Sunday, December 28, 2008

Haunted Hotel?

The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado is rumored to be haunted and this photo seems to lend credence to that belief. The hotel was Steven King's inpiration for "The Shining" and the mini-series was taped here. Ghost tours held at the hotel (we skipped that). The hotel was originally built by Stanley, of Stanley Steamer fame. He traveled to Estes Park to recover from tuberculosis and found the mountain air so refreshing that he built a house (and later a mansion which became a hotel) there.
Estes Park is the gateway town to Rocky Mountain National Park.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Polarizing Filters

Light reflecting off from surfaces such as water or metal can appear diffuse and fuzzy. Adding a polarizing filter (much like polarizing sun glasses) only allows light to come in at one angle. Skies are bluer, haze is reduced, and colors appear more saturated because there is less glare. Reflections on windows and water are reduced so that you can see through to whatever is inside/below. Go here to see with and without images on Wiki. Think of light coming through shutters on a window. This photo, Escape Route, is of the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite National Park in California. The wind was blowing the water across the lake in ripples and with a polarizing filter it takes on an almost velvet appearance near the top and the corduroy near the bottom.
Hetch Hetchy is a controversial reservoir that resulted when the Tuolomme River was dammed up to provide water and power for San Francisco. John Muir, among others, led a losing battle to preserve the Hetch Hetchy valley. While they were unsuccessful, the experience of the loss of the valley gave fuel to protests that prevented a dam that would have filled the Grand Canyon.