On the Road is a weekday feature spotlighting reader photo submissions.
From the exotic to the familiar, whether you’re traveling or in your own backyard, we would love to see the world through your eyes.
Good Morning All,
On The Road and In Your Backyard is a weekday feature spotlighting reader submissions. From the exotic to the familiar, please share your part of the world, whether you’re traveling or just in your locality. Share some photos and a narrative, let us see through your pictures and words. We’re so lucky each and every day to see and appreciate the world around us!
Submissions from commenters are welcome at tools.balloon-juice.com
Today, pictures from valued commenter PAM Dirac.
My wife and I like to go places in the off-season and neither of us had been to the Grand Canyon, so we booked a trip in January. We knew it was going to be cold, but we also ran into the biggest snowstorm there is 10-15 years.
Taken on January 2017
The first day was almost completely socked in. This was the best visibility of the day. Most of the time you couldn’t see more than 10-20 yards. We did enjoy the shops and there certainly weren’t crowds of people to contend with.
Taken on January 2017
The next morning started with just as bad visibility, but around 10am there was a little break and patched of sunlight showed bits of the north side.
Taken on January 2017
There was more and more clearing and judging from all the pictures for sale in the shops, getting snow into Grand Canyon pictures is not very common, so it was nice to get a bit of a unique view.
Taken on January 2017
We finally got to see some blue sky. There still was around a foot of snow to trudge through and within a hour it was back to heavy snow and no visibility. Still it was well worth the trip.
Taken on January 2017
We did the Grand Canyon Railroad tour. You check into a hitel in WIlliams, take the train up to to the Grand Canyon the next morning (about a 2.5 hour trip), spend the night, and take the train back the next afternoon. Worked out really well. With the off season there were very few people and due to the weather some of the “entertainment” (a cowboy show and gunfight and a train robbery) were canceled. We much preferred looking at the desolate scenery.
Thank you so much PAM Dirac, do send us more when you can.
Travel safely everybody, and do share some stories in the comments, even if you’re joining the conversation late. Many folks confide that they go back and read old threads, one reason these are available on the Quick Links menu.
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Very nice! My bucket list includes Yellowstone in winter, I had no idea the Grand Canyon would be so spectacular in snow
I think the pictures of the canyon in winter are beautiful. I would much rather go in an off season too. Thanks for sharing.
I have to go back and see what else I missed this week on these threads.
Madame and a friend did the Grand Canyon RR thing, they enjoyed it quite a bit. I’ve been wanting to go to the North Rim in late spring, good Milky Way photography lies there.
These pictures are jusr gorge-ous.
I did the train trip with a friend in the summer; the fake robbery and shootout with the sheriff is hokey but fun to watch the children. My mom had never been, so I took her. We drove from SoCal to Laughlin Nevada, stayed a night to see the Colorado river and rest, then drove to Williams. We stayed in a hotel there and went up to the canyon for the day. It’s nice not to have to cope with driving. That time I got first class tickets on the train, which I highly recommend. The seats are not so authentic 1880s style, so upholstered and much more comfortable. The canyon is spectacular, even in the summer without snow, and I was glad she got to go. We were supposed to go on to Lake Powell and see a bit of Utah, but my RA flared up something awful and I barely made the drive home. So Utah is still on my bucket list.
Very nice, and the snow is a nice variation of the usual views. Did a GC visit years ago, but not the Nat’l Park area. Shopping for a good photo/negative scanner, maybe I can send some in one day. My printer scans, but I have family prints/negs going back to the ’30’s (most ’40’s and up) so I want a unit dedicated to photography. More a factor of time than money to do them.
@Schlemazel: A buddy of mine did a backpack trip in Yellowstone one winter. Well worth the trip.
@?BillinGlendaleCA: My wife and I have a tentative north rim trip with my oldest and his wife planned for this coming April.
@p.a.: The top line Epsons are nice, they can scan both negatives and prints. If you do want something dedicated, it depends on how much you want to spend and what size you negatives are. I have this Pacific Imaging scanner. It does 35mm negatives and slides and I can use it on my 110 slides. I have to use my Epson(lower end) for the bigger slides and prints.
We visited GC in May several years ago and it was already hot. The train sounds really nice. We rode the train that goes through Verde Canyon, which was spetacular. Love the pictures.
@OzarkHillbilly: It’s pretty dark there, as dark as where the kid took her Milky Way pics in New Zealand.
ETA: Of course in New Zealand you can see the Large and Small Magellanic clouds, which are not visible here.
The Grand Canyon in winter has its own kind of beauty. Thanks for sharing!
@?BillinGlendaleCA: The one big downside of the weather we had was we didn’t get to experience some real dark. Where we live there are very few places with decent dark, let alone the real dark you can get out west. (had my tea so now I can comment).
@Mary G: I would highly recommend the train trip as well. Everything they did on our trip was professionally done, so I would expect that the stuff we missed would have been well done, even if not exatly my cup of tea. The roving musicians we did have were very good. Of course it helps when the cars are only a quarter full so you have a bit of space.
@PAM Dirac: The one problem with winter is that even if is really dark you can’t see the galactic center, but there are other opportunities(nebula, M31…). If I wanted to travel there, obviously my interests may differ from other, it would be in May or June with a new moon.
Wow. What beautiful pictures. I never thought of the Grand Canyon and snow. I am going to have to think about going off season.
That second shot where the canyon is just peeking through is ethereal.
I’ve used services to scan slides, prints and negatives. A bit pricey but worth it for many projects. My latest task involves maybe 2000 family slides where maybe about half are really worth preserving.
So I went to eBay and bought a Minolta 50mm macro lens (dirt-cheap because it was sold with an old SLR that I’ll donate to a local kid’s play/repair place). With an adapter it fits fine on my Lumix micro four thirds camera.Then an old bellows/slide copy system again from eBay.
It’s set up next to my desk at home where I can copy as I work. It’s far faster than a scanner and the total cost was about $50.
I always prefer the off season myself — the tradeoff is usually the weather. These shots of the canyon with snow are wonderful. I’ve been there twice, but only for drive in-drive out visits, and not for decades now. I guess it’s back on the list.
@p.a.: I can’t help with equipment; I just use a pretty standard Epson. Both my father and father-in-law were pretty obsessive photographers, so we have lots and lots of old negative/slides around. I still get blown away when I go through Kodachrome slides from the 50s. Pretty amazing how great that film was and how it holds up.
@Amir Khalid: Your comment needs a rim-shot.
@PAM Dirac: Kodachrome holds up really well, Ektachrome, not so well.
These are lovely.
I was reasonably happy with how that picture came out, but it still wasn’t too close to how it really looked. Of course part of that was the dynamic quality of being there, the subtle shifts of clouds and light, but part of it is I have a LOT to learn about taking pictures of subtle scenes. Yet another retirement project.
I have plenty of examples of both :-)
@Mart: I know this site has a pie filter, but does it have a pun filter? :-)
Love the pics! Thanks for sharing. I too was once there with snow, think it was late Feb or early March. Somewhere have some pics–on film–of the mules in the snow getting ready to make the trek down.
Also love the off season anywhere.
@PAM Dirac: No, nor does it have sarcasm or irony filters.
Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism
Highly recommend the podcast Extreme Genes. They dedicate roughly the last third of the show to preservation, primarily photo and film, and discuss tools and changes in the tech with a professional in the scanning/preserving/repairing business.
And they transcript all of the podcasts, so those of us who read faster than the guys talk don’t have to be slowed down by the audio.
I’ll just point out that they say you can often rent a high-end scanner instead of having to buy it.
Just One More Canuck
@?BillinGlendaleCA: it gives you those nice bright colors
And beautiful pictures, PAM
@?BillinGlendaleCA: It’s also 8,000 ft, so a lot less atmosphere to deal with.
Gorgeous pics. Now I want to see the Grand Canyon in snow. Thank you!
J R in WV
You might explore a setting for your camera to take exposures to bracket the optimal exposure it selects. This gives you the under and over exposures that may be the superior shot for the current situation.
J R in WV
@J R in WV:
No to criticize today’s photos… I think they are wonderful, far better than my more typical snow-free Grand Canyon pictures from March a few years ago. It was cold, but clear. I only lost one baseball cap to the yawning canyon.
I’ve rafted Grand Canyon 3 times. The late June, early July trip got crazy hot. Several days hit 120 f! A little snow on the rim the March trip but comfortable down on the river. Wore wetsuits a lot on the boats, warm pants and jackets around camp. March would be good for hiking. May was the best raft trip. May was wonderful on the river. Wildflowers, wore shorts and t shirts around camp.
@BretH: Would you mind sending me (if you have it) information on what you are using? My husband has a project to scan gazillions of photographs that has been clogging my dining room table for two years. Would love to give him some advice on how to do it faster.
Drat, I was going to say gorgeous until I saw Amir’s comment, now I need my mental thesaurus. These are lovely, very atmospheric and painterly. I’ve only been out west once and didn’t make it to the Canyon, will need to remedy that and will remember these tips.
I’ve got an old Epson 4990 flatbed scanner that has various film & slide holders, but doesn’t seem to manage slides very well. I use it mostly for my smaller artwork now. My local photography place does a good job with slides for a modest fee.
@?BillinGlendaleCA: Garden photographer Derek Fell preferred Ectachrome as he felt the greens stayed green, whereas Kodachrome tended to go black. Not that it matters nowadays.
Could I pick your brain for a minute? My old Epson printer died, can’t even get ink for it, so I’ve been looking into new ones. I don’t want a cheap office printer but can’t afford a high-end anything right now; if I wanted to do large prints of my artwork I’d have my local photographer run them. However, it would be nice to be able to do some cards and smaller prints for now. My guy Mark sticks with Epson, as he thinks their paper is better. I’ve been looking at the mid-range Epson 1430 and the Canon Pixma Pro 100, I just can’t afford more than those, but do you have any preference between the brands? Thanks!
J R in WV
I personally like Canon as they don’t play ink games as much as most printer makers do. I have a Pixma with a flatbed scanner, and I use paper from paper manufacturers, not from printer makers who just buy it from paper makers and raise the price to boost their profit margins.
But for framing and display, I get a print made by someone with a professional large printer, it makes a real difference.
Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho
@PAM Dirac: @Omnes Omnibus:
Let’s be happy when we get sticky nyms and a back function that works…
And appreciative that we have a commenter who can make puns in a language that isn’t his native one.
Seriously, those are amazing and beautiful photos, PAM Dirac. Thanks for sharing them with us
@J R in WV: Thanks for your thoughts. I’ve been looking at online reviews until my brain seizes, it’s nice to get direct feedback. What do you do that you have printed?
@J R in WV:
That’s what I did and also I made use of Lightroom’s high dynamic range merge, but I still don’t feel like a have a good grasp of the technique. At least I can stumble onto a few good shots. Thanks for all the nice comments. It was a fun trip and it is nice to share.
@kattails: I’ve got some 50 yo Ektachrome and Kodachrome and Kodachrome does keep it’s color. On printers, I just use my HP Officejet for 8 1/2 x 11 for smaller prints and a large format Canon for larger ones. The Canon does a better job with color(it has something like 8 colors).
@PAM Dirac: I generally avoid commenting on picture quality but since JR in WV brought up the point… Depending on your camera, if you can shoot RAW, do it, you may not need to bracket. On my Samsungs, I’ve learned that the RAW file contains enough information that if I shoot to avoid overexposure in the brights, I can bring back the darks in post. RAW means you have to do post since RAW files look really flat and lifeless. Since you’re already using Lightroom, one thing I’d suggest is to move your black slider to the left until just before you see a black triangle at the left side of your histogram. Move the whites to the right until just before you see the triangle on the right turns white.. Basically the histogram shouldn’t have empty areas, but shouldn’t have spikes at the ends.
J R in WV
OK, now I’m learning somefhing good here! Thanks!