Saturday, November 8, 2014

Fall colors - Eastern Sierras

Had a chance to get up to the Mammoth Lakes area for a weekend to capture some of the fall colors. The week before I went was the peak, but I still was able to find some good groves with peak color.

On the way up, I stopped by the Aspendell area outside of Bishop to check on the colors. Most of the North/South lake areas were already past peak, but there was a nice intake right before Aspendell that had some really nice colors.

Fall Color Reflections, Aspendell Inyo CA

Kayaking through the fall colors, Aspendell Inyo CA

Aspendell Fall Colors Panorama

The rest of the time was spent up towards the Mammoth Lakes area. Convict Lake, Rock Creek, McGee Creek, and Conway Summit were all past peak as well but the June Lake Loop had some nice patches so most of my time was spent there.

Sunburst through the Aspens, June Lake Loop Inyo CA

Looking up, Aspens in the June Lake Loop, Inyo CA

Capturing the Moment, Fall Colors in June Lake Loop

June Lake Loop during the Fall

I also had a chance to get some night shots of the Milky Way but I will post those in a separate thread.

Hope to be able to make it out here yearly for the colors. Looking forward to next year!

Brandon Yoshizawa
B.A.Y | photography

Monday, October 6, 2014

Big Sur

We've been wanting to go back to Big Sur as it has been about 3 years since the last time we visited. Was nice to get away for an extended weekend to do some hiking, relaxing, and take in the nice scenery that the cliffs along Highway 1 have to offer.

On the way up, we stopped off at Limekiln state park to do a bit of hiking. Last time we tried stopping here but it was closed due to budget cuts. The park has a few short trails so we spent some time hiking through the trees and had our lunch.

We hiked the short Hare and Waterfall trails.

After some hiking, we made our way into Big Sur and stopped by McWay Falls.

I just wanted to check out the area as I would come back here at night for sunset and Milky Way photos. When we were there in the day, there were two people on the beach and park rangers were trying to get them up. When they finally came up they were fined. They prevent access down there to help preserve the area.

After visiting McWay Falls, we checked in to Big Sur Lodge. There were deer hanging around our room so I snapped a few shots of them.

We hung out and had an early dinner at the lodge before I left for sunset. There were no clouds so I focused on the flowers in the foreground to add an element to my shot.

Big Sur sunset with wildflowers

After sunset, I hung around and waited for darkness as the clear sky would make for some good Milky Way shots. I took a few test shots, seen from the shot below:

Single frame - McWay Falls Milky Way

After it was dark enough, I decided to move positions to remove any tress from the frame. By that time it was pitch black so I needed to take two exposures and blend them post process. I took a longer exposure for the foreground and a shorter higher ISO shot for the stars. This is the result:

Double Exposure - Mcway Falls  Milky Way and shooting star

All in all it came out pretty good. If I had the chance to retake the photo, I would take a shot of the foreground before it gets completely dark. I guess I'll have to take another trip back to Big Sur sometime.

The next morning I returned to McWay Falls for sunrise but fog rolled in and prevented any sort of color that morning so I focused on the falls and took a close-up:

McWay Falls closeup

We spent the day in Carmel and Monterey shopping and doing tourist things.

I heard they had an Ike's in Monterey as well. We like the one in SF so we headed there for lunch. Pretty pricey for sandwiches but they are good and there are so many options.

Did a bit more shopping in Carmel and had early dinner reservations at Dametra café, one of our favorite spots when we are in the area.

J got the chicken kabobs, and I got the combo plate with Gyro meat and lamb kabobs. Probably a place we will eat at every time we are in Carmel.

We headed back to Bixby bridge for sunset, but the fog/clouds still lingered around so there was no sunset. This is the view I had for sunset:

I hung around for blue hour to get a long exposure of the bridge and car trails winding up the highway. Bixby Bridge blue hour car trails

The clouds didn't look as if they would open up so I didn't hang around for any Milky Way pictures. We just headed back to the lodge, exhausted from a full day out. The next morning I got up for sunrise and headed to Pfeiffer Beach. This beach is famous for the winter months when the sunset lines up through the hole creating a stunning light beam through it. When I got there the clouds were thick and it didn't look like they would open up for sunrise. I took some pre-sunset shots at blue hour:

Portal Arch Pfeiffer Beach blue hour

Since I had the whole beach to myself I walked up and down just exploring the coast. I took a few capturing the tide movement:

Pfeiffer Beach sunrise with the tide coming in

I headed back to the lodge and we headed out to hike the 5 mile Ewoldsen trail. Luckily it was overcast and perfect hiking weather. The trail was pretty steep and a bit of an ass kicker especially carrying all my camera gear.

The hike took us up through the trees and to a lookout point overlooking the coast:

We got back to the lodge, had another early dinner, and I headed back out to Pfeiffer Beach for the last sunset of our trip. It was still cloudy but the wind seemed to be blowing away a lot of it. By the time sunset rolled around, just a touch of color broke through and I was able to capture this:

Portal Arch sunset, Big Sur

This was probably the first time all weekend that I saw a group of other photographers lined up. The rest of the time were mainly just tourists.

I didn't stay out for Milky Way shots because the sky never cleared. So I only had 1 clear night which means I'll have to return to capture the Milky Way at Bixby Bridge and at Pfeiffer beach. While the weather wasn't the greatest, I made the best with what mother nature gave me. It was a good (and tiring) trip and I cant wait to head back up that way again soon. We stopped off at Goleta and got some Freebirds nachos for the ride home...which is now pretty much tradition any time we pass by Santa Barbara.

I'm looking to get out to the Eastern Sierras in a few weeks to capture the fall colors. Hopefully I'll have better luck with photo weather.

Brandon Yoshizawa
B.A.Y | photography

Monday, September 1, 2014

Los Angeles Meetups

Always honored to have my photographs printed and blown up/hung. One of my friends blew up a 24 x 32 canvas print for his wife of my hummingbird which is hanging on their wall.

I always think of what print I would blow up to hang but my wife and I have different opinions. I'm a bit biased to some of my shots due to the experience I had while getting the shot so some of my most favorite are not the prettiest. I guess we'll decide on that whenever we get a house of our own.

On another note, I've been going out to a few IG meetups in Los Angeles. I've been wanting to check out the steel wool craze so figured it would be my best bet. One was hosted by @conquer_la and one was hosted by @mastershotsla

Here are a few of the steel wool captures I was able to get:

Steel wool spinning downtown Los Angeles Grand lower

Had a good time, met some cool people, and can't wait to do it again.

Brandon Yoshizawa
B.A.Y | photography

Monday, August 18, 2014

Views of Los Angeles

Haven't had much time to update the blog as I have been trying to get out to LA to go shooting. I also went deep sea tuna fishing for the first time a few weeks ago. Here are a few snaps I took:

We hit our limits so that's 70 yellowfin for 12 anglers. Other than getting sea sick it was a blast reeling them in. I think the biggest catch was around 40 lbs. We probably made every type of tuna imaginable, sashimi, seared, sushi, smoked, deep fried, etc, etc. Probably the freshest fish I will ever eat, but we are all sick of it so won't be eating any more anytime soon.

Here is a photo dump of random LA shots from the past weeks. I've been going out trying to find new spots to get a good view of the skyline.

Dodger Stadium and Los Angeles at Twilight Downtown Los Angeles from Cesar Chavez Ave Downtown Los Angeles blue hour from Figueroa 6th Street light trails, Downtown Los Angeles Sunset Over Los Angeles Car Trails on the 110 Freeway overlooking Downtown Los Angeles

Got some more spots lined up, so will probably be out for the next few weeks as well. We are also heading out to Big Sur for a weekend next month so hopefully the skies are clear for some Milky Way shots.

Brandon Yoshizawa
B.A.Y | photography