change colors was more more so.
Watching the sunset out the window was nice, but watching the droplets in the window change colors was much more so.

I’m rather proud of that picture as I did very very little post on it, which makes it the only one in this post like that.

I love the patterns on the plane tickets.
I love the patterns on the plane tickets.

This is the first time in a few years that I’ve ridden in a plane. It’s by no means the first time that I’ve ridden in one, I’ve be fortunate that way and had chances to travel. It’s just the first in recent times.

This was from one of the few times that I looked away from the window.
This was from one of the few times that I looked away from the window.

Here’s a neat fact, well, maybe not neat, but still a fact. Years ago, I broke my nose in such a way that it still folds completely flat because it never healed. I was using this fact to my full advantage to keep my face pressed impossibly close to the window most of the plane ride.