Thursday, June 30, 2016

Gold in the Hood - Trillium lake Oregon

A TBT to Trillium Lake in Oregon looking out towards Mt. Hood. I’ve learned from past trips to never pack up and leave right after sunrise and during this trip I took some time to just walk around the calm lake. If I would have left, I would have been skunked. But since I stayed, I got to witness a beautiful display of the sun both burning off the fog and lighting it up with some beautiful golden hues. The sidelight provided some nice warm light on the trees along the ridge of the lake as well as the right side of Mt. Hood. Nikon D7000, Nikkor 18-200, f/8, 1/30 sec, ISO-100

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Road Flare - San Pedro CA

My man Jeff taking a road shot. As he was taking his shot the sky was still firing towards the Vincent Thomas Bridge so I framed this comp with the road cutting diagonally through the foreground. Definitely one of the better sunsets I’ve seen from this side of the bridge. Getting excited about my SF trip next week, hope to shoot the shit out of Goldie J. Nikon D750, Nikkor 20mm 1.8, f/4, 1/40 sec, ISO-640

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

6th street bridge - Los Angeles

This one was back from when climbing on the 6th street bridge was the cool thing to do. I chose to be on the right side to catch the sun setting between the city and the traffic flow. Luckily the sun ended up breaking through the thick clouds to provide a bit of color. I think this was the last time I climbed up before the demo began. Nikon D750, Nikkor 20mm 1.8, f/11, 1/10 sec, ISO-100

Monday, June 27, 2016

Best Seat in the House - Joshua Tree National Park Milky Way and tent

I had this idea in mind for our past trip out to Joshua Tree we just wanted to find a nice little cluster of trees to fill the frame with. We spotted this set as we were walking back from shooting startrails at the Wall Street Mill. We setup the tent, I climbed in using my iPhone to illuminate, and he fired both cameras. Since we took a few exposures, I stacked a few for the foreground to reduce noise, and just used one of the images for the sky with Topaz DeNoise for noise reduction. Love how the iPhone light, while dim, gets picked up by the camera’s high ISO providing a subtle hint of light on trees. Nikon D750, Nikkor 14-24, f/2.8, 15 sec, ISO-6400

Sunday, June 26, 2016

SkyspaceLA firework show, Los Angeles CA

Fireworks are a bit tricky to shoot. Shutter speed depends on the brightness, length, and how scattered or clustered the fireworks are. I also like to try and snap some of the first bursts before it gets too smoky but the smoke drifted over the rest of the buildings so it ended up being ok. In addition, this wasn’t some annual event where we knew exactly where the fireworks were going to be visible from. We gambled a bit further away from the city hoping they would be high in the sky. Park row provides an excellent overlook with car trails leading into the city and we knew it would be a great location for the grand opening show for @skyspacela as long as the fireworks popped off where we needed them to. I chose a slanted line in rather than head on view to frame the US Bank tower in the middle of my frame. I had a few decent single exposures, but I ended up using 2 for the fireworks. One for the base and one for the top portion. They were both shot at 5 seconds, so I added in a longer 15 second exposure to get more fluid car trails. All shot with the Nikon D750, Nikkor 70-200 at f/14. ISO-100. 4Th of July is coming up, which may provide another opportunity to get out and shoot more fireworks.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Lost - Mesquite dunes Death Valley

I get that feeling a lot when shooting astro and just star gazing in general wondering what else is out there. I also get it, but in a different sense, when shooting scenes like this where the landscape is just so vast and you really can’t appreciate it until you show a human element for scale. This was the case when I was wandering the Mesquite dunes in Death Valley after sunrise this day. I didn’t see anyone else out there at sunrise and as I was wandering around I spotted one other person walking amongst the dunes. I suspect he spotted me too as we both stopped walking and snapped shots back at eachother. The dune layering provided excellent patterns to complement the shot. Nikon D7000, Nikkor 18-200, f/18, 1/30 sec, ISO-100

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Strawberry Moon, Summer Solstice - Palos Verdes CA

A VERY quick and dirty edit on last night’s strawberry moon. Given that the next time summer solstice and the “strawberry” moon meet will be in 2062, I figured I’d get out and snap a few. Didn’t see any good local line ups based on what Stellarium was showing so I ended up going to a lookout in Palos Verdes where the full moon would rise behind the cliffs in the distance. Clouds/haze pretty much blocked the moon up until this point where it peaked out and then was visible thereafter. I wanted to capture it a bit lower so it wasn’t as bright but I still managed to pull out the foreground shadows in this exposure. Plus the twilight blues got even richer as compared to when it first rose. I’ll take a new moon over a full moon any day, but it was still fun to get out and snap some. Oh and happy summer everyone! Nikon D750, Nikkor 70-200 + 1.4x TC (effective focal length at 250mm), f/4, 1/20 sec, ISO-3200

Sunday, June 19, 2016

6th street construction - Los Angeles

My man @half_tone checking out the construction on 6th during sunset. Used a telephoto here to compress the skyline in the background. They’ve made a lot of progress since this was shot. Probably about time to head back out and see what it looks like. Nikon D750, Nikkor 70-200, f/2.8, 1/2000 sec, ISO-160

Friday, June 17, 2016

Sunset Fog - Malibu CA

Always wanted to catch the fog rolling down the canyon at sunset in Malibu. I’m not all that close so it’s really a gamble based off what cams and weather reports look like. Plus this thick June gloom makes it a prime time to try. The fog wasn’t heavy enough to drop far enough down so I focused my shot near the top where it was spilling over. I always liked the house that sits on this bend and knew some light trails below it would be a cool addition. Problem with this road is it’s hit or miss with cars. Sometimes you get a ton of them, sometimes it’s just dead. This night was dead so I used a separate exposure for when I got some cars passing by and blended it into my shot. No high clouds but the sky kept a nice orange hue well after the sun had set. Wouldn’t call Malibu local, but one of my favorite shots from here. 

Nikon D750, Nikkor 70-200, f/16, 20 sec, ISO-160

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Lookup Season - Aspens in the Fall

Took a revisit to this shot due to a recent client print. Pushed the highlights to the right really emphasizing the brights, especially around the treetops. This one will be on HD Metal with a glossy finish, printed through @artbeatstudios . They have done a fantastic job on all of my prints. Shoot me a DM if you are looking for a print and @artbeatstudios and I will make it happen.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Joshua Tree National park - Milky Way from White Tank Campground

Arch Rock isn’t the only thing to shoot at the White Tank campground in Joshua Tree National Park. Just past it lie some awesome rock formations. The MW was lining up perfectly so I used the path to lead the eye out. On the left is another somewhat well known rock formation known as the Wizard’s Eye and looks better facing the other way as you can see the hole. This shot is made up of 6 shots of the same composition all fired back to back using the same exposure. I stacked all 6 for the foreground to reduce the noise, and 1 for the sky using a noise reduction program and combined them to get a pretty noiseless final image. Stacking the sky requires a bit more work due to the rotation so as long as I can get similar results using noise reduction I opt for that instead. Nikon D750, Nikkor 14-24, f/2.8, 15 sec, ISO-6400

Sunday, June 12, 2016

City Lights - Los Angeles

A long exposure from downtown Los Angeles behind the 110 freeway.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Malibu Dreamscape - Milky Way plus fog

I have bucket list locations and bucket list shots. Locations are places like Alaska that I’d just love to go to. Shots can be from anywhere as they are just shots that have all elements line up perfectly from a vantage that I want. One of those is this shot from Malibu. I’ve been here a handful of times trying to get the fog just as it is coming into the canyon on a night where the MW would be pretty visible. I’ve been here with no fog and when the fog was already too thick to make out any details underneath. Reason to catch the fog just as it is coming in is to still make out the lights on Malibu Canyon Rd and some of the ones down near PCH/Pepperdine. As I got to this spot, the fog was already coming in and I literally took 4 foreground shots before it got too thick. This shot is comprised of 2 snaps as a vertical pano; one for the foreground as the fog rolled in and one for the MW about 3 hours later as the MW aligned just before the clouds on the right overtook the sky. Both shots were with the Nikon D750, Nikkor 14mm 2.8, f/2.8, 15 sec, ISO-3200.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Minaret Fire - Mammoth Lakes CA

A throwback to one of the best sunsets I’ve witnessed up in Mammoth. The entire sky was fire but as the sky started turning a deeper yellow I pulled out my telephoto to really get some of the details of the Minarets. The textures in the clouds were pretty cool with a small break of light near the peak. Taken from the Minaret Vista where I’ll probably try capturing the Milky Way next time I’m up there as long as it lines up right. Friday is right around the corner!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Lone Juniper and Balanced Rock under Milky Way - Joshua Tree National Park

Here’s the first MW shot I processed from my trip Wed night. We came here before dark to get a nice foreground shot. I wanted 2 things; to have the balanced rock underneath the juniper to give the sense that the rock is smaller, and to use the awesome rock crevices as leading lines in which to me was key for this shot. This comp requires you to get right up to the tree so a twilight foreground shot helped ensure my DOF was sharp throughout. I lined up the juniper as if it is carrying the weight of the MW. As the MW rose through the night, airglow started to appear which is a nice bonus to add some nice green to the sky. My foreground was shot at 8:30 pm with the Nikon D750, Nikkor 14-24, f/14, 10 sec, ISO-320 and the stars were shot at 1:15am at f/2.8, 15 sec, ISO-6400. Times like these I wish I had a second FF body to take other comps while I leave my main body in place for the money shot. But I’m happy how this turned out and I’ll just have to return another time to get a different comp I have in mind. Round 2 tonight, stay cool out there gonna be a scorcher.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Junpier and Rock - Joshua Tree National Park

Pulled an all nighter in Joshua Tree last night. We were hoping mid-week plus the 100+ degree weather would ensure we could hit some of the more popular areas without any trouble of fighting over spots. We started the night off at the lone juniper and balanced rock where we stayed well into the night to shoot the Milky Way. This is a shot from when we first arrived at sunset while the golden hour light was providing some nice light on the subject. The nice wispy clouds mostly blew away by sunset so didn’t get any burn but we did get some nice clear skies for astro. We will be back out here this weekend, but probably to some of the less popular areas as it will be crowded for the new moon weekend. Forecasts show temps to rise up to like 110 this weekend so if you are heading into the desert bring plenty of water and stay safe. Nikon D750, Nikkor 14-24, f/14, 1/60 sec, ISO-100

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Myrtle Falls - Mt. Rainier National Park

Can you tell my head is still in the PNW? This was taken almost 4 years ago. Hiked through snow and early wildflower blooms and can easily say this is one of my favorite National parks. First time visiting this park, first time we set foot in WA, and my first shot to get published in a magazine by @naturesbestphotomagazine . Can’t wait to bring Cole up to this area when he gets older but for now he will stay with the grandparents while the wife and I go enjoy ourselves. Nikon D7000, Nikkor 18-200, f/16, 0.3 sec, ISO-100