Monday, January 30, 2017

Eastern Sierra Petroglyphs and the Milky Way

I stood a bit higher off the ground for this version of my petroglyph Milky Way shot, which placed less emphasis on an in your face foreground. If I was lower the rock in the back blended too much with the mountain range in the background. Always good practice to scan your shot for little nuances, as sometimes the little things can make or break your shot. Definitely don’t want to be finding comp errors after the fact especially for those places that you may never be going back to again. Nikon D750, Nikkor 14-24, sky - f/2.8, 15 sec, ISO-6400, foreground – f/14, 5 sec, ISO-500

Friday, January 27, 2017

Big Sur keyhole arch sunset light

Another version of the abstract shot I took from day 1 of the keyhole arch sunset while the sky was clear. This one was taken close to sunset when the light started getting nice and rich. Caught a good amount of motion from waves crashing off the rocks, a halfway decent beam, and some water spilling down the backside of the portal looking like lava. The beam itself is interesting, but my goal was to specifically capture these lit up splashes as it creates a bit more interest throughout the scene. You can see how windy it was, but I think it helps add a sense of power to the shot. Nikon D750, Nikkor 70-200, f/16, 0.8 sec, ISO-50. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Moonlit path - McWay Falls Big Sur

Here is one from the recent trip up to Big Sur. Using TPE I knew the moon would be up and at our backs later in the night, so we spent some time shooting trails at Bixby then came here for some night shots of McWay. Luckily the sky was clear to the North, but cloudy facing out this way to give the sky some interest. This full shot is a 4-shot panorama of the walkway and McWay falls which was really flowing due to the recent storms and the moon provided some great light. It casted some shadows on the path making patterns down the entire boardwalk. 

Each shot was with Nikon D750, Nikkor 14-24, f/2.8, 15 sec, ISO-2500

First light on Los Angeles - sunrise from Kenneth Hahn Park

During winter, this is pretty much the only LA spot I come to because it’s my favorite view and the stormy winter season doesn’t last too long. Not to mentions conditions always change around the mountains, and your shots will differ depending on the weather. Plus you have the opportunity to find different comps or correct any errors you may have made the previous time. I’ve actually been here for sunrise quite a bit this season with all the storms we had recently (even went this am) but haven’t come away with any good burn yet but I will repost my favorite past sunrise shot from here later this week. I’ve been eyeing this comp for a while and thought it would be best for sunrise right as the sun peeked over the hills with the sidelight shining on the city. Only negative thing about sunrise is the winter position so once it comes up it washes out a lot of detail on the mountain. May have to try this for golden hour sunset as well. 

Nikon D750, Nikkor 70-200, f/14, 0.4 sec, ISO-100

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Beach cloudscape - Manhttan Beach pier

Had some awesome zig zag type clouds while I was shooting the MB pier. I walked past it keeping the comp simple for this shot with just the wet sand creating a line down the beach out towards PV in the  background. This was taken right at sunset, and while these clouds didn’t light up, some nice subtle color came through behind them adding a bit of color separation to the clouds helping them stand out. This was one of those stormy nights where it looked iffy to go out, but during the course of the 1.5 hours I was there, the clouds changed shapes and formations so many times that I have a bunch of unique cloudscapes from that one photo shoot. Glad I didn’t stay in on this night.

Nikon D750, Nikkor 14-24, f/11, 0.6 sec, ISO-100

Monday, January 23, 2017

City twilight - Los Angeles

Last post was from golden hour. Here is one from twilight after the sun had set and the city lights came on.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Los Angeles after a winter storm

This is the view you get if you get here right after a storm and it’s quite the sight to see. Given the multiple storm systems there may be windows of opportunities to catch fresh snow on the Gabriel’s over the next few days but don’t wait too long as even a day after the smog/haze can come rolling back in cutting visibility of Baldy. This one was taken quite a bit before sunset but the clouds were drifting over the mountains and the sun was playing peek-a-boo casting some cool shadows on the city. I snapped this one as the back of the skyline sunk into the shadows. I always advise getting to location early when possible. In this case, these clouds pretty much disappeared by sunset which happens a lot or in the opposite case; clouds take over the sky creating a thick cover that doesn’t burn. Even if you don’t snap anything you can take the time to enjoy the view. 

Nikon D750, Nikkor 70-200 + 1.4x TC, f/14, 1/30 sec, ISO-50

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Pfeiffer beach sunset Big Sur

After the keyhole light disappeared due to clouds, I ran above to capture the sunset. The clouds got pretty thick but a bit of color managed to squeeze through. Close to sunset I noticed some small looking mattamus clouds forming overhead. I snapped this one just a tad after the sun set when the sky still had some nice color. This was with my wide angle, so the clouds were pretty high in the sky and those down on the beach level most likely did not see them unless they looked straight up. I framed in the purple sand which was quite abundant due to the recent storms. The purple comes from the manganese garnet deposits that wash down from the cliffs. I snapped the foreground exposure as a wave came crashing through the portal and with the slower shutter it definitely looks cool. I then snapped 2 exposures for the sky, and blended them using luminosity masks. 

Nikon D750, Nikkor 14-24, f/11, ISO-64, multiple exposures.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Mt. Rainier sunrise - Kerry Park Seattle

I’m so glad I was able to see Mt. Rainier on my past trip. Every previous time it’s been covered. These clouds weren’t here at sunrise but blew into frame as the light was coming up and shining on the mountain so I still got the am golden hour colors. There was a thick layer of fog but it was low enough so that a good portion of the mountain was still visible. Still have a couple of Seattle shots to show. Nikon D750, Nikkor 70-200, f/11, 0.8 sec, ISO-50

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Manhattan beach pier sunset

Some moody Manhattan for today. I posted a story this day a while back when there were some wicked clouds in the sky. This is what remained of the afterburn about half an hour after sunset when the pier lights finally turned on. I’ve been after a fire sky with the xmas lights on for some time but I’m never shooting here when we get one of those burns that seem to linger on well after sunset. At least it’s local so I can keep trying year after year. Until then, this will have to do.

Nikon D750, Nikkor 14-24, f/8, 0.8 sec, ISO-500

Friday, January 13, 2017

Keyhole ach sunset - Big Sur

Here’s one of the close-ups from the first night when the sky didn’t really have much going on which was perfect to focus on some zoomed in shots. If you recall my preview posts, I mentioned that the wind was so strong it was blowing the mist away which was preventing a solid beam from forming. I was disappointed until I dug into the files to see what cool patterns the wind was causing. I’ve only really seen solid beams from here, nothing quite like this so in a sense I’m happy that I was able to catch something a bit different from a place where everything looks similar. I took both fast and longer exposures and found that the longer exposures made the mist more prominent and gave the water some slight movement which I like. The key to time the shots is right after a wave crashes through the portal both creating the mist and making the splashes that break off the rocks which light up from the sun. This wasn’t quite at sunset as the light is still a bit yellow. 

Nikon D750, Nikkor 70-200, f/16, ¼ sec, ISO-50

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Silver lake Boat dock and aspens - June Lake Loop

I still have a ton of Fall images I haven’t shown from my recent trip. Here is one of them from Silver Lake. Normally you see a shot of people standing near these boats, shooting out towards the fall lined lake and Carson peak but these aspens were oh so golden so I walked over to the other side to snap the aspens and the boat dock. The one pine in the mix near the right side kinda threw me off but it does stand out nicely. Slowed the shutter down a bit to smooth out the reflections giving me a nice arrow pattern. Nikon D750, Nikkor 70-200, f/14, 6 sec, ISO-50

Monday, January 9, 2017

Big Sur keyhole arch sunset - Pfeiffer Beach

I had a few foreground shots with water movement but kept going back to the one with the reflection of the sun beaming through the arch. Clouds during golden hour were awesome and since the sky was so thick we weren’t sure we were going to get the sun breaking through but we were fortunate for about 10 minutes this night which literally started beaming 2 minutes after I started shooting so I’m glad we got there early enough before the clouds overtook the sun. The road to the beach was closed due to flooding so there were maybe only 15 or so people shooting which was nice since I was able to move around and shoot a few comps. I’ll probably end up editing another one from this side with water movement, but I also have a wide from the left side and a bunch of close ups to edit as well. So glad I was able to witness this phenomenon being my first time here for this event. Shooting with @eric.yanagihara and @michellejacquemet . Look out for more shots from here. 

Nikon D750, Nikkor 14-24, f/22, ISO-50, multiple exposures blended.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Montana De Oro sunset seascape

Here is one from my recent trip to Montana De Oro during xgiving weekend when we went camping in the rain. Sat night the storm cleared and I was treated to this epic sky. The rock formations out there are second to none, with leading lines for days. I highly suggest taking a trip out there if you love seascapes. Nikon D750, Nikkor 14-24, f/16, 0.6 sec and 1/30 sec blended, ISO-100

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Convict lake winter reflections

Even with the rain we are getting, it still feels unusually warm for it to be winter but hey I’m not complaining as long as we are getting some much needed rain and snow up in the mountains. Here is winter from Convict lake as the first light hits Laurel Mountain in the early am. May try and make a late winter trip up here this year, but will have to play it by ear. I’ve been wanting to shoot some early MW stuff while there is still quite a bit of snow on the range, somewhere around March – April. Hopefully my schedule allows for it.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Los Angeles Sunset

Let’s start the year off with a dramatic shot from my favorite view of LA. This was taken after the last big storm we had which wiped away all that smog and pollution giving a crystal clear view of the San Gabriels. The benefit of sunset from this spot is that you can capture that last light on Baldy just about a minute or two before it sets. There was a bit of haze behind me which helped diffuse the light even more giving it a nice orange glow. I waited until the light crept above the city where it was only hitting the snow capped peaks when I snapped this. I left the city dark to really emphasize the last light, however there are no true blacks in the image. A bit of lingering clouds around the peaks helped add to the mood. I knew there wasn’t going to be a dramatic sunset so I was after something different, which I think I captured here.

Nikon D750, Nikkor 70-200 + 1.4x TC, f/14, 0.3 sec, ISO-50