Monday, December 31, 2012

Goodbye 2012

Well, thats goodbye to another year.  Photographically the year started off with a whimper.  I was busy from January to March with the Stanford PRIE (now called Stanford Ignite) program and so didn't get a chance to go out for much photography.  Finally in April, I managed to get out to the coast and shoot in  the Big Sur area, first with Eric Chan and then with Edward Mendes and +Edward Mendes and +Greg Mitchell.
Soberanes Sea Arch - Leica S2, 30mm, f/16, 3s, ISO 160
I also managed to sneak away for a day to the Yuba City area to photograph a beautiful waterfall named Phantom Falls with +Greg Mitchell.

Phantom Falls - Leica S2, 30mm, f/22, 2s, ISO 160
Then things got busy, with a trip to Spain and Sardinia and then Toronto.

After nearly 7 years, I left my great job at Adobe and joined the Google+ Photos team.  In the short time there, I've met many new fantastic people whom I am fortunate enough to call friends.

August brought the highlight of the year with the birth of my second daughter, Zara.

Finally, this year brought the trip to South Georgia that I've been looking forward to for the last 2 years.  Its an incredible place and Cheesemans' Ecology Safaris and +Ted Cheeseman run a fantastic expedition.

King Penguins by a Stream - 5D3, 24-70 II @ 47mm, f/13, ISO 100, 3 exposure fusion.
I'm thankful for everything this year and am looking forward to what 2013 will bring, stay safe and have fun!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Sedona Sunrise

Sedona Sunrise - 5D3, 24 TS-E, f/13, varying exposures, ISO 100, 5 panel stitch.

I got up early this morning and drove down to Sedona in the hopes of catching some nice light.  There were wisps of cloud so the conditions were promising.  I made newbie mistake though and didn't properly scout my shot for the morning the previous day, though in my defense being on a family vacation, its hard to squeeze in time for location scouting.  Even though Cathedral Rock is probably the most photographed landmark in Arizona I though I may as well go for it.  Going back to the lack of scouting, trying to find a place to photograph it for sunrise without any familiarity of the location was a mistake.  I had opportunity to make a backlit silhouette, but passed.  Soon I had no chance but to take what I could get by the roadside as the light was getting close to peak.  As soon as my tripod was set up the color started to spread, and spread at a very quick pace.  Soon the entire sky was filled with ribbons of intense pinks and purples.  I wanted to capture a panorama of as much of the scene as possible to show the "big sky" nature of this part of the country.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Yesterday's Image Redux

- Sony RX-1, f/4, 1/80s, ISO 250
This is a different version of the image from yesterday.  I made this one hand held with a Sony RX-1, at a wider aperture and was processed without any HDR.  I processed it completely independently from how I did the one yesterday and so yes there are some color differences.  I'm on a family vacation and I've been shooting with the RX-1 along side the Olympus OM-D EM-5 and the Fuji EX-1.  The RX-1 is a monster when it comes great image quality in a compact package, I am really enjoying using this camera.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

This isn't an evergreen conifer and it isn't decorated, but being out in the middle of a desert, it was the best I could do :)  Hope everyone gets a chance to relax and spend time with those most important to them.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Black-browed Albatross in Flight

Black-browed Albatross in Flight - 5D3, 70-200 @ 200mm, f/8, 1/100s, ISO 200
It took dozens of tries to finally make this image on Steeple Jason Island in the Falklands.  I had already spent a few hours photographing Black-browed Albatross sitting on nests and making sharp images of Albatross in flight.  Then, expedition staff and photographer +Hugh Rose suggested doing some panning blurs, so props to him for the idea.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Wild Clouds

I made this image of a mountain behind a lake with some wild clouds in the sky in approximately the middle of the day during an excursion into the Chilean Andes.  Can only imagine what the place would be like during sunset or sunrise.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Bosque Season

Crane Pool Sunset - 5D2, ZE 21, f/5.6, 1/125s, ISO 400
The other place its the season for visiting is the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico.  In addition to being able to photograph Snow Geese, Sandhill Cranes and other avians, its also a place for spectacular sunrises and sunsets.  I was hoping to head out that way this year, but it doesn't look like I'll make it, maybe next year.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Pfeiffer Beach Arch Season

Pfeiffer Beach Arch - 5D2, 24 TS-E II, f/11, 1/30s, ISO 100
Now is the time to head to Pfeiffer Beach if you want to photograph the famous sea arch with the evening sun pouring warm light through it.  The weather might not be that co-operative though but if you can swing it, you want to head there during low tide so that you can get closer to the arch without getting soaked and the rocks become exposed.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Bison against Trees

Bison against Trees - 1Ds3, 500, f/4, 1/400s, ISO 400
Time to take a little break from the South Georgia images and come back to the good old USA.  I made this image in the Grand Tetons last summer and it sat largely ignored.  There are two things I wanted to highlight, first the texture of the Bison and second the shapes in the trees in the background.  Converting to black & white with Silver Efex Pro seemed the best way to go and with control points, getting all the tonality in various parts of the images where I wanted it was a snap.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Patterns in Ice

Patterns in Ice - 5D3, 400, f/5, 1/1250s, ISO 100
I find the patterns that form on the sides of icebergs to be fascinating subjects.  I made hundreds of different images with just one iceberg, playing around with framing to get interesting patterns.  Though this was made with a 400mm prime, the flexibility of a zoom lens is very useful for this kind of work.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Buildings at Sunrise

Buildings at Sunrise - Olympus EM-5, 45, f/2.8, 1/15s, ISO 200
It was about 8:15 AM and I was sitting at the desk in my hotel room in Hamburg working and in a quick glance noticed beautiful pinks the in the skies over a few buildings.  The view from my room is otherwise pretty uninspiring so with the colors in the sky I grabbed my camera and snapped something quickly.  The colors didn't last and in a couple of short minutes they were gone, replaced by light gray skies.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Lubeck Christmas Market

I am back in Lubeck, Germany this week for work and as luck would have it its Christmas market season.  It was snowing heavily last night which coming from California was a treat.

It was good to get a hot drink and warm sandwich in the cold and snow.

I was amazed by how many people were out at the Christmas market last night.

Yep, its a guy juggling.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Channel of Ice

Channel of Ice - 5D3, 24-70 II @ 24mm, f/11, 1/320s, ISO 100
I made this image from the boat as we sailed into the Cumberland Easy Bay on the way to Grytviken.  People who have been to the Antarctic peninsula are less likely to find the iceberg impressive but for me the sight was breathtaking.  I had to work quickly because the ship was moving quickly though the ice.  I used my 24-70 and even at 24mm, it wasn't quite wide to capture it all.

I've also had the opportunity to shoot with the new Canon 24-70 f/2.8 II lens and have made several landscape images with the lens, including this one.  I've made a 16"x24" print of the image, and it holds up very well.  Chromatic aberration is as well controlled as the 70-200 f/2.8 IS II and resolution when stopped down is superb even into the corners.  I'm thinking the 24-70 II + 70-200 II combo makes for a very flexible 2 lens kit while giving up nothing in terms of image quality, even for large fine art prints.