High Plains Drifter

disclaimer:  "The meteorological views/forecast thinking expressed are those solely of the author of this blog
and do not necessarily represent those of official National Weather Service forecast products,
therefore read and enjoy at your own risk and edification!"

February 25, 2010

2010 Feb 5-6 Great Sand Dunes Nat’l Park shoot [29 images]

Filed under: Photography — Mike U @ 6:09 pm

Winter shooting and camping at Great Sand Dunes National Park. It was another one of my 3-day weekends off work the weekend of February 5-7, and I wanted to get a winter shoot in somewhere in northern New Mexico and/or southern Colorado since I was scheduled to be in Clayton, NM for a photography talk on Thursday, February 4th.  It turned out that my scheduled talk in Clayton was put on hold due to a snowstorm, however the storm was expected to clear in time for the remainder of the weekend to be rather nice.  A couple weeks prior, I invited my good friend Michelle Douglass, who lives in Aurora, CO, to join me on this short little trip.  We decided to make a camping trip out of it, and since I had never done any cold weather camping before, I figured this would be a pretty cool (no pun intended) experience, since we both obviously love nature/outdoors and whatnot.  I met up with Michelle around mid-afternoon Friday 5th and we were essentially the only people in the park outside of perhaps a couple other hikers.  After setting up camp we did a late afternoon/evening shoot on the Medano creek bed as well as some landscape scenes from just a mile or so south of the park entrance.  The following morning we awoke to a morning low of about 12°F.  I was a little more prepared than she was for the cold, and the camping was Michelle’s idea :)   At any rate, it was fun, and we had some decent light for sunrise, although it could have been a little better.  After breaking camp, we hiked up the big 600 ft. dune, known as High Dune, near the main dune walk-in entrance area.  I enjoyed the lenticular cloud formations on the peaks of the Sangre de Cristos to the northeast of the dunes.  It was a very enjoyable couple of days with Michelle at the dunes!  After the hike, we had lunch at an Italian/pizza place in Fort Garland and then parted ways.  An album of images is below, enjoy!

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February 20, 2010

2010 Jan 30 Southwest Kansas Rime Ice Album [28 images]

Filed under: Photography — Mike U @ 12:21 pm

Overnight freezing fog and very cold temperatures yielded amazing rime ice across Southwest Kansas on January 30th! I left Dumas, TX very early in the morning on the 30th after documenting and photographing the record snowstorm across the region just a couple days prior.  My route home took me through Guymon, Liberal, Meade, and Minneola along Highway 54.  Through this entire route, the rime ice collected on exposed objects was rather thick.  I decided to stop and photograph some of this in the near-full moonlight at a rest area along Highway 54 northeast of Liberal.  Morning twilight then grew as I drove through the Meade and Fowler areas, and the rime ice became much more evident.  It was a rather amazing winter scene, so I was just hoping that it was still this good as I drove into Minneola.  Sure enough it was.  I spent a good 45 minutes to an hour driving around town photographing this amazing accumulation of rime ice, mainly on the trees.

Images 1-4: Moonlight landscape of the rime ice at a rest area along the Cimarron River a few miles northeast of Liberal

Images 5-7: Images taken in Minneola just before the first light from the rising sun hits the tree tops in town

Images 8-13: First sunlight hitting the trees with a wonderful warm pink and orange hue

Images 14-15: Zoom-in of the thick rime ice accumulation

Images 16-18: Looking down some of the residential streets in Minneola.

Images 19-22: Various other images of the rime ice in Minneola.

Images 23-27: I ended the shoot photographing some of the interesting frosted grass and this thin, golden vertical rod sticking out of the ground with rime ice accumulation.  It was interesting to note that the accumulation was on the west facing side, instead of the traditional north or northeast that is usually seen with rime ice formation in Southwest Kansas given the typical wind direction associated with freezing fog events.

Image 28: Small tree on my lawn back in Dodge City frosted with rime ice.

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February 7, 2010

Mike Umscheid Photography to Appear at ChaserCon 2010!

Filed under: Photography,UTM Updates — Mike U @ 10:48 pm

Mike Umscheid Photography will be appearing at the 2010 National Storm Chaser Convention (dubbed “ChaserCon”) (February 12-14, Denver, Colorado).  This will be my second public showing of a number of my images, including some fantastic new images from 2009.  Once again, I am really looking forward to sharing my work with a number of other storm chasers and photographers.   I will have the following available to show off and for potential customers to buy:

around 80 8×12 glossy prints, (print only) unsigned & not numbered, including new works from 2009 (~ $12)

around 45 8×12 metallic prints, (print only) signed, titled, numbered, including new works from 2009 (~ $30)

10 10×15 metallic prints double-matted white to 16×20, signed, titled, numbered, including the following new works from 2009:  (~ $100)

3 16×20 metallic prints double-matted white and wood-framed to 20×24, signed, titled, numbered: (~ $375)


February 1, 2010

Dumas, TX Winter Storm Photo Album #2 [51 images]

Filed under: 2010 Jan 28 — Mike U @ 1:33 am

“Day after” images shot in Dumas, TX after 13.5″ of snow fell. The morning after the Jan 28th significant snowfall in Dumas, TX, I ventured out on foot to photograph some of the scenes around the south part of town. I started out walking north along Hwy 287 about 3 or 4 blocks. I then walked one block west and through a small residential area before backtracking to Hwy 287 (Dumas Ave.) where I crossed the highway and did some more shooting in the residential area on the south-central part of town just a few blocks northwest of Pioneer Park. I then did some shooting in the park itself before heading back to Dumas Ave. and to my hotel. This was about an hour and a half walking shoot, and many of the images in the album below are from my walk.

Images 1-4: Days Inn Hotel

Image 5-8: Along Hwy 287 (Dumas Ave.)

Images 9-11: Residential area and adjacent businesses just east of Dumas Ave. at 13th St.

Images 12-22: Residential area east of Dumas Ave between 11th and 14th St.

Images 23-27: Pioneer Park

Images 28-31: Residential area between Dumas Ave. and Pioneer Park

Images 32-40: More shots from the Days Inn Hotel, including 1) a Wyoming traveler cleaning off his pickup, 2) a Colorado traveler who managed to get his Jeep stuck pulling a U-Haul trailer, and 3) a picnic area succumbed by a large snow drift.

Images 41-43: A huge line of semis coming into town from the north on Hwy 287. Hwy 54 was closed west of Stratford about 35 miles north of town, so many of the truckers detoured south through Dumas to Amarillo.

Images 44-48: Farm field blow-off drifting adjacent a residential road on the north side of Dumas.

Images 49-50: Cool snow drift in front of the door to a church on the north side of Dumas.

Image 51: This photo was taken about 4:00am on my way back home to Dodge City. This is in Stratford, TX where Highway 54 was closed from this point west into New Mexico. Truckers were basically stranded here that did not want to detour south. This view is looking west-southwest at the west-bound shoulder. Trucks were lined up about 2 miles!

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