Five-Years Ago (10-October-2013) — Arizona

Gone to See America 2013. Nikonian Annual Photography Adventure Trip. Day 5: Williams, Chloride, and Oatman.

When we woke up, there was snow on the ground. Early winter — but Williams is 6766 feet above sea level. The government shutdown continued, and the closure of Grand Canyon National Park continued.  Our van set out for opportunities at lower elevations free of snow.  We traveled to Chloride, a one time silver mining town and now nearly a ghost town. Outside of Chloride, we visited a site where artist Roy Purcell created some modern rock murals back in the 1960’s.  We also visited Oatman, another former gold mining town. Now a tourist destination. But the remaining local residents don’t want the tourists to feed the wild burro’s.

Footsteps in an Early Snowfall (Williams, Arizona). Gone to See America 2013. Image taken with a Leica X2 camera (ISO 400, 24 mm, f/2.8, 1/500 sec). (David J Mathre)
Footsteps in an Early Snowfall (Williams, Arizona).  Image taken with a Leica X2 camera (ISO 400, 24 mm, f/2.8, 1/500 sec). (David J Mathre)
Modern Rock Mural near Chloride by Artist Roy Purcell. There are a lot of very colorful murals in this location started in 1966. Image taken with a Nikon D3 camera and 24-120 mm f/4 lens (ISO 400, 55 mm, f/8, 1/250 sec). (David J Mathre)
Modern Rock Mural near Chloride by Artist Roy Purcell. There are a lot of very colorful murals in this location started in 1966. Image taken with a Nikon D3 camera and 24-120 mm f/4 lens (ISO 400, 55 mm, f/8, 1/250 sec). (David J Mathre)
Wild Burro (Donkey) in Oatman, Arizona. Image taken with a Nikon D3 camera and 24-120 mm lens (ISO 200, 120 mm, f/11, 1/500 sec). (David J Mathre)
Wild Burro (Donkey) in Oatman, Arizona. Image taken with a Nikon D3 camera and 24-120 mm lens (ISO 200, 120 mm, f/11, 1/500 sec). (David J Mathre)

Six-Years Ago (10-October-2012) — New Mexico

Gone to See America 2012 Road Trip. Day 4: On the Road – Roswell, New Mexico to Carlsbad, New Mexico.

Before leaving for Carlsbad, I stopped back at Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge to watch the Sandhill Cranes leave to feed for the day. I was told that one of the places they go to feed is local peanut farms that had been recently plowed. Ever wonder how the salmonella got in the peanut butter a few years ago???

Pair of Sandhill Cranes in Flight. Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge near Roswell. Image taken with a Nikon D4 and 300 mm f/2.8 VR lens (ISO 100, 300 mm, f/4, 1/800 sec). (David J Mathre)
Pair of Sandhill Cranes in Flight. Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge near Roswell. Image taken with a Nikon D4 and 300 mm f/2.8 VR lens (ISO 100, 300 mm, f/4, 1/800 sec). (David J Mathre)

Six-Years Ago (10-October-2012) — New Mexico

Gone to See America 2012 Road Trip. Day 4: On the Road – Roswell, New Mexico to Carlsbad, New Mexico.

I first visited Carlsbad Caverns on a road trip in 1976. Well before I had a camera. As part of the road trip this year, I visited Carlsbad Cavern National Park again. This time with a Nikon D4 camera and 35 mm f/1.4 lens that does well in low light. I took a lot of images. Your first walk down into this big entrance going from bright light into the dark cavern. It takes a while for the eyes to adapt to the low-level of artificial lighting in the cave. At the end of the walk, you take an elevator back to the surface. Someday, I want to go back and do the extended tour where you need to wear a hardhat and headlamp.

Entrance to Carlsbad Cavern. Image taken with a Nikon D4 camera and 35 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 100, 35 mm, f/7, 1/200 sec) (David J Mathre)
Entrance to Carlsbad Cavern. Image taken with a Nikon D4 camera and 35 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 100, 35 mm, f/7, 1/200 sec) (David J Mathre)
Entrance to Carlsbad Cavern. Image taken with a Nikon D4 camera and 35 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 100, 35 mm, f/1.4, 1/80 sec) (David J Mathre)
Entrance to Carlsbad Cavern. Image taken with a Nikon D4 camera and 35 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 100, 35 mm, f/1.4, 1/80 sec) (David J Mathre)
Entrance to Carlsbad Cavern, Looking Out. Image taken with a Nikon D4 camera and 35 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 100, 35 mm, f/1.4, 1/6400 sec) (David J Mathre)
Entrance to Carlsbad Cavern, Looking Out. Image taken with a Nikon D4 camera and 35 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 100, 35 mm, f/1.4, 1/6400 sec) (David J Mathre)












Ten-Years Ago (10-October-2008) — California

Gone to See America October 2008 Road Trip. Eighth Annual Nikonian Photography Adventure Trip. Day 6: Yosemite National Park.

On the last day of ANPAT 8, we did a walkabout in Yosemite Valley. First, we visited the smallest waterfall in the valley at Fern Spring. It is just off the road and in the shade. Well worth taking the time to visit and photograph. I also got some images of mushrooms/tree fungi. While I was busy with the mushrooms, the rest of the group tried to get a picture of a small brown bear running to the Merced river.

 (David J Mathre)
Fern Falls in Yosemite Valley. Image taken with a Nikon D3 camera and 24-70 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 200, 42 mm, f/16, 1/2 sec). (David J Mathre)
Yosemite's Smallest Waterfall at Fern Spring. Image taken with a Nikon D3 and 24-70 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 200, 70 mm, f/16, 5 sec). (David J Mathre)
Yosemite’s Smallest Waterfall at Fern Spring. Image taken with a Nikon D3 and 24-70 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 200, 70 mm, f/16, 5 sec). (David J Mathre)
Tree Fungus in Yosemite National Park. Image taken with a Nikon D3 and 24-70 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 200, 35 mm, f/16, 4 sec). (David J Mathre)
Tree Fungus in Yosemite National Park. Image taken with a Nikon D3 camera and 24-70 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 200, 35 mm, f/16, 4 sec). (David J Mathre)
Tree Fungus in Yosemite National Park. Image taken with a Nikon D3 and 24-70 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 200, 35 mm, f/16, 4 sec). (David J Mathre)
Tree Fungus in Yosemite National Park. Image taken with a Nikon D3 camera and 24-70 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 200, 35 mm, f/16, 4 sec). (David J Mathre)

Five-Years Ago (09-October-2013) — Arizona

Gone to See America 2013. Nikonian Annual Photography Adventure Trip. Day 4: Page, Antelope Canyon, and Horseshoe Bend.

The US Government was in shutdown mode while we visited Arizona. All the National Parks, Monuments, and other “non-essential” government facilities closed. The organizers of ANPAT 13 scrambled to find other locations for the four vans of photographers to visit. The original plan was to spend most of remaining time in Grand Canyon National Park.  Many folks signed up for the trip specifically to see the north rim of the Grand Canyon and not surprisingly  disappointed and angry.  Our van’s revised assignment for the day included Lower Antelope canyon, on Navajo land, and thus not closed. Horseshoe Bend, where the upper vista point is on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land — technically closed, but not preventing visitors hiking to the vista point. Finally, Glen Canyon Dam, where the visitor center closed, but the dam and power generation remained in operation. Like us, tourists from all around the world were looking for alternative things to do and see leading to overcrowding at some locations.

We first drove to Page, and then Upper Antelope Canyon. I’d been there before on a Photography Workshop with Winston Hall. It is a target rich environment for photographers. You can only visit Antelope Canyon with a Navajo guide, and this time we had to sign a release regarding use of images and safety. The sky was cloudy, so we didn’t have the light beams coming down into the narrow slot canyon — but it still was a wonderful place to get some very unique images. The next stop was Horseshoe Bend. I’d also been there before with Winston Hall. The parking area was nearly full, and the only evidence of the government shutdown were locked restrooms. We hiked to Horseshoe Bend vista point, and found many folks already there. Rather than fight for a spot at the favorite viewpoint, I found a different place with a good view. I mounted a camera  Nikon 800 camera with a fisheye lens on a sturdy monopod, then held the camera over the edge. It’s quite a view. A bit later I saw a National Geographic photographer put a camera out over the canyon wall with an even longer pole. This was before the days of drones.

Horseshoe Bend, Arizona. Image taken with a Nikon D4 and 16 mm f/2.8 fisheye lens (ISO 100, 16 mm, f/11, 1/100 sec). Camera mounted on a monopod held out over the cliff. (David J Mathre)
Horseshoe Bend, Arizona. Image taken with a Nikon D4 and 16 mm f/2.8 fisheye lens (ISO 100, 16 mm, f/11, 1/100 sec). Camera mounted on a monopod held out over the cliff. (David J Mathre)







Individual images from theses slideshows can be viewed here.