It's Wednesday already and today I'm sharing a popular stop for photographers traveling along Interstate 5 in northern California, Mossbrae Falls.
This is a 150' foot WIDE waterfall fall formed by an underground spring flowing right out of volcanic basalt into the Sacramento River. It's hard to get the scale, so to help you out with that. The rock in the bottom right corner is the size of a full sized van. This is only about a third of the waterfall too. Its impossible to shoot the whole waterfall in a single frame without stitching together a pano.
I've never been a believer in in serious mobile photography until my recent upgrade to a Galaxy S3 and the recent release of Snapseed for Android. I actually processed this on my nexus 7 because it has better color and a bigger screen.
If I only had my dslr, I probably wouldn't have stopped this morning to shoot this. These mobile devices have come a long way! Thanks +Colby Brown for keeping me informed about all of this stuff. Read post in Google+
Gotta Be Last Minute
This was one of my most popular images from 2011 so I thought I'd contribute this to +Ivan Makarov's #PlusOneCollection project! What an awesome idea, thanks Ivan. Read post in Google+
Happy #WaterfallWednesday Day everyone! I new shot of the Whiskeytown Falls from the archives. I had to get down in this slot below the falls and wedge myself in to get this perspective. This is the very bottom of long series of drops that combine to a 200+ foot tall waterfall. there are too many trees to see it all in a single frame.
This is found in Whiskeytown NRA found west of Redding, California.
Portraiture Kick So for all of those who are wondering where all my waterfall shots went, sorry I've been on a portrait kick. For this one I got way out of position to standing on some slippery rocks to get this unusual POV. Lookithere, there's some water in back. Staying true to my roots, yo!
Experimentation - practicing what I preach here Last night my power went out due to a thunderstorm that blew threw, so my wife and I went out to chase the storm. I didn't really have a ton of time, so I headed to the south of town looking for an overpass bridge to get me up above ground level.
The lightning was still far off so I turned my attention to the sunset. See it was about an hour after sunset at this point and I had +Sean Bagshaw's epic shot of a sunset looking away from the Tetons where he had both sunset color on one side and then stars on the other with clouds whisping by. I had never seen anything like that before and I set out to reproduce it.
While the foreground is just some rancher's house (bleh) I think I managed to pull off the same kind of look. Thanks Sean for the inspiration to try something new. That gives me another hour now that I need to stay out in the evenings when I go out to shoot a sunset. :D
Don't Lock your Photography Into a Box The last six months have been a transitional time for me photographically. I used to be one of those typical landscape guys that was terrified at the thought of shooting people. It wasn't until my brother in law managed to convince me to shoot his wedding did I learn something about myself.
Up until that wedding the only portraits I had ever attempted were of my children and it's pretty safe to say that ruined it for me. They don't really behave for me and it made it a very unpleasant time for me. Leading up this wedding I wanted to do a good job so I worked on my off-camera flash and posing and came away really enjoying it.
So I learned that it's best if you can open your mind and give new genres of photography an honest try before you you say you don't like it. So now I'm really enjoying portraiture and I'm making an effort to mix what I know about Landscapes into my portraits.
Is there a type of photography you're too afraid to give an honest try?
Before photography, I went to college to study computer science and have made my living doing web development. At the point I made the jump into Photography, I was in a big hurry so I threw together a bone stock Wordpress site using a free theme I found. I hosted my image portfolio at Smugmug and I did little to nothing to customize that too.
So, I've been quietly working hard for the last four weeks to build a completely custom website from the ground up. While I'm still using Wordpress for the actual blog section, the rest is a completely custom website. It allows me to have the flexibility to build pages exactly how I want them. For example the images have big G+ inspired thumbnails that open fast in big light boxes. Did I mention speed. Wordpress isn't known for speed and that was one of my biggest concerns. I hate slow websites and you should see much faster page load times now.
I still have a lot of work cut out for me. I still need to fill out my portfolio which will take a bunch of time. I've got a slew of tutorials on the calendar to write per everyone's requests. In the mean time, check out my 2012 calendar that went on sale today.
Thanks everyone for your tremendous support, you are amazing!
The first storm of the season dropped petty significant amounts of snow in our mountains. So on the hope that I could get the trifecta having a good sunset, snow everywhere and the lake still liquid. Well, this was one of those rare times where it all came together. This was a first for me. This is just a crappy phone snap. Read post in Google+
Boom! Remember this side of me? It's still in there. I was digging through my landscape folder of images that are marked to process. Man this one has been temping me for over a year now. Those early Spring storms that blow in at Sunset.
Android-ography Fun I've really been enjoying the nice camera attached to my new Galaxy S3. If you can sort of forget about what you're shooting with for a sec and think about what you're shooting you can still take nice pictures. I had just fed our Chinese Water Dragon named Supreme so she was really alert perched on this log. I moved the heat lamp over her and blam-o, instant reptile studio. She even smiled for me, kinda.
I brought this into Snapseed to drop the exposure on the bottom left hand corner and pushed the saturation a tad to really show off all her scales. Good times :) Read post in Google+
Thirsty Thursday Here I was standing thigh deep in ice cold water. The mossy canyon walls and the deceivingly calm water made for a wonderfully wet shot. Except my camera stayed dry :D
Today I wanted to share one of my more unique waterfall shots. This is Brandy Creek inside Whiskeytown Nat Rec area. It's a very popular creek and there is a big set of waterfalls up stream from this spot. But exploring down stream I saw what looked like a very hard to reach waterfall that I could see dropping down into a tight ravine. I went around and tried to go back up stream to it and this was as far as I could get. As you can see the canyon walls are completely vertical. The white water in the back of the frame is the bottom of the falls I was trying to reach.
I might be able to cross the creek down stream and get to that middle section from the other side. Someday I would like to find out because I'm not sure how many eyes have actually see the falls just around that corner! In the meantime enjoy all the green and mystery of wondering what's up there :)
Man, I've been so busy lately I've totally been neglecting everyone over here. While out on assignment for another shot, I grabbed this cool foggy shot of a very old trestle bridge in Tehama County. It's call Jelly's Ferry Bridge and it crosses the Sacramento River north of Red Bluff. The fog added some interesting mystery to the bridge. I need to shoot me some more architecture, there just isn't that much of it in my neck of the woods.
I woke up this morning to a mile long list of photographers #HumbleBrag ing about how amazing #2013 was for them. I made so much money, I traveled to xyz and flew 100k miles, I doubled my prints sales, I just booked this huge gig! I'm #soblessed#amazingyear#puke#gag
I decided start looking into who these people are. I discovered that not one of the five I looked at are full-time pros. All of them were serious "weekend warriors", not having to rely fully on their photo income to survive. I don't begrudge those people at all and I really am thankful their side-business is growing. As someone who made the plunge this year, this gig is hard, way harder than you can ever plan for.
So my advice to anyone on social media for any reason, please refrain from the obligatory #humblebrag. It's more than a platform to tell everyone how awesome you are. Instead, why not try to help people, love people or simply care about people. </rant>
In the meantime, here's a pretty picture of the Umpqua River just before it falls over Toketee Falls in Oregon. Read post in Google+
Sitting near the edge at Clear Creek Gorge I ask, "Do you feel comfortable swinging your feet over the edge?". "Sure", she replies. I look up and it look like she was defying death, but it's really not as bad as it looks. Read post in Google+
Top Secret Location Today I got to meet up with +Nicolai McCrary and his friend Abdul (Sorry Abdul, I couldn't find your profile :-/) who were doing a PNW photo expedition. They were in my neck of the woods and I took them to this top secret never before seen location.
Okay, I lied. It's pretty much public knowledge, but photographers are few around here. It's called the Iron Canyon Trail and it overlooks the Sacramento River in Red Bluff, CA where it makes a horseshoe shaped bend through the canyons. We were blessed with a stellar sunset and got tons of shots. I am so far behind on my processing, it's not even funny! Read post in Google+
So most of you know me well for my landscapes, mostly waterfalls. I LOVE shooting landscapes and have done so pretty exclusively for the last two years. In fact I thought I hated portraiture. That was until my Brother in law John asked me to shoot his wedding and I agreed. I spend the last month practicing with my SB-600 off camera in varying conditions.
The culmination of all that practice led to one crazy moment. It was the end of the reception and word was spreading that it has started snowing so there was pressure to get finished so the bride and groom could make it safely over the mountains to their honeymoon. After the last big family shot, I took the groom aside and said I want just one more shot in the snow and he agreed. They were escorted with sparklers and were running towards their car and I yelled one more! Then in a blink he grabbed her and this was the result. I didn't pose this, it was pure magic and I managed to have everything dialed. I got just one chance and this was the result. I still cannot believe I took it.
So needless to say, there may very well be a more of these in my future. I had an absolute blast shooting their wedding. It wasn't nearly as scary as most Landscapers make it out to be, so long as you have an open mind about it. :)
Sorry about #mytowntuesday and #waterfallwednesday I have had ZERO time to participate and curate. Read post in Google+
Today marks a big step forward into my photography career. I've been working crazy long hours keeping up with my full-time day job and my nearly full-time photography night/weekend job.
This week I have moved into part time work doing web development giving me two whole days to do photography! While it's scary stepping out on your own, putting food on the table for my family is pretty motivating.
Thumbing through my images, looking for a shot to post for #MyTownTuesday I came across this shot and it really spoke to the place my head is at this evening.
I look at this journey I'm on as a photographer much like what's going on here. I'm walking a somewhat dangerous path where I can get hurt if I'm not paying attention. But where am I going? I can only see so far down the tracks before the path disappears into the fog. All the while the entire view is skewed because I'm looking at it from my own biased point of view. I can't tell if what I'm seeing is level or not. Only time will tell. Read post in Google+
Photowalks are Fun I went shooting both Sun and Mon night had a blast doing it. Sometimes I enjoy going alone, but usually it's soo much more fun to go with other photographers. You can talk shop, wonder why +Trey Ratcliff is so popular and talk about how we're going to shoot. We all get to learn from each other.
This one is my wife, +Crystal Leslie standing in the Sac River kicking butt and taking names. Before you go and call the saturation police, I turn myself in. I cranked the color in this one, what are you gonna do about it?
Upcoming Photowalk I'm hosting a Public photowalk in Redding, CA on new years eve, 12/31. We're going to start at Whiskeytown Lake to shoot the Crystal Creek area for the first half of the day. Then later we have several choices to choose from and we'll take a vote. RSVP if you want to come so I can look for you. Read post in Google+
Oh man, what a weekend! I got to make some awesome new friends and shoot a ton of new stuff. I was thumbing through my shots and I wanted to find one that I think summed up the weekend. For those like +elizabeth hahn and +Brian Bach Sørensen spinning wool was just a normal part of shooting at a photowalk, but for the rest of us, we've never done it before. So what better place to teach us, but inside a lava tube called Pluto's Cave. Part of the problem with most of my shots inside the cave was scale, you just couldn't feel how big these chambers were. So I stepped back a got the whole group lined up for +Owen Richardson to rabidly spin the wool.
So a big thanks to everyone in no particular order for coming along. +Jess Newcomb & his wife +Teresa Newcomb who got their cameras off of auto for the first time! +Owen Richardson who discovered a new calling in life, spinning wool. +elizabeth hahn for helping spread the word and is one of the most easy going people +Brian Bach Sørensen for letting everyone play with his balls, repeatedly. +Justin Spelbrink who quietly goes around shooting laughing inside knowing his photos are better than all of ours. +Cris Sellers and her mother Sally(?) who were always really friendly and were diligently focused on the photography.
I'll be posting more pictures from the trip throughout the week so be sure to save the search for #shastaplus2012 to see everyone's shots. Read post in Google+
Hey Birders! I need your help. I was out shooting a new waterfall in Scott Valley called Shackleford Falls when I noticed these cute little birds (about the size of a baseball) were very active in the water around the waterfall. This guy hung out here several times so I put on a long lens and waited for him to come back. I have never shot much wildlife, but I thought this shot was interesting.