Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Long Lake In Little Lakes Valley

Long Lake in Little Lakes Valley. How's that for alliteration! The lake lies in the John Muir Wilderness just a hop, skip, and a jump from the trailhead (provided you can hop, skip, and jump a couple of miles). The surrounding trails provide some of the easiest access to alpine scenery in the eastern Sierra Nevada.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Clearing Skies

The area north of Seattle had late season snow showers down at sea level off and on during day yesterday. One minute, the ground would start turning white and then the sun would pop out and melt it all. I kept hoping that we might get a passing squall just before sunset to give a dusting on the beach but I had to settle for the sun peaking though a small storm dying over the Kitsap Pennisula. A Seattle resident complaining that the weather was too nice? You don't hear that too often!

Sunset at Picnic Point Park, Snohomish County, Washington.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Flowing Water

Photographing moving water is sometimes still a challenge for me. I am constantly trying to find the balance between letting the water flow across the image and avoiding ending up with no texture to the water at all. Every scene is different. The water flows at different speeds, the camera is at a different distance from the subject, or perhaps I am using a different focal length. At least with digital, you can do a quick preview to make sure you are in the ballpark. Even so, I always bracket the shutter speeds. What I think I want in the field is usually not the image I end up choosing on the monitor. Hmmm, I think I might have stumbled across a good excuse to upgrade my equipment ;)

Silver Creek, Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest, Washington

Monday, February 20, 2012

Columnar Falls

Columnar Falls is another one of those small but beautiful waterfalls that pepper the Northwest Landscape. A short hike brings you to a creek tossing itself over the lip of a ledge. The waterfall fans out over a wide wall and follows the cracks in the rock down through the moss. At places, the streams of water plunge straight to the bottom. In others, the water follows the cracks down diagonal routes. Given the short hike, it probably sees heavy traffic on the weekends but on a Monday afternoon, I had the entire view to myself.

Umpqua National Forest, Oregon

Friday, February 17, 2012


One of my favorite painters was J.M.W. Turner. I have always loved how he blended the sky and the land together seamlessly in his later paintings. The subjects and colors seemed to dissolve into the oils at times; always present but never quite withing waking from a dream. Whenever the opportunity presents itself, I always try to bring a little of the Turner's spirit into my work. Stanley Lake, Idaho.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Friday, February 10, 2012

Crescent Moon

Close to the top of my list of photo opportunities is a setting moon shortly after sunset. It is hard to beat a moon descending though a sea of color. When I photographed this scene on Whidbey Island, I used a 400mm lens to keep the moon very large in the frame. The longer focal length also visually compressed the foreground and the background together, leaving the crescent moon seemingly hanging over the Olympic Mountains. If nothing else,  I looked really cool standing next to my longest lens mounted on a tripod.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Tungsten Blue

This is an image back from the olden days of film but it is still one of my favorites. The fog was rolling over the Berkeley Hills that morning and after I had shot several rolls, I decided to try a roll of tungsten film. It is pretty easy to experiment with color balance today but with film, the results were frequently unpredictable at best. I ended up tossing the 5 rolls of Velvia from that shoot and kept only the blue-tinted images from that single roll of indoor film.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Garden Of The Gods

With over 500 miles of flat land to the east of it, Garden of the Gods in Colorado gets its fair share of great light early in the morning. Even so, I was amazed at the light on the rock during this winter sunrise.