Alone in the Eastern Sierras: A Fall Colors Tour

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by dave6253, Oct 26, 2014.

  1. steal6

    steal6 Death have Mercy

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    Deadends and detours through a rider's lens. There simply are not enough superlatives to capture the feel of your photography. A heartfelt thanks for taking us along!


    steal6 : Still kissing headlights
  2. BuckeyeChuck

    BuckeyeChuck Adventurer

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    Now that was Damn enjoyable.....Good Work! :clap
  3. Nodaclu

    Nodaclu Bike Swapper Supreme

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    I've been without a bike for about 9 months now, and I had seriously questioned whether or not I would ever get back on two wheels again.

    This ride report has helped me discover what it is that I love so much about riding, and it really struck me that, this is the kind of rider I want to be.

    For the longest time, I thought I wanted to ride to escape - to cover big miles and see the country.

    But I was wrong.

    For me, riding is about discovery, and capturing the beauty that is all around me in my own backyard - things I pass by on a regular basis, but don't stop to dig a little deeper, and see what's under the surface.

    When I realized that, I knew I had found my "home" as a rider.

    I'll be back on two wheels shortly, and once I am, I'll know exactly what to do with them, for the first time in the decade that I've been riding - thanks to this report.

    Thank you for sharing Dave. This report moved me profoundly. I truly appreciate the clarity that has come from seeing what you do, how you do it, and how well you do it. :beer
    dave6253 likes this.
  4. larryboy

    larryboy Stable genius.

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    I like to do my best Charlton Heston out there, "Get your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape!" :lol3


    Thanks for the report!!

    :beer
  5. pebmr

    pebmr Retired Marathoner

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    Very nice trip and cool photos Dave! Did Mt. Whitney a few years ago, but on 4 wheels from Vegas, thru Death Valley, camped at Horseshoe, climbed the peak, saw the White Mt Bristlecones, drove the Movie Rd, ate at Schat's... Your report makes it seem like I got to do it again on 2 wheels. Thanks! :D
  6. headstaller

    headstaller Long timer Supporter

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    Thanks for sharing... I need to get out there.
  7. ericm

    ericm Long timer

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    Wow, what a fantastic RR and pictures!

    How was that? I have been meaning to do that. Did you start from the valley bottom and go to the top? Did you cache water and clothing?

    I've ridden a road bicycle up many of the roads Dave rode on this trip, all in races. Even when I'm suffering I can look around at the scenery. It's a fabulous area.
  8. elywoody

    elywoody 2 wheel addict.

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    High Desert, California.
    PM sent.
  9. notsofasteddie

    notsofasteddie Semi Slow Rider

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    Quote: [Earlier I promised to explain that last photo.]

    Thanks for the explanation on the night ride photo. Your one creative guy. I'd never have noticed that left leg edit if you hadn't mentioned it. Great stuff!

    Just like the rest of your reports!

    Ed
  10. VietHorse

    VietHorse Long timer

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    Recalculating... recalculating.... HCMC-Vietnam :)
  11. elevenn7

    elevenn7 n00b

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    I'ts ride reports like this that keep me coming back to this sight night after night. You are a true artist my friend...very nice work!
  12. ArcticaMT6

    ArcticaMT6 Long timer

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    Awesome ride report. I'd like to make it down that way at some point. Excellent photography as well, by the way.
  13. gregdee

    gregdee Motocampist

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    I learned about that technique in a course I took titled Understanding Exposure from an online school (http://www.ppsop.net/). Can't say I ever executed it very well myself so again, good job Dave! There do appear to be a fair number of wannabe photogs following this thread so I thought I'd mention it. The experience helped me get over a hump and I highly recommend the course to anyone who is struggling with all those knobs on their DSLR. No affiliation whatsoever other than being a satisfied customer.
  14. TeSmSp

    TeSmSp Been here awhile

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    You are really good on your bike, but your pictures are out of this world. Hats off to you sir.
  15. sarathmenon

    sarathmenon Armchair Adventurer

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    I am a sucker for natural depth of field shots, but these post processed blurry pics always give me a headache (not the lack of artistry kind, but a real headache because my eyes are trying to process them). Your photo was tastefully done without going overboard, I actually enjoyed it, but would have preferred a natural low F-number shot. I guess everyone has their preferences.

    With that said, I've been a lurker this far, your night photos are terrific. How much of post processing goes into those starry sky photos? I am guessing, you do a low F-number, high shutter speed shot, and then highlight the sky in Lightroom. If you don't mind, can you share your actual workflow for these pics? I have to seriously try your techniques some day, your photos deserve a coffee table book.
  16. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    That shot was intentionally blurred when I shot it. Not in post. I don't shoot much shallow depth of field stuff, though I like it.
    Maybe this one is more your style?
    [​IMG]





    I like my cameras, but they aren't very expensive, or even new. The Pentax K5 has been bouncing around in my tankbag for over 3 years. The Olympus EPL1 was a steal, but was first introduced in 2010. Cameras are just a tool. Don't get hung up on what tool you need. My photos are not processed by the camera. I take the RAW file and process it to my liking. The below example was a pretty popular photo when I first displayed it. I just re-edited another/better version. There's a pretty big difference in the before and after, wouldn't you say?


    JPEG Previews of an Unprocessed RAW and the Processed Version
    [​IMG]


    The first thing one must do to get clear shots of the Milky Way is to find a dark moonless and clear sky. The dry air and high elevations of some of these locations in the Southwest are perfect. I planned the date of this trip when I knew the moon wouldn't rise until hours after sunset. I then planned my days to be at a good location where I had a decent foreground.

    All of the star shots in this RR are from single exposures. If there is light in the foreground, I painted it there with a small flashlight during the exposure. I process or edit the images in Lightroom 5. Most were shot at F 4.0, iso 3200, and 25 seconds. I did a test on the last night where I did 2 exact shots, but with one at iso 1600. I was able to make both look identical, except the iso 1600 version had less noise. Therefore: I wish I had only used iso 1600 for most of them.

    I am just now starting to like the results I am getting with the star processing. I don't know enough to start giving advice or tutorials on my workflow.
    Check out this link for some free tutorials on shooting and processing stars: http://www.shainblumphoto.com/Photographytutorials

    Michael Shainblum's work is pretty inspirational for me and his tutorials very helpful. I tend to prefer a cooler white balance. I also use the clarity slider more and sharpen less than him. The key is learning how to do local adjustments well.


    Galactic Racetrack (Latest Edit)
    [​IMG]
    klaviator likes this.
  17. roespan

    roespan Adventurer

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    Dave, I too really enjoyed the RR. Amazing photos, especially the moving rocks and Mobius. I'm trying to arrange a trip from Portland OR, to Death Valley and would love to use some of your tracks.

    Any help would be much appreciated.

    roespan
  18. sarathmenon

    sarathmenon Armchair Adventurer

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    Yes sir. That photo is a bit overexposed (I am guessing that's the effect you were looking for?), but it's a perfect example of what I was explaining.


    Thank you for sharing the secret sauce. This is gold. I don't get out to places like these very often, but the next time I am out camping, I am going to try my hand at this. Every time I've tried in the past, it's been either very few stars, or a bright moon ruining all my long exposure shots. You've given me something to think about for my next long trip. Thanks!
  19. Desert Dave

    Desert Dave Enjoying the moment

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    You know, there's absolutely nothing wrong with riding the same pass multiple times in one day :deal

    Just saw this thread today, fantastic! :clap

    Of course excellent photography, and love the descriptions of "hunting" for photos while riding. I tried to pick a photo or two to comment on, but there were to many. Comment overload.
  20. jckid

    jckid Been here awhile

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    CA
    I really enjoyed your ride report. I've spent a lot of time in Death Valley and the Sierra's, so I'm familiar with the scenery. What really caught my attention were your pictures. I was really inspired by your photography, but especially the night shots. I was heading out on a trip of my own that would take me through Joshua Tree National Park, so I took my camera hoping to see what I could do, even though my camera only has limited manual settings. Unfortunately the moon was super bright, but I got a couple of shots that made me feel like I might have potential. I'm now looking into a DSLR.