First Snow, Canyon and Creek

We had the year’s first snow in the valley last week. Of course, as soon as I saw it was coming down, I had to grab my camera, jump in the car and head for a trail to hike. I picked Grove Creek because it is close and has both nice views and a running creek. Here’s what I came back with:

Grove Creek in Utah after first snow. By Jameson Gardner 2014.

I took these two of the creek on my way down. I tried a couple shots of the water on my way up, but I think I was impatient and the light was different because it was still snowing. So, I tried again later, this time bothering to set up my tripod and take a some care. As you might expect, the shots with a little care came out much better.

Grove Creek in Utah after first snow. By Jameson Gardner 2014.

This one below was taken on my way up the canyon and is actually stitched from about 15 shots. I had my 18-55 and could have just taken a wide angle, but I used the 50mm instead and the resulting 3 columns of 5 shots came together nicely and produced an image with pretty amazing resolution compared with what a single wide angle shot would have given me. Not that I really need it, I’ve shrunk it down to the same size as all my others for the blog 😉

path snow pano web

Along the way, I started thinking about how I didn’t get a lot of photos during leaf changing season, so I took one of this fallen oak leaf to make sure I didn’t miss representing the late fall flavor.

Oak leaf fallen among weeds after first snow. By Jameson Gardner 2014

Path down trail in Grove Creek Canyon after First Snow. By Jameson Gardner 2014

Whenever the wind blew, it pushed the low clouds from the valley right up the canyon. I wish I could have adequately captured the experience. It was like something from a fantasy novel. I’d be hiking along with crisp views of the canyon below, when suddenly a thick mass of writhing mist would barrel up the canyon twisting around rocks and trees. Then before I could get my lens cap off I was engulfed and couldn’t see past 10 ft in front of me. This happened several times. Both the path above and the tree below were taken when the wind in the valley lulled and the mist began to thin and dissipate. It usually cleared completely before the cycle started over.

Tree on slope in Grove Creek Canyon after First Snow. By Jameson Gardner 2014

I also tried to do a little time lapse while up there. I didn’t bring any sort of interval timer or controller with me, so I did it manually. I have to admit that 35 min of standing in the snow,counting to five and releasing the shutter over and over got a little dreary, but my best photos usually aren’t the ones I take out the back window in my pajamas.

Hope you enjoy.

Utah valley and powerplant after first snow 2014. By Jameson Gardner

Snow In My Boots

It snowed again yesterday. So naturally, I couldn’t stay inside. I took a little hike in the foothills—elevation wise it didn’t compare to last time. But I still got plenty of snow in my boots and took plenty of photos. The only subjects up there are mostly snow, trees and rocks so instead of bore you with every imaginable composition of snow and trees, I will only include a couple shots.

Droplets from January snowfall cling to the branches of a bare tree.

I found this little tree on the way back and thought it deserved to be photographed. 

Last Oak leaf hangs on through january

I wasn’t able to get a photo of the most interesting thing I ran across—a pheasant. I heard him squawk on my way up, so I knew he was there somewhere, but forgot about it until I came across his tracks in the snow. I followed them to a cluster of scrub-oak and suspected he might be inside. But not realizing he might two feet in front of me, I didn’t have my camera ready. I bent over to look inside and that was too much for him. He exploded into the air right in front of my face and nearly knocked me over. 

I actually flushed him a second time on my way back. This time my camera was ready, but in the failing light all I got were grey smudges.

Finished Icebergs

mini icebergs cast from resin with plaster snow

Well, the icebergs are done. That is a big step for this next image. The translucent greyish bluish parts are cast from resin in my custom molds. The whitish snowish looking parts are plaster that I left on the resin.  The smaller berg was broken out yesterday and was relatively easy. The mold for the bigger one wasn’t sealed properly and so the resin soaked into the plaster. That meant it didn’t break out and I had to grind it down to the resin, which took forever.

These are two cutter bits that I bought for my rotary tool for this job.  The one is unused and the other was used only to get larger iceberg out.

two rotary tool cutting bits, one used for cutting resin out of plaster for miniature iceberg, the other new