Mossbrae Falls

Mossbrae Falls, Sacramento River, Dunsmuir, California

Behind the scenes of this photo


Taken at Mossbrae Falls near Dunsmuir, California on June 27, 2010

Talk about a slice of paradise on a hot day: Mossbrae is a long, seeping waterfall trickling out of the hillside down into the Sacramento River near Dunsmuir, California. This shot doesn’t show the scale of the falls, which is over 150 feet wide and 50 feet tall. Spring-fed, the falls run year round, bringing a little tropical paradise to California.

 

In the Presence of Giants

Tenaya Lake, Pywiack dome, Medlicott Dome, Yosemite National Park

Taken near Olmstead Point, Yosemite National Park on August 31st, 2009

Slightly less visited, but no less dramatic than Yosemite Valley, Tenaya Lake is a classic high Sierra lake: tranquil blue waters surrounded my massive granite monoliths. After a short backpacking trip to Cathedral Lakes, I was headed home along highway 120 when the smoky, partly cloudy sky at Olmstead Point caught my eye. After shooting there for a while, I turned around to see the clouds sending undulations of light across the lake and its surrounding peaks and domes, and knew I had to capture this scene as well.

 

Bachelor and the Three Graces

Bachelor and the Three Graces, Mariposa Grove of Sequoias, Yosemite

Behind the scenes of this photo


Taken in the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, Yosemite National Park on May 4th, 2009

In early May I was visiting Yosemite with an idea for a panoramic shot of the giant sequoias. I didn’t want to use my wide angle and go for a full roots-to-canopy capture of one of the massive trees since perspective distortion always renders the top of the tree as a tiny bunch of broccoli. Rather, I thought I’d show the trees’ immense size by having their impressive trunks slice vertically through the frame of my horizontal panorama.

 

Eye Candy

Tern Island beach, French Frigate Shoals, Hawaii

Behind the scenes of this photo


Taken on Tern Island in the French Frigate Shoals, Northwest Hawaiian Islands on March 11th, 2009

When I had the opportunity to visit Tern Island, a tiny coral speck in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, I had one image and one image only in mind that I wanted to capture while I was there: an image of puffy white clouds in a deep blue sky floating above crystal-clear, aquamarine waters. So imagine my delight when the ideal conditions rolled in a mere week after I’d been on the island. And as it turns out, I was extremely lucky to get the image I did, for even though I stayed on the island for another three weeks, this combination of perfect clouds and color never repeated itself.

 

Karoo Creation

Thunder clouds and god beams in the Great Karoo Desert, South Africa

Behind the scenes of this photo


Taken in the Great Karoo Desert, South Africa on August 21st, 2008

Photography is all about being in the right place at the right time, and I believe that making the two come together is really 95% planning. Usually that remaining 5% only makes the difference between a good photo and a great one. However, there are times when getting an awesome shot is 100% luck, as was the case on this day in the Karoo Desert. Driving on a winding highway, I came around a bend and saw the most amazing clouds I’ve ever seen. Brakes squealed and gravel flew as I ground to a halt on the side of the road and leapt out of my rental car in order to photograph this enfolding atmospheric drama.