Monthly Archives: December 2013

Fall Color: Last Bloom

131207_Fall_Last Bloom by Karl Graf. Canon 5D MKIII with EF24-70mm f/2.8L @ 66mm, f/5.6, 1/800 sec, ISO 1600

Looking down on a brilliant bed of fallen leaves, I noticed this single geranium bloom soaking up the early morning sun rays.  It stood out stretching its neck out to show off its last hurrah.  The rest of the plant had withered away preparing for the winter ahead.  I will have to wait until the end of May to catch its first bloom of the new year.


Fall Color: Leaves in the Grass

131206_Fall_Leaves in the Grass by Karl Graf. Canon 5D MKIII with EF24-70mm f/2.8L @ 63mm, f/8.0, 1/400 sec, ISO 1600

The color of fall in Eastern Pennsylvania has all passed.  This entry is the start of a series of posts of an early November morning shoot in our back yard capturing the last of the fall color.  The early morning sun caught these fallen leaves just right to pop them out from the frosted grass.  Simple things tend to catch my eye.  I constantly look down as I walk through the landscape.

On this shoot, I was testing out the low noise performance of the 5D.  There was  a steady breeze which required me to use a fast shutter speed.  I also normally use a tripod where ever I go.  This day I wanted to be “free” and capture images quickly as I saw them.  With a high ISO of 1600, the 5D performed exceptionally well and allowed me to capture the images that I was targeting.


Death Valley: Titus Canyon – III

131205_DV_Titus Canyon_III by Karl Graf. Canon 5D MKIII with EF24-70mm f/2.8L @ 45mm, f/8.0, 0.3 sec, ISO 400

Black and white granite markings laced with thin red lines decorate the narrow canyon walls at the bottom of Titus Canyon.  The formations range from random lines, to indian pattern, to letters.  Since I am the KGG the III, this pattern caught my eye right away.  To bring out the contrast, the rocks were spritzed with water.  It was amusing watching our workshop instructors racing back and forth between the students spritzing the walls with water bottles.  I forgot which gave out first, the light, the water, or our instructors.


Related Images:

Death Valley: Charcoal Kilns

131204_DV_Charcol Kilns by Karl Graf. Canon 5D MKIII with EOS 24-70mm f/2.8L @ 70mm, f/22, 1/15 sec., ISO 400

These charcoal kilns seem to be in the middle of nowhere in Wildrose Pass.  They were built by Swiss engineers in the the 1870’s to feed the smelters of Modoc Mine about 25 miles away.  This was the closest source of wood.

The most difficult part of taking this image was to avoid the row of other photographers trying to take the same image.  See below.

131204_DV_Charcol Kilns_2 by Karl Graf.


Related Images:

Death Valley: Rhylolite Merchantile

131203_DV_Rhyolite Mercantile by Karl Graf. Canon 7D, EF 24-70mm f2.8L @ 70mm, f/11, 1/640 sec, ISO 400

Rhylolite is a old ghost town just west of Beaty, Nevada.  See the following site for a brief history of the settlement:  There is a lot of history behind this little settlement.  We were here a very short time for a quick shoot.  It will be a place that I go back to.

This image was taken in the bright early afternoon sun.  The color image looked very blah.  Black and White gave it a little punch.

Related Images:

Death Valley: Blurred Past

131202_DV_Car by Karl G. Graf.

Canon 7D, EF 70-200mm f2.8L IS @ 100mm, f/11, 1/90 sec, ISO 200

Throughout Death Valley, there are artifacts of the blurred history of people trying to work the land.  This photo was taken at an abandoned copper mine and home site.  What is the story behind this site?  How hard life must have been?  What kind of people lived here in the extreme heat of the summer and the extreme cold in the winter?  What did they get from all their toil?  What was the event or series of events that triggered them to leave?  I am sure the history behind this site is a whole story by itself.

To help the image of a blurred history, I added a vignette blur on the edges.


Related Images:

Death Valley: Mesquite Dunes – Tracks

131201_DV_Tracks by Karl G. Graf. Canon 7D, EF 70-200mm f2.8L IS with 1.4X extender @ 270mm, f/8, 1/125 sec, ISO 200

No these are not Chuck’s footprints!  As I admire the grandeur around me, I try to remember to look up and down as well as side- and backwards.  This time as I looked down, I was treated by a little critter’s path along the sand.  Micro scenes like this abound everywhere just waiting for one to notice.

Related Images: