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Mist and Water

Every year my buddies Jay, Jason, Andrew, Aaron and I go on a road trip somewhere. The previous two have been in Arizona, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico. We call these little excursions “Lost//Discovered.” The name implies a feeling of getting lost from our normal lives and discovering something about ourselves. Be it passion, direction or literally anything. It’s one of my favorite times of year and this past trip was another fantastic time!

This time we decided to fly to Oregon and rent our RV there, and just explore whatever seemed fun to us. The coast, waterfalls, mountains, anything we could get to. It’s a time of year when we all have a lot less going on in our businesses photographing weddings, and it’s the perfect time to get away, explore and hang out.

These trips are often tough for me. Often at this point in the year, I just need a break and while I want to time-lapse and drone everything I see, I’ll also wish I could just carry a single camera and lens, and just stand there quietly capturing the scenes around me. It’s a battle within. Sometimes I didn’t do anything and other times I made a choice between droning or time-lapsing. I love that I didn’t do a whole lot but walked away with some scenes I’m super pumped to have photographed.

This film is short, barely three minutes, and doesn’t have a ton of scenes. I love this song “No Place on Earth” but Tony Anderson, and so I just let the notes dictate the number of clips I used. It’s a mix of drone and time-lapse of random spots in Oregon. But every shot contains either mist or water, which is pretty much why I was craving Oregon in the first place. We were hoping for foggy conditions, waterfalls, waves, the ocean and anything akin to that. Even frozen Trillium Lake covered in snow had a low fog slightly obscuring Mt. Hood. The light was amazing the morning of our second day from Ecola State Park, and I gobbled that up.

Equipment included two Canon 5DSR’s and a Phantom 3 Pro. Time-lapse clips rendered in After Effects, and the final film edited in Premiere Pro. I used the Lumetri Color effect to do simple editing of the drone footage.

Hope you enjoy!

A Corona by Moonlight

Moonlight Corona
(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark iii, canon 17-40mm f/4 l, 22mm, iso 1000, f/9, 13 sec)

Something a wee bit different today.

A few weeks ago I was in Florida shooting a wedding and wanted to capture some lightning over the ocean while I was there. It didn’t happen…but this little decaying storm was perfectly silhouetted against the late night moon…it was beautiful.

And I was also wishing for an ice cold Corona for some reason.

The Astoria-Megler Bridge

Astoria_Megler Bridge
(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark iii, canon 17-40mm f/4 l, 17mm, f/16, iso 50, 123 seconds // buy print)

I had never heard of the Astoria-Megler Bridge until we stumbled across it on our vacation a month ago to Cannon Beach. We drove north to check out the Peter Iredale shipwreck and then also the town of Astoria itself. But when I was passing by this bridge and saw all the wooden supports scattered around, I apologized to my wife and flipped a u-turn.

It was an overcast day, so I opted for a long exposure and black & white processing. I loved that bridge. We drove over it later and it was kind of creepy to just suddenly be that high over the water…and then further down you can see it drop again and is level with the ocean. Creepier still was the fog that left us driving towards Washington but seeing nothing ahead of a road going into grey and water on each side.

I loved the Cannery Pier Hotel on the left side and while I was intending to shoot only the bridge, I ended up really digging this comp. It helps give you an idea on the size of the bridge as a comparison.

Oregon…endless possibilities of things to shoot there. I feel so blessed that I’ve been able to spend time in that state.

Stormy sunset at Cannon Beach

Cannon Beach Sunset
(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark iii, canon 17-40mm f/4 l, 17mm, f/16, iso 100, blend // buy print)

I’d been to the Oregon coast about three times before our vacation to Cannon Beach and then four nights during our recent stay. In all that time this is the best sky I’ve had. It’s always been overcast and murky, which I love most other times, but I’ve been dying for color and stormy looking skies at sunset.

Even this one didn’t end up with the color you might hope for when the sun hit the horizon, but I dug it anyways because…well I love storms as you may know. The cloud on the left above the two little pillars of rock kept moving towards me and as the sun went down and I left the beach, I got hit with some pellet-size hail. It was cold and windy…even the surf blew up a few times into my lens and I had to clean it off. A beautiful, beautiful evening.

You may even be able to spot the first floating around the top of Haystack Rock.

I processed this image by manually blending with luminosity masks, which is a tough, tough system to understand and perfect. I’ve been using LM’s for awhile now, but mainly on single images. This was a four exposure blend to get the detail in Haystack, but also the clouds and sunset off in the distance. The blending is tough. But if you get it right, I think it looks amazing.

I love LM’s for this kind of thing because I feel it’s a way more natural result than HDR processing that I used way back in the day. Still learning and perfecting, but digging the results.

 

The Peter Iredale Shipwreck | Oregon Coast

The Peter Iredale Shipwreck
(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark iii, canon 17-40mm f/4 l, 17mm, iso 50, f/16, 119 sec, b+w 10-stop // buy print)

Last week my wife and I took a much needed mommy-daddy ONLY vacation up to the Oregon coast. No kids, no worries…just relaxing in a beach house, reading, eating good food and seeing the sights. I miss it already.

This is the Peter Iredale shipwreck. It ran ashore back in 1906 meaning it’s been sitting there for over 106 years. Incredible. Slowly over the years it’s been buried and worn away from ocean waves, wind and probably vandals. It was amazing to me how it’s there without protection. No ropes, no fences, no nothing. In fact a Toyota pickup was just off camera to the left here by about 50 feet. The guy was clamming out in the waves. I was surprised you could just drive right by it and park.

It’s a lot bigger than you would think from a picture…at the high point there it’s about 15-18 feet. It was kind of crazy walking from our car over a bluff and seeing it for the first time. No words to describe it. Looking at something that has been in the same place for 106 years and is slowly disappearing was magical and thought-provoking.

When we were planning this trip, I knew I wanted to go here. I’d seen a few photos and couldn’t believe how close it was to Cannon Beach. I’ve been up that way before but had no idea about the ship wreck until recently.

The day was foggy and rainy, so I opted for some black and white long exposures.

 

Gorge | Seal Rock, Oregon Coast

Gorge - Seal Rock Oregon Coast

(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark ii, canon 17-40 f/4 l, 17mm, f/10, iso 50, 258 seconds, b+w 10 stop nd // buy print)

One of the hardest things for me when I get a chance to visit Oregon is that usually I don’t have a lot of time to take pictures. I end up running to the coast with only an hour or two maybe to find cool spots and setup shots around sunset. The last few times there I’ve felt like I walked away with only a single good image because of just not knowing the terrain very well and having zero time to explore.

This last trip was kind of the same way. I had picked out Seal Rock from Google Maps because it had easy parking access and was around the area I wanted to be in for sunset. When I got there I hiked down the trail to the beach, but before I got there, I noticed another path veering off towards some cliffs and I decided to skip the beach and check it out.

And I’m glad I did. The rock on the left is what I believe is the actual “Seal Rock”, because the “beach” side of it is pretty crazy. But on this side, it helps create a gorge with this other giant rock/cliff on the right.

The tide was way out, so I hiked down pretty low to take this. The water actually came right up under the tripod a few times during this 4.3 minute exposure.

A cool little spot, totally dug all the creepy rocks.

 

Point Break

After the wedding we shot a week and a half ago in Malibu, my buddy Rick and I took the Pacific Coast Highway back to Los Angeles. We were both exhausted from an early morning flight, a lot of shooting outdoors and just a long day in general. We had just enough energy to make one stop off the highway and walk down some worn-down stairs to the beach far below.

It’s another edition of Movie Title Wednesday and this week the film is Point Break for obvious reasons I think. I’ve seen the movie and I remember liking it, but I honestly don’t remember much more than Keanu Reeves, Patrick Swayze, a bank robbery and masks.  I know a lot of people who dig this film, curious how many of you out there liked it? I’ve always been a Reeves fan even though most people don’t think he can act. I think he’s a fine actor, the problem is, he has one style that works and that’s about it. Speed is one of my all-time favorite action films and of course you have The Matrix.

I rarely get to the ocean despite living fairly close to California, so I was excited to at least shoot a few images during our day-trip. The ocean is awe-inspiring and frightening for me at the same time. I hope someday to do more of this and have a nice, fat 10-stop ND filter on me so I can really make the images I want to, but in the meantime, I liked how this turned out. I don’t always put a lot of time into processing my images these days, but I spent plenty on this . Phototools was especially useful to help create a nice color contrast between the water and the rocks.

I hope Rick posts his sometime soon because he had a 10-stop and I loved the way his looked right out of the camera.

(exif: canon 5d mark ii, tamron 17-35mm 2.8, 20mm, f/25, iso 100

A little ode to the beach

We’re headed to San Diego tomorrow for a nice four-day weekend with friends in a giant vacation house that sits a couple hundred feet from the beach. It’s going to be awesome and it’s unbelievable to think I actually have to work today when all I want to do is get in the car and start driving.

In honor of the sand, surf and relaxation, I figured I would post a few shots from a beach near Den Haag in Holland. We were headed back to Amsterdam to leave the next day for the States, and decided to swing by the ocean to just take a look. We hadn’t been there yet and we needed to check it out.

The day was beautifully overcast, there were spots of darker clouds and rain, not to mention wind, and it all helped create some of my favorite photos from the trip.  The above image is my favorite of all of these…I felt so lucky to catch a sideview of that sail from the distance I was at. The dark crescent just stood out from the muted scene behind it.

I also like the one just below…like I said, the wind was blowing fairly good and the cloudy, wavy lines you see running along the beach are actually blowing sand.

Something about this beach cried out black-and-white to me, except for the surf board which just HAD to stay in color. Hope you enjoy!

Clouds over New York City

Sometimes taking photos from a plane just doesn’t amount to much afterwards. You really have to find a sky or a scene in front of you that is so unique that capturing it from a plane makes it amazing.

I don’t think this is close to that kind of photo, but what I do love is the angle I was able to get with the plane turning to the right as we headed to JFK in New York. The clouds were beautiful and up on the horizon they were moving left to right and forming storms as they made their way to the right, as you can see.

Just a fun view of a giant city, one that I’m fond of and would love going back to someday.

(You can see more photos from my trip to Holland by clicking on this tag: Holland Trip)