Drama over Seven Dolls

With a bit of help from some HDR software (NIK HDR Efex Pro), here’s a scene of building storm clouds behind the Temple of the Seven Dolls at the ancient Maya ruins of Dzibilchaltún:

Drama over Seven Dolls

As I mentioned in a previous post, you can’t climb the steps of this structure any more.  Still, there’s plenty of cleared and accessible space available around it — so it’s not too tough to make a good photo of it.  Here, one of the structures called “Adjoining Rooms” blocks your view of the fencing around the Temple’s base.

I made this photo from just west of Structure 12 (which is also now fenced off).  On spring and autumn equinoxes, the Sun rises in the temple’s door, directly in line with the stela that frames the left side of this image.  As you might imagine, that means those dates are quite crowded ones at this (normally sparsely visited) site.

Scooting on around

So I went on a little trip to Texas last week for business, and managed to grab a window seat on the way down.  This gave me a fantastic view when our plane’s flight crew had to play dodge-the-thunderhead a few times on the way.

Scooting on around

This is just one of the beasts we had to work our way around (the orange tint is from the last bits of sunset working their way through the clouds).

Waiting for a break in the weather

Life’s been a bit busy for us lately, but we managed to run off into the mountains for a little R&R over the July 4th extended weekend.  One of our stops was the neat little ghost town of Ashcroft, near Aspen.  On our way through the sights, my daughter alerted me to this little hummingbird perched on an old bit of wood.

Waiting for a break in the weather

Fortunately for me, this little guy was very patient on his perch — alert and watchful, but never startling or making any apparent move to fly off.

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Fade to black

I took this shot over my daughter’s shoulder (she insists on having the window seat) on the flight home from our spring trip to Washington, D.C.:

Fade to black

OK, I’ve tweaked the contrast 6 ways from Sunday on this one, but haven’t messed with the color — which is why I’m amazed at how both the foreground clouds and background sky get less-blue / more-black at the top / bottom of the frame.

Blowin’ in the wind

On our recent trip to Hawaii, I was happy to see that wind power seems to be catching on there. At one point we were driving along a highway that essentially parallels the coast, and saw a wind farm in the distance. Since we had a bit of time to kill, we headed off down a local road to get closer.

Blowin' in the wind

I took this shot from the side of the road (a single-lane access road for the local short-strip “airport”), just outside the fence. Pity the sky wasn’t clearer, but I still like the contrast between the windmills and meadow. If I find the time, I might just have to tinker with this shot in Photoshop to get rid of the clouds…

Waikiki evening

On our recent Hawaii trip, we spent the better part of an evening wandering around the beach at Waikiki. Mostly I was hoping to get a good sunset shot (the previous night, the sunset was gorgeous — but I was on a bus headed to our hotel from the airport and couldn’t get a shot of it), but I figured I should make good use of the opportunity while I was waiting. In this one, you can just make out the silhouette of one person walking deeper into the water:

Waikiki evening

BTW, I never did get my sunset shot — night after night, the clouds wound up blowing in just in time to block the view.