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...

Alps

I had the opportunity to visit a friend in Germany over winter break this past Christmas. Having never been, I jumped on the opportunity. Turned out Germany is a great country to be in during Christmas because it is a pretty big celebration out there. Cities were packed with Christmas markets. While there, we decided to take a trip over to Austria to go skiing in the Alps. We found a cheap place to stay right at the base of the mountain with this nice older lady that immediately made us take two shots of vodka before she let us unpack. It was definitely a great time. This trip was mainly for snowboarding but of course I brought my camera. The Alps were definitely one of the most beautiful mountains I had ever been to and the snowboarding was awesome. I took this shot at the top of Hintertux Glacier. This is a bracketed shot that I used luminosity masks on to get the best lighting. Hope you like the...

New York

It’s surprising that I have generally lived very close to New York and still hadn’t visited the city. That’s why I made a conscious effort to take some time out of my trip to afford myself the opportunity. I knew that it was going to be rough to drive around the city, especially since I had to go to the direct city center. I had always figured that it would be challenging but when I actually arrived there, I found that the roads were not in the best shape. The streets were all kinds of torn apart and in definite need of construction. I had to go across the Brooklyn Bridge in order to get to the city center and it was a little crazy. I’m sure that if I were to have been inside a car rather than a motorcycle it wouldn’t have been as bad, but the roads were so torn up that it was messing with my tires. Fortunately I came out okay, but needless to say, I would be doing that again anytime soon. This is a 5 exposure shot that I put together in Photoshop CS6. I had seen this area in various publication and didn’t have too much trouble finding it. It was off one of the piers. My D810 was great to have in this instance because it kept the detail and handled the noise very well. That is always an issue for night shots, and my camera was fortunately a beast. 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...

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...

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....

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...

Salvation Mountain

I took a fairly lengthy road trip with my sister this past week because she came and visited me in California. Salvation Mountain was one of the stops among many others. We went everywhere from Southern California to as far North as Sacramento. I have loads of pictures that I took that I still have to go through so you can expect there to be some new posts coming up with photos from the trip. This was my first time visiting Salvation Mountain. To get here you have to drive pretty far into the desert to the West of Southern California. I could probably count the number of homes in some of the cities that we passed; it was quite the sight. Once we got to the site it was just as cool as I was hoping. Something I found out was that portions of this mountain are man-made out of hay and whatever other bonding agent…probably mud. It was also a little bigger than I expected because it wasn’t only the mountain that was there, but there was also little rooms and alleyways we could walk through, not to mention a bunch of cool stray cats. Usually I try to avoid direct sunlight, but for this picture I think it suited it. I like the way the glare of the sun came out too. I think it gives it the desolate desert feel I was going for. I used luminosity masks and the usual 3 exposure bracketing method to create this image. The whole thing was edited in Photoshop CS6. Hope you like the...

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...