Monday, February 18, 2013

Culp Valley / Slot Canyon campout

A few months ago, my son's Boy Scout troop planned an outing to the slot canyons in Anza-Borrego State Park. The Friday before we were to leave, skies opened over the desert and we made the decision to postpone the trip - the last thing we needed was a flash flood washing away the bunch of us!  Fast forward to this weekend, where we took in a wonderful little desert trip. After an early start on Saturday morning, Scoutmaster Ron Lawrence (incidentally, 2012 Scoutmaster of the Year in the San Diego/Imperial County Council!) led us to a lovely camp site nestled in Culp Valley above Borrego Springs just off Montezuma Valley Road (10 miles + of twisties - hurrah!).

Then, on plan, we proceeded to hike up and down the hills and gulleys to the Calcite Mines near the eastern boundary of the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Once the Calcite Mines had been "bagged," the next huge highlight was trekking through the slot canyons below the mines, which required a bit of bouldering and team-work.

Back at camp late in the afternoon, the patrols set up their camp areas and got to cooking dinner.  The tastiest Scout meal looked to be fresh grilled chicken, with Colin Young and others in the Patrol stepping up to grill the birds without losing a beat!  The Bulldogs enjoyed salad and meatball subs graciously planned and executed by Manny Bagnas, who also outdid himself with a couple of delicious Dutch Oven desserts in the form of Peach Cobbler and Chocolate/Cherry Cobbler. Man, nothing beats that at the end of a long day and when the night is turning chilly - just ask the Scouts!  A night full of bright stars and a roaring campfire really put the cap on a fun-filled day!  ;-)

All around hiking stud, Dave Sanford
Sunday morning found everyone up early and breaking camp BEFORE breakfast, which worked really well to get the Scouts motivated.  Dave Sanford, our hiking merit badge counselor, had found a really nice viewpoint around dawn, so before we all left a quick hike up to look out over Borrego Springs was in order. 

For me, this was the first time I'd brought out the new D600 + tripod on a real trip. It was fantastic having a quality camera out there to capture the beauty of the desert - my normal rig is an iPhone or a snapshot camera!  Enjoy my favorite pics from the trip!

Sunrise Panoramic, iPhone 5

Me & Etho

Ron Lawrence
2012 Scoutmaster of the Year
San Diego/Imperial County Council

The Bulldogs

Sunrise, behind-the-scenes

Slot Canyons, behind-the-scenes

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Etho's head show

Fiddling around a bit after breakfast this morning and had an idea to create a quick video out of still images. I wanted to see if I could do it quickly in Adobe Lightroom 4, which I did, but ultimately ended up taking it into Apple's iMovie for better control over the timing and the ability to add special effects to the video clips (in this case, the stills).  Here were the steps:
  • 20 images taken w/ a Nikon D600
  • Import to Adobe Lightroom 4; batch edited for clarity and color
  • Created soundtrack in Garageband and saved into iTunes
  • Mashed it all up in iMovie, applied the Bleach Bypass effect, and exported as a Quicktime
  • Uploaded to YouTube, shared on Twitter and G+
  • Total time = 90 minutes
Fun stuff and hopefully the kid is inspired a bit too. ;-) Enjoy!