Who needs vacations?

I was hungry, wet, and cold. With the blacktop obscured by a slippery white veneer, I carefully followed my headlights and a faint set of parallel tire tracks through the tree tunnel. Though the storm that had lured me to Yosemite was finally clearing, that show was lost to the night and dense forest canopy. But even without another clearing storm to add to my Yosemite portfolio, I was quite content with…

More love for the Sony a7S

In my previous blog I wrote about the flexibility of carrying three mirrorless (compact) bodies, each with its own strengths: the Sony a7R, a7S, and a6000. The a7S is my low-light body; it enables me to freeze motion and extract detail in conditions the were previously impossible. But more than that, I’ve discovered the a7S also makes photography that I’ve been doing for years,…

Seeing in the dark

One of the great joys of the digital photography is the ease with which our cameras reveal the world after dark. Scenes that are merely shadow and shape to the human eye are recorded with unseen color and detail by a digital sensor, and stars too faint to compete with moonlight shine brightly. After a lifetime of refusing to sap my enjoyment of the night sky by attempting to photograph it…

Moonbow: Nature’s little secret

  Rainbows demystified A rainbow forms when sunlight strikes airborne water droplets and is separated into its component spectral colors by characteristics of the water. The separated light is reflected back to our eyes when it strikes the backside of the droplets: Voila!—a rainbow. Despite their seemingly random advent and location in the sky, rainbows follow very specific rules of nature—there’s nothing random about a rainbow. Draw an imaginary line…

Returning to the scene of the crime

Clueless. That’s one word that would describe my state the first time I attempted moonlight photography. It was about eight years ago, right here in the Alabama Hills. Though exposure and focus were more guesses than decisions, I ended up with a lucky shot of the Big Dipper suspended above moonlit granite boulders and an obsession was born. The other thing I remember about…

Two out of three ain’t bad

I scheduled my Yosemite Comet ISON photo workshop way back when astronomers were crossing their fingers and whispering “Comet of the Century.” Sadly, the media took those whispers and amplified them a thousand times—when ISON did its Icarus act on Thanksgiving day, its story became the next in a long line of comet failures (raise your hand if you remember Kohoutek). But anyone who…

The calm above the storm

If you’ve ever taken off in a violent storm, watched the exploding sky just beyond your window, felt the plane buck until you verged on panic, then suddenly broken through the clouds into utter peace, you might appreciate the dichotomy depicted in this scene. *    *    *    * Overwhelmed by the euphoria the Grand Canyon workshop’s final sunrise was this moonlight experience on…

Favorite: The Big Dipper

I’ve decided to turn my new Favorites gallery into an irregular series on each of the images there. *   *   *   * This image of the Big Dipper above moonlit granite boulders in the Alabama Hills will always have a special place in my heart because it was my first moonlight “success.” I was still coming to terms with the low…

All I want for Christmas….

I returned late last night (well, early this morning) from my 2013 Yosemite Moonbow and Wildflowers photo workshop will lots of great new images and two fewer teeth. True story. The images I can verify; the teeth you’ll need to take my word for. Read on. Chapter One: In the big inning Twenty years ago I lost my two front teeth in a freak…

March madness

*    *    *    * Scheduling most workshops at least a year in advance, it’s easy to forget that distant dates will eventually become current dates. And so as 2013 approached I started looking somewhat askance at my spring schedule. Hmmm…, only four days at home from March 7 to March 29—what in the world had I been thinking? Ten days circling…