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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Looking Back

Here is another photo from the set of pictures that we took on the little shoot that I had with Geena. This was towards the end of the shoot when the sun was getting really low and was right over the cliff at Pines Park, in Dana Point, California. I had her pose for this shot, facing the sun, and caught her looking back without telling her to try this pose. When I saw her do it, I ended up loving how it looked so I quickly snapped away a bunch of pictures to try and get some good ones. The sun was perfect because it was only harsh on the areas of her body that I didn’t mind. Her face came out exposed great and the sun even provided a nice glare in the background. I shot this with with my Nikon D810 and a Nikkor 50mm f/1.4. As far as editing goes I did a little color correction, levels and curves, and used Nik Color Efex Pro in order to mess with some cross processing filters and what not. Hope you like the...

Golden Hour

If you have never shot during the golden hour then your are missing out. This is the first and last hour of sunlight during the day. It provides some awesome light that isn’t as harsh as the sun during the middle of the day and gives pictures a nice warm glow. If it was up to me this would literally be the only time I would choose to do shooting. Geena ended up really liking some of the pictures from the first shoot so she agreed to another fortunately. I wanted to do it outside this time and so did she but I didn’t know any good nearby locations that wasn’t a beach. She suggested Pines Park in Dana Point¬†and I’m glad she did because it worked out great. The park overlooked the ocean and had enough trees and what not to take pictures around. This Nikon D810 is proving to be quite the workhorse. It takes amazing pictures and is so great when it comes to editing them afterwards because of the high megapixels that it produces. For this shot I used a 50mm f/1.4 which has been my lens of choice lately for people. It’s just so versatile that I don’t have to constantly change to different lenses, which can be a pain when photographing people. I did some editing in Lightroom and Photoshop for this picture but it was all very minimal. I like using Nik Color Efex Pro when it comes to portraits because it creates a great natural enhanced look. If you got any questions, feel free to ask!...

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...

McWay Falls

If you have ever been to California and for some reason haven’t visited the Big Sur Coastline then another trip is in order. This is one of the most beautiful drives that I have ever taken and I highly suggest. This was another one, of many spots, that my sister and I visited. If you travel up Highway 1, you are bound to run into this beautiful spot. This is McWay Falls. I had visited this spot the first time I traveled the coast but it was in the middle of the day when I got here and the harsh light didn’t do this spot justice, so I never ended up posting a picture. Fortunately, this time I had arrived at exactly the right time. It was literally less than 1 minute after sunset that we arrived here. I was booking it in our little rental SUV in order to get here with enough light. I was so relieved when I found that we had just made it. Upon arriving, I quickly setup my tripod and started snapping away. Turns out that I even had some time to spare because it wasn’t until a few minutes after I had started shooting that some of the best light came out. The sky started turning that warm orange glow, and all that harsh light that was splayed on the rocks had disappeared. I bracketed 3 photos as usual and applied luminosity masks to them in Photoshop. If you have any questions or comments about my technique or my work then feel free to...