Monday, July 31, 2017

Hot Creek Milky Way Pano - Mammoth Lakes

The files used for this shot are from my October fall trip last year to the Eastern Sierras. I used a 50mm foreground shot taken in the am twilight hours from Hot Creek combined with a 50mm MW shot from June Lake Loop the next night during twilight for the sky. Both shots are to the SW and true to the alignment of the MW straight down Hot Creek during this time of the year. I hope to grab more 50mm shots this fall season. The Nikkor 50mm 1.8 lens works quite well given the price point. This is a 4:5 crop of the full vertical pano.

Nikon D750, Nikkor 50mm 1.8, foreground: f/14, 2 sec, ISO-50, sky: f/2.5, 6 sec, ISO-6400

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Malibu Milky Way with fog

I came out to Malibu to shoot Malibu Canyon Road head on with my 50mm. Given the focal length, this image had to be a panorama in order to work. For those that have shot here, the view down this line looks out almost directly south. I wanted the shot to be strong vertically so I shot the foreground around midnight as the fog crept in and the Milky Way around 1am once it was more vertical as it rotated further west. This image consists of 4 shots, 1 for the foreground and 3 for the Milky Way. The road looks tiny compared to the Milky Way but there is a car down at the bottom of the road showing just how large the entire scene is.

Nikon D750, Nikkor 50mm 1.8, foreground: f/4, 20 sec, ISO-1000, sky: f/2, 8 sec, ISO-4000

Monday, July 24, 2017

Yosemite Falls reflected

Some of the best conditions I’ve seen. Low fog, high clouds mixed with after storm blue skies, raging Yosemite Falls and a perfect reflection. Don’t think I could have asked for anything else. The mood here was incredible, almost dreamlike. Definitely one of my favorite sets from my recent trip. This is a portrait version of a shot I posted back. I always recommend shooting both landscape and portrait versions whenever possible if your composition allows for it. Sometimes a client may love a shot but only have room for a specific orientation which can help seal the deal on a sale. 

Nikon D750, Nikkor 14-24, f/14, 1/50 sec, ISO-50

Monday, July 17, 2017

Foggy Trees, Yosemite National Park

When you describe a shot of trees and fog it doesn’t sound special at all, but being there seeing it changes everything. The way the fog creeps in and out, rises up and down, and flows like waves is just mesmerizing. A hint to singling out strong abstract scenes is to scan the landscape through your telephoto lens. This can help your eye focus on sections of the scene when the entire scene from a place like tunnel view can be overwhelming. In this comp, I framed the dead trees up front with an S like pattern of fog winding through the trees, and a fog white out in the back. Nikon D750, Nikkor 70-200, f/14, 0.6 sec, ISO-50

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Los Angeles fireworks for 4th of July

Alright, here’s my first edit from the 4th of July party overlooking the city residents who put on a firework show for us. I snapped this series during the twilight hours to easily retain a bit of foreground details and keep from blowing out the skyline lights. If you saw my stories, you can see I blended several shots using the “lighten” blend mode in photoshop to get all the fireworks as well as some solid car trails. There weren’t many going off over the city closest to us but the few that did helped add to the composition. I shot this one straight on to get a direct line of sight down the freeway. The lights on the new Wilshire Grand were a nice touch. I have other comps as the city shows went off….maybe I’ll use them to do a timelapse…who knows :) Shot with the Nikon D750 and Nikkor 70-200.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Manhattan beach moody sunset skies

Man, what I wouldn’t give for some clouds like these right about now. Not even sure what type of clouds these were but it looked like a bunch of small tornadoes in the sky. I walked further away from the pier to make it more insignificant in this frame to really focus the shot on the sky. I got low to the sand and snapped this as the tide came up into my frame to use it as a leading line into the scene. Nikon D750, Nikkor 14-24, f/8, 1/100 sec, ISO-250

Monday, July 10, 2017

Yosemite Firefalls at sunset

What’s the coolest natural phenomenon you have witnessed or photographed? This is probably my favorite as it takes a lot of conditions to make it happen and better yet it’s in my home state. Got to witness it for the first time this year, and it probably won’t be my last time. I took a re-edit to this to bring out shadows in the foreground and warm up the treeline as the white balance was too cold for my liking. The cool part about this vantage was being above the treeline so I wanted to highlight that more

Friday, July 7, 2017

Los Angeles sunset

Last light shining back on the city of angels from the pre-firework celebration on the 4th. The marine layer provided a nice effect behind the skyline with the top of PV poking out through the fog. This was moments before the sun dipped behind the hills behind me, blasting that golden light across the freeway. The tiny cars on the freeway reminded me of a favorite childhood snack. I bumped the ISO a bit to freeze them.  

Nikon D750, Nikkor 70-200, f/8, 1/80 sec, ISO-320

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Firework spectators - Los Angeles

My standard firework shots are shot around f/8, 5-8 secs, ISO-100 but with this frame I wanted to catch the group of people watching the show. It was a candid shot so I had to shorten my shutter speed to freeze them as best as I could but still have a bit of a slow shutter to catch the streaks of the fireworks. I used my zoom lens to compress the scene, giving the sense that the fireworks are right in front of the spectators. I enjoy the main cluster of people, but really enjoy the couple off to the left sitting on the ground. Nikon D750, Nikkor 70-200, f/11, 1 sec, ISO-800

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy 4th of July from Los Angeles

Part of me wishes they would shoot off fireworks from the top of the US Bank tower again so I can catch it from another angle. Part of me wishes they wont to keep the uniqueness of this image alive. Where is everyone shooting fireworks tonight? The city shows are cool and all but I’ve become a fan of watching the residents put on a show of their own. I may find a vantage overlooking a residential area to catch this tonight. Hope everyone has a safe 4th.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Yosemite National Park - Cathedrals reflected with foreground Grass

The foreground grass caught my eye in this shot. I positioned the frame so that the reflection still came through quite nicely. I got a bit of swamp foot trying to get out here though. Was glad to see a bit of the early morning blue skies before the clouds came in thick and covered it up. 

Nikon D750, Nikkor 14-24, f/14, 1/20 sec, ISO-50

Sunday, July 2, 2017

San Pedro fireworks - Cars and Stripes 2017

Love when I can add an element to a location that is shot a lot so I came out here with some friends to catch the annual cars and stripes event in San Pedro. I figured the hill would be a pretty good location to watch the fireworks near the Vincent Thomas Bridge. They were a little further to the right than I thought, so I had to swap out my 70-200 for my 50 right after the show started. Luckily the show was pretty long, and I caught this frame with a nice clean burst high in the sky. A good warm up for the 4th coming up.

Nikon D750, Nikkor 50mm 1.8, f/8, 6 sec, ISO-100