My Travels With Marty
If you want to have fun taking pictures in Northern California, first go to your local animal shelter and get a dog. Most California locations (except for a few State Parks) are very dog-friendly,as are most motels in our state. I would rather go anywhere with Marty than anywhere without him; even though that means I can't shoot in certain locations such as the famed Point Lobos Reserve near Carmel.
Click here to see more more images of Marty on location. Shown below are some highlights from our recent travels.
April 2013 Oakdale Rodeo
Every April the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association brings their competition to Oakdale, CA which is about ten miles east of my home. And for at least 48 hours it really is the "Cowboy Capital of the World".
Rodeos are very exciting and dangerous events for the participants: both man and beast. Because the PRCA photographers don't want competiton, everyone else is forced to work from distant corners of the ring, where the dust in the air makes telephoto images even more challenging. Nonetheless some of the "bronc" riders came my way and I did get some nice sequence shots that document the violent nature of this business. FYI some of these images will be placed in the Central Valley Gallery.
March 2013 Pt. Lobos, Big Sur
Pt. Lobos, just south of Carmel, CA is one of the most interesting State Parks in California; but they won't allow dogs through the gate. Based on reports of high winds, I had hoped to see some really big waves. The high winds didn't arrive until around 4:30 pm, but that coincided with a low tide. That enabled me to go out onto the rock shelves at Weston Beach and shoot the waves coming in on my left. There is another shot in my Big Sur Gallery where the waves spew up right in front of me.
February 2013 Pt. Reyes
In February Marty and I went up to Mendocino for a reception featuring our work at the Highlight Gallery in Mendocino. Driving home we stopped off at Pt. Reyes. On the weekends all visitors to the tip of Pt. Reyes, must park and ride buses. Since I didn't want to leave Marty, we drove down to Limantour Beach where dogs are welcome. There we watched the sun set behind the Pt. Reyes peninsula. Since this is close to San Francisco, I put this photo in my SF Gallery.
January 2013 Highway 1, Big Sur
In January I took Anne and our three dogs over to Cambria on the Central Coast to see the Elephant Seals giving birth on a beach just north of there. The older dominate bulls are 22 feet long and weigh up to 4,000 lbs. These huge mammals spend most of their lives in the artic region, but in the winter they migrate south along with their "harems" of pregnant cows to give birth.
On the way over we drove through rain showers most of the way which added an aura of mystery to this view looking down on famed Highway 1 above the Mill Creek Bridge. This photograph and a couple of other new ones from this trip are on my Big Sur Gallery page.
MY NEW BOOK: "California's EAST SIDE"
South of Carson City, Nevada the California State Line veers eastward and U.S. Highway 395 comes back into California. This is where the EAST SIDE begins along the West fork of the Walker River north of Bridgeport. From there Highway 395 follows the eastern slope of the Sierras down into the Mojave Desert and over the San Gabriel Mountains to East Los Angeles as Interstate 15.
This book features thirty-eight photographs taken between the Bodie ghost town in the north and Death Valley in the south. Sites featured include Mono Lake, the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, Alabama Hills and numerous alpine lakes in the Bishop area. This 40 page, 12" x 12" book of photographs and information can be viewed and purchased either as a hardcover book or in PDF form at www.blurb.com. A smaller PDF version of the EAST SIDE can be viewed here online.
December 2012 Big Sur
For about four weeks around the winter solstice, the sun sets through this arch on Pfieffer Beach in Big Sur.
In making this photograph I blended two different exposures together to show all the details on the rock wall face as well as the brilliant sunlight in the opening. FYI there is a vertical version of this image from 2011 that is much closer to the wall on my Big Sur Gallery page.
November 2012 Yosemite
On Veteran's Day weekend we got our first snowfall of the season in Yosemite Valley. Because the creeks feeding the waterfalls were almost dry, the Merced River was as still as a pond. That's what produced this perfect reflection of Half Dome in the shallow water just below the Stoneman Bridge.
Many of the oak trees still had all their leaves, so we had fall color with snow and ice on the ground. It was a magical day for Marty and me.
This photograph was created from two images captured on a tripod at different exposures to balance the shadowy light in the foreground reflection with the bright sidelight on Half Dome.
October 2012 Bishop and the Bristlecone Pines
Every October Marty and I go over to the Eastern Sierras to shoot the fall color around Bishop, but in 2012 there wasn't much to shoot. Above 11,000 feet the leaves were gone and below about 8,500 feet they hadn't turned yet. But we did get a nice sunrise on the Owens River that became the cover photograph on my new book celebrating "California's East Side" (as descibed above). Due to the cold, Marty had his coat on.
We also had a great day up in the Patriarch Grove of the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest in the White Mountains above Bishop. The high winds and the approaching storms from the south added considerable drama to this desolate high elevation (11,000 foot plus) location. Images from this visit, as well as ones from previous trips to the Shulman Grove, have been assembled in a new Bristlecone Pine Gallery. The Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest is home to the oldest living trees (4,000 years) on the earth.
September 2012 Family Trip
In mid-September I had to deliver some more prints to the Highlight Gallery in Mendocino, so we turned it into a brief family vacation. Marty, Mindy, Max (the tres amigos) and my wife came along for the ride. From Mendocino we drove north up the coast to Bandon Oregon and then came home around Mt. Shasta and through Lassen National Park. Although the coastal weather was lousy for photography (very foggy and cool) the dogs loved running on the trails and beaches.
Burney Falls in Shasta County was a high point of the trip. It's a very wide spring-fed falls that tumbles down 129 feet and flows year round. We then drove down through Mt. Lassen National Park. Even after a long hot summer there were still some pockets of snow on the top of Mt. Lassen.
August 2012 Vintage Car Races.
As part of the annual Pebble Beach Concours, the Sports Car Racing Association hosts races for vintage sports and racing cars at the Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey. This year the races featured the 50th Anniversary of the Shelby Cobra, a marriage of Ford engines and the British AC Ace chassis, that became the first American-built car to win the Manufacturers' Championship. This shot shows four of these racing cars from the sixties going at it on the corkscrew turn on the back stretch at Laguna Seca.
July 2012 San Francisco Fireworks?
On the Fourth of July I drove over to Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay hoping to get some nice shots of the fireworks over the city. Sadly there was a fog deck over the Bay plus the wind blew the smoke toward me; but ultimately it was the distance from the show that foiled my efforts. However I discovered a wonderful sculpture entitled "Bliss Dance", which I added to my San Francisco Gallery.
June 2012 Lavender Hollow Farm
About eight miles from my home there is a small family owned Lavender Farm that's open to visitors for three weekends just before harvest. It's become such a popular destination that tour buses now bring visitors from the Bay area. To avoid the visitors you have to focus closely on the plants. This image features some English Lavender close-up. Because the farm owner has a dog, Marty had to stay home. To see more photographs from Lavender Hollow Farm visit the Lavender Farm Gallery.
May 2012 Big Sur Family Vacation
In May we all went over to Cambria on the Central California Coast. Along the way we stopped off at several beaches on the Big Sur Coast, including Marty's favorite: Garrapata Beach. Coming home we had a bright overcast day which was ideal to shoot the waterfalls on Salmon and Lime Kiln Creeks east of Highway 1 (see Big Sur Gallery)
April 2012 Yosemite
In mid-April Marty and I drove up through the Merced River Canyon on the Highway 140 route into the Yosemite Valley. The hillsides that had burned in the previous two years were covered with California Poppies (our state flower). One of the benefits of fires and limited rainfall is that the wild flowers don't have to compete with the weeds and wild grasses and they can really show off. Marty and I stopped to explore the trail along the South Fork of the Merced outside the park and discovered hillsides filled with flowers.
As we drove closer to the park, the banks of the Merced River were adorned with Redbud Bushes in full bloom. Inside the Park the Dogwood were just starting to bloom. To see more visit my Yosemite Gallery.