Monday, August 16, 2010

Thunderstorms & Wildflowers in the Sierra

Summer in the Sierra brings dramatic displays of both thunderstorms and wildflowers. A few weeks ago we had a dramatic storm that started to clear at sunset, leaving a spectacular display of clouds and rainbows. I set up my tripod on a hill near my house to get these shots of rare mammatus clouds and a rainbow at sunset. 

Clearing Storm at Sunset, Tahoe Donner 

Clearing Storm at Sunset, Tahoe Donner

Thunderstorm at Sunset, Truckee
  Thunderstorm at Sunset 

I also visited one of my favorite locations for wildflowers - the Carson Pass area. Even though it was mid- august the flowers were still blooming due to the very cold & snowy early summer. These shots were taken at sunset. I was pleased to get a few shots that worked given that it was extremely windy. Wind and low light are not a good combination for wildflower photography. I had to crank the Hasselblad H4D iso up to 800, and underexpose by a stop, to get down to 1/15 of a second which only worked to stop blowing flowers during the infrequent pauses in the wind. Out of the hundreds of frames only these 2 were really usable due to wind blur. I was not able to get the depth of field I like since I could not shoot at f22  due to the need for a higher shutter speed, so the background is not as sharp as I would like, but it was the best capture possible given the conditions. 

These new images that are unmanipulated, just developed to maximize tonal range in photoshop cs5. Nature can sure put on spectacular shows!

Summer Meadow at Sunset 

Wildflower Meadow at Sunset

Evening Glow
 Evening Glow


Thursday, August 5, 2010

New Black & White Images from Paris

We spent a week in Paris in July. We rented a great little apartment on the left bank that gave us easy access to all the sites. I have edited the collection of images I took from about 500 down to 20 Fine Art Prints of Paris  that have released on my website. I decided to convert all of them to Black & white since I thought  that gave them a more dramatic and timeless feel. In particular, I thought the Eiffel tower was wonderful to photograph when lit up at night (the lights go on for only 5 minutes every hour, starting at 10 PM). We also staked out a spot in front of a view of the Eiffel tower where the tour de France riders would be coming by on their last day. I was pleased to get a shot of the yellow jersey of Contador riding into Paris. All of the statue images were from the Louvre, which still allows photography.

For Black & White conversions I used Nik Silver Efex, with some final touch up of the psd files in Aperture and Photoshop.

Paris is endlessly photogenic, and really overwhelms you with options. All of my shots were taken with the Hasselblad H4D which I used at 800 iso for the handheld images. The night shots of the Eiffel were on a tripod at 100 iso.

Eiffel I

 Illuminated Eiffel Tower at Night

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Pottery Barn Collection & 2011 Lake Tahoe Workshop Announcement

I am back from a wonderful trip to Sweden & Paris and am working on editing images from the trip. All went well with my travels and I was pleased with some of my images, which I will be adding to my online & print portfolios soon. 

Pottery Barn has selected two of my images from Tuscany for their "Art to Collect" series. You can see them in the current print catalog and online at:

I will also be doing a Lake Tahoe photography workshop in 2011 with the Mountain Light Gallery. Here is a link to the workshop announcement:

We will be photographing all the great locations around Tahoe and some of my secret spots that have not been in the workshop before. PLease contact Mountain Light to sign up, they handle all of that. 

Tuscan Collection