Where am I?

Behind aging eyes open to the sights of daily life, ethereal beauty, and indescribable wonder, and before the infinite expanse of a decaying mind.

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Here are my stories, poems, and thoughts.  Some are of my personal experiences, and some only whispered in my mind.  Told here to live on as new dreams, and beginnings of new stories to come.

Capturing the Delcate Arch at Arches National Park

March 19, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

3-15-14
Arches National Park
Moab, UT

I had just said goodbye to my old company after working there 9 years.  Before I start my new life after moving up to Northern California, I wanted to take a good road trip.  I convinced my friends Kevin and Anthony to come with me to snowboard 4 days in Colorado, which was totally awesome and a dream come true.  But after the many days of pounding I was ready to take some pictures worthy of this website!  And on Saturday we arrived at Arches National Park.

I've seen pictures of the Delicate Arch before many times, so I knew it was famous.  But after hiking up and up, and arriving sometime around 4:15 PM, I saw before me, in person, the wondrous thing thousands of photographers sought.  Yes, the Arch itself was grand, but the surrounding area amazingly looked like a classic ampitheater, as if to dramatize the Arch on its stage.  I stood there just staring--I had to take a picture that's different from the multitudes of multitudes taken before, something that celebrates not just the Arch but the entire theater, the view, the viewers, and all.

After checking out the scene (and yes, there was quite a scene of everyone from serious hikers, blond hotties, fobs, etc., and of course dorks like me and my friends), I searched for "that shot" which would set my picture apart from the gazillions of others'. I climbed up a rock hill behind where my pack rested, just about centered in the area. Looking down I thought hmm, pretty good view of the Arch and I can see the humongous bowl in front of it and even all the people resting and looking.  Not too bad... a panorama would be perfect.  That would be The Shot!--it would capture the Arch on stage performing for its audience.  Just what I was looking for.  I brought up my tripod and all my gear and setup. That was around 5-5:30 PM.

It was cold. No, F'ING COLD. I dunno exactly how cold it was, but I was wearing a coat, my hiking pants, and hiking boots, and I started to feel numb in my limbs after some time. I was somewhat precariously perched on the ledge with just enough space to stand in front of my tripod. I started to worry that I'd doze off, and with my legs in a semi-frozen state, I'd fall to the floor 20ft below me. That would have been bad as I had just quit my job and didn't have health insurance. Well, I guess assuming I didn't crack my skull and died.

I tried to keep my hands warmer by keeping them in my pockets as I leaned against the rock, but in addition to being super cold, it was super windy too!  I was just leaning there thinking how sucky the whole situation was when bam! a huge gust of wind hit and pushed the tripod over--suddenly my arm came alive and I grabbed the whole thing right before it fell, probably to its doom on the floor below.  After that, every time the wind picked up I took my hands out and held on to the setup.  And over time it got windier and windier, and my exposed hands felt deader and deader.

An hour passed and the sun still was taking its time, sauntering down the horizon. I was somewhat delirious in the cold, only kept sane by the constant reminder that a slip would mean broken bones, $$$, or worse the end of everything. ...7:00 PM. WTF, I thought the sun was gonna set like 6-ish. My friends probably wanted to kill me. It was F'ING COLD.

...hmm, the sky started dimming. Guess it's time to start. Figured I would keep taking shots from now 'till the sun is gone, continuously panning. I set the camera to take brackets of 7, spanning -3 EV to +3 EV. I started with the camera pointed at the Arch and snapped the first 7 images. Then I rotated this way and that, with my camera mounted on a nodal slide of which I never bothered to calibrate--what's a few cm or in or so off right?

Hundreds of images later the sun started to say its goodbye sometime around 7:15 PM. It was then that the scene was suddenly calm. Hikers, hotties, and fobs alike all stood still, cameras and eyes staring...

... and the enclave convened...

 

Enclave of the Arch, a picture of the Delicate Arch at Arches National Park.Enclave of the ArchThe Delicate Arch at Arches National Park.

 

7 ~22mp shots per HDR image.
1 33mm HDR image every 15deg.
22 final HDR images stitched for 1 panorama spanning a complete 360deg rotation.
7 * 22 = 154 total images incorporated.

Final resulting image after stitching, editing, cropping:
33469px by 4952px = 165.7mp.
~40-50gb working space used.

For the full original panorama:
http://pics.xyclopx.com/utah/arches-national-park/arches-mar-2014/e31a60d85

For a cropped version showing more detail:
http://pics.xyclopx.com/utah/arches-national-park/arches-mar-2014/e1efe98fc

Enjoy,
Dean Chiang


Dark are the Skies

February 25, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Dark are the skies

Through your sleepy eyes

So it seems

 

Dark are the Skies through Your Sleepy Eyes, by Dean Chiang, XyclopxDark are the Skies through Your Sleepy Eyes2-23-2014
Venice Beach, CA


Dark are the skies
Through your sleepy eyes
So it seems
But forever bright
In the light of your mind
Will be your dreams

Dark are the Skies
by Dean Chiang

Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM

 

But forever bright

In the light of your mind

Will be your dreams

 

by Dean Chiang


Little Children, Do Not Play With Fire

February 09, 2014  •  Leave a Comment
I turned the corner and walked past him, but I still didn’t see him--took a while for my brain to recognize a man. But when I finally saw, my heart bled through my eyes and nearly died. My steps slowed as the world turned silent, but I could hear my beating heart louder than ever. It gasped between cries...

 

Little Children, Do Not Play With Fire, by Dean Chiang, XyclopxLittle Children, Do Not Play With FireI turned the corner and walked past him, but I still didn’t see him--took a while for my brain to recognize a man. But when I finally saw, my heart bled through my eyes and nearly died. My steps slowed as the world turned silent, but I could hear my beating heart louder than ever. It gasped between cries. I turned about and found myself before him once more, with an Angel’s moist and unsure hands tightening around my own.

 

...I turned about and found myself before him once more, with an Angel’s moist and unsure hands tightening around my own.

 


Love In Darkness

February 01, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Even during those times that it seems all is dark and none is right,

Loving Thy Neighbor #1 of 3, by Dean Chiang, XyclopxLoving Thy Neighbor #1 of 3#1 of 3 in Love in Darkness.

even during those times that it seems truth is stark, that out of sight,

Loving Thy Neighbor #2 of 3, by Dean Chiang, XyclopxLoving Thy Neighbor #2 of 3#2 of 3 in Love in Darkness.

even during those times close thy eyes, in thy heart see love is light

Loving Thy Neighbor #3 of 3, by Dean Chiang, XyclopxLoving Thy Neighbor #3 of 3#3 of 3 in Love in Darkness.

 

Love in Darkness

by Dean Chiang, Feb. 1, 2014


The Great Creation, The Birth of Photography

May 05, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

The Beginning of Dean Chiang PhotographyThe Beginning of Dean Chiang PhotographyDawn, before sunrise. Full moon.

 

Birthed by pure light, for all to enjoy, let this be The Beginning.

 

Photography by Dean Chiang, Xyclopx.