Readers’ submitted photos

Autumn fenceline with Grand Tetons in background, by Wendy Hall
Well, that title’s not exactly true, because the apostrophe indicates more than one reader, plus I’m pretty sure this one is not a regular here anyway; only when I direct her attention to something, but you know, that’s her loss. Regardless, these are all photos sent to me by my friend, who took a trip out west with her SO, son, and daughter-in-law, and thus are all credited to her unless one of the others obviously took it. They all apparently did a trek out to Mordor, but it’s gotten all touristy now and looks nowhere near as ominous, plus you don’t have to walk the whole way.

[The blog fact-checkers are telling me this is actually the Grand Tetons instead, so I am obligated to go with what they say even though I’m sure they’re wrong. This is what happens when you go the corporate route.]

Grand Tetons ahead of footpath, by Wendy Hall
I wasn’t given a whole lot of background on these (actually, just an e-mail subject line to be honest,) so I can’t give many details and won’t extrapolate – lucky you. We’re just here for the slideshow.

Taggert lake with Grand Tetons in background, by Wendy Hall
This one was identified as Taggert Lake, but I can’t be sure if that’s the body of water in the foreground or the mountains in the background. Your call.

common merganser Mergus merganser on Taggert Lake, by Wendy Hall
This one was unidentified too, but I can fill in here: this is a common merganser (Mergus merganser,) adult male in nonbreeding plumage. Though with the unkempt hair and the drool, you can also call this a Dur-yay duck if you like…

Hikers in front of Taggert Lake with Grand Tetons in background, not by Wendy Hall
This is Wendy and ‘Strikes’ (Wendy is the one on the right,) doing their superhero action poses – I could possibly credit this image to her son, who was fond of action poses himself but has since entered the mind-numbing world of accountancy. And once you’ve done accounting, you can pretty much forget about ever gaining back any cool, if you even had any to begin with.

But I’ll use this image to illustrate something, because I looked at the color register and thought, This needs a boost, so I tweaked it a little. You can expect the light in the shadows to be a bit blue, because that’s what light does, but even the distant sunlit trees seemed a little off-register, so below is my edited version.

same image as previously with slight color enhancement
It’s the kind of thing that happens when you look at photos for too long, because color casts become more evident. This was a slight reduction in blue, emphasized just a little on highlights, and an increase in red, same again; tiny tweak of green in highest registers to bring out the trees. This was all done using the Curves function in GIMP, though Photoshop and its offspring have almost identical functions. I took a look at the EXIF info to see what the white balance was set for, and it turns out it was taken with a smutphone, so no further explanation needed.

hikers posing by reflecting Taggert Lake with Grand Tetons in background, by not Wendy Hall
This is them again, trying to be cute but far too old for that kind of stuff. This is why I avoid shooting people.

Lower Falls, Yellowstone National River, Yellowstone National Park, by Wendy Hall
This is Lower Falls on the Yellowstone National River, which is part of Yellowstone National Park of course (dur-yay!) Date-wise, this is the earliest photo, so I’m guessing taken as they entered the park, and most of the rest came from the two days afterward.

Except for this one.

hikers at night against Big Dipper at Yellowstone National Park, by not Wendy Hall
Pretty nicely composed shot of Wendy and ‘Strikes’ waiting out Old Faithful geyser at Yellowstone that same evening, with what was identified as the Big Dipper in the background, but this is incorrect; it’s actually Ursa Major. Nice use of a handheld light and the residual twilight from the sky, but we can blame the slight muddiness of the sky on the smutphone used. I’m probably burning all sorts of bridges here, but it’s fun…

The next day brought more Yellowstone pics.

herd of American bison Bison bison in Yellowstone National Park, by Wendy Hall
The park is, naturally, known for its wild American bison (Bison bison, yes indeed,) and also for stupid tourists occasionally getting smacked around by one. My friends were smarter than that, though. At least, they didn’t tell me about any such encounters.

American bison Bison bison in Yellowstone National Park, by Wendy Hall
I don’t see any blood, torn fabric, or bits of smutphone on those horns, so…

American bison Bison bison among steaming vents in Yellowstone National Park, by Wendy Hall
A lone survivor within the wasteland, almost certainly named Rockatansky.

I’m guessing that this is a great time of year to be visiting, because the cooler overnight temperatures will enhance the water vapor of the various hot vents much more distinctly than in warmer weather, but since I’ve never been, we’re just listening to me talking out of my ass.

[“So what else is new, Al?” Yeah, I know, shut up…]

hot spring in Yellowstone National Park, by Wendy Hall
Naturally we need to see some of the hot springs that Yellowstone is known for, and a peek at a geyser in a moment, but it occurs to me as I type this that she had a mineral deposits cascade, similar to this one, featured on her FaceBlerk page (seen from The Girlfriend’s account, not my own because no fucking way,) but not forwarded through e-mail. I’ve already been trying to get to this for a couple of days and requested two larger version of photos, so I’m not delaying it any further, but maybe it’ll turn up here later on. Or you can always check Wendy’s own blog. Or Strikes’ – I’m sure he’s a regular blogger…

Old Faithful geyser in background of hot springs runoff in Yellowstone National Park, by Wendy Hall
She identified this as Old Faithful, but this is the closest image that I have on hand right now, with decidedly toxic-looking runoff in the foreground. This is due to mineral content of course, but all the same I wouldn’t recommend making tea from it, even if it would be effortless.

We’ll close with one of Wendy’s fartsy compositions, though exactly where this was taken I couldn’t say. Some internet sleuth that can measure the precise angles of the Tetons in the background could pin it down, I’m sure. Or I could just ask Wendy, but that’s no fun.

Grand Tetons seen through window of decrepit cabin, by Wendy Hall
And despite all my snark, I have to thank her for sending these along; she travels a lot more than I do, so it introduces a little more variety into the blog. But yeah, I hear you: not one bug or frog to be seen. [Sigh] Whatcha gonna do?

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