Colorful Reflections

A scene from 2023’s “Blossoms of Light” at the Denver Botanic Gardens.

Colorful reflections

Blossoms of Light” is always an enjoyable and visually arresting visit in the run up to the holidays. This view looks south across the Monet Pool toward the Hive Garden Bistro.

EXIF:
OM System OM-1 camera, M.Zuiko 12-45mm f/4 lens
ISO 2000, 19mm, f/11, 0.8 sec

Strange planet

The Flatirons, just west of Boulder, Colorado. But seen in infrared, and with some color tweaks in post-processing.

Strange planet

I love the Flatirons, but they’re one of those subjects that is exhaustively photographed here in Colorado. So, how to make a shot of them that doesn’t look like a million others? Oh, and I went hiking on kind of a “blah” sort of morning — light overcast, some snow on the ground (but not enough to really set off the rock). My regular color photos taken with a regular digital camera were… underwhelming.

Fortunately, I also took along my E-PM2 camera body (which I’d had converted to full spectrum imaging), and a 720 nm infrared filter. Do a little color channel swapping, fiddle a bit with levels to separate the rock from the trees, and presto — you’re on a distant world.

EXIF:
Olympus E-PM2 camera (full spectrum conversion), M.Zuiko 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 EZ lens, 720nm filter
ISO 200, 19mm, f/8.0, 1/250 sec

Vernazza afternoon

Looking down on the Cinque Terre town of Vernazza on a stormy afternoon. The harbor would normally be full of small boats at this time of day, but they were all pulled out of the water due to dynamic sea conditions.

Vernazza afternoon

Earlier this year, we were able to spend a bit of time in Italy. Out of this, we had three days to rattle around in Cinque Terre — a group of 5 old fishing towns. They’re quite a photogenic group, although I’d vote for Vernazza as the prettiest. They’re all also connected by both a seaside hiking trail, and shuttle service on the local rail line — so you’ve got multiple options for getting around to see the sights, as a function of your schedule and exercise tolerance. I took this shot from the trail on the north side of town — not terribly far to go for a “postcard” view.

EXIF:
Olympus E-M1III, M.Zuiko 8-25mm f/4 lens
8mm, f/11, ISO 200, 1/200 sec

Just a little walk in the woods

A calm, yet colorful scene in Keukenhof Park, Netherlands.

Just a little walk in the woods

What can I say about Keukenhof….? Well, it’s a big flower garden / park outside of Amsterdam, that’s only open to the public for 2 months out of the year — and during those two months, it’s covered in mind-blowing levels of floral color. We were able to visit it this year, and it’s got to be one of the most amazing visual experiences that I’ve ever had.

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Long view to the Acropolis

The Acropolis in Athens, as seen from the top of Lycabettus Hill:

Long view to the Acropolis

I don’t seem to see this perspective of the Acropolis very often online, but it turns out that it’s pretty simple to achieve. Lycabettus Hill is in the middle of an urban park in Athens, and while you’ve got some walking to do at first, a funicular can get you the last steep stretch to the top. Or, you can walk the whole way, if you have the time and fortitude to walk the trail up the hill.

Get up to the top with a reasonably long lens, and you’re ready to go. This is an afternoon shot (with light overcast); the lighting should be more-dramatic on a clear day near sunrise.

EXIF:
Olympus E-M1III, M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 lens
f/8.0, 106mm, 1/640 sec, ISO 200

Crop circles

Seen on a recent flight east (somewhere over eastern Colorado / western Nebraska), it’s center-pivot agricultural fields in the midst of what are essentially stabilized sand dunes:

Crop circles

It’s late-afternoon raking light like this that really brings out the ancient nature of Colorado’s eastern plains’ “sand hill” terrain. It’s all a desert dune field, (temporarily) frozen in place

Runkurakay Pass

So the high point (physically) of day 3 on the Inca Trail is Runkurakay Pass — with views just as good as Dead Woman Pass had, but not nearly as painful to get to. ¬†Just before the pass, the trail winds between two small hanging lakes (I haven’t been able to find any reliable names for them). ¬†First, we’re looking uphill / west across the lower / larger of the two (you can see some of my hiking buddies on the trail above it to the right).

Looking up to Runkurakay Pass

In this next shot, we’re at the pass and looking to the east. Continue reading