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The photos from my recent trip to Crater Lake and the Redwood parks have now been posted. I am incredibly pleased with how the pictures from Crater Lake turned out; the water is indeed stunningly blue, and it contrasts beautifully with the thick layer of white snow that touches everything else. The redwood pictures are a bit more difficult to judge, as the lighting makes exposing an entire frame properly almost impossible. Because of this, I usually bracketed my shots. I may eventually end up creating a few HDR images from the multiple exposures, but since I usually post my shots with no processing other than a quick color balance and export to JPG, I have gone ahead and posted only the primary exposures.

Now that my new site is done and I have a good tool for data edting, I have gone back and started to title and tag my older pictures as well. I have in fact finished a good number of photos, though I still have quite a few to go through, mostly from Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and my New York City road trip of last year. I am hoping to have them finished in the coming weeks as well.

Posted by nick.steinbaugh at 2:14 AM

This past weekend, I made the trek from Vacaville, California up to Crater Lake. On the way back, I also visited Redwood National Park, and drove the northern section of the pacific coast highway. I began by driving to Medford, Oregon after work on Friday. The following morning, I drove the eighty miles to Crater Lake. The lake is truly a remarkable place. Even though it's now April, the park is still a frozen wonderland, covered in foot upon foot of snow. Approaching the park, the plowed snow is piled ever higher along highway 62. The park itself is mostly deserted; the main drive around the lake isn't even plowed yet, and the snow is deep enough that most of the buildings are still snowed in. All that is plowed is a single roadway up to the rim, but at the top, one must climb twenty feet of snow to see the lake. The long drive and brief climb are rewarded with a fantastic sight. The lake is large, but not gigantic. The nearby mountains are not gigantic. The true beauty comes from the seclusion the park provides. The lake has no inlets or outlets; it is sustained almost purely by the enormous amount of snowmelt. The lake's azure blue contrasts beautifully with the elegant white snow. In short, it is stunning.

After visiting Crater Lake, I made my way to Grant's Pass, and then headed south to mingle amongst the gigantic Sequoia sempervirens, the Coastal Redwood. It is truly humbling to stumble upon 300-foot-tall trees while driving down the road. The trees are large enough to blot out most of the sun, allowing only the occasional ray of light through the canopy. There is also the occasional fallen redwood, opening a gaping hole, but overall, it's dark enough that it's necessary to drive with headlights on even in the middle of the day.

The final leg of my journey was driving down the coast on California Highway 1, the Shoreline Highway. After leaving the 101, I was met with over twenty miles of the windiest road I have ever driven, curving around mountains until finally arriving at the coast. Although foggy conditions hampered some of my efforts, I was able to see most of the coast along the highway. After driving over ninety miles on the two-laned road, however, I was more than ready to call it quits and head back to Vacaville. Unfortunately, hundreds of other people were in the process of leaving the area as well, and I was stuck driving behind them all. Finally, though, I did make it out of the rat's maze.

In total, I came away from the trip with nearly 1,500 pictures. I already had over 600 pictures in my queue to post, but I'm hoping to get them all up this coming weekend. There is even a slight chance that the new version of my web site will be up as well.

Posted by nick.steinbaugh at 10:00 PM