Aglianico Leaves, Clovers

Plymouth, CA

A collection of Aglianico grape leaves taken recently for a winery photo contest.  In the past, I felt uneasy putting items down deliberately as in a prepping for a still photograph, but I’ve now slightly overcome that.  The theme of the contest was the changing of the seasons and I thought the contrast of the grape leaves over the green clover cover crop would make for a nice comparison and contrast photo opportunity.

Nope.  This photo didn’t even take top three.  It’s alright.  I always go into any contest knowing the ultimate choice of “winning” photos has a little to do with the judge’s own preferences.  I only have a problem when the execution of the photograph is not up to snuff and the judge places value on the intent of the photographer.

EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center weighted avg metering mode, 38mm, ISO 100, 1/8 sec, f/8

Aglianico Leaves, Clovers.  Plymouth, California. November 12, 2011. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.


Beaver Pond, Clouds, Reflection

Lundy Canyon, Mono County, CA

Near Mono Lake is Lundy Canyon, accessed by a road off of Hwy 395 just before heading south and up the hill towards Conway Summit.  Before reaching Lundy Lake and the canyon are several beaver ponds.  On this almost perfectly still morning, the canyon walls and clouds are reflected on the still glass-like surface of the pond.

I did take a different horizontal composition of this scene that some may prefer over this one.  I’ll have to post to up in the future.

EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center weighted avg metering mode, 24mm, ISO 200, 1/80 sec, f/16

Beaver Pond, Clouds, Reflection.  Lundy Canyon, Mono County, California. September 11, 2011. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.

Chair, Torn Wallpaper

Bodie State Historical Park, CA

Peering into another window at Bodie and this is what I saw, a monochromatic view of an old chair framed perfectly in the middle of a door frame with matching colored torn wallpaper.

Upon closer inspection of this photograph, I see that chair being a little less than sharp, probably due to my impatience of wanting to see what’s in the next window.

Note: I’m still away from my home base, so I’m stuck using these less than perfect exports from Lightroom.  Even though I increased the max pixels of each photo to 700×700, I think WordPress enlarges the photo a little more once uploaded to their site or something since every picture this past week looks a little fuzzy or soft.  Sorry about that.

EXIF data: Nikon D50, patterned metering mode, 55mm, ISO 200, 1/8 sec, f/5.6

Chair, Torn Wallpaper.  Bodie State Historical Park, California. October 16, 2010. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.

Tufa, Sunlight on Fog, Hills

Mono Lake, CA

During one of the three trips I made out to the Eastern Sierras this year for the annual Fall Colors display, I planned on an early morning visit to the Mono Lake South Tufa area.  Again hoping for some semblance of storm clouds, I was given nothing.  Though on the drive home down the western slope of the Sierras late that afternoon, I did see an hour long display of brilliant sunset clouds that will be hard to rival.  There were even comments on it from friends that lived in the Sacramento Valley.

As the sun rose and the light becoming stronger, I started looking other subjects to photograph.  The increasing harsh light just doesn’t do the tufa any justice and start to become washed out.  Looking from the South Tufa area, I looked down the shoreline, past Navy Beach, to an area that had 4 tufas in the middle of the lake.  Note: At some point, all tufas are under the water, once they become exposed to the air, they stop “growing”.  What caught my attention was the low lake fog catching the sunlight with the blue lake foreground and the dark shadowed hills in the back.

It does help to look around you and focus on something other than what you’ve been intently photographing by looking around, either checking out the small details or looking in the distance.

EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center weighted avg metering mode, 200mm, ISO 100, 1/30 sec, f/11

Tufa, Sunlight on Fog, Hills.  Mono Lake, California. October 14, 2011. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.

Upper Yosemite Falls, Merced River, Reflection, HDR

Yosemite Valley, CA

Photograph from the Swinging Bridge area of Upper Yosemite Falls using a 3 exposure HDR.  While most people including photographers were setup and taking shots from the actual bridge itself, there were quite a few more composition possibilities walking to the right of the bridge and down to the river’s edge.  From the center of the bridge, the Upper Fall was close to or being intruded upon by the trees on the left bank.  From the right of the bridge, the Fall was clear of trees, but you were pretty set on the composition that everyone else has.

HDR was used since the sunlit granite walls and Upper Yosemite Fall was exceedingly bright while the shadowed trees were quite the opposite.  The HDR blend and final Lightroom adjustments brought the two extremes closer together into one image.

EXIF data: Nikon D50, patterned metering mode, 22mm, ISO 200, 1/10 sec, f/16

Upper Yosemite Falls, Merced River, Reflection, HDR.  Yosemite Valley, California. March 31, 2011. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.

Golden Gate Bridge Tower, Transamerica Building

Marin Headlands, CA

Obviously I’m not the first photographer, nor the last to take this composition, but sometimes a photograph like this is just too cool not to take.  To find this exact location, drive on Upper Conzelman Road about 1/8 mile above the roundabout.  When you find the location on the other side of the guardrail, you’ll see the dirt is strangely smooth from all the previous photographers taking this exact same photo.

If you’re ever in the Marin Headlands, have a little fun and shot this photograph!

EXIF data: Nikon D50, patterned metering mode, 175mm, ISO 200, 1/125 sec, f/16

Golden Gate Bridge Tower, Transamerica Building.  Marin Headlands, California. February 28, 2011. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.

Range Grass

Sutter Creek, CA

A quick post in a rather hectic day.  The photograph here is a very tight crop from one of my stop somewhere after work and shot for an hour adventures.  As most of the undeveloped area in the county is still filled with oaks, rolling hills, and grazing land for cattle, it’s not hard to wander to the edge of a road or development and find picturesque scenes.  The purpose for this adventure was two-fold.  One was to hopefully find some pleasing compositions of the countryside.  Ehh, didn’t work out to well.  The second was to focus on the grasses by shooting the details like this photograph or by capturing the motion of the swaying grasses.

EXIF data: Nikon D50, patterned metering mode, 55mm, ISO 200, 1/40 sec, f/5.6

Range Grass.  Sutter Creek, California. May 09, 2011. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.