Exploring the Angeles mountains I found these rocks one day, and just had to come back and photograph them. The warm glow of the setting sun on the angular rocks drew my eye, along with the sun setting over Mt Baden-Powell in the distance. After getting the shot Quark and I had to hike several treacherous miles back to the car in the dark, it was worth it!
This image is from Inspiration Point along the Pacific Crest Trail near Wrightwood, CA.
Sand Tufa Sunset
I love nature, especially when it creates vistas like this. These are Sand Tufa along the shore of Mono Lake, created by groundwater seeping through sand and solidifying it. I got this shot as the world lit up all around me during a winter storm, a few minutes later the rain came in and the view faded into the mist.
Mt Baden Powell Starburst
Mel, Quark, and I went hiking in the snow after a storm in the Angeles Mountains in 2011. The wind created these amazing shaped snow drifts and we came upon them right as the sun was setting behind Mt Baden-Powell. Mel held quark while I took this photo....and then he went diving into the snow drift. Oh to be a dog.
Whitney Portal Falls
I usually don't take photos during the harsh light of mid-day, but while exploring waterfalls in the Sierras with family we came upon this scene. The lone rock balancing among the falling water seemed very zen to me so I had to capture it. The sun reflecting off the water was so bright it was blinding, so I used a neutral density filter and exposed for the highlights which made the shaded background fall away to black, leaving only falling water and the single stone.
This is the Eastern Sierras with the Buttermilks outside Bishiop, CA seen in the foreground. They are similar to the Alabama Hills further south and provide endless compositional interest as the eroded granite creates wonderful patterns. On this morning I wanted to highlight the golden brush and the layers of light and shadow which caught my eye in this scene. This was taken at the same time as "White Mountain Fire".
Ancient Bristlecone Pine
I never get tired of wandering in this strange and ancient forest in the White Mountains. This was taken in the Shulman Grove, where many of the trees are over 4,000 years old! As I was hiking back to the car in the dark, the shape of this tree and the rising moon caught my eye, I used a 30 second exposure to bring out the warm colors of the wood and the sapphire blue sky with the shining moon.
I took this photograph during a blizzard in Yosemite, the morning before my favorite El Capitan shot was captured. This scene was an idyllic winter wonderland, and if I had not been worried about hypothermia I would have staid for hours. Read about the adventure HERE.
This was taken at the tail end of a fiery red sunset. If you have been to Yosemite in the summer you know how terrible the traffic can be, I was stuck for an hour trying to make it to valley view for sunset, and made it with seconds to spare. To make the evening even more exciting I had forgotten my tripod so I used a log on the side of the river to hold my camera steady for this photograph. This view is magic.
Lone Pine Lake Dawn
Arising early in the freezing pre-dawn of the Sierras I wandered the shore of Lone Pine Lake with Quark. This photograph is a 30 second exposure in near darkness, the hint of sunrise was on the mountains and the stars were still visible. A meteor streaking across the sapphire sky completed the scene and I knew I had gotten the shot.
Sand Tufa Sunrise
High Sierra Dreams
During a summer 2011 trip to the Lake Sabrina area I camped on the edge of a high bluff after a day of hiking and battling battalions of mosquito's. (not a good day to forget my bug spray) Once the sun set the little buggers dissipated and I was able to photograph the milky way over my campsite. The trees were lit using my headlamp.
South Lake Reflections
In the fall of 2011 I drove up to the Bishop area searching for color, and ran
into a snow storm. I was at South Lake for sunrise and was surprised to
find 40 other photographers standing on the edge of the parking lot,
afraid to step into the snow. Not liking the parking lot angle I strapped on my
snowshoes and trudged off into the drifts, a mile later I found this
grove of aspen just starting to change color overlooking the lake. The
view was magnificent, but what really captured my interest was the
reflection of the alpenglow on the water. To set up this shot I used a
shallow depth of field and a long shutter speed so that the lake below
was both slightly out of focus and the waves on the lake were smoothed
out. To me this photograph is like a fall dream.
As the sun sets in Yosemite valley the walls light up in the low angle light. In response the river becomes a sparkling cacophony of reflections and this intimate image shows the yellow reflected light off El Capitan mixing with the reflections of blue sky. This is one of the reasons I love Yosemite, it has grand vistas unparalleled in the world, and yet still has a subtle beauty that you must search to find.
Half Dome Sunset
The last light of day lingers on Half Dome as seen from Glacier Point in Yosemite.
A storm moves in over Lake Sabrina as the fall colors are on full display. The rain came several hours later just after I set up camp.
West Sierra Sunset
After a crazy evening chasing Quark around Sequoia National Forest I took this last shot of twilight and a road leading to......adventure.
Dreamscape was taken the same evening as "View from Whitney Portal", just a few minutes prior with a longer lens. The sun lighting up the tops of the clouds and the full moon ghosting through the clouds, this looks like a dream I would want to have.
The annular eclipse over the Sierras on May 20, 2012. Read about how I captures this stellar view HERE.
North Lake Road
During fall 2012 this dirt road leading to a popular fishing spot at North Lake was a tunnel of gold in the afternoon sun. I waited until the sun was behind the trees so that they glowed in the afternoon light.
Sometimes walking among the fall colors in the mountains feels like a dream. To capture that feeling I moved my camera during a long exposure to mimic the effect of an impressionistic painting.
Bishop Creek is a wonderful place to explore. I took this photograph while balancing on a rock and wet log on top of a waterfall behind me. After getting this shot I tried to switch positions and promptly fell in, it was COLD.
McGee Creek Evening
I spend a lot of time around McGee creek during fall 2012, this was shot around 30 minutes after sunset and is a single 8 minute exposure. While the clouds were streaking by above the mountains there was not a breath of wind in the valley. If you look closely you can see the first stars of the evening leaving trails in the sky.
Conway Summit Moonset
I really enjoy exploring the Conway Summit area, it feels very different than the Sierras to the South and the fall color display in this area is amazing. While exploring on a very 4wd road I came to a promising vista and then hiked through the brush a mile and a half to reach this location. I had scouted it the night before and the next morning arrived just in time to catch the moon as it slipped behind the mountains. I used my longest lens to make the moon as large as possible and really enjoyed the interweaving lines of trees in the foreground. The purple sky is from the twilight wedge, I love sunrise in the mountains!
View from Whitney Portal
This view of Owens Valley and the Alabama Hills from Whitney Portal Dr was amazing. The high pink clouds lit up and sunset and bathed the world in a soft warm glow. The clouds and the full moon immediately made me think of Galen Rowells work and I hope it helps continue his tradition of finding beauty in the mountains.
Sometimes nature cooperates, sometimes it gives you 30 mph winds when you are trying to photograph sunrise. Since creating a sharp image on this morning was impossible, I instead increased my shutter speed and took a long exposure letting the wind blur the trees into an impressionistic painterly style. I really enjoy the soft glow of dawn on the ridge and the pastel feel and motion of this photograph.