SW Platte River Road – June 2012

Once again I am way behind in my posts.

Today (June 23rd) we drove to the summit of Mt. Evans to get away from the 97 degree heat.  Don’t tell Pikes Peak, but I liked the drive along the highest paved scenic highway.  We saw  Rocky Mountains Big Horn Sheep, Mountain Goats, amazing vistas, and tons of miniature flowers . . . none of which you’ll see until  I get through all the backlogged photos.

So, this post is about our June 2nd drive along the SW Platte River Road.  Yes, I am that far behind.

Heading North on SW Platte River Road.

Heading North on SW Platte River Road.

That particular road is a favorite of ours both because of the drive to get there.  You go through a lot of scenery.  The road itself is no slough when it comes to scenery; it follows the Platte River for a good ways (hence the name?).  And it has big rocks.

See?

See?

Unfortunately, by the time we got there it was obvious we would get rained on, with dark clouds occupying the horizon in the direction of travel.  This made the shooting conditions a bit difficult.  The fast-moving clouds would one moment let the sun bathe the landscape in nice, strong light, then on the very next instance, those same clouds would filter that same light anywhere from slightly veiled to fully blocked.  

Hence, fair warning.  Some of these pictures are less than I wanted them to be, but are included for the narrative.  As usual, click on any picture to go to the SmugMug album.

While the sky is rather bright, a dark cloud is putting some serious shadow moves on my shots.

While the sky is rather bright, a dark cloud is putting some serious shadow moves on my shots.

What is a guy to do?  The bad light turns the shots into bland offerings.

Obviously, I need to dust some old favorite post-processing settings, and let them lose.

Obviously, I need to dust some old favorite post-processing settings, and let them lose.

Mind you, I also play with the settings, try different metering options, speeds, etc.

This particular shot was exposed for the sky, leaving everything from the trees down nearly black.   HDR express recovered the photo as you see above. Pretty good, but . . .

This particular shot was exposed for the sky, leaving everything from the trees down nearly black.
HDR express recovered the photo as you see above. Pretty good, but . . .

I think my subsequent post-treatment gives it more "oomph".

I think my subsequent post-treatment gives it more “oomph”.

By the way, I snapped the above shot because the rocks looked like two creatures squaring off against each other. They are each holding their ground, waiting for the other to move. It has been so for 3.67 million years. Give or take a couple of decades.

When the light is good, the actual photo looks better than my treatment.

When the light is good, the actual photo looks better than my treatment.

Mind you, I still like this treatment, but it loses something when compared to a well-lit shot.

Mind you, I still like this treatment, but it loses something when compared to a well-lit shot.

Unfortunately, the fast changing light made the metering a bit tricky.

For instance, the hill is in full sun . . . the left is in shadow, and the right has filtered sunlight.

For instance, the hill is in full sun . . . the left is in shadow, and the right has filtered sunlight.

There was a moment when the clouds parted, the trumpets blared, and I took it as a sign to snap a series of shots to stitch into a panorama.

There was a moment when the clouds parted, the trumpets blared, and I took it as a sign to snap a series of shots to stitch into a panorama.

I opted not to crop this particular panorama as it would have sacrificed the foreground detail.

As I shot away at the changing scenery, the Tahoe waited patiently right in front of a sleeping Giant Rock Lizard.

As I shot away at the changing scenery, the Tahoe waited patiently right in front of a sleeping Giant Rock Lizard.

I loitered in this area for a good number of minutes . . .

. . . the area had lots of interesting features

. . . the area had lots of interesting features

Aside from being scenic, it looked like the sun was going to make an appearance.  I was ready.  The moment it appeared, I started to shoot the series for the following stitched panorama.

As I started to shoot this panorama, the sun hid behind a thin cloud. There was light, but it was diffused.

As I started to shoot this panorama, the sun hid behind a thin cloud. There was light, but it was diffused.

BUT . . . immediately after I finished shooting the set for the first panorama, the sun came out, all ablaze and shouting "Here I am!"

BUT . . . immediately after I finished shooting the set for the first panorama, the sun came out, all ablaze and shouting “Here I am!”

The second stitched panorama is composed of pictures shot in portrait orientation . . . that’s a fancy way of saying I turned the camera 90 degrees and shot away. I like this a bit better because it is a “taller”view of the area.

For those who don't click on the photo to view the original resolution, the sign says the area is closed to public use. No diving, and stuff, and there is a $750 penalty for disobeying the directive.

For those who don’t click on the photo to view the original resolution, the sign says the area is closed to public use. No diving, and stuff, and there is a $750 penalty for disobeying the directive.

It’s not likely her, but this person looked to me like Jennifer Morrison, from House, the TV show. The shot is low quality because it’s a crop of a larger photo shot with a high zoom and high ISO in low light.

You don't often see anglerettes . . . especially ones fishing alone.

You don’t often see anglerettes . . . especially ones fishing alone.

A long time ago these waters were guarded by the statue of one of the Argonauts . . . all that's left it's a piece of the foot and the little toe.    . . . the full statue must have been something to see.

A long time ago these waters were guarded by the statue of one of the Argonauts . . . all that’s left it’s a piece of the foot and the little toe.
. . . the full statue must have been something to see.

A bridge giving access to hiking and biking trails . . . the weather was not looking too promising, so I just shot a few pictures.

A bridge giving access to hiking and biking trails . . . the weather was not looking too promising, so I just shot a few pictures.

A family enjoying the river . . .

A family enjoying the river . . .

Rocks and trees and water . . . Colorado is usually good for two out of three of those.

Rocks and trees and water . . . Colorado is usually good for two out of three of those.

Anyway, with a few sprinkles beginning to hit my windshield, I became more discerning with my shots.

This tree looked as if it wanted to cross, but the current obviously worried it.

This tree looked as if it wanted to cross, but the current obviously worried it.

I told it to hop the rocks . . . did it listen? No! . . . they never do.  I got tired of waiting and continued on.

I told it to hop the rocks . . . did it listen? No! . . . they never do.
I got tired of waiting and continued on.

The last shots of the trips were all at this one particular location.  By now the sky was fully gray, and the lighting was awful.  Some of these are as-shot (long exposure, on a tripod).  Some were sequences I shot for use in both HDR Express, and in Photoshop’s HDR pro.

Fuzzy Water.

Fuzzy Water.

I honestly don't remember which original photos are which.  I like them all, and so I included them all.

I honestly don’t remember which original photos are which. I like them all, and so I included them all.

I like the effect.

I like the effect.

All the shots have a degree of slow water, and I could not bring myself to choose which to include . . .

All the shots have a degree of slow water, and I could not bring myself to choose which to include . . .

. . . so I included them all.

. . . so I included them all.

After these shots, I wiped the lens dry, and got into the “drive like a bat out of hell” mode, and we raced home . . . where nary a drop of rain had fallen.

By the way, as we drove home this afternoon from our Mt. Evans drive we saw a big plume rising , and smoke literally covering half the horizon.  From where we were, driving South on I-25, it looked like the fire was close to where we lived.

Snapped with my phone from one of the places we walk (about a mile from our house).

Snapped with my phone from one of the places we walk (about a mile from our house).

It turned out to be from the western end of Colorado Springs, probably 20-25 miles from us.  This has the makings of a serious fire . . . I hope not.   

For those interested in more information, click HERE, or do a search on “Waldo Canyon Fire).  As of the following morning (as I prepare to publish this), it does not look good.  Areas all along Ute Pass (the way I take to work) are under mandatory evacuations.  Not looking good at all.

Thanks for visiting, and thanks for reading my stuff.

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. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
This entry was posted in Colorado, HDR, Photography Stuff, SW Platte River Road, Travel Stuff and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to SW Platte River Road – June 2012

  1. OhWayCho says:

    Love the pictures – and the landscape!

    Like

  2. Love your photos. It looks like a beautiful drive. I hope that fire didn’t turn into anything serious. Its always a big problem here in the summer, too, but usually not until later in July and August.

    Like

    • disperser says:

      The fire right now has 0% containment, and it’s about 2,000 acres. They have evacuated communities along the road I drive to work (HWY 24), and closed the highway itself (as a reminder, I work in Woodland Park which I now cannot reach without doing a 2 hour loop to get there).

      To read the updates on the fire: http://inciweb.org/incident/2929/

      Like

      • Sorry to hear about that. If you’re having fires this early in the season, I hate to see what the rest of the summer brings. A few years ago we had a fire on a butte about 5 miles from our house. I could sit in our driveway and watch the flames and the fire planes dropping fire retardant. Fortunately, that one was contained quickly. Every year we have areas that have to be evacuated but most of them are quite a ways away from us. I hope they’re able to contain your fire soon and that you don’t have a bad fire summer.

        Like

  3. Fantastic photos….what a beautiful area!
    but auch….the fire…horrible!!!

    Like

  4. Mary Lou Rutledge says:

    Looks like photos from a coffee table book! I love the panoramics. Great post.

    Like

  5. Did you ever make it into the water? It looks so appealing.

    Like

    • disperser says:

      Maybe if they would chlorinate the crap out of it.

      I’m not much for public bathing . . . when I try to get out of the water people keep trying to roll me back in.

      Like

  6. bluelyon says:

    Great photos, but oh man, you all in Colorado are just not getting a break from the fires, are you?

    Like

  7. darkjade68 says:

    Hey, I just wanted to say Thanks for Following “The Dark Globe”… It’s June Follower’s Appreciation Month over there, you should check it out

    DarkJade-

    Like

  8. seekraz says:

    Beautiful pictures, Emilio…love the water and huge rocks…not to get too mushy or philosophical, but they’re rather “soul” stirring…in a specifically non-supernatural sense of the word :)

    Like

  9. sash says:

    Very beautiful pictures, might make me walk and talk to nature! Unique thing about your blog is ‘every’ picture speaks.

    Like

  10. Stunning images. I enjoyed your post very much. The fires, on the other hand, are incredibly distressing.

    Like

  11. Pingback: Project 313 – Post No. 206 | Disperser Tracks

  12. Pingback: Project 313 – Post No. 206 | Disperser Tracks

  13. GP Cox says:

    The back roads are the only way to see a country!!

    Liked by 1 person

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