On Sunday morning I managed to wake up in time to catch a great sunrise. After our 11 mile hike the day before I was pretty worn out and was not expecting to be able to wake up before the sun rose. I set my alarm for 5:30am for a 6:28am sunrise and when it went off I promptly hit the off button. Luckily I woke up again maybe 45 minutes later to some colors peaking through the tent window. There were nice clouds everywhere with the ones in the east starting to show some really deep reds and oranges. I quickly jumped out of my sleeping bag, woke my friend Andrew Riha up and said “GET IN THE CAR WE ARE LEAVING NOW”. A two mile drive and a couple hundred yards of hiking had us at Alabama Arch thirty minutes before the sun came up only to find a large group of photographers had beat us there. At first I was bummed out, but after meeting the instructor my mood changed. The instructor was Keith Skelton; another Pasadena Photographer. Keith was a really nice guy and was running an excellent workshop. I fed off the energy from his group and loosened up. Having a lot of other photographers shooting the same scene was actually a bit of a blessing in disguise as I was forced to find new views of an old subject.
This weekend I had the opportunity to head back up to the Lone Pine area with my friends Andy Riha and Jimmy Gallenbach to just hang out, take photos and relax in the Sierras. We originally intended to just have a mellow weekend, there were no real intentions to do any crazy or overly adventurous. We arrived at Tuttle Creek Campground in the evening, setup camp, ate dinner and went to bed. Upon waking and eating breakfast the next morning, we headed to the Mt. Whitney Ranger Station to find out what conditions were like on various roads and trail in the area. After listing a number of trails and destinations that didn’t sound terribly exciting, the lady at the ranger desk said “oh you could also try Kearsarge Pass”. My eyes lit up, I don’t know how I could have forgotten about a trail that I had had my eye on for months. I quickly said “thanks” to the ranger, said to the guys “that’s the one”, ran back to the car and drove the 15 miles north to Independence. We turned left at the red, white and blue postal office as instructed and continued up the steep road to the Onion Valley Trail Head. Andy, Jimmy and I hit the trail at 10:00am on the money. The hike was a little over 10 miles round trip with about half the hike through a decent amount of snow. At the top of the 11,716 foot pass we were treated to an incredible, breathtaking view of Kings Canyon National Park. We departed the pass at around 3:30pm and were back down at the car around 6:00pm.
The only camera gear that I brought with me was my Nikon D3 and a 24-70mm f/2.8. No tripod or any other accessories. Most of my photos were just snapshots of the guys and a few panoramas. I made a rookie mistke and screwed up a few of the panoramas by forgetting to turn off my auto-ISO feature in my camera. Even in full manual mode the exposures varied slightly between shots in the panoramas due to the ISO fluctuating. PTAssembler did a pretty good job of blending the exposures and I was able to put together something nice to remember the vistas by.
After several months of sorting through photos and picking image sets and layouts I have finally finished my book. It is for sale now at www.blurb.com.
I am offering two size options for the book:
8×10 inch softcover and hardcover
11×13 inch hardcover
This past weekend my parents were in town and Lindsay and I decided to take them on a little trip up the Pacific Coast Highway to Big Sur. The entire drive from Pasadena to the Big Sur Lodge took almost twelve hours with many many stops along the way.
Here are a few more shots from my September trip to Yosemite. Most of the shots are run of the mill Yoesmite National Park roadside scenic views with the exception of Vernal and Nevada Falls which are your run of the mill waterfalls on the side of a trail.