Grand Canyon

I took this shot at the Grand Canyon during my cross-country trip. The Grand Canyon always seems pretty massive in photos but until visiting, I was never able to fully appreciate it. This was my first time visiting the Grand Canyon. I didn’t know when I would be back so I took as many pictures as possible and stayed until sunset. I took this shot as the sun was setting. Usually I will look towards the sun to get the colors of the clouds near it, but the colors here were better on the canyon walls. Most of the gated tourist spots didn’t have the views I liked, but this spot wasn’t too far off the walking path. I took this shot with my Nikon D810, and I had it mounted on my manfrotto befree tripod. I got this tripod specifically for this trip and it worked great. It barely took up any space and it was sturdy enough to hold up my D810 with a battery grip and a wide angle lens. I processed one image for this photo. Hope you like the...

Mormon Row

When I was visiting passing through Wyoming, I decided to stop at Mormon Row. I stopped here after I left Yellowstone National Park. Pictures never seem to do the locations justice and this spot was not exception. The barns were in the perfect spot for photos. I would definitely suggest stopping here if anyone was visiting Wyoming. While no one actually lives in these barns anymore, they seem to be more of a historical landmark. Because there were only three people visiting when I went, I didn’t mind. My wide angle lens was perfect to have the fence leading in the frame. I have been working on having more foreground focus points in my wide angle pictures. This image is a single RAW image edited using Photoshop CS6. Hope you like the...

Grand Teton

I was traveling on my motorcycle to a campground that was located right off Jenny lake near the Grand Teton mountains when these clouds started appearing. I didn’t want to stop since I was so close to the campground and I knew that I needed to set up my tent once I got there. But I just couldn’t pass up this shot though, so I ended up pulling off to the side of the road to snap this one off. This route through Wyoming is hands down, one of the most beautiful drives that I have done. I went through the middle of Yellowstone to get here and this was my next stop. These mountains are one of those places is hard to believe how amazing it is until you actually see it. The clouds just added to the drama of the scene. I took this with my Nikon D810 mounted on a tripod. There are 5 bracketed photos for this shot and used luminosity masks in Photoshop CS6 in order to get the lighting I was looking...

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...

Leading Lines

It’s been a while since I have been out taking pictures and it has been even longer since I have posted any. Since I have gotten out of the Marine Corps and became a civilian I have been keeping pretty busy. Holding two jobs, a relationship, and keeping in touch with friends takes a lot of time but fortunately I was able to venture off the other day for a few hours to get some shots at this beach. This was shot at Corona Del Mar, my usual favorite spot to go to when I am short on time and I can’t travel too far. Every time I have visited this beach I have always gone to the area that is a little South of the beach that is next to the canal. This time I decided to try somewhere new and go a little further South past the second beach down that way. Needless to say, I was not disappointed. There were a whole bunch of different spots like the one shown in this picture where the rocks were leading into the water and it was amazing. The only down side was it was a little more crowded than my usual spot and I found myself fighting for a spot to take pictures with other photographers. Usually when I take photos at the beach I face towards the sunset, but this time I tried something different. There was a nice rock formation that was a little further out in the water that I really like and I wanted to include that in my picture, so instead of facing the sunset I actually faced away from it and I found that the colors were just as gorgeous and unique. This is a standard 5...

Heisler Park

It has been a little while since I have gone out to take any pictures recently because I have had a little change in my life situation. Basically, I just entered the real world. I completed my active duty contract with the Marine Corps and started working a full time job along with a part time job so I have been pretty busy. I love the work and keeping busy but photography will always be a passion of mine that I can’t live without. That’s why I was happy to get to visit Heisler Park, in Laguna. This is a rare occasion that I get to visit somewhere new after being here for a little over 5 years because I have already visited most of California. But surprisingly, some of the closest places to me are the ones that I seemed to have overlooked since they never caught my eye. I saw that the sky might prove to make for a nice sunset on this day and I didn’t have time to go far so I settled with a closer location I guess you could say. Turns out, it wasn’t much of settling after all since I am extremely happy with how this photo came out and was fortunate to get such a great opportunity. I shot this just off the path in the park with my Nikon D810. I wanted to take a sunset shot but when I was snapping away at the sunset, it just wasn’t what I hoped. It wasn’t until I turned around that I saw these beautiful colors in the sky. I hadn’t had a sunset like this in some time and I was so happy to get it. I hope you like the...

Los Angeles Cityscape...

I had been waiting to go to this spot in Los Angeles forever but I had never known where it was. Recently I was wondering around on 500px and finally stumbled across a similar photo that had the location on it. Now that I was fully equipped with the location and my new camera and zoom lens I was all for it. For those who are looking for this spot, it is right off Mt Hollywood Trail. This is pretty much off one of the paths that you can hike on around Griffith Observatory. I had always thought these pictures were composites since I had never found this angle, but once I got to this spot I was ecstatic to find out that it was real. For this shot I used my Nikon D810 mounted on a tripod, with my Nikkor 70-300mm lens. This was actually my first time shooting with this lens and I was really happy with the results. I shot 5 bracketed shots and combined them through HDR processing and luminosity masks. I will sometimes combine the two processes if I find that one of them isn’t cutting it for what I am trying to accomplish. I hope you like the results....

Old Mcdonald

This is the oldest operating Mcdonald’s in the world! How cool is that? I stumbled upon this little gem when I was looking for cool new places to go take photos. Someone had mentioned this place so I decided to look into it. Fortunately enough, I had been traveling up to Los Angeles that night anyway so I figured why not make a little stop along the way. This Mcdonald’s is so old but still so charming looking. They still have the original building that has a diner feel to it because of the metallic counter-tops where you order your food. The menu is pretty much the same as all the others but there is a little museum to check out some of the original Mcdonald’s stuff from back in the day when it first opened in 1953. Now, I’m not much of a fast food fan but I couldn’t pass up getting food here just to say I did. I was a little worried that this place was going to be more busy than it was but turns out there wasn’t too many people. There was a crowd every so often that would build up but I just waited long enough to get a shot with no one there. People probably thought it was weird that I was taking a picture of a Mcdonald’s but I didn’t care. I shot this photo right before dusk turned into night so I could get some of the clouds in the picture. I had my Nikon D7000 mounted on a tripod and a remote shutter for the low light situation. I bracketed the photos and layered them in Photoshop. I then used luminosity masks in order to pull some of the darker detail from where other photos...

Bird Rock

I had been busy lately with seeing friends a lot, work and other various things and haven’t had the chance to take off on my own in a little bit. Whenever I go too long without some along time I really start to miss it, so I decided to take off to Sunset Cliffs in San Diego to go shooting this past Friday. The Wednesday prior had one of the best sunsets I had seen in a while so I was hoping to get another chance at a good one. I had been watching the clouds throughout the day to see if anything would develop and I was keeping my hopes up even though it looked a bit overcast. When I got down to this spot, it was a little before sunset and the sky was just beginning to open up in the right areas. I was overjoyed because this was about an hour and a half drive for me and I really wanted some usable pictures out of it. Getting down to this spot is a little bit tricky because you have to find an inlet on the cliffs which isn’t easy if you have never been here. I scoped it out the first time I visited on Google Earth along with a few other sources and I was able to find a spot. It’s funny how some things can turn out to be great subjects for photos that you would otherwise dismiss if you knew what they actually were. Take this rock for instance. It is called Bird Rock because birds are always gathered on it and that white streaking along the top is actually bird feces. Who would have though that it would still look good in a picture. I shot...

Golden Gate Bridge

It had been almost two years at this point since I had been back to San Francisco. Needless to say, I was really looking forward to this trip out here. My sister and I came here on a holiday weekend and if you have ever been on a holiday weekend, you know just how packed it gets. This day was no exception. The route up to this lookout point had a ridiculous amount of traffic and we thought for sure that with how close we were to the sun going down and it starting to get dark, that we were going to miss our opportunity. Fortunately we found an alternated route under the mountain through a tunnel that was supposedly closed that made getting back up the mountain much faster. Also, we ended up renting an SUV so we were able to just ride over the curb on the side and park on top of it. We ended up making it with enough time to spare. This is one of my favorite viewpoints of Golden Gate Bridge because it really is the quintessential view you picture when you think of the bridge. It had been so foggy all day that we couldn’t even see the bridge when we were standing at the start of it. Lucky for us, it ended up clearing up sometime in the early evening and some clouds even began rolling in which added to the scene. I took various shots of the bridge from when it was brighter out to when it became darker and I liked this one the best. I think what made this one my favorite was because of the lamps that were lit up all along the bridge and all the car trails that you can...