Ben's Photo Blog

Photos from my various adventures

Archive for June, 2010


Posted by Ben on June 29, 2010

This picture comes from a stop during my road trip somewhere in Wyoming between Lander and the Tetons.  I remember coming around a bend in the road following the river (which you can kinda make out in the right side of the picture) and being shocked at the contrast of colors between the cliffs and the sky.  Luckily, there was a turnout where I could stop and snap a few photos.  It’s neat to be able to see the different layers in the rock, and to see how they come up at an angle.

We’re a week into the REU program here in Corvallis, and things are going amazingly well.  All of the people in the program are incredibly nice, both the other students and the faculty.  I get the feeling that we’ve all grown pretty close to each other in a very short amount of time.  We’re currently in the process of narrowing down research topics for the rest of the summer, and we’ll be giving short presentations later this week about those topics.

Last week, I stumbled onto an advertisement for a live swing band playing in downtown Corvallis this past Friday.  I was able to talk two of the REU students into going with me, and I think we all had a blast.  Saturday morning, a group of us went for a hike which was fun as well.


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Posted by Ben on June 25, 2010

This picture comes from a trip Wednesday afternoon that a couple of friends and I took to the farmers market in downtown Corvallis.  There’s not a whole lot that’s special about the subject of the shot, but I really like the way the composition turned out.  There are very sharp lines of distinction between the different colors in the picture.  The picture is almost perfectly divided into four differently colored quadrants.  The only slight problem being the curved division between the grass and the mulch.  I don’t have too much else to say about it other than I really like the bright vivid colors.

The program has been going well so far.  At the moment we are in the process of narrowing down a topic to study for the rest of the summer, and have been doing a good deal of background research.


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Posted by Ben on June 21, 2010

I haven’t had a whole lot of time for photography since arriving here in Corvallis, so here’s another one of my favorite photos from my recent road trip.  This one was taken on a ridge overlooking the Cedar Bluff Reservoir in Kansas.

The photo was shot using the super macro feature on my camera, which automatically fixes the focal length and zoom for the shot.  Because of that, I sometimes have a hard time getting the correct part of the picture the right distance from the camera and properly in focus.  This one turned out really well though.  The flower and the stem both seem to be nicely in focus.  Shooting in this manner also results in the nice blurred background.  I like that you are still able to make out a few of the other shapes really nicely though, especially the flower to the immediate right of the stem of the main one and the partial bloom on the upper right side.  I also like that I was able to get part of the horizon and the lake in the shot as well.  It’s hard to tell that the shot was taken on a ridge probably 150 above the surface of the lake, but the dark blue color adds nicely to the shot I think.

The first day of the REU went really well.  We had an introductory meeting this morning, followed by a brief campus tour.  In the afternoon, we had our first lecture from one of the professors leading a research group for the summer.


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Posted by Ben on June 21, 2010

Saturday morning, I rose early and headed even further to the northwest from Olympia, eventually making my way to the northern section of Olympic National Park.  Once inside the park, I followed another twisty mountain road to the top of Hurricane Ridge.  The road eventually ascended into the clouds, but gave a beautiful view of the neighboring ridge line of the Olympic Mountains, still covered in snow, as well as clouds.  On the other side of the ridge I was on, you could see all the way down to the coast.  It was kind of a strange image, with the cloud-shrouded snowy peaks in the foreground, but looking down the valley to the blue water as well.  Outside of the lodge at the top of the ridge, a group of three deer were wandering around, and this was one of the best shots that I got of them.

Eventually, I made my way back down from the mountains and took a ferry across the sound to the mainland a little north of Seattle.  I spent the night with some friends in Redmond and left this morning for my final destination: Corvallis, Oregon.  The drive today was not that exciting, and was full of rainy weather for the most part.

I’m now mostly settled in my new dorm room, which is a lot smaller than the one I’m used to back at Tech, but I’m sure it will be fine for the next couple of weeks.  Nine of us who are here for the math REU all went out for dinner together tonight, and it was a lot of fun to meet everyone.  The program officially starts tomorrow morning, and while I’m sad that the road trip is over now, I’m definitely ready to get started.  Now I just need to find some places to dance around here in the summer and I’ll be set.


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Changing Plans

Posted by Ben on June 18, 2010

Well…bad weather up in Glacier necessitated a change in plans for the last part of my trip.  Wednesday, I headed south out of West Yellowstone into Idaho.  I went by the Craters of the Moon National Monument, but because of the rain I couldn’t really see much there.  I ended up in Boise that night.  Thursday, I drove north-west to Yakima, Washington.  I don’t have any pictures from these two days; the weather was too bad on Wednesday, and there wasn’t much to see on Thursday.

Today, I headed west from Yakima through Mount Rainier National Park.  It was beautiful.  The picture above was taken near the entrance of the park.  The neutral-density filter came in handy here to get a really nice blur effect on the water.  There were a bunch of waterfalls along the sides of the roads, that were all beautiful.  There was also a lot more snow than I was expecting for this time of year, and the roads in the higher elevations had piles up to about ten feet on either side.

The top of the mountain was covered in clouds, but it was still an awe-inspiring sight.

I stopped for the night in Olympia.  My plan for tomorrow is to, weather permitting, explore Olympic National Park and then spend the night with some friends in Redmond.


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