Bishop (CA), Lone Tree, Basin Mountain, Layered Peaks

•October 21, 2014 • Leave a Comment
ISO100, 135mm, f/9, 1/160 sec

Bishop Creek Basin, CA

While the search for Fall Colors in the Eastern Sierras has been a ritual of mine for the last 3 years, two days of wind essentially removed the leaves off the trees in the usually photogenic Bishop Creek Basin.  Lake Sabrina and North Lake?  Little to no leaves.  We were able to enjoy the colors a little further down the hill at the Intake 2 campground and further north along Hwy 395.

Few photographs were taken while of the colors, but on the drive back down to the city of Bishop, the peaks were beautifully backlit and we found ourselves on Starlight Drive, parallel to the more famous Buttermilk Road.  Though I snapped various multiple exposure shots for possible panorama compositions, it is this lone tree with the layers that gets the first nod on the blog.

EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center-weighted metering mode, ISO100, 135mm, f/9, 1/160 sec

Bishop (CA), Lone Tree, Basin Mountain, Layered Peaks.  Bishop Creek Basin near Buttermilks, CA. October 16, 2014. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.

Mammoth Lakes (CA), Devil’s Postpile, Broken Columns Talus, Monochrome

•October 19, 2014 • Leave a Comment
ISO100, 65mm, f/8, 1/4 sec

Devil’s Postpile National Monument, Mammoth Lakes, CA

Sometimes a location is visually amazing, yet impossibly difficult to capture effectively on camera.  Such was the geological phenomena known as Devil’s Postpile National Monument in the Eastern Sierras near Mammoth Lakes.

We had planned to stay in Mammoth as a sort of hotel base camp for various day trips between Lee Vining and Bishop. A few short hikes, attempts to see the fall colors, buying bakery goods at Schat’s Bakkery and looking at Galen Rowell’s photographs at his Mountain Light Gallery in Bishop. As we drove into Mammoth, the road sign noted the “Devil’s Postpile” was just ahead. I knew she had interest in volcanoes and geology, but never realized this was one of her bucket list locations. So before we knew it, we were driving down the steep decent into the national monument, hiking the half mile to the site, and soon enough scrambling at the tops of the columns looking down at the other visitors 150 feet below.

While the popular and oft photographed composition of the postpile is from ground-level looking up at the 200 feet wide face, the most interesting shots of this visit were the broken columns forming the talus (debris) pile at the base of the columns.

EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center-weighted metering mode, ISO100, 65mm, f/8, 1/4 sec

Mammoth Lakes (CA), Devil’s Postpile, Broken Columns Talus, Monochrome.  Mammoth Lakes, CA. October 15, 2014. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.

Sacramento (CA), Capitol Box Art #6, Bird, Close-up

•October 1, 2014 • Leave a Comment
ISO100, 30mm, f/4.5, 1/60 sec

Sacramento, CA

While the art on this box is intriguing as the original design is composed of paper cutouts, the street background was of little use, at least to me.  Maybe if I had a more industrial composition in mind, the untidy auto repair shop behind the chain linked fence would have been perfect!

The decision on composition and processing was to focus on the bird element, desaturizing the non-box elements (sidewalk mainly) to produce a night time feel and then slightly oversaturizing the color to give the bird a bit of a pop.

EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center-weighted metering mode, ISO100, 30mm, f/4.5, 1/60 sec

Sacramento (CA), Capitol Box Art #6, Bird, Close-up.  Downtown Sacramento, CA. August 29, 2014. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.

Sacramento (CA), Capitol Box Art #4, Robot, Lines, Streaking Lights

•September 28, 2014 • Leave a Comment
ISO100, 200mm, f/14, 6 sec

Sacramento, CA

Ah yes, the quirks of photography competition can cause one pull their hair out.  The task seemed straightforward enough, visit one of the 30 art-decorated utility boxes in downtown Sacramento, snap a few photos, and submit for the weekly contest.  Yet the real challenge is trying to figure out the voting tendencies of the contest committee.  Fortunately, there were 4 weekly contests remaining by the time started submitting.

As those of you that have followed this blog for some period of time, I strive for fine art photography of landscapes and architecture.  That approach was not going to change, initially, for this contest.  Then I realized after not winning the first week I entered it was not necessarily the execution of the composition, but rather the idea and what it evokes from the voting committee.  While I have been so worried about elements in the background, photographs like this one did nothing to sway the judges.  What ended up winning in week 2 (week 3 of the contest) was me having Jesse pose with and interacting with other side of the utility box shown here.

EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center-weighted metering mode, ISO100, 200mm, f/14, 6 sec

Sacramento (CA), Capitol Box Art #4, Robot, Lines, Streaking Lights.  Sacramento, CA. August 25, 2014. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.

El Dorado (CA), King Fire, Smokey Hills, Monochrome

•September 19, 2014 • 1 Comment
ISO100, 175mm, f/10, 1/125 sec

Logtown Ridge, El Dorado, CA

A quick post during an off day from work.  With the King Fire from nearby Pollock Pines still burning, the evening change of winds to the west and south brings the smoke back towards the Sacramento Valley and nearby foothills by the morning.  While driving home on Hwy 49 near the town of El Dorado, this smokey haze that is reminiscent of coastal fog provides a landscape of layered hills.

As I was shooting, another photographer on a motorcycle stopped by to chat.  He was on his way towards the smoke and fire to see what he could capture on camera.  Like he said, every if you go home without an excellent photograph, you are still out and about in the Sierra Foothills.  “Desert Dave” has a smugmug site >>here<<.  Check it out.

EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center-weighted metering mode, ISO100, 175mm, f/10, 1/125 sec

El Dorado (CA), King Fire, Smokey Hills, Monochrome.  Logtown Ridge, CA. September 19, 2014. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.

Latrobe (CA), King Fire, Smoke, Pyrocymulus Clouds, Plane, Monochrome

•September 18, 2014 • Leave a Comment
ISO100, 135mm, f/8, 1/320 sec

Latrobe, CA

There was a bit of debate this week on whether the puffy white clouds above the smoke of the King Fire were actually clouds or smoke. Thanks to trusty Wikipedia, the answer is: pyrocumulus clouds.

This continues to range on with only 5% containment with the fire itself tripling in size to 70,000 acres burned overnight (as of the morning of 9/18/2014). Fortunately thus far, no structures have burned with some edges of the fire stopped a mere 50 yards from homes.

EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center-weighted metering mode, ISO100, 135mm, f/8, 1/320 sec

Latrobe (CA), King Fire, Smoke, Clouds, Plane, Monochrome.  Latrobe, CA. September 17, 2014. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.

Sacramento (CA), Capitol Box Art, Weekly 3 Winning Entry

•September 16, 2014 • Leave a Comment
ISO100, 28mm, f/4, 1/50 sec

Look out Jesse! – Sacramento, CA

Ok, stop what you are doing. right. now… and vote for me.  I don’t ask for much on this blog, actually, I have never asked for anything… except now.  As one of the 5 weekly winners of the Capitol Box Art competition, this photograph is now up against 4 others for the overall People’s Choice Award for the grand prize.

How can you help?  Go to the CADA facebook album (Linked >>HERE<<) and “Like” this photograph of Jesse about to have this red balloon snatched by the evil robot.

Besides helping me win, it will make Jesse super happy.  The idea of him being a model for a couple of hours sent him scurrying into his room to find the right outfit and throw gel into his hair.  Plus, he loves having bragging rights to tell the girls at school.

EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center-weighted metering mode, ISO100, 28mm, f/4, 1/50 sec

Sacramento (CA), Capitol Box Art, Weekly 3 Winning Entry.  Downtown Sacramento, CA. August 31, 2014. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.

 
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