For our most recent trip to Yosemite we chose to visit the eastern side out of Tioga Pass and the Tuolumne Meadows region of the park. One of my images on my wishlist was sunset at Olmsted Point, just northeast of Half Dome. I was eager to see a much different view point of the iconic monolith. The day we arrived at the park I thought we were going to get a spectacular stormy view as we watched the afternoon thunderstorms starting to brew. I rushed out to the point to find this:
I thought I would wait it out. But the elements got the better of me as the lightning was inching closer to my location (being on an exposed granite face is not ideal place to be during an electrical storm) so it was not meant to be.
However I did revisit Olmsted Point two days later for nice sunrise, and these great shots.
Taken in Tehachapi, CA. The stark contrast between the night sky and the oak tree and grass was courtesy of my parents front porch light. Originally I intended to use the light to set up the shot. But seeing the vivid colors in my test shots I chose to keep the light on.
When I visited Zion National Park two years ago for the first time I knew I had to go back. One of the shots I had wanted to get this time was a Milky Way shot over the Watchman. It took a little planning but I was well rewarded. This shot was literally taken outside my tent in the Watchman campground.
As the weather starts to warm up the trips I planned at the beginning of the year are starting to take shape. While I look forward to upcoming new adventures I can't help but also look back at some of my past trips. Like last year's trek through Utah and Arizona. This week's picture is from that trip, the last day actually, at White Pocket in the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument.
If you visit this site regularly you will know that I love to photograph trees, especially bristlecone trees up in the White Mountains near Bishop, CA. These contorted trees are so visually striking and definitely look like they are among the oldest things living on this earth. This particular fallen tree is probably about 3,000 years old.
Winter and early spring is one of my favorite times to visit Death Valley National Park. I know it sounds desolate and barren, but if you've spent any significant time in the actual park you'd know that first impressions can be deceiving, it's far from barren. Just on the geologic level there are so many fascinating things to see like Artist's Palette, a group of hills filled with a variety or minerals giving it a the feeling your driving/walking through some giant artist's paint palette.
The winter storms that roll through Southern California always get me excited to see how it affects the landscape. I also get a sense of disappointment that I am not up near the Sierras (or in the Sierras) experiencing the weather up there.
This shot was taken in the Owens Valley in California a few years back a spring storm dusted the surrounding mountains with snow.
Sometimes you have to make do with the time you have. These days as a husband and a father of young kids I don't have as many opportunities to scout out a location and spend several hours taking shots.
This particular shot was shot that took about two months to efficiently execute. I had scouted it quite a few times but timing the sun being up at just the right time was tricky. I was trying to time it so I could take the shot as I was leaving for work, and it just so happened that last week it all worked out perfectly.
It's always fun to look back at some of you earliest work. This week's selection is going back 11 years to some of my first ever digital pictures (on a 3 megapixel camera) in Stirling, Scotland looking at the William Wallace tower and also from the top of the tower. Yes, it's the William Wallace from the Braveheart movies, he has a whole tower dedicated to him in the city of Stirling, site of one of his more famous battles.
Stirling was hands down one of the highlights from that trip, I would love to go back there again and really explore more of that wonderful region.
Taken near Twin Peaks up in the San Bernadino mountains while looking up at this 400+ year-old tree that was hit by lightning. Because of the lightning strike it stopped growing up and started growing out, causing this tangle of branches you see.
One thing I love about doing panoramic photos is the opportunity to expand beyond the standard dimensions of the camera frame. I remember the first time I experienced Disneyland's Circle Vision as a kid and being blown away seeing a film that gave you a 360 degree perspective. The idea of expanding the photographic canvas beyond the standard 2x3 or 4x5 dimensions is quite inspiring.
This week's photo was again from my trip through Utah this past summer we were on our way from Blanding to Mexican Hat, Utah when the stormy cloud-cover cleared enough at sunset to make this dramatic image possible.