Bowling Ball Beach

I was able to visit Bowling Ball Beach while I was in Northern California. This spot was a bit difficult to find but I managed to find it. It was totally empty which was awesome; I literally had the whole beach to myself. These large rocks were scattered across the shoreline. Taking a good enough photo of this spot was the tricky part. I had to walk into the water until I was knee deep so I could find a good position to include all the rocks. Fortunately the waves were small so my little travel tripod stood a chance. I had my Nikon D810 mounted on my Manfrotto befree tripod. This lightweight travel tripod was definitely one of the best investments I made for this trip. It barely took up any space on my motorcycle. This is a combination of 5 different bracketed photos merged with luminosity masks. Hope you like the results! Please follow and like...

Bridge and City Apr23

Bridge and City

I only had so much time in San Francisco during the road-trip that I took with my sister and I wanted a few different shots of the Golden Gate Bridge Website. It was getting late and by the time we were done with this spot we were going to have to hit the road again, so I decided to try anything I could think of for a new shot from the same spot. This is how I came across this photo. I zoomed in with my lens and got a tight enough crop where you could still make out the bridge in the foreground while peering through to the city in the background. I had wanted to take a shot like this too fortunately, I just always forget. There is another photo from the same night on my website that includes the whole bridge if you want to check that out too. This was literally the nicest setup I had ever seen for this scenic spot. The fog was rolling in perfectly and the lights from the bridge turned on just in time to create a calming mood. Thankfully, my sister was a good sport about hanging out and waiting for it to get a little darker. I don’t think she minded it much though considering this was her first time in San Francisco and this view was quite the sight. I shot this with my Nikon D7000 mounted on my Vanguard Website tripod and of course bracketed it for -3, 0, and +3. I used layer masking to merge the best lit parts of the photos together in Photoshop CS6 and did some finishing touched with Nik Color Efex Pro Website. Hope you like the results! Please follow and like...

Cabin in the Woods

The trip through the woods to the Redwood Forest was quite the adventure. When we arrived at the front gate we had a little over a quarter of a tank of gas and figured we would be fine. How far could it be, right? Wrong! We wanted to see General Sherman, the largest tree in the United States and this tree just so happened to be about sixty miles down the road, or I should say up the mountain. It was literally all uphill. It was also extremely close to sunset so we were rushing. We had hit up so many places already that this was one of the last ones to go to and we didn’t want to miss it. By the time we had finally reached the top where the parking lot was the gas light had already been on for about ten minutes. We ended up being able to see the tree with just enough sunlight to spare. We thought it was a different one at first but after going a little further down the trail you find that it is clearly labeled. It really was quite the sight. By the time we were done it began getting pretty dark. On our way out was when I saw this shot. Surprisingly I actually like this shot better than I like the ones of General Sherman. It was a little tricky when it came to the post-processing part but I was able to pull off the look and feel that I was going for. I wanted it to show how serene it was in that instant and how quiet it felt. Hope you like the results! Please follow and like...

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...

Bixby Bridge

This is an older photo that I took while I was on a short road trip up the Big Sur coastline towards San Francisco. I have been working on my technique a bit lately for editing photos so I decided to give this one another try. My original edit wasn’t something I liked too much and I chalked it up to a bad shot so I’m glad I went through it again because I’m happy with how this one ended up. I love the look of Bixby Bridge. It is a perfect fusion of nature and man-made. I think the bridge actually adds to the overall looks of the scene and find that without it, the picture would be somewhat lacking. If you have never traveled this route, then I would definitely suggest it. The Pacific Coast Highway is, hands down, the most beautiful drive that I have made thus far. The whole drive was winding and curvy roads and all alone gorgeous scenery of beaches and cliffs. I made so many stop along the way because there were great photos to be had everywhere. I used my Nikon D7000 for this shot, mounted on my vanguard tripod. I had my usual kit lens and bracketed this photo at -2, 0, and +2. I didn’t have a wide enough angle lens so I had to make my own panorama. In post-processing I used luminosity masks in order to bring out the desired lighting and then I stitched the whole image together. If you have any questions just ask. I hope you like the results! Please follow and like...

Vernal Falls

Vernal Falls was by far the nicest waterfall in Yosemite National Park in my opinion. It is a short hike off the main road that runs through the park and is pretty straight forward. It gets a little slippery as you get closer to the falls because of all the mist that covers the surrounding area which made me have to watch my footing more than once but it was a beautiful area and me and my buddy made several tripps to this spot while in Yosemite. Once you start getting close to the falls you have to climb a set of stairs and this is when you start getting sprikled with all the mist. You can walk all the way to the top where there is a large pool of water that’s awesome for swimming in, especially after hiking around all day. I wanted to get the image to correctly portray the beauty of this spot and I wasn’t able to do that with the zoom lense, which was the only lens I owned at the time so I stitched two images together. The rest of the image is pretty minimally processed in order to preserve the natural beauty of the area. If you ever get the chance to visit this awesome spot I would not pass it up. I processed the photo in Photoshop CS6 with Nik Color Effex Pro. Please follow and like...

Yosemite Valley View

I took this shot at tunnel view in Yosemite Valley National Park. This is one of the most photographed views in all of Yosemite and I can definitely understand why. My friend and I had entered the park through a alternate route because we didn’t know otherwise but this spot is intended to greet incoming park visitors since it is right off the main entrance to the park. We found this out as we were leaving but found it out either way. This view gives you an awesome preview of what you will be seeing close-up once you enter the park. You can even see Yosemite Falls to the right of the picture in the distance disappearing behind the treeline. I shot this with a piece of welders glass covering my lense as a make shift 10 stop filter. I have used it many times before and I love the cool effect it gives images.This is a RAW image file that I processed in Photoshop CS6 with Nik Color Effex Pro. I hit this spot during the summer which is supposedly not the best time to go but I was able to grab a few good shots. Hope you like it. Please follow and like...

Merced Stream

I finally got to visit Yosemite National Park in Northern California. I took this shot from a bridge that crossed over the stream coming from the Merced River that was near the bottom of Nevada Falls. This was the nicest spot I have been at in America thus far. I felt like everywhere I looked there was an opportunity for a picture. The size of the peaks like El Capitan and Half Dome where bigger that any picture I had seen and were harder to hike up than most of the hikes I had been on. There will definitely be more photos to come of this area. Here is just a taste of some of the beauty that you can witness in the park. This whole area was shaded by the surrounding trees which made for great lighting and helped me bring out the rich colors that were all around. The photo picture here is actually comprised of 9 shots. 3 shots were taken for 3 different positions and -2, 0, and +2. I masked through the layers to get the best possible looking shot for each and then stitched them together to make a larger image  considering I don’t have a wide angle lens. This was processed in Photoshop CS6. I also used Nik Color Effex Pro. Please follow and like...

Bay Bridge

This is a shot of the Bay Bridge in San Francisco, California. This was my first time visiting San Francisco and it was a long awaited trip. Ever since I was stationed at Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base I had wanted to venture up here. I had gone around most of the other places in Southern California and I knew that I had to check out Northern California as well. I only have a motorcycle for transportation but I find that to be a good thing. I planned out my route to go up the Pacific Coast Highway considering that was also an area I had wanted to experience while in California. I’ll start by saying this is the most beautiful and scenic ride that I had ever taken. It was along the coast for most of the way with curves and sharp turns everywhere (A.K.A a motorcycler’s dream). Once I got up to San Francisco I had visited all the usual sights first like the Golden Gate Bridge along with the large hills and trolley system in the city. It wasn’t until the day before I was going to leave that I came here. I had parked somewhere near the wharf and walked over here at nighttime. Once I got to this area where I took this picture, I couldn’t believe that this bridge barely gets any hype. If I asked most people I knew from the East Coast about it, I doubt they would even know what it was. This bridge may not be the Golden Gate Bridge but it’s still a must see spot while in San Francisco. With the lights outlining the bridge and the small cement pillars in the water below, this makes for a great shot. This is...

Bonsai

This bonsai tree was located at the Huntington Library in Los Angeles, California. If you live in Southern California and have never been here then it is a must see. There are various different gardens like a Chinese and Japanese Garden as well as all kinds of interesting floral that is scattered around the grounds. I came here pretty early this day and stayed for at least three of four hours just walking around and taking everything in. There is so much to see here that I even filled up one of my memory cards. I took this shot while I was in the Japanese Garden here, going through the large bonsai area they have. Some of these trees were over a hundred years old and had some real cool forms they had taken over the years. This one in particular stood out to me because of the awesome position that it was in as well as the great lighting and cool shape. This was one of the few bonsai trees there that was totally in the shade which made for a large amount of detail able to be shown without getting blown out whites or too dark of blacks. I thought the corner that it was in was interesting also because I felt that it limited the distractions around it, like other bonsai trees, and made for a simple background. It was pretty simple putting this picture together. I just took a few regular RAW images of it handheld, exposing for the tree itself and that was it. I took it into Photoshop CS6 later in Adobe Camera RAW and messed around with some of the sliders in order to adjust some of the shadows and highlights and gave it some more vibrant...