Thursday, October 20, 2011

CITY CREEK CANYON

We decided to do a little hiking in City Creek Canyon on our last afternoon in Salt Lake City.  The trails in this canyon start in an area near (but not directly accessible from) the state capitol building and proceed into the hills to the north of the city.  There are actually a number of trails that run along both sides of the canyon and we did a bit of hiking on both sides, though we started our hiking a distance north of the capitol building.

The fall colors were just peaking and, although the day was mostly cloudy, the views were spectacular.  Here are a couple of early shots that show the capitol building in the background.



I was trying to learn from my experience on our excursion into the Wasatch mountains--that I am not particularly good at capturing panoramic shots.  I think the above attempts reinforce that assessment.  However, I felt the following shot was more successful, perhaps because I chose to exclude the horizon.


I thought the segment of road, complete with car and cyclist, helped give the shot some perspective.  Also, I thought the bare hills in the upper part of the image conveyed some depth.  I am learning that the photo does not have to be completely devoted to color.  Having said that, following are a couple of photos that were pretty much devoted to fall color.



Colorful, but a bit boring, I thought.  Or maybe I was getting jaded.

The following couple of shots were more successful.  In the first shot, the dead tree on the right is quite sharp, although it doesn't provide enough contrast with the color to be a focal point.


In the second shot below, I wanted to feature the dark limbs of the trees in the center of the image.  This scene was quite a distance from where we were hiking and the image is cropped a fair amount.


Including some green and yellow in the photo helped, but I could have done without the light colored branches at the bottom of the image.

Some of the more successful shots involved capturing the foliage more close up.


Here the color was brilliant, but the overall image is a bit unbalanced.


I liked the above shot quite a bit, although it would have helped if the red and green elements had been more robust.  Nevertheless, the overall effect was quite nice, and the leaves are in sharp focus.


I liked the above shot in part because the background is so dark, accentuating the colors of the leaves and allowing them to "pop" from the background.

Although I did not have my macro lens, I did try to capture a few "semi-macro" shots of some thistles along the trail.  (these were about one inch across.)



I tried the above shot as a B&W but thought it lost something.  The aperture setting for this shot was f/4.5, nearly wide open for the lens I was using.  This served to eliminate the background as a potential distraction.


The above shot was also taken at f/4.5.  I really did not mind that only the forward portion of the thistle is in good focus.  The viewer understands what the more distant side is about without having to have it in sharp focus also.  My one regret is that the seedlings (that look like dandelion seeds)  in the interior of the thistle are not in as good a focus as I would have liked.  (See the shot before this one.)  All in all, though, not bad.

To complete this post, here is a shot of one of the trails we took, as well as a couple of shots of my fellow hikers.




This will be the final post from our trip to Salt Lake City.

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