Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Ptarmigan Trail

This is one of the most photogenic hikes I've been on recently. The trailhead is at 39° 38.108'N, 106° 3.210'W (directions here). After the first small section of trail, you'll encounter a road with a big white arrow pointing to the left. Follow the arrow and proceed 350 feet up the road where you'll re-encounter the trail. From here on, following the trail is pretty straight forward. It's steep initially, but will level out about 0.7 miles in. You'll be rewarded with some of the most amazing views of the Gore Range and Dillon Reservoir, as well as wildflowers and groves of pine and aspen.

Ptarmigan Trail

Ptarmigan Trail

Ptarmigan Trail

Ptarmigan Trail

Ptarmigan Trail

Ptarmigan Trail

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

Grouse Lake Trail

Just a quick post to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. I hope you are all looking forward to 2014. It doesn't matter if you're shooting with new gear in new places, or cherished gear in favorite places, as long as you're getting out there and making a few wrong turns.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Right Wrong Way

Want to get some interesting photos in Venice? Take one of the vaporetto boats the wrong way around the island at sunrise.

Giudecca Canal

I'd intended to take the boat on the most direct route to St. Mark's Square, through the Grand Canal (the "2" line), then explore the alleys before the crowds started showing up. However, the boats were still running few and far between since it was so early. I saw the "1" line was also going to St. Mark's Square, and thought, "How much longer could it be?"

It turned out to be much longer, much windier, and much colder, but much more interesting at the same time. I got a prime seat in front of the pilot's cabin, because no one else wanted to go this way. Their loss. I got to see the working side of Venice, and got a close up view of Giudecca since the boat made a couple stops there. I must have blown through half a roll on the Xpan, when I captured the picture above. All the working boats and cruises were on the move too. The poorly shot video below shows the overall atmosphere. It was amazing.

Seriously, it was cold, especially as we rounded the west side of the island and entered the open water of Laguna Veneta. I'm not a fan of the cold, but I loved every minute of it.

Sometimes getting lost or making a wrong turn is the best thing you can do when traveling.

Venice Flat Recommendation

Ok, you've seen the Paris edition, now it's time for Venice. Again, I found a great place on AirBnB, but it took a bit more searching this time.

Evening Rush

Initially, I'd booked a place closer to the heart of Venice, in Castello, which had a liberal cancellation policy. The reason I'd booked it was that it was so cheap. I was beginning to see why. A few days before we departed for Europe, I took another look at the place and got a different vibe. It looked like it was just some dude with some roommates and a spare room; not the kind of place I'd want to stay with my wife.

Thankfully by this point, the other costs of the trip had been spent, and I was a little more comfortable increasing the budget for Venice. I cancelled the original reservation and got all my money back, minus the AirBnB booking fee, which wasn't too bad. I applied for a better place, but the owner didn't respond within 24 hours, so the application expired. On to another place.

As they say, the third time's the charm. I found this place right near the Venice train station (Santa Lucia not Mestre). This made it incredibly easy to get settled on arrival. We met the host's assistant right across the canal from the train station at San Simeone Piccolo. The assistant was right on time meeting us, and even gave us some local restaurant recommendations while she was showing us the apartment. It's also worth noting that since the apartment was near the train station, it gave us easy access to all the vaporetto boats (mass transit waterbus) that go to every part of the city.

View Larger Map

And wouldn't you know it, Google just added Venice to Street View (though "street" doesn't really apply here). You can actually see the apartment with the silver window shade up top.

View Larger Map

I have to admit that it felt a little strange staying in a place attached to a church. Once I started thinking about it, I realized that there are few places in Italian cities that aren't attached to a church. Other than that, the place was clean, quiet, and had a shower that worked much better than the one in Rome. As you can see from Street View, the surrounding canals and alleys are charming, though I'd recommend packing your bags and seeing it for yourself. Happy travels!

Sunday, November 10, 2013


The last roll of film that I shot in Venice seemed like it would never end. Now that I have the results back from the lab, I can see why. Here's the first frame:

Early Start

I seriously think the film counter got all the way up to 39 before the roll was done. Was this a mistake? Yes. Is this photo still interesting? You bet.

Instead of thinking of this as a mistake though, I prefer to think of it as turning film up to 11.