Sunday, October 30, 2016

Sheep and Fall Colors - Eastern Sierras

I spotted this scene Saturday as we were heading down to Rock creek but we didn’t stop so we stopped here on our last day on the way down to Bishop and snapped a few in the early am backlight which provided some great light on the aspens as well as some contrasting light on the sheep. As I was shooting some frames a sheep dog ran through the shot and I caught him in action which was pretty cool and unexpected. I framed a bit of color in the foreground as well for some fall bokeh. Love adding animals to a landscape/nature shot as it fits in nicely. Don’t see too many sheep out here either, mostly cows and horses. Nikon D750, Nikkor 300 f/4, f/8, 1/2500 sec, ISO-800

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Gold Rush - Palos verdes seascape

I’ve become much more conscious trying to arrive at locations early enough to capture golden hour shots. I used to just wait for the burn but you get some great light with golden hour especially on your foreground as the last light of the day hits your subject. Not only does it give you the opportunity to capture some great shots, but also time to scope out different comps for when the sky does burn up. This one was setup on some sloped rocks and I snapped this as the incoming wave cascaded down in front of me. Everything in this scene is warm really portraying what golden hour is all about. Nikon D750, Nikkor 20mm 1.8, f/16, 0.5 and 1/30 sec blended, ISO-50.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Milky Way over Aspens - Eastern Sierras

This edit is 2 exposures, one for the foreground and one for the sky. Blending wasn’t an issue as the mountains provide hard lines which make it easy to blend. This was my first time shooting the milk with my 50mm tho so I was curious on how it would come out. The sky is not stacked or tracked, and the exposure was shorter due to the rule of 500. The edit therefore reflects that. I may play around with stacking or a trail type image later if I’m bored. Gave this one a little dreamier feel with some light Orton work. Was really glad to find a nice vibrant grove line up so well with one of the snow capped peaks so these are emphasized in the shot to draw attention to those aspects. All in all quite happy with the result of the 50mm. Nikon D750, Nikkor 50mm 1.8, foreground: f/8, 10 sec, ISO-500,  sky: f/2.5, 6 sec, ISO-6400

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Petroglyphs, Eastern Sierras CA

Sometimes when I return from an exhausting trip it’s hard to jump right into edits, especially with tough astro ones. This edit was to help me ease into upcoming edits from my trip. and I took a variety of comps here both with and without human elements facing both the MW and Polaris. I layered one of the foregrounds onto a still from the Polaris timelapse. Going through the files you can see some nice airglow dancing in the air which was very cool to see. Look out for a lot more comps from this location as they get edited. Nikon D750, Nikkor 14-24, foreground: f/11, 5 sec, ISO-500 sky: f/2.8, 15 sec, ISO-6400

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Fall in the Eastern Sierras

As a reminder don’t forget to look up while you are out there chasing the fall colors. The golden aspens against the blue sky is an awesome color combo, especially when you can get some backlight on them giving them that golden glow. This is a wide shot looking up as I was wandering through the south lake fork outside of Bishop. Framed in the sunburst for some extra interest.  Nikon D750, Nikkor 14-24, f/18, 1/100 sec, ISO-250

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Foggy Fall - Silver Lake Eastern Sierras

Another past fall shot to get in the mood for Mammoth. When I get to witness fog burning off a lake it is usually in the distance. But this crisp morning as the sun hit Silver Lake it started burning off everywhere even towards the shoreline where I was standing. It was swirling around making cool patterns so I framed it with a nice set of aspens way across the lake. This is a vertical slice of the full shot. I like how the fog parted just enough to get the color of the aspens reflected in the lake. Nikon D7000, Nikkor 18-200, f/14, 0.5 sec, ISO-100

Friday, October 14, 2016

Malibu foggy sunset

Here’s a long exposure shot of fog flowing over the Santa Monica Mountains well after sunset. At the time I took this it was super dark and I couldn’t even see this scene. I bumped up my ISO a little bit and ran a 30 sec exposure and captured the ethereal fog splitting through the ridges. Picked up a hint of sunset glow as well as it lingered in the sky. Nikon D750, Nikkor 70-200, f/8, 30 sec, ISO-250

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Joshua Tree National Park startrails over windmill

Here is a startrail shot I processed from the windmill in Joshua Tree National Park. I framed Polaris in the center and went wide to make a symmetrical circle around it (some is cropped to show here). This one didn’t utilize a separate foreground exposure, just the added light from stacking the photos which consisted of about 80 frames. I took some facing the opposite direction with the MW which I’ll share down the road. Stacked in starstax and processed in photoshop. All files taken with the Nikon D750, Nikkor 14-24, 15 sec, f/2.8, ISO-6400

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Fall Fishing - Eastern Sierras Silver Lake

One of my personal faves from the Eastern Sierras that was taken a few years back. I’ve never been able to re-create this scene with all the elements lining up like in this shot which had fall colors, fog burning of the lake, a nice boat for my foreground, and a fisherman wading in the lake with a perfect cast. This is pretty much the full scene compressed to show here which wouldn’t fit in a 1:1 crop. This is taken at Silver Lake in the June Loop which is one of my favorite areas to view the fall colors. I’ve yet to get an epic burn from here either, so hoping for one this year. Nikon D7000, Nikkor 18-200, f/11, 1/50 sec, ISO-100

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Palos Verdes sunset burn - Golden Cove reflections

Seems like we’ve had more burns over the last few days than all of summer combined. Hopefully October and the change of seasons continues to produce. When some of the higher clouds burn I like to find a nice calm tidepool to snap the reflections in. While the sky wasn’t totally filled with clouds this night, the scattered clouds that were there burned real nice and pink. Had my CPL on while I was running around snapping comps, but made sure to minimize it to not cut through the water reflections. Sometimes I just like the simple scenes that allow you to appreciate the colors that mother nature provides. Nikon D750, Nikkor 20mm 1.8, f/11, 0.5 sec, ISO-50

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Palos Verdes sunset burn from Golden cove

Here’s one from last night’s sunset. It pretty much burned everywhere so as usual I was running around grabbing as many comps as I could as the burn moved through the sky. In this comp, I was hoping the cloud up top would get hit and once it did I framed this vertical shot to focus on just that one cloud along with some water flow in my foreground. I don’t even remember the last time I saw a good afterburn so I’m glad I was able to get out for this one. Hope all you socal peeps got a chance to get out and snap this one too. Nikon D750, Nikkor 20mm 1.8, f/11, ISO-64 blend of 0.8 sec and 1/30 sec exposures.

Friday, October 7, 2016

eastern sierra startrails over petroglyphs

Here’s a redo of my startrail shot over the petroglyphs. I cleaned up the sky a bit and made the foreground more prominent by scaling it compared to the prior edit which had way more sky. I like to see a bit of sky above the North Star but my original edit had quite a bit too much which was taking away from the subject. I’ll be back here soon so I like to re-do some of my previous shots to see if I can pull out a cleaner edit or it will tell me what I need to do differently if I need to make a return trip. I’d love to get some fall color astro shots so we’ll just have to see if the colors are poppin off when I get there. Nikon D750, Nikkor 14-24, f/2.8, 15 sec, ISO-6400 processed in starstax and photoshop.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Seattle Alpenglow - Kerry Park

Just after the sun had set behind me, a nice pink band of alpenglow illuminated the sky behind the city so I took the opportunity to shoot some of the more standard frames while I waited for twilight. Some clouds blew into frame during this time, which were completely out of frame to the right during sunset. No matter how popular this spot is (rightfully so), it’s one of my favorite views of Seattle, and I’m happy to come home with some shots from here. Definitely worth a trip up here every time I am back up in the area. Nikon D750, Nikkor 70-200, f/16, 5 sec, ISO-50

Monday, October 3, 2016

Joshua Tree National park Milky Way

This comp in Joshua Tree National Park reminded me of the plates on a Stegosaurus. I set this comp up so that the rocks led upwards towards the Milky Way. Since I was close to my foreground I snapped 5 shots for the rocks and used the mean stack to reduce noise, along with one for the sky using Topaz DeNoise in photoshop. The two were then blended to what you see here. Since this rock formation was quite high and I was right underneath it, a bit of the core is being blocked as you can only see half of the dark horse. But this comp wasn’t something I could pass up. Nikon D750, Nikkor 14-24, f/2.8, 15 sec, ISO-6400

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Fire sunset from Palos Verdes

I wanted to catch the water motion flowing out across my frame rather than coming at me so I climbed out on some rocks which were surrounded by water when the sets came in. I stayed higher on the rocks as I didn’t want to get myself in a sticky situation and kept snapping as the waves kept rolling in. The clouds ended up lighting up real nice with some great textures to them. The white wash always provides the best textures for water movement so it’s always good to go near where the waves break and rush through rocks…however sometimes not the smartest Nikon D750, Nikkor 20mm 1.8, f/14, 1 sec, ISO-200