Friday, December 30, 2011

Click click clickety click click

Jogger, Ophir Beach, Andrew D. Barron©12/30/11
Today I made the rounds to a number of my favorite sites. The edge at Otter Point.
Otter Point, Andrew D. Barron©12/30/11
Outcrop detail, Otter Point
Outcrop detail, Otter Point, Andrew D. Barron©12/30/11
Otter Point, Andrew D. Barron©12/30/11
Otter Point, Andrew D. Barron©12/30/11
I found a Petri 7S range finder 35mm camera! The selenium cell metering never needs batteries. The f2.8 lens doesn’t move; is it fixed focus?

Looking up the Rogue River from Jerry’s Flat road. Infrared channel swap (a little too purple, oh well.)
Rogue River, Andrew D. Barron©12/30/11
I went to Lobster Creek bridge and shot a bunch of film photographs. It was fun. It is flooded. This looks downstream from the bridge.
Rogue River from Lobster Creek bridge, Andrew D. Barron©12/30/11
At the crossing of Edson Creek on the North Bank Road.
 Andrew D. Barron©12/30/11
Home motel on lost love avenue.
Old motel chimneys, Andrew D. Barron©12/30/11
Chicka-chicka-chickens!
Chickens, Andrew D. Barron©12/30/11
Across the Rogue, Andrew D. Barron©12/30/11
At the end of the day. Hipstamatic version here.
Blue sky above Nesika, Andrew D. Barron©12/30/11
This shot is from last week, I look forward to the film version of this driftwood.
Marsh driftwood, Section 24 beach, Andrew D. Barron©12/26/11

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Desert Longing / Coyote Mountains

In this blog, I try to synthesize my trips to the Coyote Mountains near Mexico in the southern California desert east of San Diego and present numerous unreleased photographs.

It has begun pouring rain here on the coast. This time of year always brings back memories of my earliest real field geology experiences. I was very green about field work at New Year, 1995. The nearly 700 mile drive from Chico to Ocotillo was filled with new sights and experiences. I went down there for classes,‘95 and ‘96, then for fun in 2000. These photos come from three subsequent visits since 2007. After I finished undergrad, I used the Coyote Mountains as GIS proving ground of sorts as much as I could.*

In March 2008, I lived in the South. That brutal winter, replete with misery and ice storms snapping powerlines, was broken up by a trip out to the California coast. After attending Steve Gillette’s songwriting seminar in Big Sur, the flight to Nashville went directly over my undergrad field area. It had only been four months since I was last on the ground there.
Over the Coyote Mountains, Andrew D. Barron©3/25/08
Above: captured out the window of the big old jetliner, 3:20 pm. 100mm eq.
Southbound: en route in a borrowed car, Andrew D. Barron©1/2/07
Perhaps I was too frank in 1995 when I wrote:
An offshoot of the Elsinore fault has complicated the geology of a small area in the southeastern Coyote Mountains. Extensive right-lateral movement and reverse faulting has chewed up a late Tertiary marginal marine sequence, the Imperial formation. In addition, the mid-Tertiary Alverson Andesite and Anza Formation, and the paleozoic metamorphic basement are included in this complex and intriguing region.

Assigned to this area to learn field methods, we discovered no earth-shattering new evidence to change the work done by Dibblee (1954), Bell-Countryman (1984), and Crowell et al.(1979). We mapped the area using basic skills to paste together the best geologic history we could, hopefully to replicate, at worst, the general relationships established by others.


I was honest, but I wasn’t on my way to be a good consultant! Geologists are storytellers as much as scientists. We really believe our stories. What we don’t know is greater than what we do. This is true for everyone.

At right, en route to the Coyote Mountains for the fourth time. I miss that Martin Guitar hat; the Trogdor t-shirt not as much (1/2/07).

In April 2000, I went way down there with my friend Mr. Nicholson. That early page still exists. He writes recently, “It was a little freaky for me that first time having Andrew drive our rental car up a desert wash. Now it's old hat.” Our trip photos are here. Back before blogging was a word, I put up a page about that trip. An excerpt:

We pushed on through to El Centro and camped at my old stomping grounds outside of Ocotillo. There was plenty of daylight, so we hiked up to the top of the nearby peak (about a 1000 feet climb). Went back to El Centro for dinner, returning for a moonlit drunken hike on the upper Imperial Formation. Afterwards, I played DEVO songs on a nylon stringed acoustic (Gut Feeling/Slap Your Mammy if you must know). We ran out of beer (again) and suddenly out came a bottle of Cuervo that Jeff had kept secret. Before long we were fire jumping.

At New Years 2007, I was 33 and just wasn’t sure I wanted to be a geologist anymore. Well, that wasn’t it, but I didn’t see a way through. I was having a great time touring around with Hellbound Glory, but I knew I wanted to get out of Reno. Leroy came up with a catch phrase: ‘everybody hits rock bottom in Reno.’ He later wrote a whole song. I was tired of things there after hitting rock bottom. I was lucky to borrow a perfect condition ‘88 Accord from my brother in law, and made the long trip south to see.

Starting at the Canyon Sin Nombre overlook, east of Sweeney Pass:
Canyon Sin Nombre, Coyote Mountains, San Diego County, CA, Andrew D. Barron©12/07
Ocotillo bloom, Canyon Sin Nombre, Coyote Mountains, San Diego County, CA, Andrew D. Barron©12/07
Ocotillo blooms, Canyon Sin Nombre, Coyote Mountains, San Diego County, CA, Andrew D. Barron©12/07
Anyway, 1/3/07, I camped right down in the wash. In the morning looked out to the east as the sun was rising. Well, okay, it was almost 11a.m.
Canyon Sin Nombre, Coyote Mountains, San Diego County, CA, Andrew D. Barron©1/3/07

Canyon Sin Nombre, Coyote Mountains, San Diego County, CA, Andrew D. Barron©1/3/07
Anza formation, Canyon Sin Nombre, Coyote Mountains, San Diego County, CA, Andrew D. Barron©1/3/07

Anza formation, Canyon Sin Nombre, Coyote Mountains, San Diego County, CA, Andrew D. Barron©1/3/07
At the end of a long day, here is where I camped. You are here. Comforting
Coyote Mountains Wilderness, Imperial County, CA, Andrew D. Barron©1/3/07
Coyote Mountains Wilderness, Imperial County, CA, Andrew D. Barron©1/3/07
About sundown I hiked to the top of the ridge (seen above) and looker further north:
North, Coyote Mountains, Imperial County, CA, Andrew D. Barron©1/4/07
Stepping out a long ways, to a shot from 1/12/09:
North, Coyote Mountains, Imperial County, CA, Andrew D. Barron©1/12/09
Crystalline basement, Coyote Mountains, Imperial County, CA, Andrew D. Barron©1/4/07
After doing all of that fault mapping in the Nevada desert from 2002-2005, I was interested in the range front fault at the Coyotes. Some funny things happened on that trip.
Upper Imperial formation, Coyote Mountains, Imperial County, CA, Andrew D. Barron©1/4/07
Above the Elsinore Fault, Coyote Mountains, Imperial County, CA, Andrew D. Barron©1/4/07
Ocotillo bloom, Coyote Mountains, Imperial County, CA, Andrew D. Barron©1/4/07
Imperial formation, Coyote Mountains, Imperial County, CA, Andrew D. Barron©1/4/07
Cactus in wash, Coyote Mountains, Imperial County, CA, Andrew D. Barron©1/4/07
I hiked up to the fault and then southeast along the trace to the familiar Fossil Canyon; about 5 miles. It was grueling. The full moon I counted on for my return did not rise until three hours after sundown. In the end it was about a 15 mile hike. A crazy storm had blown in and once finally back at camp, my tent was gone. After catching my breath there in the dark, I found it about a mile up a wash, partially shredded and pinned in an ocotillo bush.

My old mapping was inadequate and my questions have never relented. The Elsinore Fault rips through the southern tip of the Coyotes beautifully with substantial Quaternary activity. Why, back in ‘96 were we up there taking all of those bedding attitudes on this stately fold in the paleozoic basement?
Basement fold, Coyote Mountains, Imperial County, CA, Andrew D. Barron©1/3/07
With Mr. Solecki, Mr. Hern, and Mr. Mikacich, I had a great time nonetheless. Turns out that after my last visit, some new work was completed by Tom Rockwell on that very stretch of the fault, published this April 2011, in JGR

Looking down the right lateral fault, Coyote Mountains, Andrew D. Barron©1/2/07
Here is my first ever geologic unit description, March 10, 1995.

The Imperial Formation is Pliocene, strikes north-east, and dips about 20° regionally. Named by Hanna, 1926, the context in this paper is applied to the units following Tarbet and Holman, 1944. It is exposed in a large portion of our study area, with little to no vegetation. The mouth of Fossil Canyon is the south-eastern limit in our field area. Northward, faulting has complicated some stratigraphic relationships, but it typically rests conformably on the Rainey Formation.

The Imperial Formation is consists of three members, simply Lower, Middle, and Upper. Individually distinct, these names relate to stratigraphic position. A typical section of the Lower Member is found just north of the mouth of Chimney Canyon. The Upper Member is typified by the exposures fifty feet east of the mouth of Fossil Canyon.

The Lower Member is a matrix supported conglomerate that lies conformably on the greenish Rainey Formation. This contact is seen well exposed on the western side of pale yellowish brown, largest clast: 12", mean: 2" 75% volcanic, 25% mm & plutonic igneous. Graded and sorted in places

The Middle Member can be broken three main facies; fossiliferous, sandstone, and bioturbated. The fossiliferous facies is well exposed in Chimney Canyon, high on the eastern side, 500 feet from the mouth. A typical sandstone facies is found in Fossil Canyon, at least 1,000 feet from the mouth. At the mouth of Fossil Canyon, a typical bioturbated facies is well exposed. Fine grained, tan to golden. Quartz, micaceous, feldspathic. Extremely bioturbated at top, burrow average size: 2" in diameter. Fossiliferous layer ~ 7 ft. thick in center of unit. Conglomeratic lenses grading into lower member.

The Upper member is yellowish gray with fracture surfaces coated with limonite stain. White flakes of gypsum 1 cm. thick, 5 cm diameter.



From nearby Split Mountain in January 2009, I climbed up on a ridge and photographed the Upper Imperial mudstone with a 200mm equivalent focal length:
Fish Springs Wash near Split Mountain, Imperial County, CA, Andrew D. Barron ©1/8/09
This became a fine black and white 8x10 print early this January.
Split Mountain, Imperial County, CA, Andrew D. Barron©1/08/09
* First off was importing AutoCAD dxf files from a commissioned photogrammetric mission to ArcInfo. I still remember the 5 1/4 floppy, and how big the 11 megabyte uncompressed file seemed to those PCs of that time. Later at the USGS in Menlo Park (1997), I made a digital elevation model (DEM) after learning much about the process from the USGS internal group who were once called ‘national mapping.’ They used digital line graph (DLG) versions of the topographic contours made from the mylar separates known as greenlines on a proprietary Intergraph workstation. Anyway, once I saw Robert Lugo working on it for our Bay Area Landslide Folio (USGS OFR97-745), I learned ArcINFO’s TOPOGRID routine to make a very high resolution DEM of the field area used by Chico State. Soon I became friends with Mr. Saucedo from the California Division of Mines and Geology (now called California Geological Survey). I squandered access to some source mapping for that region. My copy of that mapping-focused PhD from the ‘50’s is buried in a storage unit somewhere.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

One Third Trail

I checked out a previously unknown-to-me trail to the beach (overview map). It was a wonderful day. I carried nothing but cameras and lenses down the 1.5mi trail. It is part of the many strands of the Oregon Coast Trail. Heading south from Gold Beach, look for the parking on the right (west) when you see this milepost. There is little named reference on the 1:24,000 topo sheet; the creek is unnamed and you do end up squarely in Section 24 (of range 15W, township 37S).

Wide aperture, wide angle, infrared forest shots were a theme of the day with the beastly and beautiful 17-55mm Nikon lens.
Ivy climbs, Andrew D. Barron©12/26/11
Section 24 beach, Andrew D. Barron©12/26/11
The square format, and typically low point of view of the Hasselblad has influenced how I shoot other cameras too. Today I couldn’t bring myself to crop the infrared shots (as I often do to 5:4). They come out of the camera at 3:2 (4288x2848). Also, since doing all of the 35mm negatives (1, 2,3,4, 5, 6, 7,8) I have a new fondness for that 3:2 rectangle. Oh, and the very wide 17mm focal length available on this lens is delicious.
Section 24 beach, Andrew D. Barron©12/26/11
Section 24 beach, Andrew D. Barron©12/26/11
The beach was completely barren with only the prints of a roaming dog left behind. I was pretty enamored with the 17-55 lens on the infrared d5000. Just to be sure, I put the 35mm/f1.8 lens on for this closeup of the rocks on the beach.
Rocks of the Otter Point formation, Section 24 beach, Andrew D. Barron©12/26/11
It is very sharp. It has an infrared hotspot at smaller apertures beyond about f5.6 (not an issue here). A good example of that hotspot can be seen here.

I tried to get off the beach a different way and ended up on top of these rocks. I’ve scrambled through the woods in Curry County before, and wasn’t feeling up to the challenge today and turned back. I spent some time with this composition with the Hasselblad, some Ektar 100, and the 50mm/f4 lens, but who knows when I will get around to presenting digital versions from the Hasselblad.

So, from the very close with a sharp lens (above), to the far away with my least sharp camera, my aging iphone 3g with the Hipstamatic 190, now probably 10 updates out of date. (below)
Unnamed creek at Section 24 beach, Andrew D. Barron©12/26/11
Cape Sebastian to the south.
South towards Cape Sebastian, OR, Andrew D. Barron©12/26/11
I hiked Cape Sebastian on 12/5/10, and included this photograph that looks north and includes today’s adventure. This was the same camera, my Nikon D5000 prior to infrared conversion using the rather soft and slow kit lens. In reviewing this photograph, I was surprised to see that it is as-shot (no TopazAdjust).
Cape Sebastian, Curry County, OR, Andrew D. Barron ©12/5/10
It was only one year ago that I got the super sharp, cruddy bokeh, great value 35mm/f1.8 lens. Shortly before it arrived, I went to a favorite location and posed with my beloved Sony DSC-H1. I think it was supposed to be a goodbye:
Euchre Creek marsh from Ophir detour to nowhere, OR, Andrew D. Barron©12/26/11
Yet I am still shooting color digital with it.
Outcrops, landslides, and spruce, Section 24 beach, Andrew D. Barron©12/26/11
Not long afterwards, spent too much to change the sensor in my D5000 to infrared, imaging in the very near infrared spectrum from 715nm to 1100nm. Black and white photographs are somehow different, perhaps more emotive, asking the viewer to see the world differently.
1/6 second exposure near dark, Andrew D. Barron©12/26/11

Great hike south of Gold Beach, Andrew D. Barron©12/26/11

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Tis the season

For film photography! I have a great time shooting with the Fuji Instax. It is always the hit of the party.

Though this place has it’s major problems, it is still a place that is most like home.
Above Sisters Rocks, Ophir, OR, Andrew D. Barron©12/22/11
I got spoiled using an Epson V700; these Instax Wide prints were scanned with an Epson NX625.

This is the mouth of Greggs Creek. The sea continues to pound away at the bank, and the county piles more rock. In the last year, it has probably cut back four feet. I photographed this spot with a bunch of cameras last year (see entry). This is with the borrowed 17-55mm Nikon lens that does f/2.8 though the whole zoom range; this was at 46mm eq. at f2.8.
Mouth of Greggs Creek at high tide, Ophir, OR, Andrew D. Barron©12/23/11
I got up yesterday morning to be at the beach. It was sunny and nearly sixty degrees with an impressive +2 tide. I went through three rolls in the Hasselblad.
Hasselblad shoot at south bay at Sisters Rocks, Ophir, OR, Andrew D. Barron©12/24/11
I set up at a safe distance and went through the range of lenses on the 500c. Here, the 150mm/f4 Zeiss is mounted; I use the 50mm/f4 and 80/f2.8 more often. I also used my Nikomat FT2 loaded with black and white film (TriX 400) and a red #25 filter. The time was much like a session from January 2010. One of those photographs inspired me to pursue film photography.
Devil's Backbone, Oregon, January 2010.
Devil's Backbone, Curry County, OR, Andrew D. Barron©1/13/10
That day, much like today, was filled with wonder looking down the tube of huge crashing waves.
In the tube, Sisters Rocks, OR, Andrew D. Barron ©1/21/10
Quite a lot has changed from that time in early 2010 when I began to tackle photography in earnest. But the magic and power of the sea remains a primary fascination. After watching many incredibly powerful crashing waves, I followed my instincts with the Instax 210 and got close. A little too close.
North bay at Sisters Rocks, Ophir, OR, Andrew D. Barron©12/24/11
I went around to the a little cover on the western edge.
Western cove at Sisters Rocks, Ophir, OR, Andrew D. Barron©12/24/11
The camera.
Instax 210 shoot at south bay at Sisters Rocks, Ophir, OR, Andrew D. Barron©12/24/11
Later. Puzzle time! These two shots really show off both the infrared camera, the low light ability of infrared, and also the smooth buttery bokeh of the 17-55 lens.
Kid at Christmas, Andrew D. Barron©12/24/11
Dinosaurs and astronauts!
The Confrontation: dinosaurs and astronauts, Andrew D. Barron©12/24/11
If you have the money, this lens is a much improved over the standard short kit lens (18-55). Here it is at Amazon. The focusing is a bit moody in low light, so I typically set the focus then turned it to manual.
Shots from last December, 2010:
Cranberries, Andrew D. Barron©12/24/10
Patterson Bridge, New Years Eve, Andrew D. Barron©12/31/10
Incidentally, I used a small Nikon CoolPix (perhaps an L22). Even though I like Nikon slr/dslrs, there is nothing nice I can say about Nikon’s consumer grade cameras. I would say Sony, Panasonic, or Canon all the way for point and shoot.
Stocking with Vince Gauraldi, Andrew D. Barron©12/21/10

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