Friday, April 29, 2011

Golden hour in the back yard.

I Took the camera and tripod out for a walk after dinner tonight. All three of these pictures are taken at f16 so I could get as much in focus as possible.

Every year this patch of "Fawn Lillys" come into bloom and put on a most beatiful display. Then before you know it they are gone again until the next spring.

The "Skunk Cabbages" are really living up to their name this year...P U! Must be the cooler and wetter than normal April we are having up this way.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

A bad day in the life of...

I took another trek into the land of ashes a couple of days ago and came across this poor fellow. There was still a little bit of meat on the bones so the fire must have kept him from being completely cleaned.

Half of this tree was gone along with all of the grass around it but the other half looked completely untouched.

Just for Parker :~)

It's amazing what you can find when there isn't any grass!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Downtown Coal Harbour

Normally I don't take pictures around Coal Harbour as it has become so common place to me, but this particular morning I came around the corner and just had to stop and take a picture of the old WW II era store all lit up by the rising sun. The snow capped mountains in the background only added to the scene.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

My Wife, Son and I took the dogs up to the lake this afternoon and had an Easter wennie roast... As you can see my son had the dogs undivided attention! LOL

So I'm back to taking notes and pictures for the water line replacement going on in the nearby town of Port McNeill, sounds like it will go on most of the summer and I get paid to take pictures! This added to the other jobs I do make for a long day but what the heck "Make hay while the sun shines" as the saying goes.

Close but no cigar!

The calm before the storm

Friday night the storms were brewing and the rain started to fall about ten miles to the east and then it all moved away from us without leaving a drop of rain here. The storms started to build about an hour before sunset which gave me a few opportunities to catch some color.

Stealing color from a setting sun

It looked promising for a couple of hours but in the end all we ended up with was a late night light show and the news that the people to the east of us got 2 inches of badly needed rain.

The eye of the storm

I used the Tamron 18-250mm to look into the storm on this one. I really liked the fact the large cloud on the right was casting a shadow on the clouds behind it. The sun was low enough that it was lighting the thunderheads more than the clouds below so you could see into the clouds.

Sunset Storm

I cropped and framed this one but other than that, it's exactly like it was shot. I had to stand in the middle of the road to get the shot I wanted and I had more than a few people giving looks like I was some kind of wierdo. Imagine that, me, weird. Where would they ever get that idea?

Saturday, April 23, 2011


In the upper reaches of Spanish Canyon, opposite of Spanish Cave, on a remote and seldom used trail one must pass under this rock formation.

Looking back to the West this rock formation appeared to resemble an unhappy baby face.

From last year.
Posted by Picasa

One small step for man...

OK, so it's not the moon. I could have been on a sound stage in New Mexico though! LOL

Being the first boots on the ground in the aftermath of a 1700 acre wildfire was a little strange and a little exhilarating. The landscape in spots looked a lot like the moon but you could really see things that you couldn't see before. (Pay attention here Parker!) The contrast of the granite rocks agains the burnt areas was something to see. I plan on spending a lot of time in this area this summer!

A trail through the fire.

I saw several of these trails through the ashes while on my hike. These were formed from the natural animal trails in the mountains that didn't have any grass on them to burn so they now look like a clean line across the ground.

I was amazed at how the cedar trees burned. It's like the exploded at the base and burnt outward.

I found this flower already growing from out of the fire. I forgot to reset the vividness on my camera before taking the shot so the yellow really glowed!

The ghost tree.

I found several of these while hiking in the area also. The trees that were already on the ground were completely consumed by the fire and left a reddish white ash where the limbs use to be.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Homemade sushi Rolls.

After I saw the delicious Musubi picture from Paul, I couldn't help myself, and went online ordered a Musubi, and a Sushi rolls mold. Beside, being too busy remodeling my
house for the last two weeks, and getting tired eating out everyday. I have decided to make some sushi rolls for our dinner tonight. This is a first time I make these Sushi rolls, oh boy these are so easy to make, and taste the same as in the restaurant.
From the left are shredded pork, vegetable, smoked eel, tuna, and spam musubi.
See the links below for the tools that use on these sushi rolls.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Captain Hook's Tree

I found this tree in the aftermath of the fire. I'll never understand how some things grow like they do.

This buffalo was wandering through the charcoaled landscape in search of something to eat.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The house of the rising sun

I was up early yesterday because the dogs thought it was time to get up. When I stepped out into the front yard this is the first thing I saw. I don't know why but I thought it would make a good photo.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The aftermath

This appeared to be the last spot that was a problem and the big bird took care of it in one dump. As luck would have it I was some place else when they came over to dump so I missed that shot!

Everything looked like a wildfire had just gone through. Imagine that! LOL

The Grasshopper

"Say Hello to my little friend"

It's real name is the "Air Crane" but 40 years ago when an uncle of mine use to fly them for the military they referred to it as the Grasshopper. For all I know my uncle may have flown this exact one, it was manufactured in 1964!

The refuge brought in the big guns this weekend to get a handle on the fire. Let me tell you, this thing sucks! It has a 2600 gallon tank, yes, two THOUSAND six hundred gallons, that hangs in the belly for fighting fires and when they hover over a lake to suck up water they can fill the 2600 gallon tank in 45 seconds!!

The drop doors for letting the water out are adjustable to drop all 2600 gallons at once or as little as they would like. The pilot said they can "sprinkle" an area a mile long with one load if they want to.

Don't touch that dial!! And I thought working in NX2 was hard! LOL

The pilot let me climb into the cockpit and take a look around as he explained how it flys and what they can do with it. It's a pretty impressive bird, especially fo it's age. I felt much better about being an old man when I got out, all I have to do is keep up  with that routine maintanence. 

The helicopter has two 9000 horse power engines to make it fly and a separate hydraulic pump for sucking up water or operating the crane lift when the water tank isn't in place.

The good news is, with this massive machine on their side the refuge expects to "call" the fire by Monday. They just about had the whole thing out yesterday when I was out there. What's the bad news you say? I was told the charge for operating this bird is $10,000 an hour!!!!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

More from the dark side

This is another shot from an area that was burned last year.  This was shot with the Sigma wide angle using a CPL filter. I was only about ten feet from the center tree.

I'm going to try to get into the newly burned area today for some shots. The fire is still going and they consider it to only be 25% contained. The helicopters couldn't fly yesterday because the winds were maxing out at 55 mph. They also had several other fires break out off the refuge and even had the major highway into the big town (Lawton) closed because the smoke was so thick. It's been an interesting few days. The extra firefighters they brought in to fight the refuge fire are expected to be here until the end of next week.

If I make it into the burning area I'll have some photos to post tomorrow.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Into the fire

Once again a fire is raging across the land where the buffalo roam. This one has been burning for four days now and has consumed over 1600 acres. It's still burning and we have 30-40 mph winds today. Thankfully this is about 6 miles from the house and the winds are blowing AWAY from me.

This is a shot of an area that burned last year just about a mile from what is burning now. You can see the smoke from the new fire in the background, that is not clouds!

Both of these were shot with the Sigma wide angle and touched up in NX2. I actually shot them in RAW and it helped quite a bit for making my adjustments since I was shooting into the sun.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Why you want a dark colored dog...

Last week I took young "Sunny" for a walk down an old logging road... He couldn't do it, he just couldn't stay out of the puddles! By the time I got him home he looked like the "Creature from the Black Lagoon".

Needless to say when we got home he got hosed off and I wound up wearing half the mud before he was clean!

Monday, April 11, 2011

April... Showers?

Woke up to this today! There better be some darn good flowers in May! LOL


I did say I was playing with NX2 and Elements. I didn't get as lucky as you might think when it comes to the hula girl. You see, I had a photo of the beach and I went from there. This is how the original photo looked.

I then painted the goofy looking tourist and a couple of other people in the background out of the photo and made some color and contrast adjustments so it would look like this.

I then took a picture of a picture (one we have on a wall at home) and cut the hula girl out of it and put her in the photo above.

After that I did a little blending around the edges of the cut out hula girl, added a filter from Nikon's Efex Pro 3.0 and then framed it in Elements 7. That gave me the finished picture below.

I guess you can tell I had a little extra time on my hands yesterday! LOL

Sunday, April 10, 2011

As promised....

A round for the house! Too bad you guys weren't here last night, they were maika'i (pronounced my-ka-ee or good)!

Playing with NX2 and Elements.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

In the deep blue sea

OK, it wasn't really THAT deep, maybe 30-40 feet is all.

Yep, you guessed it. I'm thinking about Hawaii again. Maybe I'll make those mai tai's tonight!

 These were taken off the coast of Maui in the coral reefs not too far from shore.
I've got a new underwater camera set up to take with me this time. I think I need to hit one of the local lakes and do some practicing with it though. Maybe I'll fill the bathtub up this weekend! LOL

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Same spot, different day

I really need to start leaving my front yard to get pictures! LOL

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Blue Hawaii, er, I mean, sunset!

So I'm sitting here in my Hawaiian shirt thinking about spam. OK, not really, but I am wearing a Hawaiian shirt and thinking about mai tai's, the ocean, mahi mahi...
You get the idea.

I was going to rework another Hawaii photo but I decided I didn't want to bore eveyone with my obsession so I posted this one instead. I took this the night of the super moon from out in front of the little booth I work in. I thought the clouds and sky made a good contrast and the blue was pretty amazing, at least to me anyway.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Had the strangest craving today...

So I made some Spam Musubi for dinner! But I didn't think about Hawaii, not once, no siree not me...

Daydreaming (once again)

I don't know what it is about this year but I seem to have less time to do the things I want. I would love to say I am busy with work and making tons of money but in this case it's just the everyday things of life that have kept me from getting out and shooting.

I have dug into the old Hawaii files again for this one and revamped it with the new things I have learned in NX2 and photoshop. I promise to have some new Hawaii photos to post, it will be the end of the year when I get them but I will have them. I'm slowly buying up memory cards as I can afford them and plan on taking 200-300 gigs of memory with us when we go. You will be seeing Hawaii photos for months! LOL

Monday, April 4, 2011

I Otter know better...

As I was tying my boat up a couple of days ago I noticed a couple of Otters on a nearby dock, so I got my camera out and took a dozen pictures or so before they noticed I was looking and disappeared into the water. Only one little problem... The last time I had used the camera I forgot to put the settings back where I normally keep them! The Otters were totally overexposed! Thankfully I was able to salvage a few of the pictures using Photoshop. The moral of my story? Always, always put your camera back to its usual settings and always check before you start shooting to make sure you did!