California Landscape Photography Guidebook Coming September 2015

Coming soon to a bookstore near you!  It’s 325 pages long, and covers sites from Yosemite to San Diego.

The first print run of books should getting loaded on a ship any day now.  I’ll receive an initial box of 150 from that shipment, so when they’re close to arriving I’ll set up a form to take pre-orders for author-signed copies.

It all started with my purchase of “Photographing the Southwest Vol. 1: Southern Utah” by Laurent Martres.  I wore out the first copy that I bought ten years ago, so I was on my second copy when I started working on this California book with Laurent as my publisher in 2010.  It has been a long road, but I’m glad that I drove so many miles over so many years to produce this guide to help you explore the same places a little more efficiently.

Want to be successful on Facebook in 2015? Let the visual components of your post drive your engagement!

Hey fellow photographers, you have to love this!

Originally shared by +Constant Contact

Want to be successful on Facebook in 2015? Let the visual components of your post drive your engagement!

According to +Simply Measured's new study, photos are the most successful content type on Facebook, but since 2013, brands have been posting more links and fewer photos!


Yosemite With Pride

We were in Yosemite to celebrate my mothers's birthday last week. I don't think that she had eaten at the +The Ahwahnee Hotel before, so we treated her to a meal there as a special treat during the family reunion week. Since it was a special occasion, I brought my last bottle of '98 +Pride Mountain Vineyards merlot, and we enjoyed it prior to heading over for dinner. Then it turned out that The Ahwahnee had the 2012 Pride merlot, so we tried that with dinner! Although separated by 14 years of age, both wines displayed Pride's excellent site and microclimate, their ability to grow great grapes and not screw them up in the winemaking process. I miss the place; I need to get back up there soon.

#wine #winetasting #winelovers #pridemountainvineyards

Yosemite With Pride Mountain Vineyards Merlot

Photos from the Washington Fire Near Markleeville, California

Smoke from the Washington Fire obscures the sun, as seen from Topaz Lake Sunday afternoon

It’s always interesting living in the Eastern Sierra, perhaps never more so than when you wake up one morning and discover that a wildfire is heading your general direction.  That was the situation yesterday as the Washington fire burned near Ebbetts Pass and Silver Peak in California’s Sierra Nevada.  The fire started Friday, and by Sunday morning it had grown to 350 acres.  But the forecast for Sunday was dry and windy, so it had been identified as being a “red flag” day with the highest possible fire danger.

Washington Fire near Silver Peak

Washington Fire near Silver Peak

Heading up on Highway 89 over Monitor Pass, the fire could be seen near Silver Peak, still fairly well localized, but with growing winds sending the smoke towards the Double Springs neighborhood and Simee Dimeh Summit.  Highway 4 was closed from Ebbetts Pass to its intersection with Highway 89 over Monitor Pass.

Washington Fire from Monitor Pass

Washington Fire from Monitor Pass

Depending upon the wind direction, the fire could head towards the town of Markleeville in Alpine County, California, over Monitor Pass towards Topaz Lake on the California/Nevada border, or towards neighborhoods in Nevada along Highway 395 between the two.  The most immediate concern was the town of Markleeville if the fire spread north, but with trees dry from drought and two days of high winds in the forecast, the fire could easily jump the East Carson River and head into Nevada.

Washington Fire from Topaz Lake

Washington Fire from Topaz Lake

Early in the morning the smoke was a gray color and not too dense, although it spread over the landscape for many miles.  The winds grew quickly though, fanning and spreading the flames, and the smoke spread higher and became more thick. By mid-afternoon the wind had shifted to center the smoke plume between Simee Dimeh and Topaz Lake, and the color had turned more orange-brown.  The light filtering through the smoke turned the landscape orange.  Winds were gusting over 45 MPH, and the fire was reported as spreading quickly through 6500 acres, jumping forward via wind-carried embers.  Highway 89 over Monitor Pass had closed, residents south of Markleeville had been evacuated, and residents in town were put on notice.

Washington Fire from the north

Washington Fire from the north

By early evening it seemed like a good idea to get an update on the fire’s location and direction, but online updates can be sparse and vague.  With the high vantage points around Monitor Pass closed, the next best option would be to see what could be seen from the north/northeast.

Leviathan Mine Road departs Highway 395 at Simee Dimeh Summit and heads to Highway 89 on the west side of Monitor Pass, but it crossed directly under the dense, now tobacco-brown smoke.  But the road entered into the smoke that showed the fire’s path in the wind.  Without better information on the fire’s location and speed, it would not be wise to enter the area. I captured some photos and video clips from a safe distance north of the smoke, then returned to Highway 395.  Heading south from Simee Dimeh to Topaz Lake, the smoke had darkened to dark brown.  It was so dark, vehicles had their headlights on.

The wind died down in the evening, so the spread of the fire slowed and the smoke less dense.  As of Monday morning, the acreage of the fire hasn’t been updated since yesterday afternoon, but the fire has been reported in Bagley Valley south of Highway 89 and Heenan Lake, so the fire has crossed the East Carson River.  It has also been reported north of Highway 89, so it has also crossed the only paved roads between the original fire location and the neighborhoods along Highway 395.  With another day of wind gusts up to 40 MPH in the forecast, we just have to hope for a wind direction which will not bring the fire too close to homes before the wind subsides and the firefighters can work on the advancing edges. The +Pacific Crest Trail Association published this map earlier today showing the extent of the fire:

I’ll upload more photos to DripThat, a new app and community which facilitates the telling of stories through pictures, video and text.  You can find the DripThat app in the Apple App Store (Android soon), and you can connect with me in the community to see more of my photos from my road trips:  

This information is on behalf of dripthat. 

Washington Fire Sunday Evening

The smoke continued to thicken over our home as the Washington Fire spread to over 6500 acres in high winds yesterday, so +Lori Hibbett and I headed north of the fire to see if we could see how close it was getting.

#washingtonfire #alpinecounty #Markleeville #California


In Album Washington Fire

Venus, Jupiter and the Moon Will Line up in the Evening Sky Tonight

Then form a triangle in the sky tomorrow night, and draw closer together until a particularly close conjunction June 30:

#astronomy #science #astrophotography #nightphotography

Moon, Venus Jupiter Will Line Up Tonight

Catch the 10% Crescent Moon Setting Tonight

Astronomers are looking forward to the end of this month when Venus will appear in the sky very close to Jupiter. But the two bright planets will be dancing with the crescent moon for the next three nights. Tonight in mid northern latitudes the crescent moon of about 9% full will be best caught to the west during twilight around 9 pm, right before it descends into the thicker air and haze by the horizon.

For the following two nights, the moon will be brighter and set increasingly later, forming a triangle with Jupiter and Venus.

I photographed a similar event earlier this year, when the moon set with Venus and Mars nearby. I posted a time-lapse video and photographs of that event to my blog:

#science #astronomy #photography #astrophotography

Applause for the Appulse: Moon, Mars and Venus

Ancient Turkey

I added a dozen photos to my Ancient Turkey album on G+ to help illustrate my recent blog post on a visit to Lake Bafa:

Ancient Turkey album:

#traveltuesday #travel #photography #Turkey #turkeytravel


In Album Ancient Turkey