Monthly Archives

April 2013

The Fire Wave at Night, Milky Way and Stars, Valley of Fire State Park

Astrophotography and Night Scapes, Valley of Fire

The Milky Way and Stars at Night over the Fire Wave in Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

The Fire Wave in Valley of Fire: an interesting striped expanse of sandstone, now commonly photographed. I wanted to make some uncommon images of the Fire Wave, so I set up my camera with an intervalometer to photograph it all night long. This image shows the Milky Way rising over the horizon with the Fire Wave in the foreground. Distant lights of Las Vegas and nearby urban communities can be seen but the sky above was surprising clear of light pollution. The Valley of Fire sure is a beautiful place!

Cheers and thanks for looking!

Milky Way galaxy rises above the Fire Wave, Valley of Fire State Park

Milky Way galaxy rises above the Fire Wave, Valley of Fire State Park
Image ID: 28428
Location: Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada, USA

Like this image? Please see my website devoted to my full collection of Landscape Astrophotography images.

New Work – April 2013

New Work

To go straight to the new images: New Work – April 2013.

I have been slowing down the release of new work on my web site. This is partly due to my desire to be more contemplative and rigorous during the editing of my images, but also I had my shoulder nearly rebuilt when three tendons were reattached during a major surgery in February. It is only in the last couple weeks that I have been able to get out again and photograph, and even now I have to hold back on what I can do. No wave photography, backpacking or scuba diving for me this year it seems, at least for 6-8 more months.

Included in this release are some favorite locations, such as La Jolla’s Torrey Pines State Reserve, Joshua Tree National Park and Nevada’s Valley of Fire State Park. I have photographed them at night in order to try to produce images that are new, interesting and hopefully unlike the many images being made at these locations these days.

Here is a small sample of the new work. You can see others at New Work – April 2013. Cheers and thanks for looking!

Approaching sunrise and star trails over the San Diego Downtown City Skyline.  In this 60 minute exposure, stars create trails through the night sky over downtown San Diego

Approaching sunrise and star trails over the San Diego Downtown City Skyline. In this 60 minute exposure, stars create trails through the night sky over downtown San Diego.
Image ID: 28386
Location: San Diego, California, USA

Broken Hill and view to La Jolla, panoramic photograph, from Torrey Pines State Reserve, sunrise, San Diego, California

Broken Hill and view to La Jolla, panoramic photograph, from Torrey Pines State Reserve, sunrise.
Image ID: 28397
Location: Torrey Pines State Reserve, San Diego, California, USA

Milky Way galaxy rises above the Fire Wave, Valley of Fire State Park

Milky Way galaxy rises above the Fire Wave, Valley of Fire State Park
Image ID: 28428
Location: Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada, USA

Joshua Tree National Park, Milky Way and Moon, Shooting Star, Comet Panstarrs, Impending Dawn

Joshua Tree National Park, Milky Way and Moon, Shooting Star, Comet Panstarrs, Impending Dawn.
Image ID: 28408
Location: Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA

Torrey Pines State Reserve at Night, stars and clouds fill the night sky, the Pacific Ocean in the distance, San Diego, California

Torrey Pines State Reserve at Night, stars and clouds fill the night sky, the Pacific Ocean in the distance.
Image ID: 28402
Location: Torrey Pines State Reserve, San Diego, California, USA

Joshua Tree National Park, California

Image ID: 28426
Location: Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA

The Fire Wave by Moonlight, stars and the night sky, Valley of Fire State Park

The Fire Wave by Moonlight, stars and the night sky, Valley of Fire State Park
Image ID: 28442
Location: Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada, USA

Live Oak and Milky Way, rocks and stars, Joshua Tree National Park at night

Live Oak and Milky Way, rocks and stars, Joshua Tree National Park at night
Image ID: 28417
Location: Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA

San Diego Downtown Skyline, Waterfront and Embarcadero, Sunrise

San Diego

The San Diego Embarcadero and City Skyline at Dawn

America’s Finest City! It sure is, and here’s another view showing why San Diego is such a lovely place to live. This is the Embarcadero area of the San Diego City Skyline, including the Manchester Grand Hyatt and San Diego Marriott Marquis and Marina resorts, viewed from Coronado Island. While much of the United States was in the miserable depths of winter, this was shot on January 5 and shows typical winter weather for this most hospitable of cities. If you like this, see more San Diego City Skyline photos and other Photos of San Diego. Cheers and thanks for looking!

San Diego City Skyline at Sunrise

San Diego City Skyline at Sunrise
Image ID: 28379
Location: San Diego, California, USA

Milky Way and Moon at Night, Shooting Star, Comet Panstarrs, Panorama, Joshua Tree National Park

Astrophotography and Night Scapes, Joshua Tree, Panoramas

Joshua Tree National Park, Milky Way and Moon, Shooting Star, Comet Panstarrs, Impending Dawn.

This panorama of Joshua Tree National Park was made at astronomical twilight during International Dark Sky Week recently (last week). Some slight blue color from the impending dawn appears behind and to the left of the moon. Comet Panstarrs appears tiny just above the horizon in the left half of the image. The moon is a 20% crescent and still nearly overwhelms the night sky with its brightness. A shooting star appears to the right of the moon. The orange glow on the horizon is light pollution from the distant cities of Joshua Tree (left) and Palm Desert (right). This image will print 30″ x 80″ with no uprezing. If you like this, please check out more Astrophotography Landscape photos, an area of photography I have been working on hard for the last few years. Cheers and thanks for looking!

Joshua Tree National Park, Milky Way and Moon, Shooting Star, Comet Panstarrs, Impending Dawn

Joshua Tree National Park, Milky Way and Moon, Shooting Star, Comet Panstarrs, Impending Dawn.
Image ID: 28408
Location: Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA

Great White Shark Portrait

Great White Shark, Sharks, Underwater Life, Underwater Photography

This great white shark photo (Carcharodon carcharias) was shot under dark skies, in early morning. These are tough conditions to shoot underwater with only available light. I prefer to shoot without strobes whenever possible but in the days of film this particular morning would have required I use artificial lights. Digital cameras, however, have changed all that and allow shooting in dark and flat lighting conditions that film did not. I hope to get back down to Guadalupe Island later this year to reshoot these sharks with the current cameras I am using (5D Mark III and D800). I think I have made 15 trips to the island (I’ve lost count) and I never get tired of Isla Guadalupe. Cheers and thanks for looking!

Great white shark, underwater, Carcharodon carcharias, Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe)

Great white shark, underwater.
Image ID: 21360
Species: Great white shark, Carcharodon carcharias
Location: Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico

Panorama Photo of the Open Ocean

California, Panoramas

Open Ocean Panoramic Photograph

I’ve spent a lot of time on the open ocean, in small boats, looking for big creatures. Some of the best days of my life have been spent on a glassy ocean surface, traveling one hundred miles or more under blue skies and summer breezes, waiting to see if we would meet something interesting to photograph. These days are not like what most scuba divers experience! Some days bring perfect summer conditions and then just zipping across the ocean is a pleasure, even if we see no animals. Other days — more typical days — involve an incredible amount of waiting, periodic episodes of frustration and, when the weather turns, discomfort. Most of my days on the open ocean resulted in no photos and no encounters. However, once in a while something special happens and a photograph results. A few years ago, we were stopped on the water miles offshore of North County, enjoying the still, hot, southern California weather, watching a swarm of zooplankton hovering mid-column beneath the boat and listening for the blows of great whales, when I realized I should try to photograph the idyllic scene. How to photograph what is essentially an empty expanse, a half-plane extending from the gunwale of the boat to the horizon? I was not sure but a panorama seemed to be the only way to approach it. I made a series of 10 frames and blended them together later on the computer. The blending was tough to accomplish since the water was constantly moving making it difficult to merge the details in a perfectly natural way. The photo below is my best effort. It will print up to 10′ long by 3.5′ high with no uprezzing, and has been used in commercial projects a couple times. I need to get back out on the water and make a few more of these. Cheers, and thanks for looking!

Ocean surface panorama, glassy calm ocean water offshore of California, clouds and sky

Ocean surface panorama, glassy calm ocean water offshore of California, clouds and sky.
Image ID: 26804