I Don’t Need No Instructions


Hanging out in the office doing computer upgrades today.

I build my own PC’s, always have. The current system is getting a little dated by modern standards, still running a generation 4, Intel i7 cpu motherboard, which has been doing quite well. I built this back in late 2014, and I’m certain the techno-geek scrutinizers would be shaking their head at me for my lack of maintaining a modern computer architecture.  So with that fear in the back of my head, coupled with the fact that Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop won’t recognize my old graphics card’s 3D setting, I felt it was time to update things a bit.

We do have a good computer store here in town called Micro Center. I don’t order computer parts off the internet unless it’s a last resort, as I don’t want to wait for days and then get a bad part, only to have to ship it back and wait more days. Micro Center stocks just about everything and the price with sales tax isn’t much more than online parts with shipping costs. Immediate satisfaction is better. I want some and I want it now!

I just installed a Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card and a new dual-band wireless LAN card. Went pretty smooth, but that graphics card is big and it clears my PC case by about 1/4 of an inch. That’s better than being too large by 1/4 of an inch. I’ll take it.

The network card was needed because I’ve had an old wireless card in the thing since day one and my wireless LAN does 5 ghz, which I’ve never utilized on anything but my iPhone and iPad. Doubled the wireless speed for 30 bucks. I’ll take it.

The big difference is the graphics/video speed now. I’ve upped my video performance by about 50% over the old Intel on-board chip set. Both monitors are now running via HDMI, which does a good enough job. I could actually consider this a cheap gaming system now, but I don’t play computer games.

Hopefully this will keep me going for another couple of years, at which time I’ll probably spring for a new motherboard and all the nice stuff current technology offers.

In the meantime, I’m humming along with zippier graphics, zippier networking and zippier hard disk (now using a SSD on the boot drive)

Not bad for an old fart. I can still tear a computer apart and build what-ever I need and I don’t need no instructions.

May The Rut Be With You

Wild Bighorn Sheep in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

I haven’t taken a photo in over a month, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not working on them.

This time of year is Bighorn Sheep Rut season. Any other year and I’d be out in the snow looking for new shots, but I’ve decided that I’m not going to spend a lot of energy on them this year. Main reason being that I have thousands of unedited images from previous years and I’m sorta holed up at home now taking care of my convalescing wife. Top that with the fact that where I normally go for bighorn is under a lot of disruption from road maintenance at the moment , well, it’s just not sounding very interesting to me right now.

Today’s photo is a previously unedited photo from 2014, which was a pretty good year for photos. I’m mining through the old catalogs for more additions to the stock photography portfolio and this photograph is one of the recent additions.

Speaking of stock photography, I’m having a good year with sales. I did the calculations yesterday and so far I’ve sold 6,447 images in 2019. Not bad, not bad. I’m not getting rich on them, but it is a steady and reliable income, and the bighorn shots do sell frequently. That’s why I’m mining more from the old catalogs.

Got my cameras out and changed the internal clock time on them. You did remember to do your time changes didn’t you? I knew you did.

This recent blast of January weather in October/November has really put a crimp on things around here though. Fortunately the snow blower is working fine, even if my back isn’t.

Since I’ll be hanging around the house for the next few weeks at the very least, I’ll be sharing some of the “old gold” I find in my catalogs as I mine for more stock photos.

In the meantime, stay happy and stay healthy. The year is winding down and I’m looking forward to wrapping it up and getting on with next year.

We Don’t Need No Stink’n Wind Farm

Calhan Paint Mines
The Calhan Paint Mines. Unique and Colorful Ancient Geological Site in Colorado.

We are in the midst of a winter snowstorm here in the suburbs of Denver at the moment, which gives me the opportunity to spend a day in the office listening to music and editing photos. My winter routine is underway.

I’ve been working through a catalog of images taken at the Calhan Paint Mines, an interesting photographic location about 20 miles east of Colorado Springs.

For a few years some time back, I was hosting private photo tours of the Paint Mines. These days I don’t go there much, mainly because man has encroached on the location by turning the surrounding landscape into a wind farm. You’d be hard pressed to get a decent night photo there now, but in the day, it was a spectacular place to do night photography.

Wind Farm at Calhan Paint Mines
Wind Turbines at the Calhan Paint Mines

I thought I’d share some of my photos, taken before the wind farm became the primary feature of the surrounding landscape. Maybe some day, 50 years from now, they’ll tear down those ugly wind turbines and restore this ancient and unique landscape to what it should be.

Calhan Paint Mines

Calhan Paint Mines

Calhan Paint Mines

My Rodents Are Out Of Order

Marmots are common in the Rocky Mountains and are very sociable animals. They are related to squirrels.

In lieu of the fact that I’m not out taking photos this week, I’ve decided to go through some of my neglected image catalogs.

Case in point. Rodents.

Not the most glamorous subject in the photographic world, rodent photos still sell on the stock agencies though I’m not sure why.

My best guess is they are needed to fill out some type of web or print article on the subject, and as such I try to keep a good supply of nice, clear photographic depictions of the critters available for that purpose.

While going through my catalogs, I noticed that my rodent photos were not exactly organized the same way I organize most of my other photos on the hard drive. Neglect pure and simple.

Today, I’m wading through a sea of rodent photos and have been concentrating on getting my portfolio of Marmot shots straightened out.

Here’s one of them. He is now a well organized rodent.

Photography on the Internet is Dying a Slow Death

The news of the demise of the photography related website Imaging Resource was reported by DPReview this past Friday morning.

I’m sad to hear this. The few remaining photography related websites still operating on the Internet have morphed into click-bait, fanboy, sales machines for large consumer retailers and meaningful or interesting information regarding photography as an art has more or less dried up.

I’ve been self publishing my photography articles, stories and opinions since 2007. I intend to keep publishing my blog and will never resort to being a commercial advertising venue for Amazon or B&H or Adorama.

I prefer to write about my adventures in photography and that will be my driving motivation into the future. My readership is steady but not heavy. My typical demographic is people over the age of 50 and dwelling on childish topics isn’t my forte. I derive ZERO income from my blog other than incidental sales of prints and redirects to my stock photography catalogs.

I’m in it for the passion, not for the money.

The Aspen Tree

No photographic collection of autumn landscape photography from Colorado is complete without a selection of Aspen, and for good reason. The Aspen is the tree that defines the autumn landscape of Colorado.

For your viewing pleasure, here is a collection of Aspen tree photographs I’ve taken over the past 15 years.

Golden Leaves of Aspen Trees in a Mountain Forest. Colorado Autumn Scenic Beauty

Lenses for Sale

Reducing the overhead. I have 3 Nikon lenses for sale.

Buyer pays shipping. I accept paypal.

Nikon 35-70mm f/2.8 D. Good condition. $250. Lens hood and cap.

Nikon 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED DX VR. $150. Very Good condition. Lens hood and cap.

Nikon 20mm f/2.8 D. Like new. $250. Lens hood and cap.

All gear in perfect working order. No damage beyond minor wear.

Use my contact form if interested.

 

Still Alive and Well

Autumn Scenery in the Beautiful Rocky Mountains of Colorado

I’ve been offline for a bit. The mind has been focused elsewhere lately. Wrapping up summer and getting ready for my upcoming autumn photography trip to the San Juan Mountains.

I’ve also been working on the office PC. I just installed a new 1 terabyte SanDisk SSD as my main system drive. That and a fresh install of Windows 10 has really improved the performance of my aging i7 core computer. The thing boots up in less than 20 seconds now, whereas before it could take several minutes. Application load times and general performance is much better now too. I’ve got most of my software reinstalled and things are so bright, I’ve gotta wear shades.

I’m heading to Ridgway, Colorado next Monday for my annual autumn photography trip. The weather reports have the color coming in late this year, so it’s possible I’m down there for a couple of weeks.

If you’re in the San Juans the first week of October, give me a shout. Maybe we can hook up and share a beer or burger or both.

 

Shifting Gears

Autumn in Colorado – The Crystal River With Chair Mountain as a Backdrop

After a marathon of moose photography this past August, I’m taking a few weeks off from photography. I’ve been editing a large number of moose images from the summer, uploading stock photos, and doing much needed office work. The thought of photography isn’t all that enticing at the moment. Not to worry though, I’m in the planning stages for my Autumn photography trip the first week of October.

I have to deal with the question of where to go every year. Colorado has numerous locations for great fall foliage, but the two main areas that keep bubbling up are Crested Butte and/or The San Juan Mountains.

Crested Butte has a lot of beauty; however, the actual choices are limited by location and what time one wants to go there. The east side of Kebler Pass normally comes into color before the west side of the pass, and the dining situation is not that great. Most of the restaurants in Crested Butte are part-time at best and the general attitude of the locals is slack at best.

So I’ve decided to make this year’s trip to the San Juan Mountains. I know the San Juans like the back of my hand. Been there many times and the photographic variety is far better than Crested Butte.

First things first though. I’ve put my Ford Explorer in the shop for some much needed maintenance. 9 years of bad road has taken a toll on the front suspension so it is time to drop some money on getting it back in good working order.

In the meantime, I’m back in the office and working on things that have gone ignored for most of the summer. I’m looking forward to the heat wave breaking and some cooler, even wetter weather. I think we had about 20 days of 90+ degree weather and .35 inches of rain in August and September is starting off where August left off with record heat and dry conditions.

It’s time to shift gears from wildlife to landscape photography. As much as I like moose and other wildlife, it’s Autumn photography that I most look forward to each year.

Back To Civilization

Colorado Rocky Mountains – Shiras Moose Cow Browsing in a Lake

Finally getting my legs back after two full weeks of moose photography in Northern Colorado.  So, if you aren’t tired of seeing moose photos, I have a few more to share.

I’m noticing some trends in Northern Colorado. Moose have a habit of frequenting an area and then moving on to a new area. The past several years have shown this movement pattern. There were several years from 2015-2017 where the moose were not frequenting a particular lake but these past two summers have been more active. I’m wondering how long this photographic bonanza will continue. Probably until the lake grass gets eaten or some climate anomaly changes things.

When I got back in to town my computer decided to protest and booger up when I first booted it up. Normal though, Windows PC’s tend to act up from time to time but I’ve got it all figured out now.

Some 8,000 more moose photos added to the catalog have also clogged up my rapidly filling hard drives. I have about 10% of my internal 11 terabytes of disk storage left. Time to look at upgrading the hard drives. Those Nikon D810 files are large and it doesn’t take long to fill a disk.

Colorado Rocky Mountains – Shiras Moose Bull Posing for the Camera

Next up, the San Juan Mountains.  Autumn photography is about a month off but I’m already feeling the shift in the air. If you are in the San Juan Mountains the first week of October, you may bump into me trying to add to my bank account with fresh foliage photos of the mountains in southwest Colorado.

Colorado Rocky Mountains – Young Shiras Bull Moose in the Forest of Northern Colorado

Stay safe, stay happy and enjoy the moose photos.