Coolest Ride in Town

Epic Ride

Couple of weeks ago I visited San Diego for a brief vacation. On one day I went to the San Diego Zoo, which had rather impressive reviews everywhere but was a bit disappointed as it was nowhere near good asĀ  they claimed to be.

The next day, we headed for the SeaWorld San Diego, and this time I had my reservations. But unlike the zoo this was totally worth it; they had all sorts of performances with seals, killer whales and dolphins and was simply amazing. This was the show with the dolphins, and I was able to catch this moment which thought was pretty cool!

Lethal Attraction

Spellbinding

While in the USA, being stuck in DC an extra day because I missed my flight, I used up that time to visit an aquarium in Baltimore. These lethal beauties, more than anything else, were so mesmerizing and attractive. The gentle ease with which they glide through the water is so serene and spellbinding it’s almost impossible to believe that these are in fact the most venomous creatures in the world!

Grandeur

The Mighty Grand Canyon

This probably is the best photo from my recent visit to the US. I probably have mentioned this before, but let me say it again; The Grand Canyon was always at the top of my bucket list and the opportunity to cross it off the list was something truly wonderful. I had known about it ever since I was a kid, and loved just about everything about it from how it was formed to how old it is to how truly spectacular it is. In short, I know a lot about it and I knew what to expect. Yet, the first time I stood there at the edge of the South Rim taking in the marvelous sight in front of me, I was speechless.

That was the first day, of which the night I and Looney spent in the Yavapai Lodge inside the National Park. The next morning we gathered our stuff and headed to the Bright Angel Trek and started descending to the canyon hoping to go as far as the time would allow us: we were to return to the Bright Angel Lodge around 3 PM. Since it had snowed a few days ago the trek was extremely slippery, and we didn’t have appropriate gear, so the descent was a slow going. Yet it was fantastic – we both love hiking – and less than 30 minutes into the trek you are almost completely cut off from the rest of the world. Everything you see all around you is the canyon, and it’s a sight that’s truly worth remembering. About two hours into the trek we had to turn back, and before heading back I set the tripod (oh yes, I did indeed carry the damn things despite it’s weight) and shot a few snaps of which this turned out to be the best. I love the way it captures the serene beauty of faraway canyon, the rugged terrain of nearby rocks and the lovely pale sky that accommodates all that into one.

Technical details, this is again 3 bracketed shots (it’s a pity the D600 only allows you 3 shots) at EV0 +/- 2, merged in Photomatix 5. As I’ve been doing recently, again I produced 3 separate outputs from Photomatix, one concentrated on the faraway canyon, another on close-by land and the final on sky. I feel this gives much better results that trying to incorporate everything into one Photomatix output. Afterwards I brushed up a bit in Nix before cleaning everything up in Noiseware. Overall, I feel this is a pretty decent job, a photo that I truly love.