Wednesday, November 23, 2016

San Francisco twilight under the bay bridge

Here’s a shot I took this up in SF on my past trip which was taken at the beginning stages of twilight before I snapped on my wide for the finale. I really wanted the compression that the longer focal length offered, giving the city in the background more emphasis compared to a wide angle where the bridge just overtakes the shot. The sodium lighting of the city really lit up the fog providing some nice color contrast to the twilight blues. The bride provided a nice separation of the colors. Nikon D750, Nikkor 50mm 1.8, f/14, 30 sec, ISO-50

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Palos Verdes storm clearing rainbow at sunset

Glad we got some rain yesterday, it was much needed. Pulled a re-edit to one of my favorite rainbow shots which I always look for during storm clearings. This one formed over the southbay area as I was shooting from Flat Rock in Palos Verdes so I snapped on my telephoto lens and compressed this scene with a wave crashing in the foreground. Was fortunate to see the high clouds light up nice and pink to top off the scene. Here’s to more winter storms. Nikon D750, Nikkor 70-200, f/8, 0.8 sec, ISO-50

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Seattle lights

Here’s a technique I’ve wanted to try for a while and this Seattle comp from Jose Rizal bridge was the perfect place to try it. This view is great because you have the freeway overpasses intersecting with all the greenery of the city with the freeway kinda enclosing the city in the background. In this technique you snap a shot at sunset or sunrise and another one with the city lights. You then blend the lights from the city onto the sunset shot using the “lighten” blend mode. The sky and the greenery in the foreground are from the sunset shot, and the overpasses and city lights are from the night shot. I accidently kicked my tripod in between shots so it was a little difficult to align the two layers but after a bit of cleanup this is the final comp. I will be trying to use this same technique at Hahn once we get a nice winter storm with snow on Baldy. Nikon D750, Nikkor 20mm 1.8, foreground and sky: f/11, 1/6 sec, ISO-100, lights: f/11, 30 sec, ISO-400.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Petroglyph discovery - Eastern Sierra Startrails

I had this idea in my head to utilize the human element in a few ways. The first was to act out a scene of discovery; stumbling upon these ancient petroglyphs. Second was to utilize the lantern to help illuminate the foreground and third to show a static subject against the movement of the star trails. I’m quite pleased with how it all worked out and translated from an idea in my head to what you see here in the final picture. I also got redemption from last year’s visit when clouds overtook the sky as I was shooting a timelapse for the startrails. The foreground was shot with the last available ambient light and the trails were shot later in the night. Nikon D750, Nikkor 14-24, foreground: f/11, 10 sec, ISO-500, sky: about 60 shots of f/2.8, 15 sec, ISO-6400 combined in StarStax.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Supermoon over Los Angeles

Here is yesterday’s supermoon, the closets it’s been in some 70 years which won’t be this close again for another 20 or so years. Best way to catch this is near the horizon with a telephoto framing it with a subject to give it scale so I headed out to Baldwin Hills as moonrise lined up perfectly behind the city from this angle, thanks to planning from TPE. Moonrise came over the mountain just a tad after twilight ended which made this hard to process but as soon as I saw this frame with the Heli flying directly in front of the moon as it was still coming out from behind the mountain I knew it was the one to use. I actually had to double process this image, pulling shadows from a copy of the same file as the original file was exposed for the moon leaving the city very dark. I could have pulled shadows a tad bit more but I think it looks ok darker to draw the attention to the moon.  Nikon D750, Nikkor 300mm f/4, f/8, 1/100 sec, ISO-1600

Monday, November 14, 2016

That 395 house - Eastern Sierras

I’ve shot this house every time I go up to the Sierras but this one is probably my favorite thus far. Anyone who shoots here knows that you get a ton of lights from cars coming down the 395 and if you’re not trying to light paint it’s a royal pain, especially during the late MW season when you need to catch the core around 8pm before it dips behind the mountains. We shot the foreground after sunset then returned when it got dark to shoot the Milky Way. Shooting the foreground with the last available light allowed for a few things; to incorporate the snow capped mountains into the shot, to use the bushes as leading lines into the scene, and of course to reduce noise and maximize depth of field. Both shots were combined to what you see here. Nikon D750, Nikkor 14-24, foreground: f/11, ½ sec, ISO-500, sky: f/2.8, 15 sec, ISO-6400

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Mammoth Hot Creek sunrise

Occasionally the Hot Springs ghost likes to come out and play, I was just lucky to catch him as he came out to say hi. Can you see him? Taken from Hot Creek outside of Mammoth Lakes during sunrise as the first light was hitting the Sierras. This is a 50mm view and one I’ll need to come back and shoot the Milky Way at this focal length. A winter scene from here would also be sweet with more snow. Enjoy the rest of your weekend everyone. Nikon D750, Nikkor 50mm 1.8, f/16, 0.4 sec, ISO-50

Friday, November 11, 2016

Happy Veterans Day

Happy Veterans Day to all those who serve

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Seattle sunrise from Alki Beach

A twilight shot from Alki beach looking back towards the Seattle skyline. The clouds were perfect at this moment but as the wind picked up they blew a bit to the right (as I showed from a previous sunset shot). Even with this 25 sec exposure they streaked quite a bit but I love how the cloud reflections came through in the water. The boat added a nice touch. The clouds have a tiny bit of light pollution glow and the horizon just started to radiate as the sun was about to rise which produced one hell of a sunrise. All I can say is I’m glad I didn’t oversleep this one. Nikon D750, Nikkor 20mm 1.8, f/14, 25 sec, ISO-50

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Fall aspens, Aspendell CA

Here’s a shot of some golden aspens outside of Aspendell. One good thing about late fall is that all the grass you see in the foreground also starts changing color and you just get a brilliant display of color throughout. I used my wide angle for this to frame in the beautiful blue sky and the sun burst. Had a bunch of dirty lens flare but I kept it in around the sun as it wasn’t doing any harm J. We were going to walk into the grove to explore but the area with the grass is quite swampy so we kept our distance. Nikon D750, Nikkor 14-24, f/20, 1/80 sec, ISO-250

Monday, November 7, 2016

Ancient Petroglyphs under the Milky Way

Here’s one from my recent trip to the Sierras stargazing from one of my favorite locations. I arrived here a bit before sunset to have enough time to snap some foreground shots before dark to help maximize depth of field. I liked the way the petroglyphs were setup in this shot and decided it would be a great foreground. We then snapped some exposures of the Milky Way once it got dark. I combined both to get the shot you see here. Nikon D750, Nikkor 14-24, foreground: f/14, 5 sec, ISO-50, sky: f/2.8, 15 sec, ISO-6400

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Palos Verdes sunset flow seascape

Here’s one of my favorites from the coves of Palos Verdes. You can only get this flow when the tide is low enough to stand out here but the waves are big enough to pound against this rock making it overflow with water. I’ve been caught by a rogue wave here more than once, and one time got completely soaked (camera included) but luckily everything was ok. I love how the water flows from top right to bottom left zigzagging throughout the image in the middle. I was lucky to get some awesome golden hour clouds to top it off. Nikon D750, Nikkor 20mm 1.8, f/14, 0.8 and 1/30 sec blended, ISO-250

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Eastern Sierra fall lookup - June Lake Loop

We had quite a hike to get to this grove, bushwhacking to get into the thick of it to get this shot. But the aspens were brilliantly yellow all around and the trunks were barer than some of the others we scoped out. The grove was just thick enough to show some of that nice blue sky to complement the gold and you know I had to add in that sunburst for good measure. Bumped up the ISO as this was handheld and the wind was starting to howl. Nikon D750, Nikkor 14-24, f/18, 1/200 sec, ISO-1000

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Hot Creek Milky Way - Mammoth Lakes

For this shot, we came here for sunrise and knew it would be a perfect location for a MW shot as the core lined up perfectly behind Hot Creek and the Sierras. After sunset over twin falls, we rushed here to setup before it got too dark. Took a few exposures for the foreground with the last remaining light, and then waited for the MW to come out and play. Had a bit of lingering clouds hang around which provided some nice color and textures around the horizon as well as a dreamy type effect as some of the stars became magnified. Even though the clouds blocked a bit of the core, I really like the clouds as an element of this shot. Definitely a cool location to shoot, I shall return with my 50mm one day. Nikon D750, Nikkor 14-24, foreground: f/8, 98 sec, ISO-3200, sky: f/2.8, 15 sec, ISO-6400