Monday, March 29, 2010

Mossbrae Falls, Shasta Country

On the last night of our roadtrip, Katie and I spent the night at Castle Crags State Park, a sweet little park just off I-5 near Castella, California. In addition to being a pleasant place to stay, it was also very conveniently located just a few miles south of Dunsmuir, California, home of the beautiful Mossbrae Falls.

We woke (relatively) early, packed, and left Castle Crags and after a pit stop at an adorable bakery/cafe in Dunsmuir for coffee and a pastry, we were on our way to the falls.

After a 20 minute walk in the shadow of Mt. Shasta, we arrived at Mossbrae. It is a stunning spot, and happily, we had it all to ourselves on a glorious morning.

Next time, I'm bringing a picnic :)

Canon 5D, Canon 24-70L, f/6.3 @ 1/3s, ISO 50. No filters.

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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Bowling Ball Beach #2

I tried out a more minimalist composition in this image than in my first upload from Bowling Ball Beach.

Canon 5D, Canon 24-70L, f/10 @ 30s, ISO 50. Filters: ND110 and Lee 3-stop hard GND.

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Bowling Ball Beach #1

Just got back from a GREAT Northern California roadtrip with my friend Katie! Our goals for the trip were 1) to orient Katie to her new home in NorCal, 2) see some beautiful sights, and 3) drink some really good beer. We definitely accomplished all three activities.

It rained on us off and on Thursday morning as we headed up 101. We ducked out of the rain in Healdsburg to visit Bear Republic Brewing, home of Racer 5 IPA. We had a good chat with Ryan, the man behind the bar, and got some great recommendations on breweries further north.

The rain let up a bit as we headed out 128 toward Boonville, so we were able to enjoy the beautiful scenery. It's so green and lush in Northern California right now! Our second stop was Anderson Valley Brewing, home of the famous Hop Ottin' IPA, my mom's favorite beer. It tastes just as good, if not better, on draft at the brewery. I also really enjoyed and highly recommend the Brother David's Double and Triple Abbey style ales, which rivaled some of the best I tried in Belgium in January. Mmmm!

When we reached the coast, we turned south to visit a place I've been wanting to visit for awhile now: Bowling Ball Beach. The weather looked iffy, with black storm clouds moving in fast, but we'd driven that far, so we decided to go for it. I was thoroughly soaked by the time we got to the Bowling Ball part of the beach, and the rain was coming down pretty hard and I didn't think I'd be able to get a shot without soaking my camera. Thankfully, the wind and rain let up just enough for me to grab a few shots after about 10 minutes. The light was weird and ghostly, glowing through the low stormclouds while some clouds remained dark and ominous. A NorCal day on the coast for sure!

Stay tuned for more images from the redwoods, mountains, and waterfalls of NorCal.

Canon 5D, Canon 24-70, f/10 @ 30s, ISO 50. Filters: ND400 & Lee 3-stop hard GND. The weird color is partly due to the ND400, which has a strong magenta cast no matter what I do with the white balance.

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

San Francisco Alpenglow Sunset

The slightly humid and hazy afternoon turned into a brief, beautiful pink sunset over the whole Bay Area. An amazing sight from the top of Mt. Tam in Marin!

This is a single shot, no HDR. There are a few minutes in each day when the light is even enough to get an exposure like this without blending.

Canon 5D, Canon 100-400L, f/11 @ 1s, ISO 50. No filters.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Marin Magazine Cover, April 2010

Very excited to have one of my images on the cover of Marin Magazine this coming month!

I shot that image back in December on Bolinas Ridge, near the top of Mt. Tamalpais, as the fog poured over the hillsides.

Curtains Down on Winter -- Summer's Here!

It's been a gorgeous week in the Bay Area. We seemed to have skipped spring and gone straight to a warm summer. The fog finally caught up with the warm weather and came pouring into the Bay yesterday evening at sunset. I caught this from my roof deck, as the low fog enveloped San Francisco and the higher fog forming over the bay made its way toward Berkeley a minute after I snapped this shot, the fog obscured the view.

Canon 5D, Canon 100-400L, f/10 @ 4s, ISO 50. No filters.

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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Ribbon of Light: The Richmond Bridge

From far away and up above, the Richmond Bridge takes on a more organic character than from up close. I love the "ribbon of light" across the Bay.

Taken from the East Peak of Mt. Tamalpais.

Canon 5D, Canon 100-400L, f/5.6 @10s, ISO 50. No filters.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Golden Gate Bridge: Twilight Lineup

I have been obsessed by this angle ever since I saw Harold Davis's image from the same location back in 2008.

I first visited this location about 6 months ago, on a warm afternoon over the Labor Day holiday. It was a beautiful afternoon for a hike, but a hazy afternoon for photography, so I didn't come home with any winners.

This past weekend was the first incredible spring weekend in the Bay Area, and also stunningly clear. I decided to try my luck again along the Coast Trail in the Headlands.

It was a perfect afternoon for a hike, and the hillsides were dotted with tons of wildflowers and the first spring poppies.

I arrived at The Spot a few minutes before sunset and shot for 30 minutes or so. I have a bunch of images of the lineup in various shades of twilight.

It was a perfect evening, even though it was a bit windy and my hands felt like blocks of ice! They warmed up on the TOUGH uphill hike back. Note to self: bring TWO water bottles next time!

Canon 5D, Canon 100-400L, f/22 @ 10s, ISO 50. No filters.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Elysium: West Marin Hills

In Greek mythology, Elysium was the final resting place for the souls of the heroic and virtuous.

If Elysium exists, I think it might look something like the rolling hills of West Marin.

This image was taken on a slightly hazy late afternoon from the summit of Mt. Tamalpais.

Canon 5D, Canon 100-400L, f/5.6 @ 1/25, ISO 50. No filters.

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Monday, March 15, 2010

Mt. Tamalpais: The View from the Top

The view from Mt. Tamalpais is, in my opinion, one of the most inspiring in the world.

I've watched the sun rise over the Himalaya, I've seen it set over the Taj Mahal, I've looked out over Yosemite from the top of Half Dome, but there's nothing that captivates me like the view from Tam.

Last night was clear and still, and a pink sunset hovered over the Bay Area before giving way to a beautiful violet twilight (which is when I shot the image above). I'll share some more pictures soon from the views in the other directions, including Mt. Diablo, the Richmond Bridge, Bolinas Ridge, the Marin Hills, and San Rafael.

Canon 5D, Canon 100-400L, f/11@ 25s, ISO 50. No filters.

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Missed: San Francisco Dawn Rainbow

I live in the Berkeley Hills, just below the Lawrence Hall of Science. Conveniently, the view from my roofdeck is nearly identical to the webcam view at the LHS, so I often check it out. The LHS webcam page also streams a timelapse of the previous day's webcam shots. Since the weather in Bay Area is different nearly every day, I love checking out the timelapse video. When I checked it a few mornings ago, I saw this captured on the LHS webcam:

Missed: San Francisco Dawn Rainbow, originally uploaded by Della Huff Photography.

A rainbow over San Francisco, just minutes before dawn! Amazing, and apparently a rare phenomenon. What a sight that would have been! Unfortunately, I was asleep and missed it... but it is still amazing to see caught on the webcam. Maybe one day...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Richmond Bridge Panorama

A wider angle on Thursday night's sunset over the Bay, Richmond Bridge, and Mt. Tamalpais.

Canon 5D, Canon 70-200L, f/10 @ 25s, ISO 50. No filters.

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Monday, March 8, 2010

Amazing Blue Marble Photos from NASA

I never get tired of looking at images of Earth from above. Our home is an incredibly beautiful place! These new photos from the NOAA-NASA GOES Project show our home planet in intricate, stunning detail.

The Earth on March 6, 2010. What were you up to when this was taken?

See more pictures from the NOAA-NASA GOES Project.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

I Want One of These!!

Life is pretty good if you're an Olympic photographer. Not only do you get to shoot some of the most exciting, high-profile action in the world, but you also get Canon swag! How awesome is this coffee thermos?? Well, awesome until you're getting up at 5am and pour coffee into your 70-200 f/2.8L IS... ouch. Think the Canon warranty would cover it?

From Crunchgear.

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Underappreciated Richmond Bridge

The Richmond Bridge is kind of the redheaded stepchild of the Bay Area's three major bridges (the other two being the very much appreciated Golden Gate and the Bay Bridge). It was a low-budget affair when it was built, and as a result, it looks a bit like an erector set in the middle of the bay, especially when compared with the beauty of the other two bridges.

One benefit of the Richmond Bridge is the awesome views of San Francisco, Mt. Tam, the Bay, and glimpses of the Golden Gate. The other is that it connects the East Bay to my hometown, San Rafael.

I'd been wanting to get a shot that shows off the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge in its best light for some time. I think I might have come close here, but I still want a few more shots with other sunset conditions.

Here are a few fun facts about the Bridge:

* The bridge first opened September 1, 1956
* It is officially called the John F. McCarthy Bridge, although no one calls it that
* The bridge measures 5.5 miles (29,040 feet) long. At the time it was built, it was one of the world's longest bridges
* The bridge recently underwent a retrofit to make it more earthquake-safe. The retrofit is intended to allow the two-tier bridge to withstand a 7.4 magnitude earthquake on the Hayward Fault and an 8.3 magnitude quake on the San Andreas Fault

Canon 5D, Canon 70-200L f//4, f/6.3@ 20s, ISO 50. No filters.

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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Santa Monica Sunset

I spent this past weekend down in LA, my first visit back since I moved up to the Bay Area last July. It was great to see friends and visit some of my old haunts.

I'm a Bay Area native and I never want to leave again, but there is something unique about SoCal's sunsets on the beach. There's a golden quality of light that is rare here but just radiates there almost every afternoon.

I didn't take my camera out of the bag all weekend because it was raining there, so this is a photo from last year.

Canon 5D, Canon 24-70L, f/9 @ 15s, ISO 50. No filters.

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