Great Blue Heron

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Great Blue Heron – Merced River, Yosemite National Park

I had the opportunity to drive into Yosemite National Park yesterday. I squared away my new annual pass and got some needed information for the coming weeks. (park entry reservations, road closures, etc.)

Winter in Yosemite can be a challenging pursuit but the rewards sometimes surprise you. Case in point, after driving around the valley, I found a pullout near the river, stopped grabbed my gear and headed gingerly over the icy berm. (Falling awhile carrying camera gear, not fun). I found a few photo opts but they were just OK. Then out of the corner of my eye, through the trees I saw a steel colored shape! It was this heron!

Scrambled back to the car, switched out my lens (Tamron 150-600mm) and tried to quietly sneak back down to a spot where I thought I could take a decent photo. This heron kept one eye on me the entire crunchy, slippery time down the embankment. He allow me to fire off a few good shots and then flew off when another family parked and explored near by.

January Wolf Moon

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Sony A7RIII – f/10 150mm 1/10 sec ISO 50 stacked and cropped

In 2020 I had to find a new way to create due to restrictions and an over abundance of caution due to the global pandemic. I have this curiosity for night photography and I think I’ve hone my craft over the past year due to the fact; 1) you have to go out late 2) most the time you’re by yourself in the dark. What night photography has taught me, patience and planning.

It’s pretty easy to look up in the sky at night and think, “Oh wow, full moon is out!” and run inside and grab your set-up and start shooting. Over the course of the past year, I’ve gotten better at the quick set-up in the dark but man, it can be cold in the winter. Now, I try to plan ahead and note the moon phases or when the Milky Way will rise. I have my layers, headlamp, heat source and camera gear ready.

Patience is taking shot after shot of the object in the sky. Readjusting to align the camera with the moving night sky and taking more shots, checking the photo, adjust, reposition, click at least 50-100 times. After you think you’ve got your shots, there is the post processing. For this image, I stacked 60 photos into this one photo with photoshop. I’m no Adobe suite expert but photoshop’s “Automate” tool will do a decent job of stacking. The finishing touches are added in Lightroom.

Red tail hawk

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Fledgling red tail hawk sitting on a post

I needed a nature break so I grabbed my camera and headed out to Merced Wildlife Refuge. This fledgling was less than 12′ from me and posed the entire time.

Emerald Bay Blue Hour

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Emerald Bay

Happy New Year everyone! What a crazy year 2020 was. Here’s to looking forward to beautiful things in the coming year.

It’s been awhile since I posted here. But my energy has been renewed and I hope to rekindle this blog post in the coming months. The photo above was taken early morning in August 2020. I was looking for shooting stars and as usual, they would shoot pass me where the camera wasn’t pointing. I was going to pack it up and call it but in the distance, the glow of the rising sun towards the East called me to stay a bit longer. The results, this pano of Emerald Bay during blue hour.

enjoy!

Well, Hello 2019

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Well, Hello and Happy New Year! I expect great things in 2019!

Adventures like these from 2018 has me craving for more in the future. I know I’m getting better at my craft but I now need to put more out there in the world.

Cheers 2019, here’s to more creative adventures!

Trona Pinnacles

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I’ve heard a lot about Trona Pinnacles and seen some amazing photos from there as well. I was in SoCal over the weekend and decided a detour was in order for the day. Here are a couple of photos.

If you plan to head out there here are some suggestions. The road out there is washboard gravel. It’s a short bumpy ride, so a passenger car is do-able. (There were rv’s parked out there). Bring water, it’s early April and I was running around in shorts at 3 AM so stay hydrated & don’t forget the sunscreen. It can also get windy so be prepared to have dust in everything. There is one pit toilet and someone had left a lit citronella candle burning in there. Made for one of the most pleasant smelling pit toilets ever.

Boot Arch

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Found the lesser known Boot Arch exploring Alabama Hills, CA this weekend. _MG_6795

Silver Creek

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Along Highway 4 in Alpine County, Silver Creek flows East out of Lower Kinney Lake.

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Ripples and snow along the Carson

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An easy spot to get to from the junction where highway 88 & 89 meet in Hope Valley. There’s a small parking lot and you walk along a path towards the river. It’s pretty quite except for the occasional sounds of a car or truck on the highway. You come to a bridge and the Carson River follows under it. The late afternoon sun lights up the recent snows and the ripples of the water.

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Mysterious Landscapes

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I pulled one from the archives. This photo was from a Southwest trip in 2010. My sister hired a photography guide and he showed us these ‘off the beaten path’ places. As in the photo below, many locations had usual rock formations set in an other-worldly mysterious landscape.

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