Logtown Ridge (CA), Metal Gate Leaves, Water Drop

•November 27, 2014 • Leave a Comment
ISO100, 125mm, f/5.6, 1/60 sec

Logtown Ridge, El Dorado, CA

The idea of this photograph was better than the execution, but even with a nice cup of coffee in my hand I preferred to go back indoors where I was informed a ham sandwich was waiting for me.  Priorities, right?

During post processing, the photo almost went the direction of a black and white conversion, but I wanted to retain the blue in the background versus a lighter grey in a conversion.  I am still not sure if leaving this in color was the right choice.

EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center-weighted metering mode, ISO100, 125mm, f/5.6, 1/60 sec

Logtown Ridge (CA), Metal Fence Leaves, Water Drop.  El Dorado, CA. November 22, 2014. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.

Logtown Ridge (CA), Fog, Pines, Foothill Layers

•November 25, 2014 • Leave a Comment
ISO100, 200mm, f/5.6, 1/5 sec

Logtown Ridge, El Dorado, CA

The plan was to drive 45 minutes into the city (the city of Sacramento that is) to photograph the fall colors that are still going on while the latest rainstorm was blowing through. But first we were going to make a stop. For our five hours of coffee, conversation, and chocolate cake eating later, it was to dark for our original plan. The good news on the photography front was that with the great view, there was a new scene of fog, clouds, and hills to shoot every 15 minutes.

EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center-weighted metering mode, ISO100, 200mm, f/5.6, 1/5 sec

Logtown Ridge (CA), Fog, Pines, Foothill Layers.  El Dorado, CA. November 22, 2014. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.

Volcano (CA), Peeling Bark, Pacific Madrone, Shallow DOF

•November 23, 2014 • Leave a Comment
ISO100, 90mm, f/4.5, 0.8 sec

Chaw’se (Indian Grinding Rock), Volcano, CA

I have seen these Pacific Madrone trees before, spectacularly in fact, after a rainstorm. You don’t forget seeing a forest of glistening red and light green smooth bark easily.

This time we were doing a short hike and the pattern was we would see a sad little “Charlie Brown” pine tree followed by an amazing Madrone, either with swirls on the bark or peeking bark patterns or peeking bark with the pistachio green color underneath. We also realized that the green underneath is lighter and brighter when newly exposed.

EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center-weighted metering mode, ISO100, 90mm, f/4.5, 0.8 sec

Volcano (CA), Peeling Bark, Pacific Madrone, Shallow DOF.  Chaw’se, Volcano, CA. November 16, 2014. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.

Volcano (CA), Golden Maple Leaves, Skyward

•November 21, 2014 • Leave a Comment
ISO100, 135mm, f/5.6, 1/25 sec

Chaw’se (Indian Grinding Rock), Volcano, CA

Even though the trees at Indian Grinding Rock State Park in Amador County are mainly Pines, Oaks, and Madrones, we spotted this magnificent Golden Maple with bright yellow leaves the size of a dinner plate.

The idea for this photograph was to look skyward and capture the diffused light illuminating the leaves from behind.  At least that was the idea.  In person, the leaves closer to us appeared to separate from the leaves higher up in the tree.  Upon viewing on the workstation, the yellows all blended into almost a single flat dimension.  A bit of post-processing was needed to bring separation between the foreground and background leaves again.

EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center-weighted metering mode, ISO100, 135mm, f/5.6, 1/25 sec

Volcano (CA), Golden Maple Leaves, Skyward.  Chaw’se, Volcano, CA. November 16, 2014. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.

Volcano (CA), Grinding Rock, Water, Oak Leaves

•November 19, 2014 • Leave a Comment

 

ISO100, 200mm, f/8, 1/5 sec

Chaw’se (Indian Grinding Rock), Volcano, CA

It does seem a bit strange for me to never have set foot at Chaw’se, also known as Indian Grinding Rock State Park.  I live within 30 minutes, worked for years within 10 minutes, and have countless times driven past the park, but never stopped.  Well, this past Sunday called for a quick local hiking excursion that was not too rigorous and this park fit the bill.  Quick for the sole fact we spent the entire morning sitting in the backyard garden drinking coffee and tea while watching our dogs explore every nook and cranny of the yard.  By the time we were ready to get some hiking in, it was early afternoon.

The focal point of the Grinding Rock is a very large outcropping of limestone pockmarked with over a thousand holes created over a millennium by Native Americans grinding acorns.  With 2nd rainstorm of the Fall, these mortal holes fill with water and blown-in oak leaves.

EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center-weighted metering mode, ISO100, 200mm, f/8, 1/5 sec

Volcano (CA), Grinding Rock, Water, Oak Leaves.  Chaw’se, Volcano, CA. November 16, 2014. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.

Woodfords (CA), Storm Clouds, Layered Hills, Pine, Monochrome

•November 14, 2014 • Leave a Comment

 

ISO100, 200mm, f/8, 1/320 sec

Woodfords, CA

This was a photograph taken early in our 3-day mini-vacation to the Eastern Sierras last month.  Even though the camera gear was packed in the car, photography was not the main focus for this portion of the trip.  Getting to Mammoth Lakes at a leisurely pace was.  Yet after driving through sideways rain on the western slope of the Sierras, seeing a rainbow in Hope Valley, and finally getting out of the storm, the remnants of clouds and layers of hills called out to be photographed.

Little did I know that meant getting “attacked” by spiky seed pods along the road, getting blasted by wind gusts, and nearly scalping myself with a low hanging pine tree branch.  Fortunately, those incidents were the worst of the 10 minutes it took to capture a variety of photos.

The challenge of this particular composition was placing the lone tree at the intersection of two layers of hills.  Having the tree a bit to the right would have resulted in the tree backed by a darker hill silhouette and becoming nearly invisible.  So here I was having back and forth along the side of a two lane highway with cars and semi-trucks speeding by at 65 mph, then cross the road to climb up an embankment to finally achieve the composition I wanted.

EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center-weighted metering mode, ISO100, 200mm, f/8, 1/320 sec

Woodfords (CA), Pine Trees, Layers, Crepuscular Rays, Monochrome.  Woodfords, CA. October 15, 2014. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.

Mammoth Lakes (CA), White Mountains, Sunset Peaks, Panorama

•November 6, 2014 • Leave a Comment
ISO100, 92mm, f/10, 0.5 sec (5 exposures)

Hwy 395 east of the Convict Lake road

Once again, images compressed for blogs have obvious drawbacks.  95% of all the photographs on this blog were exported out of Adobe Lightroom at a maximum image width of 700 pixels.  I am not quite sure how I arrived at that number, but it seemed to fit the layout of this WordPress theme.  Yet, a panorama at 700 pixels is a bit ridiculous.  So to see this photo more clearly, it has been posted on Flickr.

This was certainly a scene you just had to be there for and this panorama hopefully provides a glimpse of what we saw.  After an afternoon in Bishop, CA visiting the Mountain Light Gallery of the late Galen Rowell, mostly unsuccessful in our attempts at leaf peeping (we were a couple of days late) in the Bishop Creek area, and shooting just adjacent to Buttermilk Road, we made our way back to Mammoth.  A potential late afternoon shoot at Convict Lake was planned, but it was obvious we were too late.  The lake was in the shadow of the Sierra Nevadas, but the White Mountains towards the east were catching the last light of the day.

It was a heck of a time trying to crop this 5-exposure panorama.  I really should keep the left 3/4 of the image, but want to keep the fading light to the right.  For now, this is how this composition will look.  Changes in the future are sure to come for the photo.

EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center-weighted metering mode, ISO100, 92mm, f/10, 0.5 sec (5 exposures)

Mammoth Lakes (CA), White Mountains, Sunset Peaks, Panorama.  Mammoth Lakes, CA. October 17, 2014. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.

 
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