Stuck on the Vallée Blanche
September 10, 2016

I've been following the story of the stranded Alps cable-car riders having ridden this very cable a few years ago. My first thought: not a place to spend the night. The cars are tiny, they barely hold four, and it's cold hanging up there surrounded by frozen water. Even in summer - the pictures below were taken in August - there is ice and snow everywhere you look.

But what a beautiful ride this is, eerily silent, just fluffy snow below and mountain peaks all around. The cable is called the Vallée Blanche aerial tramway and it runs between the Aiguille du Midi in France and Pointe Helbronner in Italy. The tiny glass cars ride a 5 km-long cable, one of the highest and longest in the world, as they pass over a glacier dotted with ant-trails of mountain climbers.

I'm listening to Moby's Porcelain.

The Vallée Blanche aerial tramway
10.5 mm   f/8.0   1/1000 sec   ISO 200  NIKON D300   Aug 1 2009
Inside a car of the Vallée Blanche aerial tramway
10.5 mm   f/8.0   1/800 sec   ISO 200  NIKON D300   Aug 1 2009
Looking down from the Aiguille du Midi
10.5 mm   f/9.0   1/1250 sec   ISO 200  NIKON D300   Aug 1 2009
Dog Shots
September 5, 2016

A dog can make a good photographic subject. Of course, it depends on the dog. For example, our first dog, Buddy, never took to photography. He was a chow-lab mix who lived to the ripe old age of sixteen. Buddy would always turn his head away as soon as I pulled out the camera. Then he would walk off. All of the photos I have of him were chance shots, not posed. This first image is Buddy in 2004, at the Santa Cruz mountains house.

Lucy, on the other hand, has been amenable to photography. Today she was happy to pose, though maybe happy is not the best word choice as she is limping, having injured her right front leg again. (Worrisome that it keeps happening to the same leg.) Lucy was photographed with the Fuji 16/1.4 and the Chrome film sim.

I'm listening to Miles Davis' In a Silent Way. It always sounds fresh.

15.952 mm   f/4.5   1/80 sec Canon PowerShot S1 IS   Aug 19 2004
16 mm   f/1.4   1/600 sec   ISO 200    X-Pro2   Sep 5 2016
September 2, 2016

September has brought rain and overnight the moss went from brown to green. So I thought I'd photograph the house on the mossy rock using Lightroom's merge-to-panorama function. Since I lack a drone camera a from-below perspective will have to do.

For this image I used Lightroom 6.6 to stitch together eight Fuji Velvia jpgs, in two rows of four. Lightroom cleverly orders and aligns the shots with ease. Of course the more shots and the larger the files the longer it takes and the more memory Lightroom needs. Don't over do it: I drove Lightroom to cause a BSOD when it exhausted memory while trying to combine five D800e files.

I'm listening to Rock Steady by Aretha Franklin.

Old Mossy
16 mm   f/8.0   1/160 sec   ISO 200    X-Pro2   Sep 1 2016
Seals at Muir beach
August 29, 2016

These Muir beach seals appear to be enjoying today's mild weather. That's the Olympic peninsula in the background.

Despite my enthusiasm for film simulations (see yesterday's post) this photo is not a sim, it's a raw file edited in Lightroom which for some reason I prefer to the Velvia and Acros sims that I also created.

I'm listening to an interview with Colson Whitehead (NYT books podcast, 8/11/16). He writes with Garcia Marquez' effortless transitions between realism and fantasy. The interview helped me see and understand some of the fantasies in his novel The Underground Railroad, which I just finished reading.

Seals, Muir Beach
230 mm   f/6.7   1/500 sec   ISO 200  X-pro2   Aug 29 2016
Revised September 4, 2016