Monthly Archives

October 2012

New Work – October 2012

New Work

I’ve been remiss about publishing my new photography and have only released two groups of images on my website in 2012. Tracy and I are about to head off for some R&R in Paris and I figured I should publish a blog post about my new photographs before we leave. (Who knows, if the food is really good we may not return.) As in May, my October collection of images includes many night photographs including some really nice ones from Arches and Canyonlands National Parks in Utah, Yosemite and Joshua Tree National Park. This year I made one good blue whale photo and participated in my first aerial mission for Lighthawk, documenting development in the desert east of San Diego. A few new images of San Diego are mixed in this release. And perhaps the most fun of all: new wave photos! Below are a few from the release but you’ll want to see all of them so please have a look: New Work – October 2012. Cheers!

Milky Way and Shooting Star over Delicate Arch, as stars cover the night sky, Arches National Park, Utah
Milky Way and Shooting Star over Delicate Arch, as stars cover the night sky.
Location: Arches National Park, Utah, USA
 
Breaking wave, morning, barrel shaped surf, California
Breaking wave, morning, barrel shaped surf, California.
Location: California, USA
 
Sunrise breaking wave, dawn surf, The Wedge, Newport Beach, California
Sunrise breaking wave, dawn surf.
Location: The Wedge, Newport Beach, California, USA
 
Humpback whale breaching, pectoral fin and rostrom visible, Megaptera novaeangliae, San Diego, California
Humpback whale breaching, pectoral fin and rostrom visible.
Location: San Diego, California, USA
 
The Milky Way Galaxy shines in the night sky with a Joshua Tree silhouetted in the foreground, Joshua Tree National Park, California
The Milky Way Galaxy shines in the night sky with a Joshua Tree silhouetted in the foreground.
Location: Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA
 
Mesa Arch and Milky Way at night, Canyonlands National Park, Utah
Mesa Arch and Milky Way at night.
Location: Mesa Arch, Canyonlands National Park, Utah, USA
 
Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego, California
Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.
Location: San Diego, California, USA
 
The Milky Way rises above a huge wall of stone, stars fill the night sky and soar over the distant lights of campers, Joshua Tree National Park, California
The Milky Way rises above a huge wall of stone, stars fill the night sky and soar over the distant lights of campers.
Location: Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA
 
Blue whale 80-feet long, full body photograph of an enormous blue whale showing rostrom head to fluke tail, taken a close range with very wide lens, Balaenoptera musculus, San Diego, California, United Kingdom
Blue whale 80-feet long, full body photograph of an enormous blue whale showing rostrom head to fluke tail, taken a close range with very wide lens.
Species: Blue whale, Balaenoptera musculus
Location: San Diego, California, United Kingdom
 
Clouds and mountains, San Diego mountains near Rancho Guejito and Black Mountain, sunrise
Clouds and mountains, San Diego mountains near Rancho Guejito and Black Mountain, sunrise.
Location: San Diego, California, USA
 

False Kiva at Sunset, Canyonlands National Park, Utah

Astrophotography and Night Scapes, Canyonlands, Utah

False Kiva Photo, Sunset Canyonlands National Park, Utah

One afternoon in Canyonlands National Park I came up with an ambitious plan: to hike to False Kiva on the edge of the Island in the Sky mesa, photograph the dusk and early evening there, hike out and then shoot Mesa Arch immediately thereafter. I had not originally planned to see False Kiva but decided to give it a try, and treated it as a speedy hike workout. Although I had not been to False Kiva before, the hike turned out to be much easier than I thought it would be and a short while after leaving my car I was relaxing, alone, in the cool shade of the alcove with a spectacular view of the dramatic river-carved Canyonlands expanse far below. You know that hollow sound, almost the echo of an echo, that you hear when on the edge of precipice? That is the sound one hears while at False Kiva. Occasionally a raptor would keen or a bird would glide by and I could hear the rush of the air over its wings. Otherwise, there was no sound but what I made. It was quite moving being there, doing nothing but watching the light change, listening and thinking. The sunset itself was unremarkable, but as dusk passed and evening came on I was able to match the light of my flashlight with that of the dimming sky and painted the ring of rocks for which False Kiva is famous to produce this image. The scene has a great deal of red and magenta in it, the actual hue of the fading dusk. In truth I reduced the saturation a little since it seemed so strong to my eye, but that happens sometimes when shooting in the deepest, most richly colored twilight about 45 minutes after sunset. I was working in what seemed to be pitch dark when I shot this, and the great sensitivity of my camera allowed me to pull out color and detail. Like this image? Please see my website devoted to my full collection of Landscape Astrophotography images. Thanks for looking, and cheers!

Delicate Arch and Milky Way Stars at Night, Arches National Park, Utah

Arches, Astrophotography and Night Scapes, Utah

Delicate Arch at Night, Milky Way and Stars Overhead. Arches National Park, Utah.

I spent a wonderful evening photographing Delicate Arch in Arches National Park. It was warm and dry, with a clear star-filled sky overhead and just a speck of breeze. I photographed Delicate Arch and the moon at sunset, then kicked back and ate my dinner while I waited for Milky Way to rise in the sky. Eventually the Earth rotated enough for the Milky Way to be centered through Delicate Arch, and I made this photograph, one of my personal favorites of 2012. If you like this image, please see my website devoted to my full collection of Landscape Astrophotography images. Thanks for looking, and cheers!

Milky Way arches over Delicate Arch, as stars cover the night sky, Arches National Park, Utah

Milky Way arches over Delicate Arch, as stars cover the night sky.
Image ID: 27850
Location: Arches National Park, Utah, USA

Delicate Arch is found at the end of an easy 1.5 mile trail. 65-feet (20m) tall, this beautiful freestanding arch was once a “fin” of Entrada sandstone. Erosion and weathering eventually groomed the fin into its current arch shape, a natural visual frame for the La Sal mountains that lie to the southeast.

Island in the Sky, Canyonlands National Park, Utah

Canyonlands, Utah

Island in the Sky is the most accessible and popular of the three “districts” in Canyonlands National Park. I spent a day there earlier this year and photographed a number of viewpoints during late afternoon waiting for the sunset to arrive. Next time I plan to descend into the canyons in a 4WD for some real exploration!

Soda Springs Basin from Green River Overlook, Island in the Sky, Canyonlands National Park, Utah

Soda Springs Basin from Green River Overlook, Island in the Sky, Canyonlands National Park, Utah.
Image ID: 27841
Location: Canyonlands National Park, Utah, USA

Soda Springs Basin from Green River Overlook, Island in the Sky, Canyonlands National Park, Utah

Soda Springs Basin from Green River Overlook, Island in the Sky, Canyonlands National Park, Utah.
Image ID: 27840
Location: Canyonlands National Park, Utah, USA

Canyonlands National Park panorama

Canyonlands National Park panorama.
Image ID: 27845
Location: Canyonlands National Park, Utah, USA

Pillar of Stone, Milky Way, Stars and Clouds, Arches National Park, Utah

Arches, Astrophotography and Night Scapes, Utah

This sandstone pillar in Arches National Park, which probably has an official name, looks to me like an enormous totem pole. I photographed it at night with a short enough exposure to freeze the stars but long enough that the quick moving clouds blurred across the sky. Lighting was tough on this one since the pillar was quite a distance away and very tall (hundreds of feet I estimate). The glow at lower left was produced by the nearby citizens of Moab, all tucked in bed while visions of mountain bikes danced in their heads. If you like this, please see more of my night astrophotography landscape photos. Cheers!

Stone columns rising in the night sky, milky way and stars and clouds filling the night sky overhead, Arches National Park, Utah

Stone columns rising in the night sky, milky way and stars and clouds filling the night sky overhead.
Image ID: 27848
Location: Arches National Park, Utah, USA

Balanced Rock and Milky Way at Night, Arches National Park, Utah

Arches, Astrophotography and Night Scapes, Utah

Balanced Rock at Night, Arches National Park

Balanced Rock rises 128′ (39m) above the surrounding land, just off the main road in Arches National Park. It is an outstanding example of erosion and sandstone layering. The precariously perched capstone rock is made of harder sandstone than the layers beneath. As the softer sandstone eroded, a neck formed in the column. Eventually the capstone will topple off and sightly Balanced Rock will be no more. Until that time, I will wander about it at night, pondering the heavens above, whistling strange tunes and conjuring the odd saying that only the lonely midnight desert wanderer is prone to utter. If you like this image, please see my website devoted to my full collection of Landscape Astrophotography images.

Balanced Rock and Milky Way stars at night, Arches National Park, Utah

Balanced Rock and Milky Way stars at night.
Image ID: 27835
Location: Balanced Rock, Arches National Park, Utah, USA

A Taste of Fall Color

California, Sierra Nevada

Tracy and I will be looking for fall colors in a different place this autumn: Paris and the Loire Valley. A friend who has just returned from Paris says the Luxembourg Gardens are in magnificent bloom and trees should be turning along the Seine, so we are hopeful for some nice autumn color and mood while we are there. Unfortunately, though, I won’t be making any visits to the Eastern Sierra in October, for the first time in some years. I miss it, especially a few of my secret spots that yield nice photos year after year. This is one of them. I hope to get back here next October. Cheers!

White trunks of aspen trees, viewed upward toward the yellow and orange leaves of autumn and the blue sky beyond, Populus tremuloides, Bishop Creek Canyon, Sierra Nevada Mountains

White trunks of aspen trees, viewed upward toward the yellow and orange leaves of autumn and the blue sky beyond.
Image ID: 23337
Species: Aspen, Populus tremuloides
Location: Bishop Creek Canyon, Sierra Nevada Mountains, California, USA

Photo of Delicate Arch and Milky Way, Hiker, Light Painting

Arches, Astrophotography and Night Scapes, Utah

Photo of Delicate Arch At Night and The Milky Way Galaxy, Arches National Park, Utah

I recently made a short trip to Arches National Park to do some photography. One of the photos I made is a self-portrait, showing me light painting Delicate Arch at dusk with the Milky Way galaxy rising in the sky. I took this photo of Delicate Arch almost as an afterthought, but I am sure glad I did since I suspect it may end up being the most popular image I made on the trip! Since I posted it in June it has had over 16 million views. (16 million! That is more than any other photo of mine, I am certain.) Over the years I have often put myself in my photos, primarily because I want a souvenir for my personal scrapbook rather than because I intend to market the image for publication. However, two self portraits I have made, both of which curiously involve natural stone arches, have been well received so I think I should do more of them in the future: “Mesa Arch Sunrise“, which won the landscape category of the National Wildlife Federation’s photography competition a few years ago, and “Heavenly Arch” which appeared as the photo of the day last year on Earthshots.org.

Delicate Arch and Milky Way, lit by quarter moon, hiker's flashlight and the fading blue sky one hour after sunset.  Arches National Park, Utah

Delicate Arch and Milky Way, lit by quarter moon, hiker’s flashlight and the fading blue sky one hour after sunset. Arches National Park, Utah.
Image ID: 27855
Location: Arches National Park, Utah, USA

At least four light sources are mixed in this image: fading dusk (sometimes called blue hour), quarter moon at camera right, starlight and milky way glow, and my uber-mondo handheld light. Everyone else had left at this point. After I made this image I sat down and ate my dinner in the quiet while waiting for the moon to set so that I could expose for the milky way properly. It was pleasant some hours later hiking back to the car in the dark with only the noise of my boots, bird chirps and darting rabbits to hear — no voices. I used the super-clean Canon 5D Mark III and the very sharp Nikon 14-24 to make this image, along with a few other tricky pieces of night photography equipment. Cheers and thanks for looking!

Here is another image, which is the one I set out to make, photographed a short while later:

Milky Way arches over Delicate Arch, as stars cover the night sky, Arches National Park, Utah

Milky Way arches over Delicate Arch, as stars cover the night sky.
Image ID: 27850
Location: Arches National Park, Utah, USA

Evan Slater, Brock Little, Grant Baker, Tyler Smith, Greg Long, Mavericks 2006

California, Surf

Tonight I received a request for a shot of Evan Slater at Mavericks, for use in an upcoming documentary series on big wave surfing. Looking over some of the shots I made that day, at the Mavericks Contest in 2006, I was struck by how perfect the conditions were. For a section of the California coast not known for calm seas, it sure was ideal that day: warm, sunny, almost glass calm with a heavy long period swell rolling through creating some really big waves. The morning’s sets were the biggest, and the press boat upon which I was shooting got out in position early when the light still had some of that sunrise yellow color to it. It was a great day. Here is a nice shot of Evan Slater from that day …

Evan Slater in semifinal one, Slater would finish fifth in the finals later in the day, Mavericks surf contest, February 7, 2006, Half Moon Bay, California

Evan Slater in semifinal one, Slater would finish fifth in the finals later in the day, Mavericks surf contest, February 7, 2006.
Image ID: 15324
Location: Mavericks, Half Moon Bay, California, USA

… as well as a few other men who ride mountains: Brock Little, Grant Baker, Tyler Smith and Greg Long …

2006 Mavericks surf contest champion Grant Twiggy Baker of South Africa.  Final round, Mavericks surf contest, February 7, 2006, Half Moon Bay, California

2006 Mavericks surf contest champion Grant Twiggy Baker of South Africa. Final round, Mavericks surf contest, February 7, 2006.
Image ID: 15299
Location: Mavericks, Half Moon Bay, California, USA

Brock Little, final round, Mavericks surf contest (third place), February 7, 2006, Half Moon Bay, California

Brock Little, final round, Mavericks surf contest (third place), February 7, 2006.
Image ID: 15300
Location: Mavericks, Half Moon Bay, California, USA

Tyler Smith, final round, Mavericks surf contest (second place), February 7, 2006, Half Moon Bay, California

Tyler Smith, final round, Mavericks surf contest (second place), February 7, 2006.
Image ID: 15301
Location: Mavericks, Half Moon Bay, California, USA

Greg Long of San Clemente surfs a heat one wave at the 2006 Mavericks surf contest, February 7, 2006, Half Moon Bay, California

Greg Long of San Clemente surfs a heat one wave at the 2006 Mavericks surf contest, February 7, 2006.
Image ID: 15306
Location: Mavericks, Half Moon Bay, California, USA

Unicorn Peak and Cockscomb Peak, Yosemite National Park

California, Sierra Nevada, Yosemite

Some years ago I stood with my young daughter in the far northwest end of Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite National Park, watching a group of mule deer graze and enjoying the grassy expanse, when we turned around and realized we had this great view of Unicorn Peak (10,880′ left) and Cockscomb Peak (11,065′ right). I find these to be two of the more distinctive granite rock formations in the Yosemite High Sierra. Both peaks are on my bucket list, not having bagged either yet.

Unicorn Peak at sunset, seen from Tuolumne Meadows.  Cockscomb Peak rises in the distance, Yosemite National Park, California

Unicorn Peak at sunset, seen from Tuolumne Meadows. Cockscomb Peak rises in the distance.
Image ID: 09945
Location: Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite National Park, California, USA