Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Arch Motel - Joshua Tree National Park

Camping under Arch Rock, Josha Tree

Here is another shot from arch rock in Joshua Tree. This is the shot I envisioned with the lit up tent sitting under the arch and the beautiful Milky Way. Hiking out with my backup tent was no problem as this isn't really a hike but keeping the tent still during the long exposure was hard as it was super windy. Luckily I snapped one where the stayed fairy still. This is a more head on view taken once the core of the Milky Way rose above the arch. Kept the arch slightly darker to emphasize the tent more.

Nikon D750, Nikkor 20mm 1.8, f/2.5, 20 sec, ISO-5000

Thursday, May 28, 2015

San Diego Skyline

San Diego Skyline at twilight

Throwback to the time we visited San Diego for a weekend. I always wanted to capture the skyline from this side so I made it a point to come here every day while we were visiting. The sky was lookin pretty thick when I woke up this am but I went out anyway. The twilight sky took on a nice mood even with the overcast sky. Unfortunately sunrise was a bust but still glad I was able to catch a nice blue hour, or in this case purple hour, shot.
Nikon d7000, Nikkor 18-200@27mm, f/11, 30sec, ISO-100

Friday, May 22, 2015

Standing Alone

Keys View sunset, Joshua Tree National Park

Finally got a chance to review my Joshua Tree pics from last week and here is the first edit. I headed out for some star shots but were greeted with a storm so we headed up to Keys view for sunset. It's an awesome view of the valley below but I wanted to capture this lone tree while the higher clouds still had some color prior to sunset. Always be willing to take what Mother Nature gives you and be ready to adapt to any situation.
Nikon D750, Nikkor 20mm 1.8, f/8, 1/40 sec, ISO-100

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Twin Towers

Steel wool at the Sepulveda Dam

I've been wanting to spin at the Sepulveda dam for a while and we finally got a chance to get out there and do it. I've seen quite a few spins from this location but never the shot I envisioned here with an overhead spin up top and an orb down below. The overhead spin used steel wool, magnesium, and led lights while the bottom used just wool. We lined it up between two of the dam pillars for some nice symmetry.
Nikon D750, Nikkor 20mm 1.8, 20 sec, f/8, ISO-125


Thursday, May 14, 2015


Karl over San Francisco
Throwback to that one time I ever got to meet that Karl dude....and it was in the middle if the day in harsh light. As my wife and I were flying in we saw some fog over in the area so we drove straight from the airport to hawk hill and were treated to this view. After taking some shots we hiked up to slackers ridge but by then higher fog had rolled in from behind and we lost all visibility. I visited every sunrise and sunset for the entire weekend but wasn't able to catch that Karl in any sort of awesome light. One day man one day I'll meet you with some epic light.
Nikon d7000, Nikkor 18-200, f/22, 1 sec, ISO-100


Saturday, May 9, 2015

House on Haunted Hill

Light Painted Abandoned house, Mojave CA

 Here is another version of the abandoned house from the Mojave area. We had some color LED's so we stuck one red one and one blue one inside and took a few shots. The sun was already beginning to wash out the stars but the blue hour color of the sky fit nicely with this shot. Looking forward to getting back out and taking more star shots soon.
Nikon D750, Nikkor 20mm 1.8, f/2.8, 20 sec, ISO-2500


Friday, May 8, 2015

Starlight Starbright

Long Beach twilight
Here is the twilight shot from the sunset shot I posted a few days ago. I moved out to the end of the rocks to get a clear view of the lighthouse and Queensway bridge. I wanted to get out here as the just fixed the lights on it but man are they bright so I bracketed exposures. Had a bit of the afterburn color left from the fire sunset which added some nice color along with the twilight blue. I wanted some nice reflections but it's been windy lately so I just used a longer exposure to smooth out the water a bit.
Nikon d750, Nikkor 20mm 1.8, f/16, ISO-200, 60 sec and a 10 sec and 5.5 sec shot to control highlights

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

All Roads Lead to you

Sunburst, Los Angeles sunset

Here is another version of the shot from the east side of LA. This was taken before sunset and I wanted to use the bridge to block the street in the right so I hopped down lower for a different vantage point. I waited until the sun got low enough to be able to capture the burst through the trees. I knew this was going to be a high dynamic range shot so I bracketed tons of shots at 2 stops apart all the way from 2 sec down to 1/40 sec.
I had a go at trying to manually blend select parts together but ended up just throwing them all into photomatix which did a good job of blending. I added a touch more contrast to this shot than normal.
All were shot with the Nikon d750, Nikkor 30mm 1.8, ISO-50, f/16.


Friday, May 1, 2015

Long Beach on the Rocks

Long Beach sunset from the waterfront

I swear that could be the new drink . I headed out to the LBC last night to catch sunset at the waterfront and didn't realize they put in a dock that kind of blocks the un-obstructive view of the water. I actually went on the dock to shoot but long exposures are impossible as it bobs up and down. So I climbed out on the rocks by Parker's lighthouse to get this shot. It's made up of one long exposure with a shorter exposure to control the highlights where the sun was a bit bright still. Stacked my ND and CPL to smooth the water as it was windy. Stuck around for some twilight shots and called in a night with a homemade churro from the funnel cake house.
Nikon D750, Nikkor 20mm 1.8, f/14, 90 sec and 20 sec, f/14, ISO-200