Sunday, August 30, 2015

Love Boats - Convict Lake Milky Way

Convict Lake boat dock, Mammoth Lakes Milky Way
I knew I had to spend some time shooting the night sky at Convict lake. It was super windy through the night and the moon was still in the frame until around 10:30pm. At around 11pm, the wind pretty much died completely and I headed straight to the boat dock to snap some before it picked back up. Long exposure shots here aren't always possible as the slightest wind moves the dock and boats causing them to be blurry. I snapped a few comps here and then a few from the classic lookout. Here is one of the comps from the dock with 2 boats lined up in front of the Milky Way. I think the boat on the right moved ever so slightly. I'll dig into the other shots I took here next week. Happy sunday.
Nikon D750, Nikkor 20mm 1.8, f/2, 15 sec, ISO-6400


Saturday, August 29, 2015

Smoky Surprise - Mammoth Lakes

Smokey sunset, Mammoth Lakes CA

We had pretty much clear skies the entire trip, but on our last night after driving back from some fishing at Convict Lake the sun burst through the smoky haze and produced some pretty cool rays. Color didn't explode but the rays against the dark mountain range looked awesome. I had to pull over and take a few before heading back to the cabin. This was an awesome sky to end the trip.
Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-120 f/4, f/11, 1/3 sec, ISO-100


Friday, August 28, 2015

Day vs. Night

Sky Rock, Volcanic Tablelands

Yesterday I showed you a daytime shot from here. Today I show you one of the many comps I took here at night, and no better way than to use the new format. IMO it's the best of both worlds to be able to show most of your image but still retain the square grid format. This shots been on my photography list for some time now and I'm glad I finally had the chance to get it. It was probably the most difficult night shot I've taken so far since the petroglyphs are literally inches in front of you. This is essentially a vertically oriented 3 x 3 pano which consists of 3 vertical rows of 3 shots panned horizontally. I could have made my life easier with a wider lens, and I plan on bringing one when I return here in October. I wanted to keep everything natural with no light painting and I'm pretty happy with the results. No focus stacking was needed on this shot, but I did take some other comps utilizing that technique which I will get around to editing soon. Hopefully this image gives you a glimpse of how special this place is and how cool it was to be out here capturing thousands of year old rock art sitting below the Milky Way.
All shots: Nikon D750, Nikkor 20mm 1.8, f/1.8, 15 sec, ISO-6400

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Ancient Petroglyphs

Petroglyph sunburst, Volcanic Tablelands
It is said that a culture inhabited the area known as the Tablelands some 8000 years ago. These people used hard stones to etch patterns and designs into rocks to form petroglyphs. The inner carving is lighter than the darker exterior rock and provides the contrast to make them visible. Sunset here was pretty hazy and no real color came through. I was worried that the sky would not clear by night, but the wind blew most of it away leaving a nice clear sky for stargazing. I'll get around to editing some of the night shots I took here but in the meantime here is one as the sun was setting. You can see some of the haze in the background. Stopped down to get the sunburst more pronounced.
Nikon D750, Nikkor 20mm 1.8, f/16, 1/125 sec, ISO-100


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Abandoned 395 house, Mammoth Lakes

That 395 house, Mammoth Lakes CA

Alright here is the first edited shot from my trip, and a trip to Mammoth is never complete without visiting that one house. I came here after I had shot a bit at Mono Lake and by the time I got here it was already about 1 am since the moon didn't set until 11:45. Still get freaked out standing here alone in the dark so I only took a few snaps from this one angle. Next time I'll give myself some more time to do some light painting.
Nikon D750, Nikkor 20mm 1.8, f/2, 15 sec, ISO-6400


Sunday, August 16, 2015

Water Texture - Palos Verdes sunset

Sunset seascape from Golden Cove, Palos Verdes

Awesome sunset burn from the coves of Palos Verdes. Love the water texture I was able to capture here as the set came rolling in. This is a blend of 2 exposures, one for the water and one for the sky. Shooting from these coves never get boring, compositions are endless. hope everyone is enjoying their weekend.
Nikon D750, Nikkor 20mm 1.8, 0.6 sec, 1/15 sec, f/8, ISO-200


Saturday, August 15, 2015

Galaxy Crossing - Milky Way over Mojave

Milky Way, Cantil CA

The Milky Way stretches over a railroad crossing from the small town of Cantil outside of Mojave. Strong light pollution from the city in the back.

Nikon D750, Nikkor 20mm 1.8, f/1.8, 15 sec, ISO-5000

Monday, August 10, 2015

Golden Cove - Palos Verdes

Golden Cove sunset

Don't really need another title other than the name of this cove and you can see why it's called that. When that golden hour light hits the cliffs, the warmth just radiates off them. This is a blend of 3 exposures, one for the water and 2 for the sky. For some reason my land exposure shifted and I couldn't get it lined up in post, so I spent more time then I cared to masking back in the water. A person was also walking through the frame during this sequence but an easy way to mask out people is to take multiple shots with the same exposure. Layer each shot in photoshop and mask over the people using another layer where they had already moved. This is a much easier technique then trying to clone stamp your photo to death and it's a handy tool when you know there will be tons of people walking through your shot.
Nikon D750, Nikkor 20mm 1.8, f/16, ISO-50, 1/3 sec, 1/4 sec, 1/6 sec

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Skyway - Malibu Milky Way

Windy roads leading to the Milky Way, Malibu CA

We were out capturing the fog roll through the Santa Monica Mountains from a lookout in Malibu. The Milky Way positioned itself nicely with one of the curves in the road so I captured a few with the curving lines leading out towards the sky. I see a lot of people zooming through these curves. Add a view like this and it can be a recipe for disaster. There's already a memorial at this specific lookout. Be careful when you drive through here and protect yourself and others. Vertical image but the 1:1 crop shows a decent amount.
Nikon D750, Nikkor 20mm 1.8, f/2.8, 15 sec, ISO-2500

Friday, August 7, 2015

Frank - PV shipwreck sunset

PV shipwreck long exposure sunset

This is the exact same angle of the shot I posted of the PV shipwreck a few weeks ago except this one is a longer exposure. The LE brings a totally different mood to the shot, helping smooth out the water and streak the clouds just a little more. The clouds ere movin real fast and I wanted to keep some texture so I didn't lengthen the shutter too much, just enough to get a slight bit of movement. Without the sunburst you can see more details of the crane. So whats your go to with seascapes? Do you prefer the smoother more ethereal water produced with long exposures, or do you like to capture the water movement with shorter exposures?
Nikon D750, Nikkor 20mm 1.8, 13 sec, f/11, ISO-50, CPL + ND


Monday, August 3, 2015

Hide and Seek - Red Rock Canyon

Red Rock Canyon State Park camping under the stars

The core of the milky way sets behind the cliffs at Red Rock Canyon State Park. This is a convenient place to see the stars, as it is only about 100 miles out of LA but still dark enough to get a good view. You'll get some light pollution from the Mojave area, but nothing compared to the pollution around LA county. If you go, check out some of the rock formations throughout the Ricardo campground area, as well as some across highway 14 in the day use area. Used a glow stick to give a green glow to the tent.
Nikon D750, Nikkor 20mm 1.8, f/2.2, 20 sec, ISO-6400


Sunday, August 2, 2015

Boom Clap - clouds over Los Angeles

Storm Clouds Over Los Angeles

One of my favorite type of clouds are the storm clouds that look like a huge explosion. I saw some forming Wednesday and headed out to Kenneth Hahn Park, but the wind pushed the majority away by sunset. They formed again Thursday and they were lingering over the San Gabriel range so my friend and I headed into the city to find a view looking to the N/NE. We tried one location and were unsuccessful so headed to this spot at the last minute and were able to catch them as they lit up at sunset. We hung around for some twilight shots and called it a night.
Nikon D750, Nikkor 70-200 @70mm, f/14, 1 sec, ISO-50