I recently attempted a backpack up the North Fork Skokomish in Olympic National Park. I say attempted because when I got where the road runs through the National Forest land near some private properties, there was a sign notifying folks that the road would be closed the following day for ‘dust control measures’ (meaning they were putting oil on the dirt). Since I was only going for an overnight, that meant I would be stuck in the park unable to go home until they were finished with their oiling job. When the ranger said that the previous year it was closed until 8PM, I decided to do a day hike instead. But it was nice being up there. I went to the Flapjack Lakes trail junction on the North Fork Skokomish trail, had a bite to eat and hiked back.
Further down Lynn Canal from my previous post (same trip on the Alaska ferry), these images caught my eye while doing some organizing and re-processing. The sunset was pretty spectacular. These were taken about 30 minutes apart.
This was taken from the top of Blue Mountain in north central Olympic National Park. You can drive most of the way to the top … it’s just above Deer Park Campground where I was staying … and it’s a short walk up from the end of the road. A popular spot to watch the sunset.
I took this photo a couple years ago (it’s got a lot more snow this year). In the middle distance is the top of Mt Whitney. I was camped in the Lone Pine (California) Campground. This is a 15 second exposure at ISO 3200 taken with my Nikon D810. Below the three stars of Orion’s Belt, the bright star is Rigel. Just above Orion, the yellowish star is Betelgeuse. To the right the bright star is Aldebaran. The small group farther right is the Pleiades.
What’s new with this photo is that I used Lightroom’s new AI noise reduction to minimize the noise associated with the higher ISO and longer exposure. Below see the before and after image … zoomed in 300% so you can see the difference easier. (At 300%, you also see a little of star motion.) You see a lot of the color dots are gone … that was mostly noise. Unfortunately, a few were likely very faint stars. But mostly, I wanted to do a little show-and-tell. You can see it is smoother. Some images will benefit from this new feature more than others. Sorry, but you can’t use it on a JPG image (yet) …
Clouds are a common visitor to the skies of Washington State. Often the sky is just one continuous cloud. I haven’t found that to be very photogenic. (Well, once in a while you get lucky) More often, it is the partial cloudy conditions that create interesting photos. I thought the layers of clouds in the image above to be quite interesting. The one below has very fine gradations in tones … It was taken with Tri-X, and shows film grain when you enlarge it. But the tonal gradations are wonderful (especially in a print).