Category Archives: New Images

New Images — Desert Southwest, Winter 2014


HivemindMoqui Marbles & SandstoneSandstone FlamesCollective ConsciousnessMaineframeBlast FurnaceSwerve & SwelterThe Meetin' PlaceFirey Foyer

I was lucky enough to sneak a few days in the desert over the past month with two good buddies and GREAT photographers.  Lukas, Jim and I headed out for the White Pocket formation in the Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness.  It was the first truly off-road voyage for my “new” Land Cruiser and Lucille performed perfectly.

White Pocket is an amazing place as you see from the images.  We had some fierce, tent rending winds during the days, replete with blowing sand and grit that ended up EVERYWHERE, but each of us came away with some great and different images.  We loved it, but we really want to go back during the monsoon season when our chances for some great pools of water and stormy light are much better.  We bookended our trip with stops in Valley of Fire State Park just outside Las Vegas and got some great light there.




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A Death Valley Thanksgiving (2013)

This year I was able to spend the Thanksgiving long weekend in Death Valley.  I’d just picked up a new photomobile a few weeks beforehand and I was anxious to get out into some wide open spaces and shoot some desert goodness.  I rode down to the Ibex Dunes where I was able to meet up with e-friend become real-friend Matt Kuhns to shoot turkey day sunset and then enjoy a nice freeze dried meal under a banner of countless stars and a soundtrack of deep desert silence. Then the next day I did some backroad rambling in my new Land Cruiser up the Harry Wade Road and the Echo Canyon Road, finally ending up out on Cottonball Marsh for a delightful light show.  After that we had a fabulous meal at the Furnace Creek Inn (SWANKY!!) and I was finally able to meet up with Jeff Lewis.

Here’s the images that arose from that weekend; anytime I break away from a few days of shooting with more than 1 image per day I am a very happy camper.

ShadowlandsIbexual HealingMudflat FusionCrystal Cauldron

The above images are included in my Holiday Print Sale which goes until 12:00 noon PST on 12/10.

And here’s an image of my new photomobile, Lucille, ain’t she fabulous?!


Aspens and the Eastern Sierra (and low fog BONUS!)

Rhythm of the Woods


A couple of weeks ago I was able to make a run over the Sierra to shoot the aspen trees in full autumn splendor.  Because of my latest treatment it had been a while since I’d been out and about for photography’s sake and it felt great.  Here’s a few images I was able to make on that trip and a bonus low fog sunset from this past weekend at the Golden Gate Bridge.  Hope you like them!


Autumn's PaletteRhythm of the WoodsHigh Desert SerenadeThe RefrainThe Harp

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New Image — Tangents


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.



Muir’s Melody — Yosemite National Park, California

Muir's Melody


This is just a few bars of the epic Yosemite Symphony,  but I guarantee it will get stuck in your head.  I haven’t been able to shake it since I first set eyes (and ears) on that magnificent granite when I first moved to California.  This little snippet of that symphony has all the right instruments, the low bass thunder of Bridal Veil Falls, the whisper of the everchanging mists, a twinkle of starlight, the alto of fresh snow, and the murmur of the Merced River as it flowed by hundreds of feet below.

I checked the Yosemite Conservancy webcams incessantly on Friday as a late season storm passed through the valley putting a fresh coat of snow on everything.  Having not been on a crazy day trip to Yosemite in a few months, I decided that it might be a good time to use my National Parks Membership and shoot on over for sunrise on Saturday.  Unfortunately, that means leaving the Bay Area around 1:00. AM.  Thankfully, I had a couple friends who were willing to come along and slap me around a bit if I started nodding off on the long drive through the central valley and up into the foothills.  We arrived in Yosemite at about 4:30 and promptly ran up to Tunnel View to have a snack and scope out the scene in the moonlight.  A bit later the clouds overhead started to break up and we could see some stars.  That’s when I took the shots that make up this image.  We spent the next hour or so shooting the valley from Tunnel View waiting for sunrise.  Unfortunately, the sunrise was not colorful.  Afterward we toured around the valley and took a few more shots, ate breakfast and we were on our way back home by 8:30.  The nap that followed my return was wonderful.

Here’s some technical information about the exposure and the post processing:

Exposure: 30 seconds, f/2.8, ISO 3200 & 2 minutes, f/2.8, ISO 800

Camera & Lens: Nikon D7000 — Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 EX DG

Filters: None.

Post Processing:  This image is blend of two exposures taken in succession.  A shorter exposure at ISO 3200 to freeze the stars in place as as much as possible and a longer exposure at ISO 800 to obtain more detail and reduce the grain in the lower part of the image.  I processed both files in Adobe Camera Raw with identical adjustments so that the blend would be as seamless as possible.  After merging the two images together in Photoshop I burned down the top of the image to darken the sky and dodged in some more detail in the valley itself.  Then, I finished by adding some a bit of saturation and by warming up the image a bit by changing the grey point in a levels adjustment layer.

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New Image — “Moonstones”


Moonstones — Soberanes Cove, Garrapata State Park, Carmel, California



Let me start by saying that Soberanes Cove in Garrapata State Park is one of my favorite locations.  It feels secluded though only a few steps away from CA-1 and the smooth granite stones on the beach look amazing when they get wet.  I have had an image of the cove at night in my mind for some time now and the conditions lined up perfectly for it last weekend.  My wonderful and patient girlfriend and I shot over to pick up Lukas and then headed down there with the intent to scout out a few new to us places in Garrapata before it got dark and then do some star work.  We shot a bit at Bixby Bridge and then headed back north to shoot this cove.

The scramble down to the beach level has a little exposure and it pays to have a buddy that can go down first so you can hand them your gear to have your hands free (thanks Lukas!).  Somehow the scramble seemed easier than usual in the dark.  The sound the waves make on this beach is really special as well, a wave will crash and then on it’s return to sea it’ll make the boulders clack together.  Quite a calming sound.

We shot for a little while on the beach trying out different compositions and trying to stay dry.  The moon was 2/3 full at our backs so it was providing great fill light for the cove and putting those amazing little highlights on each of the rocks.  Those two bright spots in the sky are Venus and Jupiter.


Here’s some technical information about the exposure and the post processing:

Exposure: 30 seconds, f/4, ISO 1600

Camera & Lens: Nikon D7000 – Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM

Filters:  None

Post processing: Night images are usually somewhat tough for me to process.  There’s either not enough light to see details in the foreground or the sky is getting too light to look like night.  The moon was very bright this night so my first move was to burn down the sky a bit to bring back the night feel, then I dodged some details back into the shadows in the headland to the left.  After that it was minor contrast tweaks throughout the image to add some pop and a bit of a saturation boost to highlight the gradient of color in the sky and the wonderful set of stones in the foreground.

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New Image — “Aspirations”


“Aspirations” — Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, Del Norte County, California


I made this image during a 4 day trip to far northern California to visit the redwoods in the Summer of 2011.  I was in search of some great atmosphere and during the summer the area can be swamped under a thick layer of fog and marine layer.  If you can find the right place that can make for some wonderful photographs.  Fog was the name of the game on this day so I headed up the 101 toward Crescent City from Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park.  During that drive you head up over a pass and drive right through Del Norte Creek Redwoods State Park.  I stopped at the Damnation Creek trailhead and headed up the trail on the western side of the highway to see if I could get myself into the high fog that was plowing into this steep section of coastline.  I was in luck!  To shoot this image I found a nice redwood surrounded by a hearty bunch of ferns and nestled myself down low to shoot the giant from their perspective.  I made sure to use my circular polarizer to really make the lush ferns pop.

Here’s some technical information about the exposure and the post processing:

Exposure: 2 seconds, f/11, ISO 100

Camera & Lens: Nikon D7000 – Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM

Filters:  B+W Kaesemann Circular Polarizer

Post processing:  This is another image where nature did most of the work for me.  The thick layer of fog created a huge diffused light source that evenly lit almost everything in the scene.  This image had some dodging and burning to control highlights and bring detail to shadows.


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New Image — “Overcome with Light”


“Overcome with Light” — China Camp State Park, San Rafael, California

Overcome with Light


I made plans to head out with my good friend Sebastian to head out for sunrise on a Saturday morning and it so happened that brotographer Lukas was heading out as well so we planned to meet up and to decide where to head based on the conditions the next morning.  The conditions were looking sparse for fog at the Golden Gate so we made the call to head up to China Camp State Park in San Rafael to first shoot the line-up of the San Rafael and Bay Bridges and then to check out Rat Rock for the actual sunrise.

This was one of those mornings where you just show up and things go off.  The light was impecable.  The sun sets pretty far south this time of year so we headed to an alternate view point on the island so we could compose in a more southerly direction than the most popular composition of Rat Rock.  There was a good amount of hootin’ and hollerin’ going on during this sunrise.

Here’s some technical information about the exposure and the post processing:

Exposure: 13 seconds, f/13, ISO 100

Camera & Lens: Nikon D7000 – Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 EX DG

Filters:  Singh-Ray 3-stop Reverse Graduated Neutral Density Filter

Post processing:  “Overcome with Light” is a very literal title for this image.  It needed very little post processing, the sunrise was indeed as vivid as you see above.  The only post processing done to this image was some minor dodging on Rat Rock to bring out some details in the shadows and some dust removal.

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New Image — “Transcending It”


“Transcending It” — Pescadero, California

Transcending It

This is the first post of this type, but I will be adding a new post for each new image that I add to my galleries, each post will detail a bit about how I made the image, the equipment I used and the post process methods I used to achieve the final product.

I made this image on a cloudy, drizzly day in February.  A storm system had just passed through the San Francisco Bay Area the day before so I was hope that the tail end of the system would carry with it some great clouds and dramatic light.  I hopped in my car around lunchtime and headed out to the San Mateo County coastline to a spot I’d scouted out a few weeks before.  The spot has some really awesome rock structures, which make for some INCREDIBLE leading lines, but unfortunately they point north-westerly direction so they are tough to incorporate into an image during the winter when the sunset is off to the southwest.  But, this day it was pretty clear that there wasn’t going to be much of a sunset because of the heavy cloudcover and lines of low fog and drizzle that were moving through the area.  I hung out in my car waiting for a break in the grossness and had a 10-15 minute window of nice light and no drizzle during which I recorded this long exposure.

Here’s some technical information about the exposure and the post processing:

Exposure: 30 seconds, f/11, ISO 100

Camera & Lens: Nikon D7000 — Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM

Filters: Lee Big Stopper 10-stop Neutral Density Filter, Singh-Ray 3-stop Reverse Graduated Neutral Density Filter

Post processing:  I shot this image knowing that the final result would be a black and white.  I shot the image in RAW format.  In adobe camera raw I cleaned the image up to remove a few dust spots, added a little fill light to gain some detail in the shadows.  Then I moved the image over to Photoshop CS5 where I did some minor contrast edits of the sky and foreground separately to protect the white levels in the sky while bringing up the foreground shadows a bit more.  This got the image ready for black and white conversion which I accomplished using Nik Silver Efex.


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