Monday, February 8, 2016

Early Bird - Trona Pinnacles Milky Way

I guess it’s not the early bird if it’s an all nighter. Had a crammed but successful mission shooting from Sat night to Sun am. Took about 1000 photos in the 12 hour session but mind you most were for the timelapses. We started at Red Rock and Cantil for some star trails then made our way out to Trona for some more trails and to catch the rise of the Milky Way. I was really only able to capture MW 2 comps before the sky started getting washed out by the rising sun. If you read my last MW post, you can now probably see why I love the early season positioning. I love how it sweeps horizontal across the frame making it perfect for a landscape oriented shot. Framed this one with the pinnacles in the backdrop along with one of the trails leading out. The sky was already starting to take on a bit of twilight hues. When I get around to posting the second shot, the sky will be a much richer blue. Hopefully some of you were able to catch some MW shots to kick off the season with a bang. Nikon D750, Nikkor 20mm 1.8, f/2, 15 sec, ISO-6400

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Sunset burn from Palos Verdes - Flat Rock Point

This was one of those sunsets where I was down at Flat Rock point shooting in the other direction when I notice the sky lighting up behind me. All I had time to do was hop over to the other side, quickly setup and shoot with no real comp in mind. Therefore this image is largely unbalanced with everything on the right side of the frame. While I caught some nice wave action, and the sunset was fire, I always like to have a well balanced image with elements of interest throughout the frame and not just hugging one side.

Nikon D750, Nikkor 20mm 1.8, f/8, 1 sec, ISO-160

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Pink Slime - Joshua Tree National Park sunset

No not the kind you find in your beef, the kind you find at sunset as the oddly shaped clouds light up. Standard shot from Joshua Tree but what I love about this shot is all the contrasting colors. Pink and green are on opposite ends of the color contrast wheel so the trees really pop against the sky. The dry foreground brush just adds some textural elements to the shot.

Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-120, f/14, .25 sec, ISO-250

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Manhattan beach pier sunset portal

I have a handful of images that stick with me over the years and this is one of them. I was considering printing this one on metal for the living room so wanted to take a fresh look at it. Back when I shot and edited this in 2013, I was restricted to auto blending programs such as photomatix which doesn’t always do the best jobs in tough scenes. Since then I have learned a lot about luminosity masks and it has given me the freedom to blend images much cleaner to my liking. This one was always difficult as the dynamic range of the scene varied widely. What also made it difficult is that the water movement from the ocean was different in each exposure. But I think I got it to a point where I like it, maybe a few more final touch ups. There is now a lot more shadow detail under the pier, and the sky is a quite a bit more controlled in the highlights. If I had a choice I’d choose to retake the shots with my full frame, but I’ve never been able to recreate the scene with low tide, a gorgeous pre-sunset sky, and the awesome light beam coming through the end. Always tough to figure out what to personally print because I hope that my images and processing will continue to improve. But this image stuck with me this long and while my editing may improve over the next few years, I feel like its sufficient enough to portray this scene in all its glory.

Monday, January 25, 2016

In This Moment - Palos Verdes sunset with low fog

Here is the final shot from this series. The last shot I posted of this couple focused on them, hence they were brighter and the background was blurred out. This shot is about the atmosphere; the awesome low fog and the wispy burning clouds above. Therefore the couple is darker and more of a silhouette. Definitely glad to be able to witness these conditions in socal. Make it a good week everyone!

Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-120, f/11, 1/25 sec, ISO-3200

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Serenity Now - Los Angeles Skyline sunset

Thursday was looking pretty iffy with cloud cover closing in fast. The clouds were thin tho so there was color peaking through all day which meant a chance for a burn. As it got closer to sunset it got thicker and hazy and pretty much became a gamble to head into LA to capture the San Gabriel range behind the skyline. We went in figuring we would get skunked but it sure did pay off. Sunset doesn’t always fire here as it faces east but Thursday’s fire sky burned in all directions. There were thicker clouds over the Gabriel’s so it didn’t light up as much as everywhere else, but still enough for me to capture this. It started off pink and turned orange before it disappeared. Some of the buildings have the intense orange glow from behind me as the sky was on fire. I was looking for less haze but the misty mood along with the pink glow gives the scene a surreal dreamy feel and I like it. Probably the closest I’ve gotten to the shot I am looking for from here so far and the first try of 2016! Now are you starting to see why I love this view so much?

Nikon D750, Nikkor 70-200, f/16, 3 sec, ISO-50

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Point Vicente lighthouse sunset, Palos Verdes

Here is the more standard view of the Point Vicente Lighthouse with the cliffs in the foreground. It is a good vantage point though, with the cliffs acting as leading lines out to the tower with the pacific/Catalina in the background. Sunset burned pretty nice and this awesome formation of clouds moved right into frame. Never been down at the beach level at this specific cove, I’ll have to make a trip down one of these days.

Nikon D750, Nikkor 20mm 1.8, f/14, 0.3 sec, ISO-200