How I know God guides my photography.....

"The heavens declare the glory of God, and the skies announce what his hands have made. Day after day they tell the story; night after night they tell it again. They have no speech or words; they have no voice to be heard. But their message goes out through all the world; their words go everywhere on earth."
Psalm 19: 1 - 4 (NCV).

Every time I look through the lens of my camera I see God working. Every day He reveals His majesty. Every night He shows me how He creates beauty even in the darkness. Even if I had not known Him before I started taking photos, the moment I looked at His creation up close (or far away) I see His glory and He guides me to see His beauty in all He has created. Photography just allows me to capture an image of what He has created.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Yosemite Falls Creek Bridge

Using any excuse to just get out and start photographing, Martin Luther King Day (Monday, January 17, 2011) was no exception. It had been well over a week since the last good snow hit the Central Sierra Mountain range. The sky was clear in Yosemite, the sun was warm, and for the third week in a row, the Central Valley was fogged in. That was more than enough to get me packing.
My wife and I spent the day going from one spot in Yosemite to another. This is one location I never tire of. With every curve in the road or twist in a trail there is another breath-taking view. This first photo is of a stone bridge that crosses over Yosemite Falls Creek (just down stream from Lower Yosemite Falls). It's not one of the Valley's more famous bridges (that's probably why no one was taking photos of it); however when the sunlight pokes its way through the trees and reflects off the creek creating a golden glow on the under curves of the bridge, you just have to stop and spend a few minutes watching the reflection ripple upward.

Another location in Yosemite Valley that is missed by many is Fern Falls. Unless you know what you are looking for or where this very small falls is located, it is easy to overlook. Even in the summer most Yosemite trekkers overlook this spot. Winter shooting (even if the sun is shining) is difficult because of the deep shadows and flashes of bright lighting that fall on the snow. This photo was taken in a very shadowed light. Even with fill flash it was almost too dark to capture. ISO was bumped up as were the exposure and sensitivity settings.

White snow against dark green moss, granite rock, and dirt... I was happy to even be able to capture what I did...

Going to the north side of the Valley from the south side created a totally different view and lighting. Here in the meadow in front of Yosemite Falls is a view of the snow, the tree line, and the falls. The skies were clear and deep blue. At the bottom of the falls was formed an ice dome (about thirty to thirty-five feet high and about forty feet across.

Here is a close up of the ice dome from just under the Lower Falls. The spray off the rock where the Falls reaches bottom is what causes the freezing water to form a egg shaped dome of ice.

I'll be posting more Yosemite photographs soon... check back for a view of a panorama I took from the Merced River looking back toward the east end of the Valley. Sunset, full moon rising, and a low misty fog hovering over a meadow.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

There is just something about "PANORAMA"...

January 22, 2011… it should be cold and it just was not. Well, not unless you were in the Central Valley of California enduring the very thick and frigid fog. After days of seeing fog, the call to the warm sun was just too hard to resist.
Early in the morning it was off to the Sierra’s. Taking my wife and my two oldest grandchildren to Dodge Ridge for a day of snowboarding, I dropped them off and headed back down to Pinecrest Lake for a quick few shots.
The lake was semi-frozen (with a very thin crust of ice on the top and dozens of signs warning people to stay off the unstable ice). Ignoring the fact that the sun was directly over the south side of the lake, I spent a couple of hours walking the north shore from the west. This panoramic shot was from the western edge of the lake at the Pinecrest beach area.
The warning sign said it all: “WARNING: Unstable Ice & Snow – KEEP OFF”. With that kind of a warning, and the fact that you could visibly see cracks in the ice, you would think that people would pay more attention to the warm conditions and how the affected the thin ice. On my shoreline trek I saw people walking their dogs and following the rules of “Keep Off the ice”… Just before I left there was a young couple with their three small (very small) dogs… Suddenly, SPLASH! In went one of the dogs. Yelp! Yelp! Then a second and a third SPLASH!!! I was about thirty feet away when I heard the young woman screaming to her dogs to get out of the water. The man kept shouting “Where did he go?” As I got closer, one, then two, then all three appeared between the rocks… shivering and shaking. I’m sure glad the small dogs got out when they did as the air may have been warm, the water was not. The guy was just seconds away from trying to reach into the freezing water to get them… I think he saw the water was deeper than he expected and chose not to chance it.
It was an exciting few moments at Pinecrest Lake that day. The warning signs said it all: “Unstable Ice & Snow – KEEP OFF”. Well, all’s well that ends well. The views were fantastic.

Monday, November 8, 2010

New Melones Lake and Bridge Panographic

With the first chilling rains of Fall I figured it was time to do some experimenting with my photos. I'm working with larger format photos and doing "Panographic" landscaping. I hope to get over to Yosemite Valley right after the first snows of winter and taking photos of the Valley using the Panoramic process. Have you ever look up at the sky or an expansive landscape and wish your photos could capture everything you can see with your eyes? Well, that was what I was thinking when I saw this view off Hwy 49 and looking southward to the New Melones Lake and Bridge area on the border between Calaveras and Tuolumne Counties..

Friday, September 3, 2010

Past reflection on Ripon Balloon Festival

Color the Skies Balloon Festival – Ripon California

Just another early morning rise and shine to catch this shot of the beginning of the Color the Skies Balloon Festival that benefited the Children’s Hospital of Central California. So many thing need to come together to allow my camera to capture the excitement of this event. The skies (must be clean and clear - yet filled with color), the wind (there can’t be any... often these events shut down before they begin due to the winds), and the crowds. As you can tell from this shot, this was one of those moments that just begged to be stopped for people to enjoy for a long time.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Yosemite Skies....

Another beautiful trip to Yosemite was what the day called for. The call was too strong, so on August 21st my wife and I headed out, bright and early in the morning on what looked like it was going to be a clear and sunny day. As we entered the Valley from the Merced side of Hwy 140 and past El Portal we could tell that this day would not just be what we expected for 92 degrees and the California Central Valley filled with bright sunlight. As the day progressed and we wandered up the Mist Trail toward Vernal Falls (and back again), then over to Mirror Lake, it became more and more apparent that the expected sunshine was fading fast. These are a couple of photo I took from the Valley floor.

One of the things I like most about Yosemite (beside the unbelievable beauty) is its unpredictability. I have been going to the Valley since around 1964 and it is one place I never tire of (the crowds yes… the Valley, never!)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Still Boats on Calm Waters

"Still Boats on Calm Waters". This is one of the photos I will be showing at the Mistlin Gallery (1015 J Street, Modesto, CA) this coming October 2010. I'm still going through the hundreds of photos I took in Ireland and all those who have view the photos have urged me to print many of the photos and to present them at gallery showings. Well, I'm going to follow their urging.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Irish Spirit - Set 3 ... the beauty that is Ireland

After two (plus) weeks at the beginning of June 2010 traveling all over Ireland (from Dublin through the North of Ireland, across the top of the world and down the West Coast and back to Dublin, I've put together 3 sets (Irish Spirit) and I hope you take a look at each one as each set tells a different story of the Irish people that I came to know. The Spirit of the Irish people is one of courage, commitment, and sacrifice; it is a spirit that grows stronger each day. These photos can't even begin to tell the story or express the beauty that is Ireland. I hope you enjoy my effort to give you a hint of what I experienced.