Arches National Park: Delicate Arch Milky Way

Arches national Park is a red-rock wonderland in Southern Utah. The park has over 2,000 natural stone arches, in addition to hundreds of soaring pinnacles, massive fins and giant balanced rocks.

The hike to Delicate Arch is a 3.1 round trip hike with a 480 foot climb. It’s rated moderate.

The hike is very popular and you will almost never have the place to yourself.

If your mission is to have a great hike you cannot go wrong in any kind of reasonable weather. But if your goal is to get a great sunset image things are much more difficult. You need good light with good clouds. You need to be at the top about an hour before sunset.

If your goal is to get a Milky Way Springtime panorama and a sunset image, guess what?

You need to be at the top an hour before sunset, hoping for sunset clouds, then wait patiently wait for hours hoping for cloudless skies when the Milky Way rises.

Alternatively, you can do multiple trips, which of course means multiple hikes.

Feature Image Details

I took a two sets of images, one set of the sky, and another set of the Milky Way and stitched then together in Lightroom.

This is a complex shot.

The foreground was lit by a setting moon and panel lights, mostly the former but the panel lights balanced out the moon shadows and added foreground detail.

The Milky Way was taken with a modified camera that added a full stop of exposure. The modification renders the camera mostly useless in the daytime without a filter that reverses the modification.

For the Milky Way, I also used an iOptrom Sky Guider which allowed me to take long exposures without streaking the stars.

Of course, if one is tracking the stars, then the land is blurry. That means two sets of images, one of the land (with no sky tracking) and one of the sky.

Factor in multiple sets of Milky Way and moonlit land images blended together to get a panorama and you begin to see the complexity.

Pano Tip

It’s far easier to cut out what you do not want than add what you didn’t capture.

Since you are combining images, you will end up with a huge number of pixels even when the final result is cropped.

I frequently take vertical images to make what looks like a horizontal image.

Arches National Park Images

Equipment List

Those interested in my equipment and recommendations can find it here: Mish’s Equipment List.

Please Subscribe: Click to Subscribe by Email.

If you like this article, please share by email or use one of the share buttons beneath the article.

You can also follow me on Twitter! I have both an economic forum and a photography forum.

  1. Photography: MishMoments
  2. Economics: MishGEA

MishMoments is a subset of MishGEA. Those interested in photography only should follow MishMoments.

More Arches images coming up.

Please Subscribe and Follow.

Thanks!

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Mish’s Garden Springtime: Bleeding Hearts, Tulips, Daffodils

Here are some garden images that I took over the years. I have accumulated many images, and these are early ones.

Angelique Tulips and Bleeding Hearts 

 

Bleeding Hearts and Golden Ducat Daffodils

The two images are this page were taken when I was still using film. I do not have the details but I believe I was using something like a 28-70 zoom lens on the tulip shot and a 100 mm macro lens on the daffodil image.

Normally I like everything sharp, but in these images I used open apertures to throw the backgrounds out of focus.

Those interested in my equipment and recommendations can find it here: Mish’s Equipment List.

Please Subscribe: Click to Subscribe by Email.

If you like this article, please share by email or use one of the share buttons beneath the article.

You can also follow me on Twitter! I have both an economic forum and a photography forum.

  1. Photography: MishMoments
  2. Economics: MishGEA

MishMoments is a subset of MishGEA. Those interested in photography only should follow MishMoments.

Morte garden images coming up.

Please Subscribe and Follow.

Thanks!

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

 

Great Smoky Mountains National Park – Grotto Falls, Laurel Falls, Chestnut Top Trail, Spring Wildflowers

I am going to wrap up my Great Smoky Mountains Spring trip series with a look at a couple more waterfalls and some more wildflowers.

Don’t overlook the details.

Feature Image – Grotto Falls 

Grotto Falls

It’s a matter of choice as to which Grotto Falls image you prefer. I happen to like the detail shot. When approaching scenes like these, try different angles and different focal lengths. I shot the verticle at 31mm.

Once again, bright overcast light is far superior on these woodland shorts.

Laurel Falls

Chestnut Top Trail Wildflowers

Those looking for Spring Wildflowers can find them in masses along this trail

I shot right along the trail that at 17 mm, F16 at ISO 400, for 0.3 seconds. The foreground is razor sharp but the background is a bit soft. I was not into focus stacking yet on that trip but do it routinely in scenes like these now.

I always like to ask,  “What could I have done better?” In this case, the clear answer is to focus stack, that is to focus on different parts of the scene and blend them together in Lightroom or Photoshop.

Please check out my other images of the park.

I am going to visit the Great Smokies again this Autumn.

Equipment List

Those interested in my equipment and recommendations can find it here: Mish’s Equipment List.

If you like this article, please share by email or use one of the share buttons beneath the article.

Coming up next: Prague, the capital and largest city in the Czech Republic.

Please Subscribe: Click to Subscribe by Email.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Great Smoky Mountains National Park – Trilliums Galore

Trilliums are my favorite Spring wildflower. The Great Smoky Mountains has more varieties in one place than I have seen anywhere else. Check them out.

Feature Image Details

Does anyone recognize the Trillium in the feature image? It’s not a Painted Trillium nor does it appear to be a white variety trillium gone pink with age. It is a pink-tipped trillium with a white center. I am unsure of the second image as well.

Any botanists out there?

The small whiteish pink-lined flowers that are predominant in many of the images are Spring Beauties.

I used a Tilt-Shift lens on the feature image and the three images that follow. Even with the tilt function, I did not capture all of the landscapes as sharp as I like.

I would do things differently next time. Instead of using the shift feature I would focus stack the images (focus on different parts of the image and blend them). Unlike the Showy Orchis image in my last post, I do want all parts of most of these images totally sharp from the foreground to background.

Yellow Trilliums?

I am not positive of this identification.

Trillium Sulcatum – Southern Red Trillium

Trillium Sulcatum – Southern Red Trillium

Trillium Erectum 

That closeup detail was taken with my Canon 100-400 MM F 4.5-5.6 L Lens at 400mm from quite some distance away. I estimate at least 10 feet.

In this case, the out of focus background helps show off the flower. Note the difference from the previous image. This flower hands below the leaves.

Trillium Undulatum – Painted Trillium

Trillium Simile – Sweet White Trillium

I used a Canon 24-105MM F4 L Lens for the above two images. I estimate I was three to five feet away from the flowers in these images. Both were taken with a near-normal focal length about 50mm.

Trillium Simile – Sweet White Trillium

Please check out:

Equipment List

Those interested in my equipment and recommendations can find it here: Mish’s Equipment List.

If you like this article, please share by email or use one of the share buttons beneath the article.

Coming up next: More wildflowers and waterfalls in the Great Smokies. Then it’s on to a new location.

I am going to visit the Great Smokies again this Autumn.

Please Subscribe: Click to Subscribe by Email.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Great Smoky Mountains National Park – Tom Branch and Indian Creek Falls, Showy Orchis Flowers

There are three nice waterfalls in the Deep Creek area of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This post covers the Tom Branch and Indian Creek Falls. My previous post covered the Juney Whank Falls.

The trail to the falls runs along Deep Creek. Trout fishing is excellent in the creek. There are plenty of wildflowers along the trail. My favorite is the Showy Orchis (orchid).

The NPS says the “roundtrip distance to the waterfalls is 1.6 miles. I rate all of the trails as easy.

Feature Image Details

To capture scenes like these you need a long exposure. Depending on how fast the water is flowing, the range may be between 1/4 second and several seconds.

Here is a vertical image of the same scene.

Creating good waterfall images is easy. You need:

    1. Bright overcast or shade
    2. Water
  1. A good angle
  2. Tripod
  3. Slow shutter speed

You cannot do anything about 2. You have sufficient water or you don’t. In regards to light, you can go on a cloudy day or time your visit so that the waterfall is in the shade when you get there. Bright overcast light is nearly always the best.

Points three to five are in the photographer’s control. A good angle can be a make-or-break affair. Just don’t do anything too silly.

If you are wondering how I got that those images without getting wet, I didn’t. I got wet.

The water was cold and fishermen were catching some big trout at the base of the falls.

Indian Creek Falls

Of the three waterfalls in the area, Indian Creek was my least favorite. I had to crop the image heavily and edit out a bunch of clutter.

Showy Orchis

I am only inches away from that orchid. I used a Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L Tilt-Shift Lens, tilted a bit to keep all parts of the flower in focus. Because the lens is so wide, you can easily see the background in context.

Some would call this a wide-angle close-up.

Instead of using the shift feature I might have done an image stack and get the background sharp as well. In this case, the soft background makes the flower stand out while adding context.

Please check out:

Equipment List

Those interested in my equipment and recommendations can find it here: Mish’s Equipment List.

If you like this article, please share by email or use one of the share buttons beneath the article.

Coming up next: Many varieties of Trilliums. Don’t Miss it!

Much more coming: Click to Subscribe by Email.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Great Smoky Mountains National Park – Rainbow Falls – Spring

Looking for spring wildflowers, colorful budding trees, mossy streams, and waterfalls? The Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee is one of the best spots around. The last half of April is typically the peak time, but the timing can vary year to year.

This post shows images of Rainbow Falls, another small waterfall along the way, and colorful budding trees on the way back from the waterfalls.

The 5.4-mile roundtrip hike is considered moderate in difficulty. Between trailhead and falls, Rainbow Falls Trail gains about 1,500′ in elevation. Due to the length, elevation gain, and rocky terrain in sections of the trail, some visitors may rate the hike as difficult.

It takes about 3-5 hours to hike to the waterfall and back. Wear sturdy shoes.

Feature Image Details

To capture scenes like these you need a long exposure. Depending on how fast the water is flowing, the range may be between 1/4 second and several seconds.

About a half-second worked nicely for this image.

The waterfalls are 80 feet high, the tallest in the park. The next view gives a feel for the entire fall.

Along the way, we passed a small waterfall, shown below. I do not see it named on any of the trail maps.

Once again, bright overcast is best for these shots. A polarizer will reduce glare. Judging from the glare on the leaves below, I did not use one.

I may have been fighting a bit of wind. The correct technique in such circumstances is to take one image of the water and blend in a second image of the land at a higher ISO.

We hiked to the waterfall late in the afternoon. On the hike out, I stopped for this image of colorful budding trees.

The image almost looks like autumn, but close inspection shows the leaves are budding to just opening in pretty shades of yellow, green, and red. Backlighting and the late afternoon sun enhances the effect.

That is a blend of two images, one exposed for the sky, the other for the trees. There is a small bit of ghosting on the tiny branches due to the wind. The more images one takes to blend, the worse the ghosting issue. I use as few images as I can. I needed two.

This is second in a series of Great Smoky Mountains images.

Also, check out  Great Smoky Mountains National Park – Little Pigeon River – Spring.

Equipment List

Those interested in my equipment and recommendations can find it here: Mish’s Equipment List.

If you like this article, please share by email or use one of the share buttons beneath the article.

Much more coming: Click to Subscribe by Email.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Great Smoky Mountains National Park – Little Pigeon River – Spring

Looking for spring wildflowers? The Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee is one of the best spots around. The last half of April is typically the peak time, but the timing can vary year to year.

If you miss the wildflowers, the streams are still beautiful. The images on this page were taken on the West Prong of the Little Pigeon River.

Feature Image Details

To capture scenes like these you need a long exposure. Depending on how fast the water is flowing, the range may be between 1/4 second and several seconds.

One second worked nicely for this image.

But that’s not the only requirement. One needs little to no wind, especially if there are flowers that may be moving. Finally, bright overcast or very weak sunshine though is a necessity. All of the images on this page were taken under such conditions.

Equipment List

Those interested in my equipment and recommendations can find it here: Mish’s Equipment List.

If you like this article, please share by email or use one of the share buttons beneath the article.

Much more coming: Click to Subscribe by Email.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock