So... I volunteered to go to Scout Camp as an adult leader. Not because I had a son going (I only have daughters), and not because I currently hold a position in the local scout troop, but because there was a dearth of leaders available and I could get the time off.
I have to say first off I have a certain ambivalence to scouting as it is now run, the BSA has made it so much about keeping track of the details that the last thing that is worried about by the poor harried scoutmaster is actually having fun with the boys. That said, I was there to make sure they made it home alive, because their parents asked me, and to take some pictures and get some sleep when they didn't need a babysitter. You see, that is the best part of a BSA organized camp, they pay counselors to teach the classes, and the leaders get to goof off! All I had to do really was make sure they were fed, made it to their classes, and didn't set themselves on fire... Knowing that was on the agenda, and having been to Camp Steiner before, I was eager to go and see the scenery and take some photos while inhaling some woodsmoke and looking at the stars.
I didn't go up until Wed, and stayed until Sat AM which gave me a day to mow my lawn and hang out with my wife. The scariest part was driving up there, the last time I drove the Mirror Lake Highway I hit a deer... Ironically going to different Scout Camp. So this time I took my beater truck. 1991 Dodge Dakota (1/4 rust, 3/8 Primer and 3/8 peeling white paint) I was somewhat confident that it would not breakdown on the way up or back, as she has been behaving herself for the last year or so, and I have been feeding her nice steady diet of synthetic Mobil 1. I'm happy to say I made it just fine, and my little buddy did not strand me anywhere. In fact she started up at 10,000 ft in 30 degree temps without a hiccup!
Oh... you are here for the pictures? OK, on with the photos. I stopped at the Upper Provo River Falls, an unquiet but fun place for a few quick snaps. Not having taken my ND filter due to space issues I simply scoped it out for future options. A little different from my last shoot there.
I think this angle with careful lighting, maybe moonlight and a 1 hour exposure could be interesting.
I remembered Scout Lake as being pretty, but I had forgotten HOW pretty. I LOVE the Uinta Mountains and especially the higher elevations. I ended up climbing the ridge in the center the day after I took this shot. It was a great view!
The mountain on the Left is Bald Mountain (There are mountain goats up there!) and the one just to the right is Reid's Peak. You will see more of them as we go. They provide a nice background.
I have only included two shots of the boys, mainly because I like the shot, and you can't really see their faces. The clouds were amazing. All. Week.
The light was not always amazing, but it was often really good. It seemed we were IN the clouds a lot that week.
Hayden Peak dominates to the north east, and the light faded from there last. May need to climb it someday.
One of the things I wanted to do more than anything was play with Milky Way and star photography. I think that Full Frame is really where I need to go should I really want to pursue it, but my APS-C Pentax K5 did OK, though I was pushing it quite hard, just don't look too closely.
Of note, a flashlight or headlamp can really help you out unless you only want outlines of black things.
LOVED the reflections in the absolutely still water. Didn't love trying to pick a WB I liked, never really settled on one really. You will have to tell me what you liked, or didn't.
I shot for several hours, and sat and looked a bit too, the camera reveals more than the naked eye does. It was amazingly peaceful and soul stilling. I really needed it!
Hiking to the ridge above Scout Lake the next day was a joy, especially following the cairns across the mostly trackless mountain. Connect the Dots for adults.
I think this is Indian Paintbrush but I have been known to be wrong with my flower ID's.
Heaven, or really close to it!
Yeah, that's me, Selfie with a DSLR, just the way I roll.
The more defined trail is nice and easier to follow.
Firelight makes life all warm and fuzzy.
There is another lake just down from Scout Lake and closer to the camp I was in, called Pearl Lake. It was a bit more compact and easier to light, I actually had to turn down the intensity of my light. It was TOO bright.
As a side note, the reason I mention Full Frame DSLR's for this type of shooting is the Signal to Noise Ratio, larger sensors allow for better ratios. Some of these shots I had to go for 90 seconds or longer at 2500 to 3200 ISO, they won't print well, the stars moved too much and they are quite noisy at larger sizes. But since I don't plan to do much of this, as it is so time consuming and needs to be done so far away from home I don't need to worry about it.
Friday, I just slummed around camp, took a nap, and then a walk around the lake. This was my view for part of the morning. Sigh....
There was a closing campfire, which was really fun, several speakers talked about aspects of the Revolutionary War and patriotism, this display of older flags was eye catching.
Shooting back against the sunset was a challenge, I was surprised that this HDR at high ISO turned out so well.
I have to admit I was a bit distracted by the clouds, it was a fabulous display.
Here is Pearl Lake in the early evening gloom, when the wind was off, the lakes were so still. It was AMAZING!