This is a sort of catch up post to add some of my new images to the site. I have been travelling as much as possible lately. I have made short trips up to Lake Tahoe, the Castle Crags Wilderness near Mt. Shasta and a few days over in the Eastern Sierra. Enjoy!!
Click the thumbnail below for a larger view and click the add to cart button if you’re interested in hanging it up on your own wall.
It’s been a while since I’ve had a new image post. I’ve recently added a few new prints to the galleries for purchase, but I’d like to showcase this one.
Last weekend, Lukas and I took a trip out to Folsom Lake in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada to catch some of the incredible lupine bloom that was occurring on the banks of the lake. We wandered around immersed in the wonderful scent of the acres of fresh lupine bloom and shot some images. I found these two great oak trees to help frame my scene and add a bit of interest to the flat blue sky. The rest was just waiting around for a while until the sun was low and the light nice and warm. Happy spring everyone!
Here’s a wallpaper version of one of my new images called “Inspection Point”. Please feel free to use it as the wallpaper on your personal computer, but not for anything else or I’ll have to sick my copyright monkey on you. Click on it to view the full size 2560 pixel wide version.
I just spent a little while out in far eastern California. I spent some time in Death Valley National Park and in the Owens Valley. Both places that I love to explore. Each time I visit one of them I feel like I discover that there’s immensely more territory that needs exploring. Oh well, I hope to return early and often!
In Death Valley I set out to visit two of the more remote sets of sand dunes. The Ibex sand dunes are in the far southern region of the park and are located a mile and a half or so from the nearest (rough!) dirt road. The Eureka sand dunes are in the far northern part of the park and involve a 50 mile trip from Big Pine, CA on about half dirt roads. Both were quite different. The Ibex dunes were a relatively small complex with great exposure to the setting sun in the winter months so that they really glowed with that late day light. The Eureka dunes lie in an absolutely immense valley and are extremely tall. Make sure you give yourself ample time to explore them as they look smaller than they really are. I ended up huffing and puffing up them in about half the time I should have allotted before the sun when down.
After spending time in Death Valley I turned my sights to the Owens Valley. I spent some time tracking down a petroglyph north of Bishop that had eluded me for a few trips. Found it! Now I just need to get back there when there’s good conditions for sunrise or sunset. On the final day of the trip I headed north so that I could cross the Sierra Nevada. I photographed the final sunrise of my trip at Convict Lake and was happy to see the first clouds I’d seen all week then. Finally, I ran into some amazing conditions in the Mono Basin where an thick layer of frozen fog had settled down. The light and texture down inside that fog were great and I was rewarded again when I ascended out of the fog at the northern edge of the basin.
I ended up driving about 1,400 miles and (thankfully!) didn’t need either of my full-size spare tires.
All in all this was a very productive trip! I hope you enjoy the images!
Twenty-twelve was a tough year for me. Some amazing highs and some nasty lows. I got engaged to the most wonderful, creative and supportive person I’ve ever known and fought hard to clear my body and mind of the influence of metastatic melanoma.
I didn’t get to photograph nearly as much as I would have liked, but I’m thankful to still be kickin’ around on this planet and to be able to pursue my passions again. It seems I’m still not out of the woods as far as the melanoma is concerned, I have a new development in my left lung, but I’m enjoying the bit of healthy, non-medicated time I have left before we kick that bastard to the curb in 2013.
I’m heading back to the Eastern Sierra and Death Valley next week for 6 days of photography. I’m really looking forward to it and can’t wait for the freedom of the hills.
I usually like to produce a list of 10 or so favorite images from the year, but with all of the time lost to cancer treatments and recovery from cancer treatments I only made about 10 images over the course of the entire year. So, in the interest of actually wanting to pick the images I like the most I chose 6 as my number instead of 10. Hope you like them!
Here’s a little of the context behind each image.
Moonstones: This was an image I’d had pictured in my mind’s eye since I first climbed down to the beach at Soberanes Cove in Garrapata State Beach. This area is the very top edge of Big Sur and it’s pretty accessible as a day trip location from our place in El Cerrito. I headed down there with friend-tographer Lukas and Sammy. There were no clouds so we dilly-dallied around until the stars came out and then headed down to this beach to make some images. The timing was perfect as the moon was rising behind our backs and provided a nice balance of light to the foreground and sea stacks. Gotta love it when a plan comes together!
Muir’s Melody: Sometimes you just need to drop everything and run to Yosemite Valley in the middle of the night. This was one of those occasions. Lukas, Josh and I left the Bay Area at 1 AM so that we could arrive in a (hopefully!) snowy Yosemite before sunrise. We arrived early and drove up to the infamous Tunnel View to scope out the valley. 20-30 minutes after we got there the clouds overhead started to break up. This let the moonlight in to glint off the snowy valley walls.
Tangents: I love Cataract Creek on Mt. Tam. It never ceases to provide me with a new and interesting composition each time I visit and even if the conditions aren’t great for photography the hike still gets your blood pumping. This particular image is a vert-0-rama and really showcases the vegetation around the creek’s many cascades.
Arcs and Arches: Sam and I got engaged during the hour that the camera was recording these star trails. We both love the Alabama Hills and so a quick weekend trip out there to celebrate her successful completion of graduate school exams turned into a time we’ll never forget. This was another image that formed months earlier in my mind’s eye and I was able to make use of the 2012 super-moon to really light up the surrounding landscape while letting the stars glide across the sky forming the trails you see in the image.
Zephyr: Lone Pine has really captured my heart. After I finished my interferon treatments in October I made sure to parse out a little time to get back out in the world and explore the Eastern Sierra. I was traveling on my own — a great feeling after needing the care of others for many months — so I felt very free. I had one very productive morning in the Alabama Hills while a storm cleared the Sierra. This image was from well before sunrise so the exposure was very long and the light across the Sierra escarpment was very soft and even.
Feature Length: This was taken recently on one of those mornings where the forecast does not look all that great for photography. I met up with Lukas and his wife Megan in the headlands and we took the hike down to Kirby Cove. Things were starting to look pretty good and then they just kept getting better and better. We photographed for what felt like and hour at least. I soaked my sneakers in the process, but who cares!?
December 3-10, 2012 Only
50%+ off Select Size Gallery Canvas Wrap Prints. (Prices in the gallery below reflect discounts).
These prints look great and come to you ready to hang up. You won’t need to mess around with frames at all. The proceeds from this sale will go toward getting me out in the wild in January to take some fresh new images to share with you all.
Images are sized based on the crop of the image. Some have a 2×3 ratio and some have a more square 4×5 ratio.
12″x18″ or 16″x20″– $55
16″x24″ or 20″x24″ — $70
20″x30″ or 24″x30″ — $130
32″x48″ or 30″x40″ — $215
Prices include shipping to your door via UPS and applicable taxes.
The sale is now closed. Thanks so much for your support!!
I’ve been feeling much better as of late and have recovered enough to where I felt like I could take a long weekend solo trip to the Eastern Sierra. I was hoping to be able to hop over their via Tioga Pass through Yosemite National Park but an early winter storm passed through on Friday and the pass was closed. That meant I had to take the longer, significantly less pretty way to go around the Sierra Nevada from the south. I ended up catching some incredible light and conditions on my first morning in Lone Pine, only to see the wonderful clouds slowly evaporate over the course of the day and never return. I made the best of it and did some night work and also got to explore the area a lot more than I have in the past. I took a soak in a hot spring near Mammoth and tracked down a derelict mine site in the Inyo Mountains.
This was the first opportunity I have had to seriously give the D800E a workout and I am incredibly impressed. The files are loaded with detail and the camera handles very well. I look forward to being able to print images very large now.
So I’ve been pretty absent from photography lately and it’s because I’ve been dealing with cancer.
I felt a lump in my neck in December of 2011, figuring it was just an enlarged lymph node from the start of a cold or something, I let it go for another month. When it didn’t go away and I hadn’t actually been sick at all, I decided to go get it checked out. In early February I got a call that my biopsy results were in. It was cancer. They knew it was cancer, but they couldn’t tell me what kind. They needed more info. Fast forward through CT/PET/MRI scans, two more biopsies and lots of waiting, I was finally diagnosed with metastatic melanoma in mid April 2012.
I then had all of the lymph nodes on the right side of my neck removed and most of my parotid gland taken out as well. I’m still recovering from that extensive surgery and willhave a sweet scar down that side of my neck forever. The good news is that of the 50+ nodes that were removed from my neck only the two we already knew about had any sign of melanoma in them. We still don’t know where it came from, I don’t have any suspicious moles or anything. I’m told that melanoma can occasionally just manifest itself inside a lymph node. It’s likely that I’ll never know.
So, the problem with melanoma is that it’s a pesky sonofabitch and you can never be sure it won’t come back. In order to limit those odds I’m doing everything I can to stop it or push off a recurrence until there’s a cure (fingers crossed!). That treatment involves 4 weeks of radiation to my surgery site and then 12 months of high dose interferon. Interferon is an immunostimulant that kicks your immune system into high gear to hopefully kill any microscopic melanoma left after the surgery and radiation. It makes you feel like you’ve got the flu and it makes you feel really tired as well. So it’s going to be a tough year, no doubt about that. The worst part by far is that I had to shave my beard! Ugh, I don’t recognize that guy in the mirror yet.
The good news is that I’m getting my treatment done at Stanford University’s Cancer Center so I’m in really good hands. And the best news of all is that I have a fabulous fiance who will be here supporting me every step of the way. (We actually got engaged while I was recording the image at the top of this post. :) We took a long weekend in Lone Pine just before my surgery. I’d been planning it all along, but cancer wasn’t a part of that plan. I’m really glad I was able to go on with my plan amidst these circumstances.)
I’m planning on using this blog as a place to post updates and hopefully some images if my body allows. I’m not sure I’ll be able to shoot as actively as I have been able to do over the past year, but I definitely need a creative outlet and sure I’ll find something to shoot.
Tangents — Cataract Creek, Mt. Tamalpais Watershed, Marin County, California
I made this image a while ago and just got around to writing up the description to post it up here. This image is from the Cataract Creek trail in the Mt. Tamalpais watershed. That trail is wonderful and follows the creek steeply up the side of Mt. Tam and there’s no shortage of action along the way. I’m always confronted with a new composition whenever I visit this location. This spot is a short scramble away from the main trail on a use path.
This trail is a must visit spot during the wet season, the whole area becomes so lush and the creek fills up with nice clean water, just make sure to arrive early to avoid the crowds as this is a very popular spot on the weekends.
Here’s some technical information about the exposure and the post processing:
Exposure: 6 seconds, f/11, ISO 100.
Camera & Lens: Nikon D7000 — Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 EX DG
Filters: B+W Kaesemann Circular Polarizer
Post Processing: This image is a blend of three landscape orientation shots panned vertically to encompass the whole run of cascades that were visible from this vantage point. I also blended in the cascades from a 1 second exposure shot for the top corner to control the highlights within that much brighter section. After blending the exposure together I did some minor dodging and burning to add contrast and warmed up the color temperature slightly to remove the blueish cast from the water in the more shaded areas of the image. I did not have to increase saturation as the circular polarizer does a lot to enhance the strong greens that are present in this lush canyon.