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Looking Back On An Old Picture

I wanted to post some new pictures for you this week, but I simply don't have any. I haven't taken any new pictures in quite awhile, but that's to be expected this time of year. The summer is kind of my "off-season." The beaches are too crowded, the sunsets are bland, the hills are dry and it's too hot to hit the desert. I'm hoping to visit the Sierra Nevadas this summer to quench my photographic thirst, but we'll see if that actually pans out.

So instead of posting new pictures, I thought I'd share an old picture - one from way back in April 2004. It's from back when I was still shooting Fuji Velvia slide film on my old Minolta Maxxum 7. I had the cheapest lenses I could get and was just barely getting into filters. Here is a scan of the original film:

Fallen Tree in Canyonlands National Park, UT

I took this picture in Canyonlands National Park after a freezing night of rain and snow. My uncles, my dad, my brothers and I had backpacked in the day before through intermittent rain to reach our first camp just in time to set up our tents and eat some grub. Luckily for me, we awoke to fresh powder on an otherwise arid landscape. There's no noticeable snow in this shot, but the stormy sky did help create a mood.

I was at the ripe old age of 17 when I snapped this frame. I used Cokin brand grad gray filters (if memory serves), my old Slik tripod and a Sigma brand lens in the neighborhood of 28-135mm.

It's not a perfect shot and I'm sure I would do it differently now (for better or worse), but I wanted to share this picture because this particular image always stood out for me. I was very proud of the composition, exposure and filter use at the time. Also, it was my first "real photo trip" into the backcountry with an SLR camera. It's one of my first memories of really applying my skills to get a shot I was proud of.

A lot of memories have come and gone in the 7 years since (wow, is it really 7 years?), but I can still remember setting up this shot when I think back to it. Good times...

High Up Above Trabuco Canyon

Trabuco Canyon Hike

Well, it's official. I'm in love with the Trabuco Canyon trail. You may notice I've been posting a lot of pictures from this area of the Cleveland National Forest recently. It's for 3 reasons: 1) I can actually get there now that I have a 4x4. 2) The weather has been gorgeous lately. And 3) I absolutely LOVE the scenery here!

It's like a little taste of Oregon right in Orange County. Yes, a very little taste, but a taste nonetheless. After all, where else in Orange County can you find stately spruce trees enshrouded in fog blanketing an entire mountainside? That's not to mention the creeks winding through the canyons.

I visited this trail again on Sunday, and this time, we made it all the way to a peak above 4000'. Total hike was about 6.6 miles with around 2000' elevation gain. Not the most treacherous I've done, but with 38 lbs of camera gear on my back, it was a solid workout. Luckily, we started off in the rain and the temperatures hovered around 52 degrees all day.

Here are my pictures from the day (click the panos for larger versions):

Trabuco Canyon Hike

Trabuco Canyon Hike

Trabuco Canyon Hike

Trabuco Canyon Hike

View from the top. We could see all the way to Catalina!

Trabuco Canyon Hike

Trabuco Canyon Hike

I've only scratched the surface of these Santa Ana Mountains. I'm sure I have many more years of exploring its depths ahead of me.

Trabuco Canyon in Heavy Fog

Spruce Trees in Fog - Trabuco Canyon Trail, Orange County, CA

It was rainy and drizzly on and off this Easter Sunday, and since I'm too old to hunt for eggs, I thought I'd hit my favorite local trail, the Trabuco Canyon Trail.

Most people tend to hike when the weather is clear and mild, but not me. There's few things I love more in life than hiking in the rain and fog. So with the heavy cloud cover hanging over the local Santa Ana Mountains, I knew I'd be able to hike up into the clouds to get some great "forest in the fog" shots.

I had the trail all to myself and the fog was superb. Remember, all the following shots were taken in sunny southern California. I don't know about you, but had I seen these pictures without knowing where they were taken, I never would have guessed Orange County as the location.

Lots of similar shots here, but I loved them all. I played with the white balance quite a bit on some of these to get some cooler blue tones. I'm really happy with how these turned out. I can't wait to see how they look on Metallic Paper.

Alder Trees in Fog - Trabuco Canyon Trail, Orange County, CA

Spruce Trees in Fog - Trabuco Canyon Trail, Orange County, CA

Spruce Trees in Fog - Trabuco Canyon Trail, Orange County, CA

Spruce Trees in Fog - Trabuco Canyon Trail, Orange County, CA

Oak Trees in Fog - Trabuco Canyon Trail, Orange County, CA

Spruce Trees in Fog - Trabuco Canyon Trail, Orange County, CA

Spruce Trees in Fog - Trabuco Canyon Trail, Orange County, CA

Oak Trees in Fog - Trabuco Canyon Trail, Orange County, CA

Trabuco Canyon Trail, Orange County, CA

Spruce Trees in Fog - Trabuco Canyon Trail, Orange County, CA

Spruce Trees in Fog - Trabuco Canyon Trail, Orange County, CA

Thanks for viewin'!