Six-hundred-thirty-two days . . . that’s how long these photos have waited before taking center stage.
The day was Saturday, May 25, 2013. I was young back then, and not the grizzled, wrinkled, graying, and bitter man I am now. A shell of a man, what remains of the once-proud being who undertook the Big Circle Drive One now recalls, as best he can, the sights and experiences of that glorious day.
The semi-trusty Tahoe loaded with snacks and coffee, the intrepid duo (Melisa and me) headed North on Hwy. 105, the beginning of the Big Circle Drive One. Here’s a map of the path we’d follow. Click for larger view.
We’d then head West on 67, and hit the S. Platte River road. Along the way we saw things like this . . . Wait!
Before I go on, this was the last time I carried two camera bodies with me. The D7000 loaded with my 70-200mm f/2.8 VR lens, and my D200 loaded with the 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 VR lens. The idea was avoid wasting time switching lenses.
I could then snap zooms . . .
(By the way, if you click on the above photo—or go to the SmugMug Gallery HERE to see the full-size photo—you might notice a line across those snow-capped mountains. That be a road, one I would gladly travel. But not this day.)
. . . or a wider shot . . .
I should mention the photos are post-processed the same . . . any differences between the D7000 and D200 versions are due to the differences in the in-camera processing.
This is also a great time to do a mini-photo-lesson . . . composition. This next photo shows the view I had in front of me:
Not awful, but the other two show better. Or so I think.
Now, these next shots may look familiar . . . if so, it’s because of THIS POST documenting a smaller circle drive from 2012.
I spent a fair amount of time attempting to capture me some silk-water shots. I wasted a whole lot of digital non-film, with many shots too dark, and others blown out. But, I also took a number of bracketed shots that got me this HDR shot:
The above is straight out of the HDR Express (I think; it could also be HDR EFex Pro 2; my memory fails me) . . . of course, I can always put it through my personally modified Holla Color filter . . .
I was pleased with a number of regular shots, but there weren’t many.
This next shot is a tad blurry, but I like the scene, so . . .
Also . . .
That’s right . . . video!
I have a couple of more HDR shots. The first and last photos of the bracketed series of photos are presented below:
The sequence was put through both HDR Express and HDR EFex Pro 2 . . . these are the two results. Know that there was a breeze, and some of the bushes were moving in said breeze.
I don’t play around with HDR a whole lot, so these are with minimum tweaking by me; pretty much the default settings.
Photoshop has its own HDR processor, and I’m sure there are experts who can make it dance to their will . . . I am not one of them.
Anyway, we had a long way ahead of us (a total of 194 miles for this drive), but because of the overcast sky and the fact this was not our first Big Circle Drive One, I did not snap all that many photos . . . until I saw the truck.
The next photo opportunity came when we came off the hills/mountains, and descended into a small valley. It looks big, but if you look at the map, you see it’s relatively small.
The photos can, however, fool you into thinking otherwise.
This next panorama is probably best viewed in the SmugMug Gallery (again, HERE), but you can click on it for a slightly larger view.
Here is a closer look at the mountains in the background . . .
The above panorama is composed of photos shot in landscape orientation . . . this next one is composed of photos shot in portrait orientation and stitched together.
There is an interesting thing with that panorama . . . another teaching moment, if you will.
This is what the above looks like when the stitching is completed in Photoshop . . .
Notice the jagged edges . . . frustrating, that. The data for the blank areas is there but for some reason Photoshop decides it can’t use portions of the data. I assume there is a way I can manually go in there and bring it back in, but I’ve not found it.
However, Photoshop has something called “content-aware fill”. In most cases, as it did here, and for a later panorama, it does a good job. You can find the areas it filled if you know what you are looking for, but otherwise, kudos to Photoshop.
The return trip included, as it often does, the road that goes by Tarryall Reservoir. Along the way, one has the opportunity to see remnants of lives past.
Here’s another comparison to the D200 shots.
The SmugMug Gallery has more photos, but I’ll add a few more here for them who refuse to go visit them.
Understand . . . these are all shot in the middle of the day. From what I hear, the worst time to snap photos.
As nice as these modern ruins were . . .
. . . the view from their location was something else.
I don’t know why these sites have not been repurposed with newer and inhabited structures.
Down yonder from the first cabin, there is another . . .
I’m not sure what’s so attractive about abandoned dwellings . . . perhaps the idea that if we could glimpse into the past we might see a couple working together to keep the place in repair, their children safe, and carve out a life for themselves.
I come to wonder if the road had something to do with them moving on. It seems unlikely; lots of people live next to roads far busier than this one.
As I listen to this piece of music . . .
. . . our journey must continue, and I capture one last photo . . .
This next series of photos has me baffled . . . because of their position in the sequence and the time they were taken, this site must be on Tarryall Road, between the cabins and the reservoir. Except I don’t remember it there.
I thought these were on another road . . . yet more proof memories are not like recorded movies, but a loose jumble of fragmented images one sometimes assembles out of order.
Regardless, I like the photos, I like the memory I have of the place, and I like the place.
These next photos do match my memory of the drive . . . this first photo reminded me a bit of seeing Devil’s Tower (read about it HERE).
Not quite as tall, but give it time . . . a few eons ought to do it.
And, on this next photo, the reservoir in the distance . . .
Here’s the spillway . . .
. . . and here’s the dam holding the water back . . .
. . . a few shots of the water making its escape . . .
. . . and something I found strange . . . I’m no fisherman, but it seemed a weird place to fish. Perhaps there’s a pool of water I can’t see, but he looks very close to the spillway . . .
These two were walking toward his position . . .
. . . and he gave them a dirty look . . . dirty as in “don’t come near and scare the fish!” and not as in “come hither”.
I’ll leave you, gentle readers, with this . . .
That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ o o o o o o ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
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. . . my FP ward . . . chieken shit.