A really great destination in Joshua Tree National Park CA is this rock arch. It’s just a short walk to the arch from White Tank Campground site #9 in the center of Joshua Tree. The natural rock arch is easy to get to on a half mile hike.
The solid granite arch is a perfect subject for taking photos, especially if you can get a nice starburst effect like this. It was tricky to get my camera + tripod setup in the perfect spot to photograph the sun peaking through the rock arch. The sun moves surprisingly fast in situations like this. An aperture of f/22 produced the nice star burst effect. I processed this as an HDR photo using HDR Efex Pro, cleaned it up in Photoshop, and used Color Efex Pro to add some more pop. You’ll want a wide angle lens to get a photo like this of the arch; I was at 16mm on my full-frame Canon 5D Mk II and I wished I could have been wider.
You can buy this photo here, with many options including standard prints, canvas gallery wraps, gift cards, mugs, T-shirts and much more.
January 21, 2014 11:18 am
California Live Oaks silhouetted on a golden California hillside - this is one of the scenes that makes you realize why California is often referred to as the Golden State. I took this photo in Walnut Creek, CA, but this scene is common in much of the central coast of CA: golden hills rolling through the distance with random California live oak trees amongst grass and mustard plants.
These two distinct live oaks stood out to me as awesome silhouette subjects when I saw them earlier in the day while visiting this area and I envisioned a photo similar to this. When I came back later at sunset, I was stoked to see that the scene I had pictured before was actually going to work out! This very often doesn’t happen, but in this case I was able to get a composition of the trees on the hillside in a way that worked well with the position of the sun. As the sun set, the golden light started pouring out to complete the scene.
You can buy this photo here, with many options including standard prints, canvas gallery wraps, gift cards, mugs, T-shirts and much more.
January 17, 2014 5:28 pm
This is a sweet place at low tide because the waves create this waterfall down these partially submerged rocks. I found this place mostly by accident last Saturday night. This is Woods Cove in Laguna Beach, CA just off Diamond St. and Pacific Coast Highway (PCH). Don't miss the orange starfish on the rocks which seemed to be posing for me and makes this photo all the better, I think. Getting completely soaked and eating my Wahoo's dinner cold was my small sacrifice for getting this shot. I have no regrets.
You can buy this photo here, with many options including standard prints, canvas gallery wraps, gift cards, mugs, T-shirts and much more.
April 5, 2012 10:25 am
Early morning light along Lake Como, Italy. There is a really nice walking / running / cycling trail along Lake Como starting at the town of Como which is the perfect place to be at sunrise. As you wander down it you find hidden coves and steps leading into the water, presumably so you can easily hop off your boat and go into town.
March 22, 2012 3:09 pm
Sydney Harbor Panorama high res at night (cityscape). I took this panorama photo of the Sydney harbor at night from the north side of the harbor next to Jeffrey St. Wharf. This is one of my favorite views of Sydney Harbour since you can see the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Opera House, Circular Quay, and the high-rise skyscrapers of the Sydney CBD (Central Business District). This (Kirribilli) is the perfect place for a panorama view of Sydney Harbor.
This is an HDR panorama from 2 angles (each 3 exposures, so 6 photos total). I merged each photo into an HDR using Photomatix and then combined the 2 resulting images as a panorama in Photoshop.
March 9, 2012 10:07 am
There is so much incredible coastline near Sydney, Australia. This is Turimetta Beach, north of Sydney soon after dawn. The green moss on these rocks only shows up at certain times of the year.
My previous Sydney Seascape at Dawn photo was taken earlier the same morning not too far away from here.
March 6, 2012 10:36 am
Morning light on the ruins of St. Andrews Cathedral, Scotland. The gate to get inside the ruins wasn't opened at this time, and I decided not to climb over the wall, so I had to shoot through the fence to get this photo. This is an HDR from 6 exposures each 2 stops apart.
February 29, 2012 10:54 am
Fiery sunset light under the Santa Monica Pier.
I took this photo while on a large (200+ people) LA photo walk that Trey Ratcliff organized Sunday Feb 26.
February 28, 2012 9:56 am
This is Cathedral Cove along the limestone coastline on the north island of New Zealand. This photo was taken from inside a big sea cave, looking out to a limestone pillar farther down on the beach (called Te Hoho Rock). Scenes of the Narnia kids re-entering Narnia from the Chronicles of Narnia (Prince Caspian) film were shot here. This is on the Coromandel Peninsula of New Zealand.
My previous Te Hoho Rock photo was taken from above this sea cave.
February 13, 2012 9:26 am
This is one of the amazing moving rocks, or sailing stones found in this unique lake bed in Death Valley, shot at sunrise. This seasonally dry lake (playa) has quite a few of these rocks, each with unique tracks. There are a lot of theories as to what causes the rocks to move, involving wind, ice, and water. Racetrack Playa is located in the northern part of the Panamint Mountains in Death Valley National Park, California. It's a long drive on a dirt road to get here, but when we visited the road was in great shape.
February 2, 2012 10:31 am
Pre-dawn colors painting the desert sand dunes in Death Valley. Aaron and I got up at 4:30 in the morning and hiked on the sand dunes for an hour or so in the dark to get to this spot as the first light of day appeared. This was still almost an hour before actual sunrise. This photo is from the western end of Mesquite Flat Dunes in Death Valley National Park, CA.
February 1, 2012 10:05 am
There is something magical about Edinburgh, Scotland which I hope is captured in this photo. This is the view of Princes Street from Calton Hill featuring the impressive Balmoral Hotel Clock Tower. See all my Scotland Photos here.
January 16, 2012 11:16 am
This is one of the many canal intersections in Amsterdam, Netherlands just after sunset. This was my favorite section of Amsterdam canals because they were narrow, lined with interesting buildings and house boats, and had cool bridges across them as you see here. The streaks of light in the water are from a boat that passed by while I was taking photos. This is the intersection of Brouwersgracht and Herengracht canals (don't ask me how to pronounce them), just west of Amsterdam Centraal train station in the Jordaan section of Amsterdam. The Herengracht canal is one of the 4 main concentric half-circle canals that circle the center of the city. Brouwersgracht means "brewers' canal," so named because this canal used to have many breweries along it, most of which have now been converted into trendy warehouse apartments.
January 10, 2012 8:00 am
This was our view from Queenstown one evening as rays of light danced in the sky across Lake Wakatipu. Queenstown quickly became our favorite town in New Zealand due to its small size and spectacular location on the South Island.
December 28, 2011 9:59 am
Uluru (Ayers Rock) at sunset. This of course is the classic shot that every tourist to the red center of Australia takes. I tried to find an interesting foreground to add a bit of context to the location. I feel like no photo of Uluru really does it justice, but this is better than nothing I suppose.
December 14, 2011 8:07 am
Uluru (Ayers Rock) at sunset, showing the famous red glow. This is of course the defining monolith of the red center of Australia and the largest found anywhere in the world. You're only seeing about 1/4 of the visible rock in this close-up photo, but I wanted to show the unique textures on the rock face. Tomorrow I'll post a photo showing all of Uluru.
You may also be interested in my Uluru Time-lapse video which I shot at the same time using a different camera.
December 13, 2011 9:01 am
Sunrise on the beach at Cathedral Cove on the Coromandel Peninsula of the northern island of New Zealand. I hiked in the dark about 30 minutes or so to get here just as the sun was rising. This photo was taken not too far away from my previous Cathedral Cove photo, looking the opposite direction down the coast.
December 5, 2011 10:32 am
This is Turimetta Beach (north of Sydney) before sunrise. The purple in the sky only lasted about 10 minutes before the sun rose behind the clouds this chilly morning. It was a privilege to see this green moss on these rocks as it only shows up at certain times of the year.
Anyone in the Sydney area who wants to photograph seascapes should check this Turimetta Beach Photo Guide.
November 30, 2011 10:29 am
Standing next to the Sydney Opera House looking back towards Circular Quay and the CBD (Central Business District). The after-sunset glow in the sky was amazing this evening.
October 7, 2011 3:24 am
The Sydney Opera House is really 3 matching buildings, and this is the smallest one which is the Bennelong Restaurant where one of Australia's most popular and celebrated chefs, Guillaume Brahimi makes his home.
My goal in this photo was to give a view inside the structure to point out how it complements the unique exterior design.
September 29, 2011 3:19 am
The Opera Bar was surprisingly quiet this evening when I stayed out past sunset for some photography. This panorama shows the Sydney Harbour Bridge on the left and the Opera House on the right. The panorama is from 2 images, each of them bracketed and merged slightly to preserve the highlights & shadows.
September 27, 2011 3:17 pm
Soon after sunset is my favorite time to gaze out at Sydney Harbour with the Opera House and CBD (Central Business District) skyscrapers. I took this photo while we finished up our dinner down by the water this evening. I like how the sky & water match in color.
August 29, 2011 2:49 am
This is one of the most beautiful places we have seen in Scotland: the Trotternish Peninsula of the Isle of Skye. On the horizon you can see the "Old Man of Storr", a distinct rock pinnacle. We stayed in a house next to this lake (Loch Fada), and I took this photo after the sun had already set behind the mountains (8:30pm).
April 29, 2011 5:30 am
This is one of my favorite moments at sunset along the coast: when you get a glimmer on the ocean as the sun reaches the horizon. This was a long exposure (5 seconds at f/22), which gives the water a dreamy feel.
My Purple Afterglow photo was taken a bit later from the same location.
February 4, 2011 9:42 am
The moss-covered cliffs of Point Loma. These waves at Sunset Cliffs remind me of a painter's brushstrokes, as if the Creator were painting a beautiful scene with water.
January 24, 2011 11:30 am
This cool plateau of flat rocks on the beach is found at Sunset Cliffs Park on the Point Loma Peninsula in San Diego, CA. The jigsaw pattern of cracks in the rocks reminds me of the top of Devil's Postpile near Mammoth Lakes, CA. The purple afterglow show up after the sun had already set as the sky was changing color. The color in this photo wasn't added artificially; in fact, I desaturated it a bit since it looked "too" purple in the original photo.
January 17, 2011 10:53 am
A lonely lupin flower shooting up from a field of green, illuminated from behind by the setting sun. I took this photo last night in the hills of Irvine, CA seconds before the sun dipped below the horizon. My camera was only about 10 inches away from the flower, zoomed out to a wide 16mm. This is an HDR merged from 6 exposures 2 stops apart.
January 10, 2011 10:53 am
What drew me to this scene was the rock layers in the cliffs meeting the flowing ocean waves below. I feel like the scene works best as a black & white HDR to match the mood of the coastline. I took this photo in the same general area as my last Point Loma Cliffs photo.
January 6, 2011 10:24 am
I took this photo the day after Christmas in Cabrillo National Monument on the Point Loma Peninsula. This is the "tide-pools" area of the point Loma Lighthouse Park, a short drive down the steep road to the right as you enter the park. It's crazy to think about the powerful wave that left that suspended boulder on the edge. This is a combination of 2 exposures (1 for the sky) - around 5 and 20 second exposures, but this time I didn't use Photomatix or any fancy HDR program.
January 4, 2011 9:31 am
Sunset in Corona del Mar below one of the mansions along the sea cliffs. Despite the awesome location of this very expensive house, it seems like it's empty most of the time.
November 29, 2010 10:47 am
Ocean wave frozen in time at sunset. The waves at Little Corona weren't particularly big, but this rock was positioned perfectly to cause a good amount of spray. This is an HDR processed from a single RAW image outputted at multiple exposures.
November 27, 2010 2:59 pm
Catalina Island is visible on the horizon below the incredible painted sky as seen from Corona del Mar. This sunset kept getting better and better, until this final moment before all the color faded. This photo was taken about 15 minutes after my previous Elegant Egret Silhouette at Sunset photo.
November 18, 2010 8:46 pm
This egret landed in front of me on a cool rock partway out into the ocean and stood there as if watching the sunset. By this point the sun had already set, but the colors kept getting more and more vibrant. This photo was taken last Sunday at Little Corona, Corona del Mar State Beach, CA.
For the photographers out there, you may be interested to note that this photo was taken at ISO 800, which to me is quite impressive considering how clean it looks. I applied a slight bit of noise reduction to the horizon, but mostly it's a testament to the awesome Canon 5D Mark II low light performance. I used a Canon 300mm f/4 lens with 1.4x extender attached at f/5.6.
November 17, 2010 11:37 am
Morning light highlights Bixby Bridge against the shadowed Pacific behind. I drove up a dirt road to find this spot where the rocky island fit right under the arch of the bridge. I've been trying to be more intentional about my composition lately, and I think it paid off in this case. You may also be interested in my Bixby Bridge from Above photo which I posted recently (Big Sur, CA).
September 18, 2010 8:00 am
This is the portal, or sea arch rock at Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur, CA (Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park). I took this photo right after the sun dipped below the horizon, leaving behind a yellow-orange glow. At high tide like this it's fun watching the waves funnel through the opening in the rock.
To get this photo, I raced down the windy road to Pfeiffer Beach and then dashed like a madman from my car down the path and across the beach a ways to this spot carrying my tripod and camera backpack. There were some couples on the beach leaving as I arrived, and I think they were a bit bewildered to see me zoom by and throw down my tripod. I had hoped to make it here before the sun actually set, but I'm happy I still was able to get a good shot.
September 16, 2010 9:48 am
I climbed up to a precarious (and windy) outcropping to take this photo looking down on highway 1 in Big Sur, CA as it meets the famous Bixby Bridge. You can see the off-shore fog in the distance threatening to move inland, and the beautiful colors of the pacific ocean coastline.
This is an HDR image processed from 3 exposures 2 stops apart.
September 13, 2010 8:00 am
The truck above and sailboat below give a sense of scale to the San Francisco Bay Bridge in this early morning silhouette. The original photo didn't have much color in it anyway, so I liked it as a black and white. I took this photo our last morning in San Francisco.
September 12, 2010 8:04 am
A beautiful time to be rowing near Vancouver amidst a spectacular sunset. This photo was taken from the same place as my previous Rocky Seascape photo. This part of the harbor seemed to have an ever-present line of ships anchored on the horizon throughout our entire visit.
June 7, 2010 9:55 am
I like the way this rocky seascape looks in black and white with the stormy clouds above. This photo looking out at English Bay in Vancouver was taken very close to my Inukshuk photo and also my photo of Vancouver's West End.
June 5, 2010 11:36 am
Sometimes the best part of a sunset is right after the sun disappears under the horizon. Such was the case this night in Key Largo when suddenly this brilliant color filled the sky, but only for a few moments.
May 19, 2010 9:58 am
The ubiquitous Florida mangrove trees that grow along the shallow coastlines provide an interesting foreground for this beautiful sunset in Key Largo. Though this was my first time to the Keys, this kind of coastline is very familiar to me from the part of Indonesia where I grew up. The other fun part about the Keys is being able to watch both the sunrise and sunset over the ocean by going to different sides of the islands. Sadly, I did not manage to see the infamous green flash right after sunset that many have described seeing from the Keys.
April 28, 2010 9:30 am
Inukshuk at sunset. A what? As we learned at the Canadian northern house exhibit, it's a stone landmark or cairn built by the peoples of the Arctic region of North America to show the way or mark a significant spot. You may have noticed that the official Vancouver 2010 Olympics logo features an Inukshuk just like this. I found out after taking this photo that this particular Inukshuk is one of the best known in Vancouver (it appears in several postcards). It also happens to be very close to where we stayed while visiting that fine city, which meant I was able to run here at the last minute and grab this photo when I noticed the beautiful sunset.
March 25, 2010 2:09 pm
The West End in Vancouver, BC, Canada along the English Bay, just south of Stanley Park. This is the view across the street from our friends' apartment building where we stayed while visiting Vancouver.
March 10, 2010 11:52 am
An Indian man and his wife returning from a trip with suitcases and travel bags, riding a cycle rickshaw from the train station to their house. Though this was my first time to India, this scene looked very familiar and made me feel right at home since rickshaws are so common throughout Asia.
February 22, 2010 9:30 am
There is a small trail along these cliffs near the Point Loma Lighthouse (Cabrillo National Monument). The park was closing, and I was being chased by the park rangers who were trying to make sure everyone went home. I ran ahead and stopped briefly to fire off a couple shots here. I was bummed I couldn't stay longer for the sun to peak out. I realize this shot might be too HDRish for some, but I like how the rich green and orange from the scene comes through. I'm still experimenting with HDR to see what I like.
February 17, 2010 10:10 am
Looking up at Crystal Crag on Mammoth Crest across from Twin Lakes. I captured this two weeks ago when we were up in Mammoth.
I wish I could have taken this a bit earlier when there was more light on the mountains, but having a newborn around makes timing a bit more complicated. :) This is my first attempt at an HDR panorama. I did the HDR part first, and then the pan stitching. To me that seemed like the best order, but I haven't tried it the other way.
February 12, 2010 10:50 am
The southern Channel Islands (from L to R: San Clemente, San Nicolas, and Santa Catalina) under a dramatic sunset. I took this photo from Point Loma peninsula.
February 10, 2010 8:42 pm
I took this photo on Saturday while visiting the Cabrillo National Monument on the Point Loma peninsula. It was a stormy weekend in San Diego, and this high peninsula was a perfect place to get a view at sunset. Unfortunately the place closed before the sun actually peaked through, and we had to leave. But I like the stormy feel to this shot.
February 8, 2010 10:16 am
The final moments of sunlight, with the sun bursting through three palm trees on the beach near San Clemente Pier. This photo was taken not too long before the last photowalk photo I posted.
February 1, 2010 9:36 am
Two seagulls taking flight as a wave comes in next to San Clemente Pier at sunset. I took this photo on a photowalk with Trey Ratcliff on Wednesday.
January 30, 2010 1:23 pm
At least one trip to Joshua Tree is a must when my brother Andy is in town. Here he is being lowered after a climb in Indian Cove, Joshua Tree National Park on Saturday. My brother Joe is belaying his wife Jessica on the next climb over (she's just behind the rock outcropping so you can't see her). This spectacular sunset was a great way to end our day in J-Tree.
January 3, 2010 3:32 pm
The famous Trevi Fountain (Fontana di Trevi in Italian) in Trevi Square, Rome, Italy. We were a bit surprised by the huge crowds hanging out here, even at night.
December 3, 2009 10:19 am
The last golden light before sunset makes for a beautiful shot of the koi pond in Balboa Park near the arboretum (behind me). This was taken about 30 minutes before my previous Balboa Park photo.
You can buy this photo here, with many affordable options including standard prints, canvas gallery wraps, gift cards, mugs, T-shirts and much more. Prices start at $2 for a 4x6 print.
November 30, 2009 8:30 am
Sunrise photo of a starburst of light peaking from behind some deadwood. The manzanita plant is the one with green leaves and reddish bark below the log. You might think this is driftwood on a beach with all the sand around, but this is on the sandy slopes of Zion above the slot canyons below. We started our canyoneering trip right at sunrise, which was great for capturing shots like this. No HDR involved in this photo.
November 18, 2009 11:11 pm
The beautiful Piazza Del Duomo with the baptistry, as seen at sunset from Giotto's Campanile (bell tower), beside the Duomo. I almost got locked into the bell tower while taking this photo; I didn't realize they were closing because I was so caught up in taking photos. View more photos from our Europe trip.
October 5, 2009 11:43 am
The sun bursts through a cloud in this silhouette which shows the distinct chimney of this slate-roofed house. These rock roofs were one of the most distinct changes we noticed as we entered Italy from France. We drove through the 7-mile long tunnel which goes under Mont Blanc, dividing eastern France and western Italy. The Swiss border is not too far to the north of the Aosta Valley, along which lies the famous Matterhorn, which we unfortunately didn't get a chance to see.
September 16, 2009 8:04 am
These silhouetted trees with the vibrant sunset behind remind me of sticks in front of a fire. I took this photo out the car window while we were driving from Seattle to Vancouver.
May 15, 2009 8:04 am
A seagull flies above Birch Bay around sunset. I adjusted the red, green, and blue levels separately to get this surreal effect which conveys the mood of this peaceful evening. This was taken on the same trip up as the previous photo, across the border in Birch Bay, Washington.
May 14, 2009 8:04 am
For a little variety, here's a shot I took out the plane window while landing in Tokyo/Narita on my way back from Indonesia.
April 25, 2009 10:38 am
Equinox sunrise (March 20, 2009) was fun since I was near the equator (about 1.5 degrees north), and with Dad (who is very much aware of such celestial events). Technically, sunrise should have been exactly at 6am, and sunset exactly 6pm. This isn't necessarily the case, though, since our timezones don't always match up exactly to reality. In our case sunrise was 5:50am (at least by my watch). But the part that is true is that everyone gets a 12 hour day, and a 12 hour night. So while I was busy photographing, my dad tried to figure out how far off our time zone was, and whether he could figure out our exact position on the globe. Another fun aspect of Equinox is that the sun rises exactly (due) east on this day everywhere in the world, and at noon you have no shadow whatsoever (this second part is only true on the equator). Of course, this doesn't really say anything about the photo. :)
April 10, 2009 5:00 pm
Sunset at Bunaken Island, Sulawesi, Indonesia with local fishing boats anchored for the night.
April 10, 2009 8:16 am
This is probably the best sunset I've experienced in Joshua Tree National Park. Friends and I were already heading down from Ryan Mountain when this brilliance opened up. I ran back up to the top to capture this panorama. After about 10 minutes, the color was gone.
December 13, 2008 2:12 pm
A beautiful evening walk along the pier in South Haven, MI with the sun setting over Lake Michigan. I took this July 24, 2008 after meeting up with some of my relatives who live in this part of Michigan. This was right before leaving on our Israel trip.
October 6, 2008 10:23 pm
A nun walking to morning prayer in a monastery in Turkey. This beautiful sunrise was a parting gift the last morning of our 4-day stay at this monastery.
August 28, 2008 10:40 pm
Two boys fighting for the soccer ball in a remote village of Turkey. There was a third kid who served as goalie for this small skirmish. It doesn't take much to have a good time.
August 18, 2008 12:29 pm
Early morning light dusting the rocks in Lake George, Mammoth Lakes, CA
June 27, 2008 8:13 pm
Looking west towards the sunset over the Sierras at Mono Lake South Tufa.
June 15, 2008 12:09 pm
The photoblog is not dead....at least not anymore. Yes, I have neglected it. But here's a shot to get things going again. I took this about 20 minutes ago from the porch of the cabin where Katie and I are staying in Mammoth Lakes, CA. I didn't have much choice in framing, since this was the only spot I could see the moon through the trees, and the moon has been hiding in the clouds most of the evening. But I think the messy foreground adds a bit of interest to the shot.
May 31, 2007 9:52 pm
Sorry for the lack of posts here of late. I've been spending most of my photo time setting up a high-speed fileserver as a place to store my growing gigabytes of photos, and trying to get them more organized.
This peaceful shot is from Sept. 2005, taken on the beach at Little Corona. I don't know who these people were, but it looked like a great place to spend the evening.
March 18, 2007 11:24 am
My cousin Tyler enjoying surfing at sunset.
February 16, 2007 9:52 pm
Aaron, my cousin, photographer, and friend. This was taken at San Elijo State Beach near Encinitas, CA.
February 14, 2007 6:41 am
I took this on Wed (Dec 13) at Newport Back Bay. I had raced down to the bay after dropping Katie off somewhere, hoping to get some bird photos before the sun went down. I didn't really manage to do that, but got this shot instead.
December 17, 2006 9:47 am
I guess I don't have much to say about this one except that you should visit Balboa Park if you're ever down in San Diego.
November 5, 2006 3:28 am
We here in southern CA have finally been promised some rain. That means clouds for interesting sunsets! This was taken tonight, before the rain started.
October 13, 2006 10:43 pm
My brother Joe takes photos during a beautiful sunset on the coast of Manado looking out at Manado Tua, a volcanic island.
September 20, 2006 9:06 pm
Katie overlooks the massive crater of Mahawu Volcano near Tomohon, Indonesia.
July 28, 2006 1:24 am
Big Corona, in Corona Del Mar, is one of my favorite nearby beaches for photography. Though you would never know, only a couple hundred meters away is a busy beach with lots of people.
June 18, 2006 12:33 pm
Yay, my first photoblog post.
This is Mono Lake after sunset. By this point the rest of the photographers had left, and it was almost completely dark. For a few minutes this pastel scene emerged, only to fade away moments later.
June 16, 2006 10:41 pm