A blog about photography, reading, the San Jose Sharks, and anything else that comes to mind.
Magical Christmas Tree
For the first time in awhile I'm having a Christmas tree. And not a fake tree but a full on Douglas Fir. So of course I had to take a shot of it and give it the HDR treatment. I generally try to show a photo how I see a scene, but in this one I definitely crossed that line into, I guess, art? Saturated colors, light flares, and some liberties with the physics of lights and shadows. But aren't the holidays supposed to be a magical time of year? But if you think my version of the tree is a little much, you should see what Google+ did with it and it's #autoawesome twinkle.
Give it a minute to load if it hasn't already and you'll see some twinkling working their way through the tree. Thankfully this version is toned down from some other versions which had every light on the tree twinkling.
Before we get into the meat of this post, if you're viewing this on a mobile device, these photos really don't translate that well on it. These are large panoramic photos and really need a large screen to do them justice. Now on with the post.
Occasionally during my Eastern Sierra trip I had the idea to take panoramas to try and take in the full view of what I was seeing and feeling. I tried to focus on a part of the view I was seeing that would fill up my frame, but I felt that it didn't full get the whole feeling with only part of the view, but this led to other problems. All the panoramas I took were literally on the side of the road, meaning I was in the middle of driving, with someone who's not a photographer. So, not wanting to annoy them I left the tripod in the car and took these panoramas free hand. When taking handheld panos my general rule is to take many photos and to go well beyond and after my intended start and stop points so that the photo software has …
Thanksgiving saw me on a trip through the Eastern Sierras to visit some longtime family friends. Along the way were a lots of photography spots to choose from, but knowing this wasn't a photo vacation, I picked and chose a handful of spots I wanted to hit. Day 1 of travel had a stop at Burney Falls, a wonderful waterfall just north of Redding, CA before checking in at Reno. Day 1 was nothing but rain and hard rain, so Burney was pushed to something to check out on the way back. Day 2 started off bright, sunny, and promising. Sadly, Bodie State Historic Park, my hopeful stop for Day 2, was closed due to the road leading to the park being washed out. Lone Pine, CA was our final stop and where we'd be spending 3 days. I had 1 thing on the photo checklist for Lone Pine, Mobius, and it's nearby neighbor, Lathe Arch.
Burney Falls, in McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park, has been on the list of waterfalls to shoot from the second I discovered it. This made all my previous waterfalls look like little trickles. But shooting here exposed a number of issues with gear and timing and so I left with photos that I was pleased with, but not thrilled with. In fact, it has taken me about a month to come back to these photos, that's how disappointed I was with them. Burney Falls is a unique waterfall in that it has the typical waterfall action of a river falling over a 129-foot cliff, but it also has underground springs coming out the side of the cliffs, which you can see off to the sides of the main fall. So the falls look like this pretty much year round, which is good when trying to plan a trip.
I had originally planned to shoot these falls in late fall/early winter of November 2017 on my Thanksgiving trip that ended in Lone Pine, CA. Due to time and weather issues, that was abandoned. At that tim…