View 400: Olympic Mountains

Olympic Mountain Range

View of the Olympic Mountain Range from the Hurricane Ridge overlook in Olympic National Park near Port Angeles, Washington on Saturday, August 18, 2018. Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 160, EV 0, 95mm Focal Length, Cropped, Skylum Intensify CK.

Finally, after a few long breaks over the last few years, I have reached my 400th View on this blog which I started ten years ago. Like my 300th View, I find myself in a U.S. National Park. This time it is Olympic National Park which has a lot of meaning for me as well as history.

Back in September of 1981, I arrived in Port Angeles, Washington to begin a three month internship with the National Park Service at the Olympic National Park Visitor Center. I had graduated a few months earlier from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry with a degree in Forest and Wildlife Biology and was looking to put my degree to good use. During the internship I helped visitors plan their time in the park, create educational programs for local schools and groups and handled inquiries for information from park brochures to checking out photo slides (remember those?) for educational and scientific studies.

Being an intern, I also was given some jobs like varnishing fifty pairs of snow shoes, driving up to Hurricane Ridge to handle visitors inquires and even make hot chocolate when snow season hit in mid-October for cross-country skiers and snow shoers. I learned how to cross-country ski when I put on the skis for the first time and trucked up four miles to the top of Hurricane Ridge. That was easy, the fun part was coming down.  I found just falling down when I got going too fast was the safest way to get back to parking lot.

I have very fond memories of my time there and I kept promising my wife I would take her to Olympic National Park to share all the beauty I had experienced there.

Well, it took almost 37 years…

Couple at the Hurricane Ridge Overlook

Couple at the Hurricane Ridge overlook of the Olympic Mountain range in Olympic National Park near Port Angeles, Washington on Saturday, August 18, 2018. Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 160, EV 0, 24mm Focal Length.

Promise made, promise kept.

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View 399: Cityscape of Seattle

Cityscape of Seattle, Washington from Kerry Park

Cityscape of Seattle, Washington from Kerry Park on Sunday, August, 12, 2018. Nikon D750/24-120VR, 30s, f/13, ISO 100, EV 0, 66mm Focal Length, Tripod.

When planning a trip to a new location, I research the area for good photo opportunities. With Seattle, that was easy as I always wanted to see its unique cityscape featuring the Space Needle from this location which I discovered was called Kerry Park. It was an easy drive from my hotel near the SeaTec airport. Though I should have checked to make sure the Seattle Mariners were not playing as traffic near the ballpark made a 25 minute drive into an hour one. Not to worry, as I had given myself lots of time before sunset to arrive.

Alas, the promised Sun from the weather app never materialized and I was faced with a bland, overcast sky with little hope of sunset colors. I knew I would have to wait until after sunset to get a keeper photo of the Seattle skyline which you see above.

My wife amused herself as we waited. She asked me how people did these kind of photos and I told her she already knew. Disney Imagineers use forced perspective all the time in the parks. Ah, she got it right away.

Holding up the Space Needle

My wife, Merrie, holding the Space Needle in the palm of her hand. Photo of Seattle, Washington taken from Kerry Park on Sunday, August, 12, 2018. Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 560, EV 0, 24mm Focal Length.

Tonight, we head up into the Space Needle where I will try again for a sunset from a position 520 feet (158.5 meters) high. Wish me luck!

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View 398: Tourists at Taughannock Falls

Taughannock Falls Overlook

Tourists at the gorge overlook in Taughannock Falls State Park near Ithaca, New York on Saturday, August 4, 2018. Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 2200, EV 0, 70mm Focal Length.

I normally visit Taughannock Falls State Park near Ithaca, New York very early in the morning and avoid the summer crowds. Not the case last weekend as I wanted to get ready for an upcoming trip which will have crowds of tourists. This allowed me to incorporate people into my photos which does a couple of things. One, it helps show the size and scale of the park’s waterfalls and gorge in comparison to people. Two, to enjoy this natural wonder with other people from all over the world was fun as I watched and listened to their reactions to the Great Fall in the Woods.

Lower Taughannock Falls

Tourists reading an informational plaque next to Lower Taughannock Falls at Taughannock Falls State Park near Ithaca, New York on Saturday, August 4, 2018. Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 320, EV 0, 85mm Focal Length.

Over the last couple of years, New York State Parks Department has done a lot of maintenance and added many needed touches to the the parks. Taughannock Falls State Park now has more informational plaques where people learn about the history of the park and the Cayuga Lake area along with the natural landscapes of the gorge, waterfalls, wildlife and how they came to be.

Taughannock Falls Gorge Trail

Tourists walking on the gorge trail at Taughannock Falls State Park near Ithaca, New York on Saturday, August 4, 2018. Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 4000, EV 0, 24mm Focal Length.

Back in the Spring of 2016, a large landslide had blocked the Taughannock Falls Gorge Trail.  It took the NYS Parks Department a few months to get the trail open again. Over the course of the last two years, the trail has now been completely cleared leaving behind a large talus of small rocks and debris from the slide next to the trail. People walking by would look at it and wonder how it got there.

Taughannock Falls Lookout Platform

Tourists on the lookout platform at the end of the Gorge Trail in Taughannock Falls State Park near Ithaca, New York on Saturday, August 4, 2018. Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/25s, f/16, ISO 100, EV 0, 24mm Focal Length, Skylum Intensify CK.

At the end of the Gorge Trail is the large lookout platform to get as close as New York State wants people to go. If you look closely, you will see some people decided to get a bit closer. When the falls have a very heavy flow, the area gets very wet from spray. With a nice midsummer flow due to rainfall over the previous couple of weeks and a hot, summer Sun, the platform was nice and dry allowing people to enjoy the 215 foot (65.5 meters) drop of Taughannock Falls.

If all goes according to plan, I will have a post up next Monday but it could be delayed a day or two depending on weather conditions. I will be posting about the adventure on my Twitter account which you can follow here by clicking this link: @sthomasphotos.

Related Link: Taughannock Falls on Views Infinitum

 

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View 397: Syracuse Nationals in Flames

UPS Flamed Truck

United Parcel Service (UPS) Delivery Truck painted with flames was parked outside the Syracuse Nationals Hot Rod and Muscle Car Show at the New York State Fairgrounds on Saturday, July 21, 2018. Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/320s, f/9, ISO 100, EV 0, 24mm Focal Length.

Over 8,000 hot rods and muscle cars visited the New York State Fairgrounds near Syracuse, New York for the 2018 Syracuse Nationals from July 20th through the 22nd. I cannot resist grabbing my camera and spending a day photographing the beautiful cars and trucks.

Hot Rods owners love to put flame graphics on their rides. I saw them on a lot of them including the UPS Delivery truck on display outside the Fairgrounds. Inside, I came across The Canadian Kid Ford Hot Rod. Many Canadian hot rod owners come south for this show every year.

The Canadian Kid Ford Hot Rod

Ford Hot Rod called The Canadian Kid on display at the Syracuse Nationals Hot Rod and Muscle Car Show in the New York State Fairgrounds on Saturday, July 21, 2018. Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/8, ISO 140, EV 0, 38mm Focal Length.

Not too far away, I photographed another Ford Hot Rod in light blue with dark blue flames. The fenders had been smoothed out in this model.

Blue Flame Ford Hot Rod

Ford Hot Rod in the Syracuse Nationals Hot Rod and Muscle Car Show at the New York State Fairgrounds on Saturday, July 21, 2018. Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/8, ISO 640, EV 0, 28mm Focal Length, Intensify CK

While these first flamed hot rods are beautifully done, these next two feature outstanding paint work starting with this purple and orange hot rod.

Purple and Orange Flamed Hot Rod

Hot Rod in the Syracuse Nationals Hot Rod and Muscle Car Show held at the New York State Fairgrounds on Saturday, July 21, 2018. Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/8, ISO 160, EV 0, 32mm Focal Length.

An early 1950’s Pontiac Eight with a paint scheme never dreamed of by the original designers.

Pontiac Eight Hot Rod

Pontiac Eight Hot Rod in the Syracuse Nationals Hot Rod and Muscle Car Show held at the New York State Fairgrounds on Saturday, July 21, 2018. Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/8, ISO 110, EV 0, 34mm Focal Length, Intensify CK.

When walking through the Syracuse Nationals, is it impossible to see all the cars and I only have time to photograph a fraction of them. To get a sense of the size of the event, a friend of mine gave me permission to share a photo he took of the Fairgrounds the same day I was there using his drone.

Aerial View of the 2018 Syracuse Nationals

Aerial View of the Syracuse Nationals held at the New York State Fairgrounds near Syracuse, New York on Saturday, July 21, 2018.

You can see more of Tony Casella’s drone work on his youTube channel (click the link).

 

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View 396: Dinosaur Zoo

Dinosaur Invasion at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo

Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, New York hosted a Dinosaur Invasion from May 25th to September 3rd of 2018.

The Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, New York is hosting a Dinosaur Invasion this summer. The invasion consists of a set of gigantic animatronic dinosaurs which breath, makes sounds, move a little and even spit.

Below is a trio of dinosaurs you may be familiar with. Not sure if the coloration is scientifically accurate but they do make for very interesting faces.

Dinosaur Faces

Faces of Dinosaurs from left: Coelophysis, Parasaurolophus and Tyrannosaurus Rex in the Dinosaur Invasion hosted by the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, New York in the Summer of 2018.

There was even a family of Parasaurolophus’ with a young ling newly hatched from the nest.

Parasaurolophus Nest

Parasaurolophus nest with little one in the Dinosaur Invasion at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, New York on Saturday, May 28, 2018. Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/3.5, ISO 280, EV 0, 28mm Focal Length.

Not far away was a Dilophosaurus hissing and menacing. It did not look like that one I remember from the first Jurassic Park movie but it did spit!

Dilophosaurus Spitting

Dilophosaurus spitting in the Dinosaur Invasion at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, New York on Saturday, May 28, 2018. Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/3.5, ISO 280, EV 0, 28mm Focal Length.

Thankfully for the purposes of this exhibit, the spitting was only water and not the thought to be poisonous mixture as depicted in the movie.

The invasion will last until Labor Day and is included in the zoo’s regular admission prices.

 

 

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