Category Archives: Landscapes

Moab Photography Workshop

_JJC7440 Mesa Arch with sunburst

As this site surely implies, in the past year I’ve resumed one of my teen-years hobbies:  photography.  My skills may not have advanced much in the last 25 years, but the capabilities of modern cameras are indistinguishable from magic.

I was privileged to be a part of the last-ever Digital Landscape Workshop, led by a couple of famous photographers:  Moose Peterson and Joe McNally.  Google them — or take a look at www.moosepeterson.com or www.joemcnally.com.  Those guys rock.  And they really know their, uh, stuff.  So for 15 hours a day, I tried to soak up as much as I could.  As much as anything, I learned that I have much to learn.  Here are some of my pictures from the workshop.

_JJC7175 Peter at DLWS Moab.jpgc70-JJC6860 Broken Arch Signpost 2.jpg_JJC6911 rocks under double arch.jpg_JJC7052 Happy Couple on Double Arch Rocks.jpgc51-JJC6884 SDune Arch No moon 2.jpg_JJC7088 Girl walking under double arch.jpg_JJC7440 Mesa Arch with sunburst.jpgc99-JJC6837 Arches SDune 1.jpg_JJC7425.jpgc21-_JJC6730.JPGc52-_JJC6671.JPGc68-_JJC6710.JPGc96-_JJC6653.JPG

Moose also has an aviation photography website:  www.warbirdimages.com.  Two other instructors (the longtime right-hand-men for Joe and Moose, respectively, have photography websites at www.drewgurian.com and www.chasingthelight.com.

A few friends from the workshop have their pictures online here, http://www.fifty-twopeople.blogspot.com/ (Dan) and here, http://www.flickr.com/photos/indyfan31/ (Fausto) and here http://www.dbpazianphotography.com/ (Barry).  Here’s a picture Fausto took on the last day of the workshop.  I’m sure he considers it the masterpiece of his lifetime — attributable primarily to the impromptu model.

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Finally, here are  “portraits” I took of Moose (with the moustache) and Joe (in glasses).  They were kind enough to dedicate a good 20 seconds each to posing for these.

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Hidden Canyon – Moab Mountain Biking

IMG_0523 Bike on Ledge Hidden Canyon Moab

I came to Moab primarily for a photo workshop (more to come on that), but of course I brought my mountain bike.  It’s Moab, after all (mountain bike mecca).  These are just pocket camera pictures — but sometimes equipment quality is less important than LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION.  This is a place called “Hidden Canyon.”  It’s about a one hour mountain bike ride (over tons of slickrock!) off the road, not too far from the Canyonlands airport.  Maybe someday I’ll get a ‘real’ camera up there.

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(Actually, one of these pics — with more trees — is from a trail near downtown Moab).  And: (1) Yes, that’s my bike; (2) Yes, I took that picture of myself; (3) Yes, Mother, I know I probably shouldn’t be an hour’s ride into the wilderness by myself.

Alaska with Joyce and J.B.

JJC_3052 Alaska Roadside Lake

My first post-retirement priority was to take a trip with my Mom and Dad.  Most Alaska tourists apparently spend their time on cruise ships.  I had raised this option with my Dad.  Predictably, his response to the cruise ship idea included a good bit of profantity and the word “prison.”  So we flew to Anchorage in mid-June, rented an SUV, and for two weeks traveled the majority of the relatively-few roads that exist in that section of Alaska.

Along the way, we chartered a small boat for a private glacier cruise, took a horseback ride in the Kenai peninsula, took a ‘flightseeing’ plane trip to McKinley (including a landing on the Glacier), and spent a day on those terrible old school buses that are the only way to actually go into Denali National Park.

If you get off the tourist-beaten path, you can really have the place to yourself.  One day, for example, we drove into Wrangell-St. Elias National Park — the largest national park in U.S. at 13 million acres.  There are only two roads in, so we picked one and drove 2 hours, which was as far as you could go in a vehicle.  In that time, we saw maybe one or two other cars of sightseers.  Meanwhile, most of the visitors to Alaska were sharing a boat with 2,000 other tourists, or at best sharing bus with 40.  I think my Dad was right.

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Spain 2011 – Barcelona & Ibiza

I jumped the gun a little.  On the first official day of my retirement, I was actually already in Spain.  A friend of mine is living in Barcelona, so I spent a few days there, and then a long weekend in Ibiza.  (It turns out that Ibiza is an island in the Mediterranean, a hundred miles or so south of Barcelona).

The best picture from Barcelona is one I didn’t have the nerve to take.  Nudity is legal (and not uncommonl) on Barcelona beaches.  (No, I did not — thanks for asking.)  One day, just off the side of the busy beachside boardwalk lay an older, fairly-heavy, very-tanned Spanish gentleman, sleeping buck naked with his head resting on his own artificial leg (which he had removed, apparently for use as a pillow).  I didn’t have the nerve to go over there and take a picture.  So…no Barcelona beach pictures.

The first several pictures below are actually at Montserrat — a hilltop monastery outside Barcelona.  Then there are a couple at the relatively modern and decidedly odd Sagrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona — designed by the architect Gaudi, after whom was coined the word “gaudy,” for reasons the cathedral makes apparent.  The pretty beach is Ibiza.  

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Laughlin, NV with Ricochet

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I got to fly out to Laughlin, NV to spend a week with Ricochet, the country band (of “Her Daddy’s Money” fame) led by two of my Vian, OK childhood buddies, Greg Cook and Heath Wright.  Laughlin is a small casino town an hour outside Vegas in the pointy south tip of Nevada.  They had a six-day gig at Don Laughlin’s Riverside Resort and Casino, which has apparently stood on that site for 50+ years.  Entering the place is a trip to the 1970s, but it was lots of fun.  We met Don Laughlin himself, and even hung out with his grandson (who works there as a pit boss).

Part of Ricochet’s deal was to sing the Star Spangled Banner at the Laughlin River Stampede (rodeo) each day, so I got to see a high-quality PRCA rodeo with VIP I’m-with-the-band access.  One day I took Greg and Heath aboard N3738R for a flying tour over Hoover Dam, the Grand Canyon, Lake Powell and Monument Valley.  It was truly great to spend a week with dear “old” friends (let’s just say that Greg is (a) “a little older” than me, and (b) a two-time grandpa).

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