Thursday, February 24, 2011

New Fine Art Print Release - Napa Valley Rainbow

The yellow wild mustard blossoms are happening now in the Napa valley. After our trip to Yosemite we headed to Calistoga for a few days to capture shots of the mustard blooming in the Napa Valley. California is such a great state - one day you can be in a winter storm in Yosemite, and the next you can be in the warm and wonderful wine country enjoying wildflowers. On Monday evening we experienced a few rain showers while the sun was shining - which is perfect "rainbow weather". Sure enough, in one of my favorite vistas along Silverado Trail a massive brilliant rainbow appeared over old vines and blooming mustard. It was raining but some shots are worth taking the Hasselblad out in the rain for, and this was one of them. The image below is a stitched panorama of 4 frames taken with the 35mm lens. The rainbow was so large that it took four frames to capture the entire scene. I relied on PTGui pro to stitch this fairly complicated panorama together, since the rainbow had to line up perfectly in all the frames. People were stopping along the road asking for my business card since they wanted prints of this amazing scene. I am glad I had the camera in the car - rainbow pictures are a chance occurrence that are hard to plan ahead for. 
Please visit my website to view Napa Valley Rainbow in a larger size.

Napa Valley Rainbow

Saturday, February 19, 2011

New Fine Art Print Release - Magical Morning, Yosemite

My husband Olof and I headed down to Yosemite last week to get some shots of the valley in the cold storm that was predicted. We arrived Tuesday just before the Wednesday storm and were able to get some wonderful shots of the world's most beautiful valley covered in snow. At this point I have only developed one image - a sunrise shot from Valley View that I have titled Magical Morning, Yosemite. This was a truly special morning - fresh snow blanketed everything so we headed directly to valley view in the morning, hoping that the clouds would illuminate the storm clouds at sunrise. We got a very brief glow in the sky  - enough for a few dramatic frames at this iconic location. The image below is a stitched panorama of 2 frames. I merged a raw file developed for the snow with the same raw file developed for the sky using Photomatix HDR pro. I tried to use a very light touch on the HDR, just enough to give the image a full range of color and tonality. This shot was taken with the Hasselblad H4D 40 megapixel and the 50-110 lens at about 50mm. I will have many other shots to share from this trip, but it will take me a few more weeks to work with those. In landscape photography, I consider these iconic Yosemite shots the equivalent of "big game" for wildlife photographers. Sure, everyone has photographed this spot millions of times, but getting my own version of this iconic location is worth trying for. I have been trying to get a winter shoot of Yosemite for the last 10 years but have been thwarted by the weather or trip timing. This time I finally got the shot. A larger version of this Yosemite Photograph can be viewed on my website.

Magical Morning, Yosemite