"Keep close to Nature's heart... and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean." -John Muir. Happy Birthday John Muir. And thank you. So so much. Your legacy may very well be the grandest of them all.Read More
So this is a little uncharacteristic of me, but this time, I’m going to try to go easy on the words and let the images tell the story. Yosemite is just one of those places…the type that no matter who or what you are, will be affected by it. It’s simply impossible to turn that final curve on Highway 41 and exit that 1/4 mile tunnel 30 miles past Yosemite National Park’s South Entrance, without feeling like time slows down, at least for a split-second, to work out whether or not your eyes and senses have failed you as you try to come to grips with the sheer scale and beauty of the surreal valley that lies before you.Read More
Last week saw the 24th Annual International Los Angeles Photographic Art Exposition, otherwise known as Photo LA, take over the entire 2nd floor of Downtown Los Angeles’ L.A. Mart Building. Over 15,000 visitors checking out more than 50 gallery exhibitors from all over the world over the course of 3 days. And with it, I had the honor of having one of my images, ‘Don’t Turn Your Back,’ taken in Yosemite, selected to be displayed by the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) Los Angeles chapter.Read More
For the lucky ones who managed to snag an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus, I figured I’d throw together a collection of my images sized and optimized to serve as background wallpapers to grace the face of your new device. There are several scenes covering various locations from Yosemite to Venice to a gorgeous Grist Mill in Washington. Hopefully there’s something in there that’ll tickle your fancy.Read More
As I was standing in Yosemite's Tuolumne Meadows a few weeks ago, awaiting the sunset, I was on a sandbar off to the north side of the Tuolumne River east of bridge leading towards Soda Springs. As I stood there framing the shot, I got the elements I liked, and the light was just about to be perfect. The focus of this one was the light dancing upon the top of Cathedral Peak and Unicorn Peak and the trees on the ridgline below it. As the light started to bounce off those treetops and the peaks, I began to snap a few frames. I was delighted.Read More
This is just one of those places. You hear about it, you see pictures of it, you read about it, and if you’re a nature-lover or photographer, or better yet, both, you’d be hot damned if you that’s the one you didn’t get to cross off your bucket-list.
The mystique around this place runs high. It’s been called a ‘photographers paradise,’ as well as one of ‘the most difficult places to photograph.’ The thing about it is, it’s closed off most of the year.Read More
"The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination." -Albert Einstein** From me to you, There’s This Week’s Monday Kick In The Yahoo! ** Feel It!Read More
So this is what was supposed to happen. My landlord’s friend has a condo up in Mammoth. He wanted new pictures of it in order to prepare rental listings for the coming winter season. It hasn’t been rented in several months, so I figured this would be a good week to go. I got the green light from him, from the landlord, and off I went, driving along the Eastern Sierras of California…the ‘Range of Light.’ A relatively painless drive to spend a few days in a part of California I’ve never been to, take some pictures, get some writing and some work done in the solitude of the Sierra Nevadas for a few days, and then head back home. Well, let’s just say, that got derailed in a big way, spontaneously turning this into much more of an adventure than I expected.Read More
In honor of Apple’s latest operating system announcement, OS X Yosemite (which, if you know me, that word alone gets me excited) I figured I’d rehash some of my images from my Yosemite adventures last year. In case you don’t want to (or can’t) wait until the fall for the official release, after the 'read more' break below, you'll find a few of my favorites optimized for your desktop backgrounds, and below those are the iPhone-optimized versions. To save them, just right click and choose ‘Save Link As...’Read More
So this is pretty sweet. The Roosevelts just published a post entitled "45 Photos That Will Make You Want To Visit Yosemite National Park." That first picture look familiar? It is just about that time of year again...might be time to dust off the ol' packs... Anyhow, click here to see all 45...
I suppose the silver lining in this whole thing is, Yosemite can take the day off on her birthday, for the first time ever! Enjoy this one because, no offense, but I hope you never get that day off again!
Thank you SOOO much for the years of incredible experiences and adventures. I can't wait to celebrate with you, as well as the rest of the national parks, again...
Looks like I took that "3 National Parks, 3 States, 2 Weeks, 1 Crap Bag" trip at just the right time...
I made my first proper art print from one of my digital images.
When I attended Scott Kelby's "Shoot Like A Pro" seminar here in Los Angeles a few months back, one of the perks was that we got a coupon code for a free 16x20 print from one of the sponsors, Mpix, on some madness they call Fuji Pearl photo paper. Regardless, I couldn't bring myself to do it.
Despite the fact that I took photography in high school, my father taught it, we had a darkroom at the school that we'd use on the weekends, he had a darkroom at home that I wasn't allowed to touch, and hell, my first science fair entry was a shoebox pinhole camera, and from all of this, I spent a good chunk of time developing film and photos, all in black in white, none of which I still have before taking off to college where my time got eaten up by…ahem…studying, I held off for a while because I was nervous about how it would come out - perhaps dealing me a blow if it came back and thought to myself 'this is shite!' I had made 8x10s at Costco and they actually turned out fairly well (especially considering the price at $2 per), but twice the size? Never. Will the pixels and my processing hold up?
But I finally suppressed the nerves to a level low enough and for long enough to upload the image and hit 'checkout.' And boy am I glad I did! I got the thing delivered to my door in a few days, opened it and just stared. Smiling. Immediately hit up target and grabbed me a frame for the sucker. I've been so caught up in devices and screens and i this's and i thats strewn about from our pockets to our coffee tables to our desks, I forgot what it's like to hold up a tangible physical print. It felt great. And hanging it up on the wall felt good. Real good. Was actually a nice little confidence boost.
I don't need to say it, but it's pretty apparent photography has come quite a long way since them there high school daze. As has the paper. This stuff was slick, shiny, and elegant. I purposely chose an image (that you've all seen here before) that i thought would best do that sort of feel justice - my 'Slice of Yosemite Layer Cake', an image that has 3 starkly contrasting layers and textures; a background of slick snowy mountainside, a foreground comprised of a set of silhouetted pine trees, and a layer of rolling clouds that just hovered right in between them. Proved the perfect centerpiece for a few other 8x10s from that infamous winter Yosemite trip…
Onward and upwards!! Next stop...canvas?
I'll keep this one short and sweet...so all that madness I've been blabbering on about the past few posts about this Far Meadow business? Well, the whole purpose of that trip was to photograph a new A-Frame cabin as well as their 'Glamping' facilities. Well, those pics have finally been published! Below is a gallery of those images.
Enjoy. Book. Go. Trust me.Read More
"Our backyard is the National Forest," she says. Their back-yard…IS THE NATIONAL FOREST!
That part of this whole thing didn't really hit me until I walked across the gate into the meadow and saw the sign that said, "Property Line - Entering National Forest."
Literally…I grabbed an iced tea, walked across a mini field of wildflowers that took all of 16 seconds, and there it is - the property border, and the beginning of...the National Forest.Read More
In a word: frickin' brilliant!
Ok, that was two words. Well, one real word and one, eh…you get the point.
It was a common frustration for DSLR shooters such as myself that the only means of checking for focus and composition is on the LCD screen on the back of the camera, at least until you get home and look at them on your computer and then want to shoot your computer in the face because that critical point was actually in soft focus!
Sure, that's a huge step up from no screens at all and having to wait to get the prints back from a lab hours, or even days, after, but still, this is 2013, and we're demanding madness, so Eye-Fi has delivered, well, madness (optimized for mobile of course).
So I was recently sent to photograph some rental cabins on property in the National Forest bordering Yosemite, and I've been reading and hearing so much about this bugger that I figured it was finally time to make an upgrade to my camera bag that I can afford. Their new Mobi card was right within that budget. 50 smackeroos.
Best thing ever. Well, that and tacos.
For those of you that are unfamiliar with the basics of what it is and what it does, the Eye-Fi is an SD memory card for you camera. The magic in it rests in what else it contains - wi-fi, effectively turning it into an adhoc wifi network between your camera and your mobile device, be it a smartphone or a tablet.
Why? Well, when you snap a photo, it automatically send the jpg version to your mobile device. GONE are the days of the 2 inch LCD monitor and RUE THE DAYS of excitedly uploading your recent batch of photos only to realize the BOOM one wasn't in focus. Now, you can immediately, no matter where you are, use your mobile device as the viewer screen for your shot as soon as you take it. Not only that, but if you feel so inclined, you can now immediately Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/smoke signal your DSLR images from your device as if you shot them on your phone...
For my process, I set the Nikon D7000's LCD screen to show just the histogram, and then used my iPhone as the viewer screen to check for critical focus and composition. It took me 5 minutes to set up in a taqueria parking lot, and now it never leaves slot 2 in my camera. While the Mobi is designed for mobile use, if you'd like a version where the RAW images can be sent directly to your computer as well, they have the ProX2 version that covers that base!!
The one thing that took me a minute to figure out was that I shoot in RAW in order to post-process later in Lightroom and/or Photoshop, so wasn't sure how that would work, but a quick Google search gave me the 'duh!' answer to shoot RAW+JPG. Then it beams the jpgs to your device, and you have your RAWs for later. The Nikon D7000 conveniently has two slots, so I set it to shoot RAW to slot 1, and JPG to slot 2, and that was that.
And the slideshow below is a selection of what happened.
For the full blog posts on my escapades in the Sierras (less fan-boy, more gushy), start here with part 1:
Now go and get your Eye-Fi card by clicking here.
And tonight…I write by candlelight…
So yeah, the power on the trailer went out so I'm left with a few candles and just enough charge to offload today's photos and jot down today's haps, so, again, I'll try to keep it as short and sweet as I can and hopefully let some of the images do the talking…
I must say, waking up to a symphony of birds singing, mist evaporating, and the soft golden sunlight beaming through decades old redwoods, bouncing poetically across wildflowers outside your window…does. not. suck.Read More
The stillness is a tad unnerving at first…but then the fact that there is absolutely no noise coming from anything other than the keyboard and an occasional distant howl, the source of which I've yet to determine, begins to quickly become soothing. Once your brain gets past the fact that you've decided, on your own will, to drive through the central valley during one of the most scorching heat waves we've seen in these parts (I watched my car thermometer climb from 103 and end up at 109 before finally beginning to gain elevation after passing through Oakhurst and winding my way up to the Far Meadow on tires that should have been changed 5000 miles ago), and you catch sight of the foothills of the High Sierras, and you start heading in their direction…everything begins to fall into place.Read More
So this is pretty neat! You may have seen me post this photo of Sentinel Rock in Yosemite before, but I got served a bit of awesome sauce today because of it! It was just picked to be critiqued for another popular photography podcast. Check it, it's the Digital Photo Experience hosted by ridiculously respected photographers Rick Sammon and Juan Pons, and they talk about the image at the 56:22 mark. That's the third image on three podcasts in the past few weeks, including a different image on this same podcast a few weeks back for one of my oak trees. People seem to be digging some of this stuff, now, hot dammit how do I turn this into something tangible!? Get me outta this shack!
Anywho…in case you're bored and at work, here's the podcast link: http://dpexperience.com/2013/06/03/dpe-podcast-06-01-13-all-questions-from-you/
While you can skip to the critique, I recommend listening to the full thing, and subscribing to these guys, especially if you're a photographer. They provide valuable insight and tips and information and ideas and inspiration in every episode. A good listen while you're in the lightroom.
So this is a short and sweet one, but every now and then it's nice to see things like this…I suppose it's a bit of a validation that perhaps, finally, I'm on the right track. To have two of my images used on a billboard and a label is pretty satisfying encouragement to keep going with this thing. It's a damn good feeling to know that others are appreciating what you do.
Anyway, so I know a few weeks back I brought up that the two beef jerky companies reached out to use some of my images for various purposes…the local gluten-free jerky company, Topanga's Finest Jerky, and then there was Oh Oberto. Well, worked out a deal with Topanga's Finest and here's a version of the label below. Crazy stuff!
And the billboard…that was interesting…it's in Scotland of all places, surrounding a town of about 40,000. Yeah, I know…it's for a church…but still, it's pretty neat to see one of my images on a BILLBOARD.
[Update: 01.22.14: Topanga's Finest Beef Jerky is now available, and the label has been finalized! Click here for more madness!]