Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Malibu foggy sunset

A close up of one of the windy roads in Malibu. Normally I like to lengthen my shutter speed to capture the movement of the fog but I wanted to capture a car on this road for scale so I had to speed it up for this shot. The fog took on some cool shapes on the right plus the setting sun provided some great light on both the van and the side of the hill. The white provided great contrasting colors against the green. Had to show the full 2:3 crop here to get the whole curve in view. With the June gloom ending, I’m happy with the fog shots I was able to capture from here this year. May make some spontaneous trips out here throughout the year but I’ll be back next year in full force during the June – July months. Nikon D750, Nikkor 70-200, f/14, ISO-160

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Transamerica Line up in the fog, San Francisco

After spending twilight up on poison ivy hill with my friend Nam, we headed up to the Transamerica lineup. Fog was mainly flowing behind the bridge covering the city but every now and then the fog would lower revealing just the tip of the Transamerica building. I just kept waiting until I saw more become visible to release my shutter. Not quite sure what happened with the dim glaring near the bridge. I think it was from some of the thin fog passing through causing the glow by the light sources. Looked kinda cool so I went with it. I should have came back out Sat am when there was a decent LFE but I ended up sleeping in and resting up for the drive over to Sacramento. O well, I’ll have to catch it next time. Nikon D750, Nikkor 70-200, f/14, 30 sec, ISO-500

Friday, July 22, 2016

Malibu fog

Here’s a different take on the Malibu fog. It was thick enough to cover the surrounding Monte Nido area but still thin enough to let some of the house and building lights shine through which produced some awesome colors through the fog. Crazy light pollution looking out this way but the sky wasn’t the focus of this shot anyway so I snapped on my 50mm to take this to get in a bit closer. The colors through the entire frame were nice. Nikon D750, Nikkor 50mm 1.8, f/2.8, 15 sec, ISO-1250

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

San Francisco bay bridge twilight cityscape

Here is the wide angle version of this shot. I stopped down and really emphasized the bursts from the lights. This was taken at the tail end of twilight to catch the rich blues. The high-pressure sodium lighting provided some awesome warm orange colors through the fog to provide a nice aura around the city. Normally I remove the orange cast that is caused by this lighting from my city twilight shots but the colors worked here and complemented the blue nicely. Had to battle camera shake from the wind and mist, but it ended up coming out alright. I also took a 50mm version in the beginning stages of twilight which I’ll post down the road. Nikon D750, Nikkor 20mm 1.8, f/14, 10 sec, ISO-500

Monday, July 18, 2016

The Sign - Eastern Sierras Milky Way

This was the first time I started using the technique where the foreground is shot at an earlier time to maximize depth of field and minimize noise. I actually came here on a previous trip and had the hardest time trying to shoot this entire scene in the dark given how close your foreground is to you. This prompted me to try this technique and I’ve been using it ever since. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of ways to produce successful images when it’s already dark but by far this is the cleanest. I’d still like another take at this so I guess Ed and I will have to plan a road trip.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Mt Tam Golden sunset

I’m seriously jealous of all the things to shoot within a short drive of SF, not to mention all the vantage points within the city. The weather was strange, it was too foggy when we arrived, there was an LFE sat am when I didn’t get up to shoot, and it was clear on my last night of shooting before departing. We headed up to Mt. Tam anyway as I never been and got to meet a whole bunch of great people. Given how beautiful this place is on a clear night I could only imagine it with a great sunset and/or fog rolling over the hills. I made the best of it and decided to focus my shot on the golden foreground with the rolling hills in the distance. I took two versions of this shot. It was super windy so for this shot I used the motion by slowing my shutter enough to capture the blur. This shot consists of 3 exposures; one for the foreground one for the hills and one for the sky. All taken with the Nikon D750, Nikkor 20mm 1.8, f/14, ISO-100. 

Friday, July 15, 2016

Burn Notice - Palos Verdes sunset from Abalone Cove

Here’s an awesome burn from Abalone Cove in Palos Verdes. Tide was low enough to reveal this set of rocks so I knew I wanted to capture some water motion as the waves were rolling in. The horizon was looking pretty thick so wasn’t sure the sky would fire but we ended up with a nice burn both near the horizon and from some of the higher wispy clouds. I chose a vertical comp to frame the foreground rock with water moving around it and to capture more of the awesome sky. The sunset colors reflect nicely off the rocks as well. Happy Friday everyone! Nikon D750, Nikkor 20mm 1.8, f/11, 0.8 and 1/30 sec blended, ISO-320

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Startrails in the Desert

Here’s a startrail shot I finally got around to editing. The foreground was shot around twilight to maximize depth of field and to control the lantern brightness that the subject is holding. The stars were then shot as it became dark. I used the internal intervelometer in the Nikon D750 to fire off 100 shots which were combined in a startrail program. I love how clean the images are with a foreground shot before hand. As long as the scene isn’t too difficult with too many things cutting through the sky, this is my preferred method to achieve solid foreground subjects when shooting astro.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

San Francisco sunset under Bay Bridge

Had an awesome time up north this past weekend. Got a bunch of shooting in and got to visit some family and some of my norcal IG friends. My lack of sleep will be catching up with me this week but it’s always worth it. Knew I wanted to process this comp first, as I’ve been wanting to shoot it for a while. Fog was a bit higher this night and produced some subtle color close to sunset. It was very windy so I stacked my ND and CPL to allow me to shoot a longer exposure. I shot a few different exposures but settled on a 25 sec shot as I was still able to make out some of the patterns in the water and the textures in the sky. Luckily the tide was low enough for me to get some of the rocks in my foreground. Mist was a huge issue with the wind so just had to wipe the lens after every shot. Moved back up towards the midpoint for my twilight shots so I’ll get around to posting those and all the other shots from this past weekend as they get edited.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Malibu canyon foggy panorama with Milky Way

Here’s a pano I put together overlooking Malibu Canyon Road. I wanted to capture the entire canyon to show what the fog looked like from end to end while you are up at this viewpoint. Fog was a bit thicker as I took this but still thin enough to let some of the road lights shine through. This is a 2-row pano consisting of 4 shots each (8 shots total) taken at 14mm. I was lucky to catch some high clouds as well to fill some of the sky but not interfere with the Milky Way on the left. Nikon D750, Nikkor 14-24, f/2.8, 15 sec, ISO-4000

Monday, July 4, 2016

4th of july - Los Angeles

Happy 4th. Hope everyone has a safe and memorable day today. We are headed down to the OC for a family get together then I’m going to try and figure out where to snap some fireworks. This one was from last year. We setup at Ascot Hills to catch the show downtown but it was lackluster so what I did was fire off multiple shots of all of the residents celebrating from their homes. I then layered a bunch together to form this shot. This was taken during twilight so the sky still had some nice color. I’d like to catch a bigger show this year but unsure where. What are everyone else’s plans?

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Malibu Canyon fog

More of an abstract road shot looking down on Malibu Canyon Road. As we got to this spot the fog was already filling up in the canyon but every now and then it would thin out right around the road so I setup my telephoto to frame the road and fired shots when I saw the fog thinning out. I liked this frame as pretty much everything else is covered by the thick fog but parts of the road where you can see the cartrails from the long exposure. Nikon D750, Nikkor 70-200, f/11, 10 sec, ISO-160

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Los Angeles twilight

One of my fav views of the city. Love the light trails from both the 110 and the overpasses and love how the entire frame is filled with the city skyline. Took this one at the tail end of twilight to really maximize the blue tones in the sky. Enjoy your long holiday weekend everyone. Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-120, f/11, 30 sec, ISO-100

Friday, July 1, 2016

Anza Borrego Startrails and Serpent

I realized I never processed the startrail shot from my last trip to the serpent in Anza Borrego so here it is. This one only uses about 50 shots for the trails as if you remember in a past post I forgot to turn the auto focus off before running the internal intervelomoter and didn’t take as many shots the second try. Also, the clouds were coming in towards the bottom and they got a bit too distracting when I used more files. Crazy how popular this place has become. When I came a few years back, I didn’t see any other crazies out at 3am taking pictures of metal things in the dark. Now it’s people fighting over spots, yelling at each other to turn off lights, etc. I’ll be honest, when I go shoot astro it’s the only time I’m hoping that we don’t run into anyone else shooting. When you have multiple groups of people trying to shoot the same thing in the dark, it’s never good.