The Many Faces Of Badwater Basin

I saw my first photos of Badwater Basin many years ago.  The vast, white hexagons spreading out to the horizon instantly grabbed my attention as I couldn’t tell if I was looking at ice, snow or sand.  It turned out to be none of those as I was actually looking at salt.  Couple that with the fact that badwater basin is the second lowest point in the Western Hemisphere and I couldn’t wait to get out there with my camera.

Yosemite’s Horsetail Fall Parking Is Now By Permit Only (2018)

When Galen Rowell took his now infamous shot of the Horsetail Fall effect in February of 1973 there may have been a few people around gazing at the falls, but it was primarily Galen and a single Ranger who were standing in just the right spot.  Last year, literally thousands of people

A Look Back At 2017

I meant to post this yesterday, but it looked like we might get some great light in Death Valley so my buddy Eric and I spent New Year’s Eve driving like maniacs down to Cottonball Basin to catch the sunset.  After a year of crazy trips and long hours driving though the Southwest, the Pacific Northwest, the Eastern Sierras, the California Coast and five countries in Europe, here is a look back.  All of these shots were either taken or processed in 2017.  If you are reading this, thank you so much for visiting my blog!  A very Happy New Year to you!  Looking forward to 2018!

Shooting The Sunrise On The Southern California Coast

When most people think of photographing the sunset and sunrise, they would tend to agree that the East Coast is the place to head for sunrises while the West is limited to sunsets.  What many folks may not realize is that quite a bit of coastline, especially in Southern California, faces South, and if you look hard enough, you can even find spots that face the East.  If you want to shoot the sunrise in SoCal, your widest choice of locations would occur

Epic Spring Runoff In Yosemite Valley Creates Rare Opportunities For Photographers

A couple of weeks ago I was catching up on a pile of work on my computer when I came across an LA Times story describing how the Merced River was approaching flood stage due to the heavy run off from the record breaking snowfall earlier in the year.  A few hours later I was headed out of my driveway at 2 AM to make a stop at the Alabama Hills for a quick sunrise shot before heading across to Yosemite via the 14, 58 and 99.  By mid afternoon,

Looking For Fire At The Horsetail Fall (Updated 2/5/17)

UPDATE – FEBRUARY 2017 – Over the past two years, the recent tree die-off has opened up several new vistas around the park for taking shots of the Horsetail Fall in February.  While the loss of a huge number of pines throughout the valley is a tragedy and will affect the appearance of the valley for decades to come, this die-off has definitely created new opportunities for photographers as there were just a couple of spots to shoot from previously due to the view being obstructed by trees.    Galen Rowell’s spot was just East of the El Capitan Picnic area, but there are now several alternate views and some of these might even be superior to Galen’s vantage point given that Galen jumped out of a truck and ran to the first open spot he could find before the light faded off of the falls.  If you arrive early on the day of your shoot, you might want to do some exploring instead of camping out with the other 200 photographers who will be trying to cram into that one area.  There will be another 100 or so on the South side viewing area and these photographers would also do well to explore a bit as the trees have been dying at a horrific pace during the last two years.  When these trees become a hazard, the National Park Service has been cutting them down.  My shots of the mist billowing up were taken well East of the traditional spot at the Picnic area last year.  I chose to go for the mist, but there were several other spots… further toward the East and South that would have created the same Galen Rowell red lava effect.  If you choose to explore, keep in mind that some of those fallen trees are still very unstable and could shift or roll on you.  If there is any kind of a strong wind coming through the valley, I would definitely be concerned about some of those trees coming down, so use caution, even at the picnic area.  Several trees came down in the last storm!