Monthly Archives

February 2014

Milky Way over Sky Rock Petroglyph, Volcanic Tablelands, Bishop, California

Astrophotography and Night Scapes, Sierra Nevada

Milky Way over Sky Rock Petroglyph, Volcanic Tablelands, Bishop, California.

I made this image several years ago but neglected to share any images from that evening’s photographic efforts on my blog. I have made many visits to the Volcanic Tablelands, at all times of day, to explore the rocks, admire the vistas over the Owens River, and photograph one of the finest petroglyph panels in the world. In this composition, I waited for a specific date when the Milky Way could be effectively photographed above the petroglyphs with Mount Tom and the Sierra Nevada range aligned in the distance. It was a very cold evening, I wore all the clothes I had on hand, but after several hours of trying different compositions I managed several images I am very happy with. Sky Rock is a magical place at night, with ancient light emanating from stars many hundreds and thousands of light years away cascading down upon these special, old and impressive engravings. It is just the type of place I enjoy photographing at night, with no other people around, no photo workshop groups, no RVs, no automobile sounds — nothing. Solitude. I have also photographed these petroglyphs under a full moon as well as under pastel dawn skies, as well as a massive panorama of this location that I will be sharing soon. Cheers and thanks for looking!

The Milky Way at Night over Sky Rock.  Sky Rock petroglyphs near Bishop, California. Hidden atop an enormous boulder in the Volcanic Tablelands lies Sky Rock, a set of petroglyphs that face the sky. These superb examples of native American petroglyph artwork are thought to be Paiute in origin, but little is known about them

The Milky Way at Night over Sky Rock. Sky Rock petroglyphs near Bishop, California. Hidden atop an enormous boulder in the Volcanic Tablelands lies Sky Rock, a set of petroglyphs that face the sky. These superb examples of native American petroglyph artwork are thought to be Paiute in origin, but little is known about them.
Image ID: 28798
Location: Bishop, California, USA

Whales at the Coronado Islands, Mexico

Islas Coronado, Mexico, Underwater Life

Whales visit the Coronado Islands in Mexico throughout the year. During winter months, gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus) pass by the islands, first southbound and a few months later traveling north, during their annual migration between Baja California and the Bering Sea. Fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) and blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus) may be found at the Coronados year-round but spring and summer months are the best times to see them in the islands, especially if there is the presence of krill which does occur from time to time. All of the photos below were taken at the Coronado Islands.

Fin whale dorsal fin.  The fin whale is named for its tall, falcate dorsal fin.  Mariners often refer to them as finback whales.  Coronado Islands, Mexico (northern Baja California, near San Diego), Balaenoptera physalus, Coronado Islands (Islas Coronado)

Fin whale dorsal fin. The fin whale is named for its tall, falcate dorsal fin. Mariners often refer to them as finback whales. Coronado Islands, Mexico (northern Baja California, near San Diego).
Image ID: 12769
Species: Fin whale, Balaenoptera physalus
Location: Coronado Islands (Islas Coronado), Baja California, Mexico

A blue whale blows (exhales, spouts) as it rests at the surface between dives.  A blue whales blow can reach 30 feet in the air and can be heard for miles.  The blue whale is the largest animal on earth, reaching 80 feet in length and weighing as much as 300,000 pounds.  North Coronado Island is in the background, Balaenoptera musculus, Coronado Islands (Islas Coronado)

A blue whale blows (exhales, spouts) as it rests at the surface between dives. A blue whales blow can reach 30 feet in the air and can be heard for miles. The blue whale is the largest animal on earth, reaching 80 feet in length and weighing as much as 300,000 pounds. North Coronado Island is in the background.
Image ID: 09497
Species: Blue whale, Balaenoptera musculus
Location: Coronado Islands (Islas Coronado), Baja California, Mexico

A blue whale raises its fluke before diving in search of food.  The blue whale is the largest animal on earth, reaching 80 feet in length and weighing as much as 300,000 pounds.  North Coronado Island is in the background, Balaenoptera musculus, Coronado Islands (Islas Coronado)

A blue whale raises its fluke before diving in search of food. The blue whale is the largest animal on earth, reaching 80 feet in length and weighing as much as 300,000 pounds. North Coronado Island is in the background.
Image ID: 09484
Species: Blue whale, Balaenoptera musculus
Location: Coronado Islands (Islas Coronado), Baja California, Mexico

Gray whales traveling south to Mexico during their winter migration.  The annual migration of the California gray whale is the longest known migration of any mammal, 10,000 to 12,000 miles from the Bering Sea to Baja California, Eschrichtius robustus, Coronado Islands (Islas Coronado)

Gray whales traveling south to Mexico during their winter migration. The annual migration of the California gray whale is the longest known migration of any mammal, 10,000 to 12,000 miles from the Bering Sea to Baja California.
Image ID: 29049
Species: Gray whale, Eschrichtius robustus
Location: Coronado Islands (Islas Coronado), Baja California, Mexico

Blue whale rounding out at surface, North Coronado island in background, Balaenoptera musculus, Coronado Islands (Islas Coronado)

Blue whale rounding out at surface, North Coronado island in background.
Image ID: 02224
Species: Blue whale, Balaenoptera musculus
Location: Coronado Islands (Islas Coronado), Baja California, Mexico

A blue whale blows (exhales, spouts) as it rests at the surface between dives.  A blue whales blow can reach 30 feet in the air and can be heard for miles.  The blue whale is the largest animal on earth, reaching 80 feet in length and weighing as much as 300,000 pounds.  South Coronado Island is in the background, Balaenoptera musculus, Coronado Islands (Islas Coronado)

A blue whale blows (exhales, spouts) as it rests at the surface between dives. A blue whales blow can reach 30 feet in the air and can be heard for miles. The blue whale is the largest animal on earth, reaching 80 feet in length and weighing as much as 300,000 pounds. South Coronado Island is in the background.
Image ID: 09498
Species: Blue whale, Balaenoptera musculus
Location: Coronado Islands (Islas Coronado), Baja California, Mexico

Garibaldi Fish, Coronado Islands, Mexico

Islas Coronado, Mexico, Underwater Life, Underwater Photography

The most easily recognized, and typically the most prolific, fish at Mexico’s Coronado Islands (Islas Coronado) is the brilliant orange Garibaldi (Hypsypops rubicundus). Some underwater areas of the Coronado Islands are urchin barrens (reef areas taken over by fields of sea urchins and devoid of most other marine life) so the recipe for garibaldi photos is: 1) smash a few urchins, 2) wait for the garibaldis to dive in for a feast, 3) snap photos. Cheers and thanks for looking!

Garibaldi, Coronado Islands, Hypsypops rubicundus, Coronado Islands (Islas Coronado)

Garibaldi, Coronado Islands.
Image ID: 02511
Species: Garibaldi, Hypsypops rubicundus
Location: Coronado Islands (Islas Coronado), Baja California, Mexico

Garibaldi juvenile, vibrant spots distinguish it from pure orange adult form, Coronado Islands, Hypsypops rubicundus, Coronado Islands (Islas Coronado)

Garibaldi juvenile, vibrant spots distinguish it from pure orange adult form, Coronado Islands.
Image ID: 01930
Species: Garibaldi, Hypsypops rubicundus
Location: Coronado Islands (Islas Coronado), Baja California, Mexico

California Sea Lions, Coronado Islands, Mexico

Islas Coronado, Mexico, Sea Lion, Underwater Life, Underwater Photography

Some of my favorite diving with California Sea Lions (Zalophus californianus) has taken place at Mexico’s Coronado Islands (Islas Coronado). The Coronados are a small group of undeveloped rocky islands just offshore of Tijuana, Mexico and only about an hour boat ride south of San Diego. Seemingly barren, the islands are in fact loaded with marine life, including the clown princes of the Pacific, sea lions. Here are a few of my better photos of these noble and beautiful creatures. Cheers, and thanks for looking!

California sea lions, Coronado Islands, Zalophus californianus, Coronado Islands (Islas Coronado)

California sea lions, Coronado Islands.
Image ID: 02160
Species: California sea lion, Zalophus californianus
Location: Coronado Islands (Islas Coronado), Baja California, Mexico

California sea lion, Zalophus californianus, Coronado Islands (Islas Coronado)

California sea lion.
Image ID: 02943
Species: California sea lion, Zalophus californianus
Location: Coronado Islands (Islas Coronado), Baja California, Mexico

California sea lion, Coronados Islands, Zalophus californianus, Coronado Islands (Islas Coronado)

California sea lion, Coronados Islands.
Image ID: 00956
Species: California sea lion, Zalophus californianus
Location: Coronado Islands (Islas Coronado), Baja California, Mexico

California sea lion pup starving during 1997-8 El Nino event, Coronado Islands, Zalophus californianus, Coronado Islands (Islas Coronado)

California sea lion pup starving during 1997-8 El Nino event, Coronado Islands.
Image ID: 02417
Species: California sea lion, Zalophus californianus
Location: Coronado Islands (Islas Coronado), Baja California, Mexico

California sea lion colony, Los Coronado Islands, Zalophus californianus, Coronado Islands (Islas Coronado)

California sea lion colony, Los Coronado Islands.
Image ID: 03077
Species: California sea lion, Zalophus californianus
Location: Coronado Islands (Islas Coronado), Baja California, Mexico

Aerial Photos of Islas Coronado, the Coronado Islands, Baja California, Mexico

Aerial Photography, Islas Coronado, Mexico

Aerial Photos of the Coronado Islands, Baja California, Mexico

These new aerial photos of the three main islands in Las Islas Coronado, offshore of Baja California not far from Tijuana (Mexico) and San Diego, came from a nice flight a few weeks ago during a high pressure system, which calmed the ocean surface thus allowing some of the submarine rocky reef structure to be visible. Thanks for looking!

North Coronado Island, Mexico, northern point looking south with Middle and South Islands in the distance, aerial photograph, Coronado Islands (Islas Coronado)

North Coronado Island, Mexico, northern point looking south with Middle and South Islands in the distance, aerial photograph.
Image ID: 29052
Location: Coronado Islands (Islas Coronado), Baja California, Mexico

North Coronado Island, Mexico, southern point looking north, aerial photograph, Coronado Islands (Islas Coronado)

North Coronado Island, Mexico, southern point looking north, aerial photograph.
Image ID: 29053
Location: Coronado Islands (Islas Coronado), Baja California, Mexico

South Coronado Island, Mexico, northern point showing underwater reef structure, aerial photograph, Coronado Islands (Islas Coronado)

South Coronado Island, Mexico, northern point showing underwater reef structure, aerial photograph.
Image ID: 29061
Location: Coronado Islands (Islas Coronado), Baja California, Mexico

South Coronado Island, Mexico, southern point looking north, Middle and North Islands in the distance, aerial photograph, Coronado Islands (Islas Coronado)

South Coronado Island, Mexico, southern point looking north, Middle and North Islands in the distance, aerial photograph.
Image ID: 29063
Location: Coronado Islands (Islas Coronado), Baja California, Mexico

Middle Coronado Island, Mexico, looking north with San Diego and Point Loma in the distance, aerial photograph, Coronado Islands (Islas Coronado)

Middle Coronado Island, Mexico, looking north with San Diego and Point Loma in the distance, aerial photograph.
Image ID: 29059
Location: Coronado Islands (Islas Coronado), Baja California, Mexico

South Coronado Island, Mexico, eastern side, Middle and North Islands in the distance, aerial photograph, Coronado Islands (Islas Coronado)

South Coronado Island, Mexico, eastern side, Middle and North Islands in the distance, aerial photograph.
Image ID: 29066
Location: Coronado Islands (Islas Coronado), Baja California, Mexico

If you like these, please check out more aerial photography or photos of the Coronado Islands in Mexico.

Aerial Panoramas of La Jolla and San Diego

Aerial Photography, La Jolla, Panoramas, San Diego

Flying recently while a winter high pressure system hung over Southern California, I was able to take advantage of clear dry air to shoot several aerial panoramic photos of the La Jolla and northern San Diego coastline. These are technically very difficult to realize, both in capturing the source images and in digitally blending them into the final high resolution panoramic image. The plane was moving 100+ mph, so parallax was a significant factor, and holding a 300mm lens steady while buffeted by wind is not easy. Shown below are coastlines along Torrey Pines State Reserve, Point La Jolla south to Bird Rock, and Point La Jolla north to Scripps Institution of Oceanography (including UCSD). Cheers and thanks for looking!

Aerial Panorama of La Jolla, University City, showing (from left) UCSD, University City, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla Shores, Point La Jolla, Mount Soledad, in the background some of the mountains to the east of San Diego.  The highest peak in the center of the panoram is Cuyamaca Peak (6512') while the rocky peak directly in front of it is El Cajon Mountain (3675')

Aerial Panorama of La Jolla, University City, showing (from left) UCSD, University City, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla Shores, Point La Jolla, Mount Soledad, in the background some of the mountains to the east of San Diego. The highest peak in the center of the panoram is Cuyamaca Peak (6512′) while the rocky peak directly in front of it is El Cajon Mountain (3675′).
Image ID: 29098

Aerial panorama of Torrey Pines State Reserve, from Del Mar (left) to La Jolla (right), San Diego, California

Aerial panorama of Torrey Pines State Reserve, from Del Mar (left) to La Jolla (right)
Image ID: 29096
Location: Torrey Pines State Reserve, San Diego, California, USA

Aerial Panoramic Photograph of La Jolla, Mount Soledad, University City

Aerial Panoramic Photograph of La Jolla, Mount Soledad, University City
Image ID: 29097

If you like these, please see more aerial photographs, photos of La Jolla and photos of San Diego.