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+
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.
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
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!
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!
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
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.
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+
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+
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+
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.
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.
I wish I could make prints this big (30x40) more often. Once you go this big, an 8x12 feels tiny. Read post in Google+
On Monday, I had the Mountain Gypsies over. I had never shot dancers before, so I was pleasantly surprised how much easier they were to shoot than mere regular folk. They just know how to carry themselves better. This shot may not make it obvious they are belly dancers, but the back-light here was awesome! Read post in Google+
So I've been working on an assignment for a client and I have been getting skunked left and right with terrible light. Last night the sunset looked promising 180 degrees away from what I needed to shoot, so I stayed home and shot the sunset across the street.
I walked away from this shot after processing and then came back thinking that it was way too colorful, but that's not the photo's fault! The sunset really was spectacular. It was a nice reminder that it still was possible to get an amazing sunset like this. Tomorrow I'm going to back on location in hopes of a good sunrise as a thunderstorm rolls through. Wish me luck! Read post in Google+
I thought it was to dust off my Landscapes album and share something fresh. I had the pleasure of shooting with +Alex Lapidus and his wife +Linda Villers here in Whiskeytown.
Man I need to get out and shoot more landscape work :) It's good for the soul. Read post in Google+
Passing it Along A couple of my boys are in 4-H and they're going to try to to submit a shot into the photography competition coming up. So we turned out them out to try a few things. Here we were trying to teach Caleb the value of perspective. He got really low trying to shoot horses on the other side of the fence out of the frame on the right.
I don't know if they'll get into photography like I have, but it's fun to see them explore with a camera. Read post in Google+
I just noticed
One thing I just noticed about #thenewgoogle + is the "secret" details in the black border for vertically oriented pictures. First I thought, cool, that block border helps catch your attention because in my experience on a computer screen, vertical photos don't have the same impact that horizontal shots have. But if you look close, you'll see that the black border is actually your image cropped in the middle and set to about 90% black. Pretty cool! I really like how much attention to detail they've put into all of these changes.
I live in country up in the far northern California area where summers are hot and dry. It finally feels like summer's hold has broken so I thought I'd share this to commemorate it's passing.
I'm have a blast seeing everyone's submissions to all the daily themes. It's really pushing me to look at new subjects and not fear posting shots that fall outside my normal Landscapes. Look up the link to the list of themes in my profile. I'm posting this a little early because it's not quite Tues.
Love the Fair Last night, I spent the evening at the fair with my family. While waiting in line for the Gravatron, I caught this cute shot of my niece who was captivated by the lights. I love shooting handheld catching moments like this. Read post in Google+
Happy Holloween I got lucky and had one of my boys a week before Halloween so every year we've having harvest themed birthday parties. This year the whole family came over to bob for apples, go on hay rides and carve pumpkins. This year we setup these hay bales and made some fun "tables" to carve and eventually display the jack-o-laterns on.
I love this time of year because the temps are perfect, the bugs are few and it gives us an excuse to play outside :) This isn't a work of art, just something fun. Have a great evening!
Back on my weekend getaway alone with my wife over Christmas last year we landed at the Bale Grist Mill north of Napa, CA on hwy 29. It was a rainy morning and we didn't really have a destination in mind. Just driving and stopping for things that looked interesting. Crystal partially read a sign about some California historic something or another. We pulled off the road, found a place to park and still had no idea what it was we stopped for. The oaks were dense here and we saw a walking trail leading to a "Mill". "That sounds interesting", I said.
We arrive there and see a door open and a lady wearing a colonial dress was inside cooking a meal. We still weren't exactly sure what this all is at this point. She greeted us and informed us that this is the largest operational all wood mill in California. Their official tours didn't start for 30 minutes, but her husband who also works there found us and got us involved in getting setup for tours. I got to help grease some bearings. Turn a crank about 100 turns to put the system in neutral. Pull a very heavy chain to open the water-chute and feel the wheel start to turn. I even got to load the hopper with grain and catch the milled flour as it poured out. Crystal wasn't nearly as enthrawelled by all of this as I was.
I knew that it being a rainy Sunday morning with no other visitors, we were getting the royal treatment. I learned everything about the history of the Bale family, basics of milling technology and how the actual milling is done. The mill was built in 1849 and has 34-foot waterwheel. Up stairs was this complicated system of belts and pulleys that turns these apparatuses for refining the flower and sorting it into various qualities.
I took a bunch of photos, but this is the only one that turned out. I was giddy like a kid. It was like I was at Disneyland I got to cross the guard rails and and play behind the scenes. All the excitement was hard to overcome so I didn't bring home many keepers. I got a couple long exposures of the wheel turning, but the comps are just terrible so I'll leave that to your imagination. Read post in Google+
Tonight we had a small 4H meeting. We met at the newly developed Coyote Pond which has a nice picnic area, vault toilet and a pond stocked with fish.
We stuck around to catch the sunset and we were graced with a pleasant sunset. It feels to good to shoot a Landscape. It feels like it's been ages :) Read post in Google+