Thursday, November 29, 2012

Cloudy November morning at Hollow Rock

I went out this morning to try and catch a Lake Superior sunrise for the first time in a LONG time.  As I drove to my chosen location the clouds started to light up with color as the sun approached the horizon. Less than 5 minutes later, however, that brief splash of color was gone.  I waited an hour for some more amazing light to appear, but it was not meant to be on this morning.  I still shot several images, and this one was my favorite.  While not the most impressive in terms of color, there is a lot of very subtle variation in color going on.  Plus, the waves made for a nice touch as they broke upon the shore.  

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wave Wash on the Cascade Coast

Cascade River State Park, MN

I finally made it out to shoot a Lake Superior sunset again, something I haven't done in quite a while.  The wave action this evening was pretty sweet.  It would have been nice to have a bit more color in the sunset, but it was a very beautiful scene nonetheless!  I even got to see an otter running along the shoreline while I was making images of the waves.  Sorry, no pictures of the otter... he was gone before I could get the camera pointed at him :-(

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Multnomah Falls

Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area - Oregon

Multnomah, more than any other waterfall in the Columbia River Gorge, is arguably the "must-see" waterfall in that area.  It is also one of the easiest ones to see, with excellent access just off the roadway.  We arrived late in the day but still managed to squeeze off a few shots before it got too dark to see the falls.  This was a 6 second exposure taken from near the base of the falls. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Elk Creek Falls

Okay, I'm kind of working backwards a bit here through our trip out west.  This waterfall was one of the first beautiful places we visited on our recent trip.  It is located not far from the Canadian border in northeast Washington, in Colville National Forest.  A beautiful, heavily forested 2-mile hike led us to this surprising gem of a waterfall tucked into the hillside.  This is just one of many waterfalls in the area, I can't wait to go back and find more!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Port Orford, Oregon Coast

While driving down the coast from Reedsport, Oregon to Crescent City, California we stopped at this beautiful location in the town of Port Orford.  The view looking south down the coast was incredible, and it was a perfect day to be making the drive.  Coming from northern Minnesota where November days are often completely cloud-covered and the temp typically hovers around 30 to 40 degrees, it sure was nice to enjoy full sunshine and temps in the mid 60's!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

November sunset over the Pacific

Here's another shot from our recent trip out west.  This one was taken on a very windy evening along the beach at Winchester Bay.  We came across this large driftwood log that had all this wind-blown sand around it.  When I saw the lines in the sand I knew I had to photograph the scene.  Just as the sun was setting the clouds opened up right where the sun was, making that hole in the clouds incredibly bright.  I used a 3-stop reverse-graduated neutral density filter to help balance the exposure between the bright sky and the dark foreground.  Further editing in Lightroom 4 (using the graduated filter tool) allowed me to bring more detail out of the scene and balance the exposure even more.  The in-camera exposure was much darker than the scene looked to our eyes.  What you see here is the scene as I remember it.  I hope you like it!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Sea Palms at Shore Acres State Park

During our recent trip out west we visited Shore Acres State Park, one of the best places along the Oregon coast to watch the ocean waves.  As I was photographing the surf breaking over the near-shore rocks I noticed these little ocean shrubs that looked like miniature palm trees.  I think they add a bit of whimsy to this photo.  

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Ancient Giants

Northern California is home to one of the most amazing natural sights that I have ever seen: the Redwood Forest.  It is truly awe-inspiring to stand in the shadows of these gigantic trees.  This photo was made in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park just outside of Crescent City, California.  

Monday, November 19, 2012

Sunset Tide Pool, Bandon Beach

Last week we were out in Oregon and Washington to visit Jessica's family.  While the focus of the trip was to spend time with family, we did make it out here and there to see the sights and get in a little bit of photography time.  These shots were on Bandon Beach in Oregon, one of my favorite areas along the entire coast.  Bandon is a rather well-known beach and a favorite of photographers because of the large variety of "sea stacks" that are all along the beach.  At sunset the place is a photographer's paradise, especially on evenings where the tide is low and receding.  Many of the sea stacks were high and dry, others had pools of water around them.  Several were covered with star fish along the bottom edges of the rocks.  We had a glorious sunset during our evening at Bandon. It was one of the highlights of the trip for sure!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Afternoon Shadows, Badlands National Park

Here is one more shot from the Badlands. Taken on the same trip as the last two night shots I posted, this one was taken in late afternoon near Sheep Mountain. The long shadows really intrigued me on this formation and I had to work the scene quite a bit to get just the right composition that I was looking for. I love the fact that there are animal tracks leading into the scene from the lower left :-)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Star Trails over the Sage Creek Wilderness

Here is another shot from my 2009 trip to the Badlands and Black Hills. This was taken in November on a chilly night, temp was just below freezing. My friend Roger and I were camping in the Sage Creek Campground of Badlands National Park and spent a good portion of the night photographing the stars. This photo was made a few hundred yards away from our campsite. It is a 24 minute exposure and is one of several star trail images that I made that night.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

South Dakota Spirit Tree

I haven't been doing much shooting lately (too many other things going on), so I've been digging through my archives looking for photos that I've always wanted to put on my website but (until now) didn't have the time to do. This one is from my 6-week trip through the west that I did back in 2009. My friend Roger Nordstrom ( and I spent several days in the Badlands and Black Hills of South Dakota photographing the night sky, among other things. As we drove around during the day we were constantly on the lookout for trees to photograph against the night sky. This particular tree was one that we both greatly enjoyed photographing. Roger was "painting light" onto the tree using the lowest setting on his headlamp while I recorded this image. It is a 30 second exposure taken at an ISO of 1600 using a Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera and Canon EF 17-40mm lens.