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El Capitan, Clearing Storm, Yosemite, 2012

El Capitan, Clearing Storm, Yosemite 2012

El Capitan, Clearing Storm, Yosemite 2012

This one was shot a little while after I got this earlier shot. As I had mentioned in my earlier post, I had stopped by El Capitan meadow to photograph the black oaks while it was still snowing. After a while it stopped snowing and there was a brief interruption in the storm with blue skies over El Capitan. To get a little further away from the road, I plowed through the foot deep snow into the El Capitan meadow towards the black oaks. I crossed the small group of these oaks and looked back. The clearing over the granite had moved on further east by then, but the diffused light on it was still good.

Posted in Black and White, Yosemite National Park Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Clearing Storm and El Capitan, Yosemite, 2012

Clearing Storm, El Capitan, Yosemite 2012

Clearing Storm, El Capitan, Yosemite 2012

I made a day trip to Yosemite as a late snow storm moved through the park. I was a able to catch 2 breaks in the storm, one from noon to 2pm and then a very short one at 5. As I drove back west well before sunset, I went through some heavy snowfall and then rain which would eventually head towards the valley blocking any light around sunset.

I had stopped near El Capitan meadow to photograph some black oaks while it was still snowing. After a while, suddenly I saw some sunlight filter through the oaks. When I turned around and looked up at the towering El Capitan, I saw a little patch of blue sky drift fast above it.  I was too close to the action and I ended up tilting my wide angle lens a little up, which is very evident from this frame (you can see the trees on the edge of the frame bent towards the center).

I tried correcting the perspective distortion in Photoshop, but after a while decided to stick with the original. I like the trees bent I guess.

Posted in Landscape, Yosemite National Park Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Frosted Fallen Leaves, American River Parkway, Sacramento, CA

Frosted Fallen Leaves, American River Parkway, Sacramento, CA

Frosted Fallen Leaves, American River Parkway, Sacramento, CA

Frost builds up on fallen leaves along the American River Parkway and luckily I reached to it before the sun could :)

Posted in Landscape

Fisherman, Amerirican River Parkway, Sacramento, CA

Fisherman, Amerirican River Parkway, Sacramento, CA

Fisherman, Amerirican River Parkway, Sacramento, CA

Living close to a place with potential has a definite advantage. For one, you don;t have to set the alarm too early to catch good light, which is a good thing during the winter :)

This location is about 15mins drive for me and on this particular day, I could reach here early, before sunrise to scope out potential subjects. The rising mist from the river was a pleasant surprise, so was the fisherman in blue. I saw him before sunrise, made some shots (without the bright saturated colors on the opposite banks) and made a mental note to return back to him when the light was rite.

This place is surrounded by urban landscape, with houses on the cliffs (above this frame) and the challenge for me here was to exclude them from the natural beauty. Had I been too stringent in not including anything human, I would have lost that focal point which emphasizes the scale in this image and also makes this image work.

Posted in Intimate Landscapes Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Sunset Reflections, Folsom, CA

Sunset Reflections, Folsom, CA

Sunset Reflections, Folsom, CA

I witnessed a gorgeous sunset a while back and since traveling long distance after work was not an option, I managed to spend some time at a seasonal pond here in Folsom.

Posted in Intimate Landscapes Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Morning Reflections, American River Parkway, Sacramento, CA

Morning Reflections, American River Parkway, Sacramento, CA

Morning Reflections, American River Parkway, Sacramento, CA

A Great White Heron basking in the warm early morning light along the American River.

Posted in Intimate Landscapes Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Ross Geese at Sunset, Merced NWR, CA

Ross Geese at Sunset, Merced NWR, CA

Ross Geese at Sunset, Merced NWR, CA

A peaceful scene at the Merced NWR, just before the noisy liftoff shown in my previous post.

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Sunset and Sky Filled with Ross Geese, Merced NWR, CA

Sunset and Sky Filled with Ross Geese, Merced NWR, CA

Sunset and Sky Filled with Ross Geese, Merced NWR, CA

I spent an afternoon at the Merced NWR trying to photograph Ross Geese, who spend their winter here in large numbers (something like 50-60k). Most of the time, I was waiting by a seasonal pond waiting for them lift-off while listening to their noisy cryptic chatter. There were few anxious moments when it looked like they may take off in large numbers, but nothing really happened.

As dusk approached, they started to fly away in small groups to a nearby field far away from the road and it looked like they were going to spend the night there. But something spooked them right after the sun went down, they screamed past me in a large circle and most of then flew back to the filed from which they took off. I had given up all hope, and was concentrating on some sunset reflections shots, when my wife alerted me to a low rumble from the distant filed, and I turned around in time to see the large cloud of birds lift-off once again and came flying back to the pond there were in before. Its hard to describe the scene with words, so take a look at the video below. I shot this before and after I made this photo.

http://youtu.be/7fb8N9fgyvs

Posted in Landscape Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Trees on Bluff, Russian Gulch State Preserve, Mendocino, CA

Trees on Bluff, Russian Gulch State Preserve, Mendocino, CA

Trees on Bluff, Russian Gulch State Preserve, Mendocino, CA

On a recent trip to Mendocino with friends and family, my initial intension was not to take out my camera and spoil the fun for the rest. Initially, my plan sounded reasonable since the entire coast was blanketed in fog for most part of the day. But as it always happens, the fog started clearing right around sunset and luckily I was at a beach inside the Russian Gulch State Preserve.

There was never going to be any explosive colors in the sky, since it was devoid of any clouds. So, instead I concentrated on the details. These group of trees were perfectly illuminated by the setting sun and I oblidged.

Posted in Landscape

Sculpted by Water, Pescadero State Beach

Sculpted by Water, Pescadero State Beach

Sculpted by Water, Pescadero State Beach

The plan was to head towards the coast to do some beach photoshoot, but while I was driving I could see the coastal fog just over the top of the ridges. I usually take Hwy 84 to reach ca-1 from Sunnyvale which puts me very close to Pescadero State Beach. On the way ther is a small diversion one could take(Skyline Blvd) to reach Russian Ridge. Having seen some beautiful coastal fog photos from this location, I headed towards it, but soon the fog was above me and I had no view of the coast line. I drove back and headed towards the coast anyways. Being totally under the fog, there was obviously no direct sunlight, but I decided to walk along the beach anyways.

With the sky completely covered by fog, I turned my attention to the sand and found some patterns. These patterns, at first glance looked like colored streaks left behind by the waves. But upon closer inspection they turned out to be little groves made in the sand by the waves.

Posted in Intimate Landscapes