Thursday, September 28, 2017

Alabama hills sunset rays

The craziest rays I have had the chance to witness in person. Now, I’ve seen plenty of crepuscular rays both shining down through breaks in the clouds, as well as up as the sun sets behind say a mountain or something, but they are usually pretty uniform in both patterns and light. These rays morphed a ton as the sun was setting, and the shadow areas were darker than I have ever seen. I ran around trying to catch various comps as they changed. I thought about going to Mobius arch but it would have taken too long. I was able to get a few other shots in which I will share down the road.

Nikon D750, Nikkor 14-24, f/11, ISO-50, multiple exposures manually blended.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Malibu Canyon Milky Way and fog

The number 1 tip for astrophotography is to find a dark sky away from light pollution. A lot of times in places like Malibu, it’s very faint to the naked eye and sometimes only visible when you take a shot as your sensor picks up more detail than your eye. In dark places you can see the MW band sweep across the sky, and is one of the most amazing things to look up and see. The fog during this session was creating layers in the foreground so I framed the layers in my comp.

Nikon D750, Nikkor 14-24, f/2.8, 20 sec, ISO-3200 – multiple frames stacked for noise reduction.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Twin Falls Milky Way, Mammoth Lakes

Here’s the MW shot I worked on from Twin Falls. As a disclaimer I didn’t come down here at night. I shot the foreground before hand and noticed that this shot faces towards the SE. We had other plans to hit Alabama hills and a few other stops so this is a composite of a Milky Way taken that same night. I don’t know the actual alignment here, or if the dark horse would be this visible above the tree line as you are looking pretty high up the falls. Nevertheless, the direction is true. Next time I’ll use my @photopills app down here to see how it lines up. Kept the trees on the darker side to both mimic night as well as to contrast against the bright falls. Blending trees or any type of soft edges is time consuming, but this one came out pretty good. Hope you enjoy it.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Alabama Hills sunset light rays

Gorgeous light doesn’t always have to come during golden hour or sunset. This was taken a bit before golden hour started as the sun dipped behind a big cloud and created an insane beam of light down on the hills. The light this night just seemed to glow and was magical to see.  The road curve was a perfect line out to frame this shot. 

Nikon D750, Nikkor 14-24, f/11, ISO-50, multiple exposures blended.

Friday, September 8, 2017

San Francisco bay bridge cityscape at twilight

Last time I was above the bridge at this vantage was in 2014 so I wanted to come back and re-shoot this.  Got lucky with a boat passing through the frame in this single 30 sec exposure. You will notice that the majority of my city night shots are during the twilight hour. Why? You still capture the city lights but the dynamic range of the scene is less than when the sky turns completely black. This allows you to get a well balanced single shot without crushing darks or blowing all your highlights. Plus the addition of the blue sky adds a bit of interest compared to when it is black.Always shoot raw and at your lowest ISO to be able to pull shadows from your shot. 

Nikon D750, Nikkor 50mm 1.8, f/11, 30 sec, ISO-50

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Movie Road, Alabama hills milky way

Movie road in Alabama hills has some stunning views. The road leading out towards Lone Pine Peak is one of the more popular ones. You can see why.