Friday, October 27, 2006

A Ride up the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

If you have ever been to Palm Springs you will notice that it is usually warm, if not down right HOT! But high above the desert oasis are the San Jacinto Mountains and an aerial tram that will take you to the top. But don't be fooled, even in the middle of summer it can be quite a bit cooler at the top. Spring is an amazing time to go there though; the mountain has snow and clear skies but the valley is quite warm. Here are some pictures from the top. There are a few nice hikes at the top along with snow camping if one desires.

The first two pictures are looking back down the aerial lines as we climbed up the mountain. In this second picture, you can see a little bit of snow beginning to show up as we are past the halfway point. This shots are taken through the tramways plexiglass windows, so clarity is not quite what you would see at the top.

Once at the top, we found plenty of snow. Luckily we came prepared with sweatshirts and closed shoes (it was sandals for the rest of the week in the valley). The next few shots are from the top as we hiked around.

All shots are taken with the Canon EOS Digital Rebel. The lens used was either the stock lens or an EF 75-300 that is quite econmical but does not have quite the glass that one would need to really capture some of the finer details. Also, shooting in the snow is always challenging for white balance. Most of the shots are at an f/8.0 which gave a nice balance of depth of field and plenty of light.

This last pictures reminds me of why we have a timer on cameras. There are a lot of good uses for a timer, especially when there is no one else around to snap a picture. I also find timers to be very handy for long exposure shots on a tripod. Typically when I reach up and push down to release the shutter and then let go, I seem to create some movement that creates blur. So whenever I have a long exposure, I just set the timer, push the button and move away. This is of course a lot more difficult than a remote shutter release, but it works.

Well, that is it for now. I have to start to dial in my new mountain bike, maybe some pictures of that soon. The bike is starting to feel like it will be a sweet ride....

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