Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Fall with mom

My mom came out to Park City to visit.  Her timing ended up being a bit unfortunate. We just had the rainiest September in something like 25 years.  However, there were some gaps in the rain and we used the time to venture out and see the fall colors. When it wasn't raining, the clouds managed to make a great background.
 The trick was to find when the light was shining on the right trees. That meant chasing little gaps in the clouds.
 Guardsman Pass is always one of my favorite areas for color. I was hoping the temperatures would drop so the area would get snow instead of rain.  Hard to beat the fall colors with a dusting of snow.
We also drove over to the Sundance ski resort.  The leaves had already changed and dropped off, so I tried shooting some little waterfalls instead. Walking around the base of Sundance is so different than any of Park City's ski resorts.  Instead of a ski base, it feels more like a yoga retreat.  There is a beautiful creek running through the forest, dropping into ponds surrounded by statues.  The place is serene. 
I love how freezing the action shows how much the tiny droplets are going everywhere. Photographing water at different shutter speeds is like art.  By making little changes, it looks like you have an entirely different subject.  Compare these to the long exposures at the bottom of this entry.
On the way home from Sundance, we ran across about a dozen kite surfers out on the Deer Creek Reservoir. The winds were stiff and they were getting huge air when they jumped.  You just never know what you will run across.
 On another day, mom and I went over to Mirror Lake in the Uinta mountains.  The Provo River drops several thousand feet along the way, offering up hundreds of little waterfalls.

There were a lot of aspens showing off their yellow leaves, but one hillside was full of trees that blended from yellow to orange.  The huge hillside was full of this coloration, but we never saw it anywhere else on the 15+ miles of driving through the forest lands.
Mom left on Tuesday, missing even more rain, some sleet and snow showers.

This morning it had snowed lightly up on Jupiter Peak and the colors were gorgeous.  I had such a nice time with mom near Mirror Lake that I decided to go back.
 Jasper was the happiest one to go back.  There was snow everywhere at the higher elevations.  Just before you get to Mirror Lake, you drive over Bald Mountain Pass.  It is at a bit over 10,500 feet.
 It was cold and windy, so there wasn't much "mirror" in Mirror Lake. The trick to getting a nice reflection is to go very early in the morning when the winds are calmest.
 Cloudy days are great for shooting waterfalls with long exposures. On a sunny day, the reflections off the spray make the water so bright, that everything around it photographs almost black.  On a cloudy day there is a lot less difference.

 I think this 30 second exposure was my favorite from the day.

I feel a bit bad.  Mom was here for some of the worst weather we have had in quite a while.  Starting tomorrow, it is supposed to be bright and sunny for the next week.  Still, this area had enough interesting sights that even on a bad visit, it is beautiful.

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