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On the Wonderland Trail
Mt. Rainier National Park
Dive Belize aboard the Wave Dancer
Photo by Demi Mejia *
Backcountry Skiing in the Eastern Sierras
Photo by Tom Beltran *

 

"Too many Peaks, Trails, Couloirs, and Reefs ... Not Enough Time"

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Wilderness Travel

So far almost all of my wilderness trips have been four to twelve day backpacking or backcountry ski trips where all participants had to carry everything. This results in typical loads of 40 to 70 lbs per person depending on trip duration and required plus optional gear. Most of these trips I've led for some of the local outdoor clubs in the Baltimore - Washington metropolitan area. Others I've just been a participant on, and when skiing through avalanche terrain have usually gone with a professional guide. These are magnificent wilderness regions that require good physical conditioning, proper gear and the knowledge and experience to use it, as well as trip planning and wilderness navigation skills. Backpackers see things that dayhikers only read about in magazines.

Scuba Diving trips were always at dedicated dive resorts or occasionally on a live aboard dive boat where you are literally "camped out" over some pristine reef 24/7. On a live aboard dive boat it's "Eat, Sleep, & Dive"! Typically we're doing three to five dives per day - and doing night dives almost every night. Night dives are spectacular! At night you see animals that you don't see during the day. The second largest barrier reef in the world runs along the eastern coast of Central America. I've done five dive trips there and I think it's the best diving in the Caribbean. Cozumel, Belize, Roatan, and Guanaja are among my favorite places.

Most of my backcountry hut to hut ski trips were done in the Colorado 10th Mountain Hut System which is quite large spanning the White River, Arapaho, and San Isabel National Forests as well as the Holy Cross, Hunter Fryingpan, and Mt. Massive Wilderness Areas. Other trips have included the two AMC huts that are open in winter in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and the Mammoth to June Lake camping trip in the Eastern Sierras.

For descriptions of upcoming or previous trips and two outdoor training courses I offer: "Backpacking Basics" and "Wilderness in Winter" see my outdoor activities website: BackpackSkiDive.org

Photography

Initially photography started as a way to show family and friends what these wilderness areas and reefs were like. As photography has become a more important part of these trips; printing the photographs and creating the posters has become an end unto itself. To date all of my cameras are 35mm film based. For outdoor trips, I started off with an Olympus Superzoom point and shoot which does a good job but after a couple of trips I wanted something better. Unfortunately almost all of my backcountry ski trips were done with this camera with very few useable images to show for it. The only advantage of point and shoot cameras are size and weight but they are good for snapshots. To get good pictures you need at least a Single Lens Reflex (SLR) of some kind - either film or digital. It's a much higher quality camera that supports high quality interchangeable lenses which allow for creative composition. I'm using a Canon Rebel SLR which is not only a good quality camera but with its polycarbonate housing, is extremely lightweight - the body is only 15.6 oz. Size and weight are major considerations for backpacking and even more so for backcountry skiing. I normally carry a Tamron 28-300mm telephoto zoom, a Sigma 17-35mm wide angle zoom, and a Phoenix 1:1 macro to 35mm lenses for land photography plus filters and sometimes a tripod if I can tolerate the extra weight.

For underwater photography I use a Nikon Nikonos V amphibious 35mm range finder camera and the Nikonos 15, 28, and 35mm lenses. Other equipment includes optical viewfinders, electronic strobes, and a complete set of land and underwater macro extension tubes and framers. Most of my UW photography is either wide angle or macro - two pursuits that the Nikonos V is well suited for. Their 15mm lens is widely regarded as the best underwater wide angle lens in the world.

Some day I will add a digital SLR, unfortunately only a few have CCD's or CMOS image sensors that are "full frame" which is the same size as a 35mm image. To get a digital SLR that is as good as my $500 Canon Rebel I would have to spend between $2500 and $7800 (2008 prices). For that amount of money you could buy at least one, possibly two, medium format film cameras with very high quality interchangeable lenses. A lot depends on what type of photography you want to do. For many people the sub 35mm digital SLR's work great and they are very happy with them. When I'm spending hours scanning slides in, I'm definitely envious. But if you want to print very large images and shoot wide angle landscapes - anything smaller than 35mm is unacceptable. For telephoto work the small image size helps you and magnifies the telephoto effect. For wide angle photos it hurts by decreasing the width of the field of view. For large print images the 35mm format is already too small - most of the pros are using either medium format (60mm in various configurations) or large format (4x5in or 8x10in) film view cameras. Although many pros today are switching to the high end full frame digital SLR's - they have eclipsed high end film SLR's in quality and capability.

Image Editing

You can get the best of both worlds by shooting film and using a film scanner to get a very high resolution digital image from each slide. This has the added advantage of allowing rescanning the original slide at increasingly higher resolutions as scanning technology improves. I've been using a Kodak RFS-3600 film scanner for several years which will scan 35mm film or slides at up to 3600dpi. I replaced this with a Konica Minolta Dimage 5400 II film scanner which will scan 35mm film or slides at up to 5400dpi. My photographic and image processing workflow includes a film front end and a digital back end. Once scanned, everything is done digitally including the final print. For image editing I use PhotoShop CS3 and some related image processing utilities. PhotoShop is a very powerful image processing tool and the tool I use for all image editing. Individual photographs are printed either from PhotoShop or Ventura Publisher depending on what I'm trying to do with the image.

Desktop Publishing

Corel Ventura Publisher is the desktop publishing tool that I've been working with since Xerox originally developed version 1.0 in the mid 80's. This is a superb, very powerful tool that has consistently been rated as either the best or among the best of all of the desktop publishing software. Unfortunately Corel has done a poor job of enhancing this tool since they bought it from Xerox. This is the primary tool I use for overall graphic arts design, color work space management, and digital printing of the posters. All of the other software tools are used to do specific subtasks, the results of which are managed by Ventura Publisher.

Graphic Arts & Mapping

For posters that include some type of drawn item I use Corel Draw. Some of the wilderness trail posters include topographic maps, they are usually developed with either Topo! or Terrain Navigator, although I do have full blown AutoCAD Map if necessary.

Website Creation

My websites are developed and maintained with Microsoft FrontPage a tool that I've found works quite well, for my needs anyway. Because I'm using 21" CRT monitors at a minimum of 1600x1200 resolution for development I've had to significantly detune these images to get them to even work acceptably on an 800x600 monitor which many people will be using.

Managing the Color Workspace

Managing the color workspace in a digital workflow environment is quite complex. Every image capture, display, and print device, as well as all of the image processing software tools deal with color differently. Not only do these devices need to be color calibrated but the image must be accurately, consistently, and automatically color corrected as it is handed off from one device or software tool to the next. I normally use an Adobe RGB color workspace, but may use CMYK for some things. I use a CRT colorimeter to periodically color calibrate my CRT's and software tools. Custom ICC printer color correction profiles are created with another colorimeter by printing, scanning, and calibrating 729 different color swatches for a specific printer + specific ink + specific paper.

 Computers & Printing

As my primary business is providing consulting engineering services I have access to tremendous computer firepower. DeepSoft, LLC. is an engineering firm which provides Mechanical Engineering, Ocean Engineering, and Software Engineering services as well as technical software training. Frequently this work involves creation of complex 3D solid models of products and structures as well as stress, thermal, and dynamic Finite Element Analysis (FEA) computer simulations of these devices. Ocean Engineering work usually focuses on design of diving equipment. Software Engineering entails custom C & C++ programming for engineering applications such as custom CAD & CAE tools, real-time embedded applications, and ROM based intelligent instruments.

Four engineering workstations are networked with FastEthernet. 21" CRT's are used because they have fast dynamic response times which are required for real-time rotation of complex 3D models. As of 2008, inexpensive LCD's are now providing dynamic response times of 2-6 ms which is a huge improvement and is comparable to CRT's. CRT's may still provide more accurate graphic art and photographic color reproduction than current LCD's.  Large format printing is done on the Hewlett Packard DesignJet 800 PS which supports Adobe PostScript, Pantone Colors, and HPGL. This printer accepts 42" wide by 100' rolls of a variety of high quality papers and other printing media. Resolutions supported are 1200 to 2400dpi and True Color which is 16.7 million colors. This is a 200 lb printer with its own maintenance contract and a significant learning curve. For more information about these technical services please check the DeepSoft, LLC. website listed below, or the new FEA-CAE-Engineering website which is specific to Mechanical & Ocean Engineering only.

DeepSoftInc.com
FEA-CAE-Engineering.com

Copyright Information

All photographs and posters are for sale. All images, photographs, and posters are copyrighted material and are protected by United States and International copyright laws.

Photographs Taken by Others

* Photographs at the top of the page were taken by Demi Mejia, Captain of the Wave Dancer, and Tom Beltran - they own the copyright to these images.
 

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Photographs and Posters Copyright 1995 to 2014 by Ted Fryberger, All Rights Reserved
Website Copyright 2005 to 2014, by Ted Fryberger, All Rights Reserved