Death Valley Jul24

Death Valley

I took this shot back in May when I was still on my cross county trip on my motorcycle. This was taken in Death Valley National Park in Southern California. This was at the racetrack which was one of my favorite destinations in the park. It was like nothing I had ever experienced before because it was so flat and empty. I had came here after about 30 miles of some rough off-road on my motorcycle in hopes to find some rock trails. The ones that this place is notorious for. I started losing hope at first because I wasn’t finding any. It wasn’t until I had read a nearby sign mentioning that they were in the Southern portion of the track that I was able to finally find some good ones.  It is the strangest thing to see these 100lb+ rocks with trails from being moved across the flat ground. I took this shot with a Nikon D810 and blended 5 exposures together in order to get better lighting. I used Photomatix for any HDR processing and Photoshop CS6 for the rest of the...

Antelope Canyon

I took this shot while on a tour of Upper-Antelope Canyon in Page, Arizona. I traveled over here just after visiting Havasu Falls and Horseshoe Bend. The place itself was gorgeous and  exactly what I had expected from other photographs that I had seen of the area. The only difference was how packed it was. There are basically two different tours. The regular tour and the photographic tour. Here I thought I would be able to just wander around it myself but unfortunately you need to go on a tour in order to get into the canyon. I wanted to go on the photographic tour because they will block the traffic of people for you and let you use a tripod but it filled up fast and it was also ridiculously expensive. Fortunately, I was still able to grab a few good shots with no one in it on the regular tour. I had to set my ISO fairly high because it was cloudy and dark in the canyon and I didn’t have a tripod. Because of the short notice, I wasn’t able to book a tour during the peak hours when the sun shines in but I was still able to get some good shots. This is actually just one image, no combined exposures or anything. I did some curves and levels adjustments and basic editing. Hope you like the...

Horseshoe Bend

While visiting Page, Arizona to check out Antelope Canyon, I also ended up stopping at Horseshoe Bend. This was right off one of the main roads going into Page and it was a really short hike, probably about a mile and a half or so. This is an pretty iconic spot for photographers because of the way the Colorado River loops around the canyon. I lucked out on the day I went because it had been cloudy every other day that week and I thought for sure I wouldn’t be able to catch a glimpse of the sunset, but fortunately the clouds broke at the right time. It was fairly packed for a weekday night and there were photographers lined up throughout this spot. I was able to squeeze between a couple that were right where I wanted to be without obstructing there view. I took about 7 different exposures for this shot because of the difference in lighting between the sky and the ground. I wanted to get as much detail as possible in this case. You can actually see a group of rafters at the bottom of the canyon if you look closely. I edited this photo in CS6 and used Nik Color Efex Pro which is now free since Google bought them out. Hope you like the...

Havasu Falls

This was the first place I visited on my cross country trip. I have wanted to go to Havasu Falls for a long time because of how beautiful it is with the blue water. Getting there was the hard part. To get to the trailhead you have to drive 60 miles down this road on an Indian reservation and then hike about 8 miles to a little Indian village that is buried in the middle of nowhere in this valley. Not to mention you need to get reservations a few months out which I didn’t realize until I got there. Fortunately I was able to get a day pass and still visit. There are actually several waterfalls at this location but Havasu Falls was definitely my favorite. This shot is composed of 5 exposures that I blended using luminosity masks. I had to make up for the difference in lighting since it was still light out. Hope you like the...

Catalina Island

I recently took a short vacation that I had been long awaiting ever since I came to California, to Catalina Island. I never was able to get too much time off or would always forget about it when I did but fortunately I finally had the chance. Just a few weeks before I leave on my cross country trip too. This is Avalon, the port that we went to and I’m sure most people visit when they go here. This beach is called Crescent Beach for a reason and it is hard to do this place justice in just a single photography. But it was like a little vacation paradise. All the shops were owned by locals and it literally takes about an hour to drive around the whole island on a golf cart. So needless to say it is very small. Two days here was plenty of time to see everything though and I was fortunate enough to be able to snag this shot before it was too late. That little coliseum looking structure is called the casino although it isn’t actually a casino. It has a movie theater, a ballroom, and a island art and history museum. The reason why it is called the casino is because in Italian, casino means a gathering place. I took this shot on the side of a road that skirted the island. This is made up of 5 exposure and I used Luminosity masks for blending. Hope you like the...