Had the opportunity a couple of weeks ago during one of my signing trips to CA to do a quick run to Yosemite. And by quick I mean I was only in the park for 12hrs. It’s amazing, I’ve been able to be there 3 times in the last 12 months. Something I never even thought might happen. Of course my knowledge of the area is very cursory right now but I consider the time there some of my most productive. This particular evening I finally made the park entrance around 11pm. The moon had rose a couple of hours before and the valley was bathed in awesome, bright moonlight. I drove around a bit to get the feel for this new look and, not wanting anything too crazy of an adventure, decided to pick a location I hadn’t been to before. Of course…sitting outside the gate, at 1130pm, the only thing I could think of was being in the dark, by myself…with bears. I know I know they’re big scared ‘cats’ and run away, but when alone in the woods…eek. So after gathering up some courage and motivation via a friendly reminder I packed up my camera bag, put on my big boy pants and off I went down the trail. Ok…so to get a better picture of the scene imagine just a fair amount of dragging my feet on the ground and taking big heavy steps…to make noise of course. This way I dont startle anything that would want to make me a snack.
Down to the river, then using my headlamp to find the path along the banks. Weaving in and out of folliage, I come around the bend and BAM…what a reflection! So of course to work I go. Now walking and making noise is one thing, but standing still and quiet allows other things to possibly sneak up on me…so occasionally I let out a ‘yip’…you know…just to make them aware of my presence 🙂
Spending about an hour making as much as I could of the special light and reflection, the clouds danced across the sky continually making some truly awesome patterns. I finally decided it was time to pack up and get a few hours of sleep in the car before sunrise…so I could come right back here again.
Getting the images back home and seeing the results it makes all the darkness and creepy feelings with it….as long as I dont get eaten 😉
Back on Kauai, I have just spent 4 full days in Death Valley for the first time. Somehow it managed to coincide with the coldest tempertuares of the year as I experienced below freezing weather every night with the coldest being 14F on the last night at the Racetrack. Very bizarre considering the hottest temperature ever recorded was in this valley.
Having seen images from DV for years it was with much anticipation that I was able to visit and see for myself. The park itself is HUGE. Many hours to traverse across it with many roads needed 4wd and high-clearance. My car provided me with decent amounts of both for some good off-roading and washboard type roads. But no boulder hopping this time 😛
While there are many stories and images to share I will start with this photograph made on my first evening at the park. After getting some good advice to visit these remote dunes I headed out after my morning shoot clear across the park…2+hrs away. What I didnt realize is that these dunes were not right next to the road. As I followed the dirt roads I realized that it was going to be a park and hike kinda day. I picked a spot about in the middle of the length of this stretch of sand, packed my bag, water, WARM clothing, put a pin on my phone map so I didnt lose my car…and off I went. Looking out across the wash the dunes loom large…maybe 200+ft high. Hiking across a flood plain made for a unique experience as the evidence of rapidly flowing water (however infrequent) was apparent everywhere. Oh what a sight that must be to see (and NOT be standing where I was).
Making my arrival to my destination after approximately 1-1.5mi of hiking it was time to start finding lines. Often times I am first overwhelmed by the opportunities of locations like this…where to start!?! While taking in the fading sun and shapes that play along the dunes I knew my end goal for the night would be some star work. The sky was fairly clear and the moon was a crescent…so bright enough for some light but not too bright to overwhelm the stars. As twilight arrived I knew I needed a strong composition to compliment this scene. After playing around I settled on this edge of the dune leading up to the big peak. Then to wait. As the sun sets in the desert the temperature drops fairly quickly, that combined with the windy conditions had me in for a good introductory to Death Valley in winter. Just at the boarder of twilight and night it was time to make the exposure. Capturing the end of the magenta glow as the stars made their appearance. The clouds that happened to appear and hang around were some of the FEW that I saw my entire 4 days in Death Valley as was very lucky to have them exist where they did. After I made this exposure I waited a bit longer and did some star-trail work…but that’s for another day 😉
For more information on this and any other Death Valley images please contact us through the website or any aFeinberg Gallery!
Going back through the archives there all kinds of goodies to discover. I’m very well aware that I have a large quantity of work that’s never seen the light of day (pun kinda intended). So it’s a treasure hunt when I start flipping through. This particular image was taken on a fun day with a random group of people off for a walk. When we came to this hillside the simplicity of the scene caught me and reminded me more of the rolling hills of the farming regions of the NW. Midday is notoriously tough to shoot in but here the colors just popped. The clouds of course happen to just lay themselves out perfectly. Now if only you could feel the warm wind while viewing the image 😉
It happens. We’re driving down the road, maybe someone else is at the wheel, and there’s that image that flys by our window. “Man, wish I had a camera”. Photographer or not we have the same experiences. On my last full day in the Eastern Sierra in Oct ’12 I was driving south to go check out the town of Bishop. Having spent the previous 2 days chasing light, I was constantly on the lookout for great arrangements of Aspens. What’s so unique about shooting fall color like this is I’m out in times of day I wouldnt even think about with other landscapes (read: middle hours of the day). The trees just glow when backlit which greatly extends the hours I normally shoot from sunrise/sunset to ALL day! This particular day, as I was booking it south, at somewhere between 70-80mph, there next to me was this cute little line of Aspens. I recall there being a momentarily thought of ‘should I keep going’ and then immediately realized that “I do what I want!” and pulled over (safely of course). Now naturally there was a fence to keep people out which meant it was time to stand on top of my car. If you ever see me photograph you’ll know this is my favorite place to be. Plus the added fun of people driving by me at highway speeds most likely thinking “what the hell is that guy doing!?”. Next step was to wait. Of course, this is landscape photography after all. With the clouds above I needed the sun to pop through to backlight these trees and make them POP. As the clouds parted a bit and the sun snuck (apparently this is not a real word, but we’re making it one) through I quickly captured this scene, climbed down off the roof of my car and was back on the road. All in a days work. 🙂
If you are interested in Collecting this unreleased image please contact any of the aFeinberg Galleries!