A year ago this Labor Day weekend my brothers and I did a 4-day 36-mile trek through Evolution Valley, smack-dab in the middle of the John Muir Trail in the Eastern Sierras. We saw some incredible country as we cut through the mountains, including this great shot on our last night on Darwin's Table. The entire day we had the remnants of a summer storm dissipate over the mountains overhead, and as the sun began to set we were treated to quite a show.
One thing I love about doing urban street photography is experiencing all the different colors and textures when old meets new on the city streets. Todays image was taken on Michigan Avenue during a morning walk in Chicago.
I have been starting to archive a lot of my old film and digital prints onto Flickr and I stumbled across this great pic from the Lake District in England take on my first digital camera with a whopping 3 megapixel sensor. You may notice the beginnings of a rainbow in the horizon of the picture. A beautiful place to visit if you ever get the chance.
One of my favorite times to photography is what's called the "blue hour" or the hour just before the sun rises or after the sun sets. This photo was taken on the 'Marvelous Mile' portion of Michigan Ave. I definitely enjoyed the architecture in Chicago, and I would definitely come back to truly explore this city.
If I had a preference of when best to shoot photos I would say early morning, just before the sun rises. I feel like the cooler blue tones of the morning tend to create a better range of colors than the sunset time of day, which tends to be warmer and redder. I think this morning shot is a perfect example, especially with the orange and red rock to compliment the cool blue tones in the shadows.
This is another shot I took from White Pocket near the Utah-Arizona border. As you can see the surreal rock formations are quite a sight to behold.
This Fourth of July I missed the usual fireworks show while we were up in Oakhurst, but I made sure not to miss the natural fireworks show which was at it's best around midnight. Finding the milky way took some work to find thanks to the light from the moon and the nearby cities, but as you can see the camera picked it up fine.
As our little group was planning out our trip through Utah and Arizona one of the places we all agreed that we needed to visit was White Pocket in the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument. It may not get the press of it's nearby neighbor 'The Wave' in the Coyote Buttes but I think it easily surpasses it in it's visual wonder. The variety of colors, texture and layers is nothing short of spectacular.
As my father-in-law put it looks like this whole region was mixed up in a cake mixer.
One of the great highlights of the trip was visiting the Cedar Mesa region in southeastern Utah. A pretty remote region peppered with ancient indian cliff dwellings that were built over a thousand years ago. It was pretty surreal to wander down into various canyons and washes and to stumble across an ancient dwelling peppered with pottery fragments and arrowheads (I never saw any arrowheads for the record). This is an area I would definitely like to spend more time exploring.
I normally don't include myself in my own work but for this piece I think it helped make the shot. If you look closely I show up four times in this picture. This image was taken at Millennium Park in Chicago, I got up extra early to capture this moment before the crowds started to make it difficult to get a clear shot of this popular sculpture.
If you aren't familiar with the bean here's a more traditional shot of it on my instagram feed.
This week's photo has a funny little story connected to it. Three weeks ago on my trip through Utah we were able visit this iconic spot on the Colorado River, not far from Lake Powell and Page, Arizona. Then two weeks later I happened to fly over the same area on a business trip, and was able to spot it from the plane with the help of Google maps, a fun little serendipity.
Seeing this arch in person was really eye opening. It's quite smaller than you think, the opening of the arch is maybe 20-25 feet at it's widest. The best time to see this arch is in the morning when the sunrise strikes it, creating quite a spectacular frame for the canyon below.
Because of the view you do have to fight a significant crowd of photographers to get your shot. The shot below was about an hour before the sun hit the arch.
On my trip to Utah I had grand plans to try a lot of night photography, including capturing a shot of the milky way. Little did I know that of the five nights we were camping I would get only one clear night. Thankfully it ended being a great night, errr... morning to capture the starry landscape.