Monday, October 31, 2011

Back from Death Valley

Crescent Moon Setting Over Badwater

I'm just home from co-hosting a photo tour in Death Valley National Park.  It was a fabulous few days despite the fact I was recovering from a cold.  I went through a bottle and a half of Purell in an attempt to keep my cold to myself - fingers crossed I was successful.

While most of my time was spent setting camp, driving guests to locations, preparing meals and offering advice on what/how to capture the scenes unfolding in front of us, I did find time to capture a few images of my own.

I photographed the crescent moon setting while I waited for guests to return from the middle of the salt flats with Jim Goldstein.  One of the guests, Tom suggested we shoot this as a timelapse so in a few days I'll get that sequence together to share!  Thanks Tom!

Another of our guests was none other than Russell Brown.  Russell is the Senior Creative Director at Adobe and boy does he know the products inside and out!  One of our main desires in visiting the remote Racetrack Playa in Death Valley was the opportunity to photograph the stars with minimal light pollution.  Russell offered up one of his amazing scripts to help us composite our star trails.  It worked like a charm (even though my intervalometer stopped working one hour into a three hour shoot).  The script creates layers from multiple exposures, sets the blending mode and even gives you masks which make it super easy to get rid of pesky air planes from the night sky.  As someone who manually performed all of those tasks for her first star trail image... it took HOURS... I can tell you this script is worth it's weight in gold!! Visit http://www.russellbrown.com/ to get your copy of Dr. Brown’s Stack-A-Matic 2.2.3.

A warm thank you to the rest of the gang: Maurice, Dave and Glenn - you made it a wonderful trip despite the frigid desert night.  I hope you've all thawed out by now!!

Friday, October 7, 2011


Last Sunday was one of the most beautiful days I have ever had on the Pacific Ocean.  The sea was calm, barely a one foot swell even when the wind picked up later in the day.  We headed out to look for the Great White Sharks which are congregating near the Farallons at this time of year as they follow their favorite food, Sea Lions and elephant seals.
Calm Seas
We got skunked on the sharks but we did see a pod of Risso Dolphin (Grampus griseus).  The lack of shark activity gave me some free time to pull out a wide angle lens and play with the clouds.  Normally I am too focused on working the long lens as I chase images of the animals that live in this amazing area.  On our way home we found a weather buoy that had broken loose form it's anchorage and was drifting into the shipping lane.  A quick call to the Coast Guard found the contact info to report the errant buoy and it should be back where it belongs by now.
Pod of Risso Dolphin in front of the Farallon Islands

Farallon Islands also called the Devil's Teeth

An errant weather buoy

The Golden Gate welcomed us home

Alcatraz Island

Recent Press

It's been a crazy busy year but some of that work is paying off in the media.  Fun!
You can click the links below to view the articles.

Planet Green: "Awesome Arachnids"

The Sun:  "Fighting for Survival: Polar Bears in the Wild"

TreeHugger: "Wolves in Ethiopia Disappearing Thanks to Domestic Dog Diseases"

The Telegraph: Picture of the Day October 6, 2011

The Daily Mail: "Leap of Faith"

The Venice Patch: "Archnophilia Crawls into G2 Gallery"