I'm now selling my photos!!!

I now host galleries of my favorite photos @ www.lloydshell.zenfolio.com Feel free to surf over there to see photo's that may have drifted into the darkest reaches of the archives here on Blogspot.

I also have begun selling my photographs when requested, I can handle most sizes and finishes either locally or via my on-line printing service.

Thanks for looking!


Monday, July 4, 2011

Cars.... Cars.... Cars.....

I love photography. I love old cars. I love using old lenses. I especially love using old lenses to take pictures of Old cars.

My local town has a Country Fest every June, and with that a car show. I finally had a weekend where my weekend off coincided with the Fest. I decided to put my K 24mm f2.8 30+ year old Manual Focus lens on my K200d, and my K35mm f3.5 in my pocket (only used it for a few shots, not sure if any made it onto here, the 24mm was perfect) I shot mostly wide open at f2.8 or maybe stopped down a tidge, and most importantly I had a GREAT TIME!

(As always click on a photo to get a larger version.)

Powder blue MG, I love the bug eye lights on these boys, the chrome, just love it!

Next a '68 Cord (I think) not really sure if the tubes have a real purpose but they look cool!

Self portrait in Chrome.

Someone had restored an old Ford Truck, beautifully as well, due to the crowded nature of the place, shots of the whole car were often crowded and not particularly aesthetic so..... you get lots of detail shots from me. Which actually worked well with the focal length and aperture combo.

I then came to the car I LOVED the MOST! A 1957 Chevrolet BelAir, THE classic car of the 50's next to the '59 Cadillac Coupe de Ville Convertible, you know! The one with the FINS!

Anyway, this car was done in a dark Candy Apple Red, with some of the chrome accents re-done in gold. Oh it was NICE!

It is the details that set these cars apart, and boy are those details nice.

Bullet bumpers... oh yeah!

Aiming for the sky!

Sadly moving on I found a '55 or '56 Ford Fairlane Crown Victoria in black, a nice restoration and worth a few pictures too.

Last but not least there were a few Cobra's to play with, unfortunately they were so close together that good shots were harder to come by. Here are a couple that I liked.

This one is a bit over the top, but seemed to be well received when posted on-line. I may do a little bit more editing and print it.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Dry Forks of the Coyote

Ah... the big adventure day begins. My brother and I leave the Salt Lake Valley to head south to the blessed peace of southern Utah. Adventures first stop? The Escalante/Grand Staircase National Recreation area. After a quick stop in Escalante, UT to pick up our backcountry permit to camp for the next night or two we head south on the Hole In The Rock Road to our first stop: The Dry Forks of the Coyote Gulch, to spend some time in some skinny, skinny, slot canyons!

The roads are well marked and we easily find our trailhead, and follow the cairns down into the gulch. Following along the contour of this side hill takes up to the right and down.

The cactus were in bloom, but pink in this area, in Capitol Reef they were Red last year in May.

Once you reach the bottom, you can turn immediately left into a nice slot canyon that is part of the main gulch, it is wide and fairly easily accessible. The light seemed to peek around the corners with a golden glow that was simply fantastic to behold.

Narrowing but never getting too narrow, it was a perfectly pleasant environment to wander through and enjoy the splendor.

A little further along we shoal up a bit bit it never becomes rough or intimidating.

Once you have explored as far as you want to, a quick trip back down just past the entrance to the gulch (on your right) brings you to the entrance (on your left) to Peek-A-Boo Gulch. Using the Moki Steps carved in the face on the left, you can fairly easily gain access to the main channel, the sandstone is highly figured and formed into holes and divots. This is not a place to be when it rains.

Not very far up the gulch, there is a series of arches, that in rainy times the water flows under. The contrasts of the bright direct sunlight and dark shadow challenge any camera and photographer. Using HDR to combine shots allows for the full glory to be shown. Here I have demonstrated three different approaches to this processing. Each with it's own pro's and con's. I cannot say which one is my favorite, I like them all.

Exposure Fusion

Details Enhancer

Tone Compressor.

The hardiness of the desert flora to flourish in this hostile of an enviroment continually amazes me.

Just up from the arches you have to duck through this low arch to get in and out. Here I am exiting.

A short walk down from Peek-A-Boo, is Spooky Gulch, so named because of how dark and spooky it was. I had to push my ISO's higher than I am usually comfortable using, but I really really can't hand hold lower than 1/3 to 1/2 sec and reasonably expect decent sharpness... sigh.....

It starts out reasonably wide, but.....

It gets nearly unreasonably wide quite quickly! I was required to take my backpack off and turn sideways for long stretches. I am not a claustrophobe at all, but I did get a little tired of holding my backpack out, I carry a lot of water and it is heavy!!!

There are straighter stretches where you can squish in your shoulders a little and walk facing straight ahead...

And places where you cannot. The glow of the light ahead was always a nice thing to see coming up. It has a very red tinge, that requires care to not over saturate.

Most of the time you cannot see the sun or sky at all.

My Brother is not a fat man, and made it through OK, but those that are horizontally challenged are not really candidates for this type of insanity.

Other places are more curvy and convoluted, but always always beautiful!

This fin was a little acrobatic to negotiate, the outside curve is just big enough to get you bottom into as you try to not get neutered.

If you look closely at the walls you can see sand on the little ridges, it was blowing quite hard up on the topside, and find sand was raining down on us at times. fortunately my camera is sealed so it did fine, my zoom was a bit sticky for a day or two but soon worked out the kinks.

All in all this was a BLAST! And a place I want to come back to, apparently another spot further down called Brimstone Gulch is just as narrow and even longer. Now that sounds like fun to me!

Next stop camp, and getting ready for Coyote Gulch tomorrow!

40 Mile Ridge and Coyote Gulch Area

After exiting The Dry Forks, we made a quick stop at Dancehall Rock, this natural ampitheatre hosted many dances during the time the pioneers were chipping and blasting the Hole In The Rock down to the River.

Camping on the 40 Mile Ridge Road was an adventure of wind and sand, we camped next to the warning signs that keep the riff raff off the road and out of the Gulch. Taken with the last light of the day. A very good day.

The early morning light revealed the marks of the nocturnal denizens of the desert. A large black beetle that was simply too ugly to photograph left footprints everywhere. And the small lizards also were in evidence. The early morning light creates textures unseen in the harsh light of high noon.

An early start led us to the trailhead, and off in the distance to the confluence of Coyote Gulch and The Escalante River. The sand just beyond this early easy stretch of gravel boded of the effort involved in getting back to our vehicle.

The top of the bluff showed a magnificent vista of Navajo Pinnacles and the long sandy trail to the bottom of the gulch. Note the crack on the bottom of the photo, this is your route down to the dune. Those with larger packs than my Camelbak M.U.L.E. need to bring rope to lower them down otherwise they don't fit. This spot is just as tight in places as Spooky gulch was the day before.

This unnamed fin marks what was likely a bend in the river millenia ago, but is now just a guardian on the trail. The old riverbed covered with hundreds of feet of sand.

Oh the sand.... simply stopping on the way down demonstrates how soft it is, feeding our trepidation at having to come back up it, tired and in the heat of the day.

In color you can see the rich reds of the area, that simply boggle the mind.

Old landslides testify to the forces that shape the area. I have no desire to be in the area at the time something like this happens. They are best left unwitnessed.

The sand was invasive to say the least, my Asolo Hiking boots kept the sand away from my feet, my brother was somewhat less successful at keeping the sand out. And no, this was not staged.

Swapping to a sandal for the walk in the gulch is a good idea, you are walking in a perennial stream for most of your time in there. It is a good idea to cleanse your feet of sand prior to ascending the "Death Sand" as we called it. Allowing the sand inside your boots is somewhat akin to putting emery boards in there along with your socks. And achieves the same level of destruction on the feet of the unwary.

Waterfalls both medium and small abound, some more difficult than others to scramble around. Especially with several thousand dollars of camera equipment in your pack and around your neck.

Turning around when we felt it prudent, to preserve our energy and water supplies (forgot to bring the filter pump......) we trudged back up the Death Sand, finding the welcome shade to be blessedly cool and allowing us the ability to recover and ascend the crack and make it back to our vehicle.

The adventure section of our trip over, it was now time to get back closer to civilization.