Final Central Coast

My final day involved some early-ish morning shots at Moonstone Beach, the Central Coast mood is best when the mists are all thick. Then, after picking up an exquisite coffee cake from Linn’s Bakery in, driving (and stopping) and driving home to LA. The coast from Cambria to Morro isn’t as dramatic as the wilds of Big Sur. But there are unique photo spots here if you keep…

Lower Central Coast: San Simeon, Cambria

Once you leave the highlands of Big Sur, the highway eases its way into flood plane and the eastern hills soften. The light is thick golden syrup, the hills rusty gold, the ocean deep, deep blue. This is the Alice in Wonderland that is San Simeon, the Hearst Castle. But our focus remains the lovely shot locations available on the coast. Just another unmarked pull-off. It was…

Big Sur: Undiscovered Land

Most folks think of Big Sur as an endless drive with one knockout view after another. True. But that’s also the road tripper’s mistake. Because the road between Cambria and Carmel is too long and too congested to work as a one-day trip — at least if you want to enjoy the experience. Push too hard on Route 1 and one pull-off blends into the next and everyone wishes the hotel was closer….

Road Tripping Through Big Sur

Geographically Big Sur is just a wilder, more pristine extension of the Monterey Coast. But Big Sur is unique, one-of-a-kind, one of the great road trips in America. Yes, it can be a pain to drive, especially on summer weekends. But get past the quick pull-off and click mentality of most drivers, treat the different spots as the kick-ass photo locations they are, the trip becomes a feast…

Final Images from Carmel Trip

And the sabbath rang slowly In the pebbles of the holy streams. Fern Hill I’m finally finishing up Lightroom work for my trip to Carmel and Big Sur. These were’t part of the photo tour, just stuff I discovered when I returned to shoot locations we had covered on the tour (or with the Carmel Beach images, the beach just down from my little hotel). Even into…

Photo Improv: Lovers Beach

Each time you take your camera to a spot, you look at that place with certain conscious (or unconscious) goals. You want to show what a place looks like, show the folks back home where you visited, or maybe trying to collect a few artful images. For this visit to Pacific Grove, my goal was to photograph the life of this place in an almost stream of consciousness…

Putting the Composition Elements Together

In my previous post I talked about the idea that a photographer should start out at a new photo location by looking at the deeper visual elements that will make an exciting image. Foreground and background elements, leading lines — all the physical structures of a place need to be recognized and then framed, adjusted (by adjusting your position or zooming), and shaped into…

Learning to See

Originally posted on Bear Woods Happenings:
Learning to See.   When I am out photographing or for that matter teaching, I study the elements in front of me. I talk to my students and try and get them to identify a subject and other elements within an area. I emphasize the idea of studying the relationship of the elements and how they compliment or…

My Two Books on Photographing the Utah National Parks Are in Print

The ebook I wrote on getting good photos is now available in print. For the print version, I broke the material down into two books, one on Photographing Zion and Bryce Canyon, the other for Photographing Arches, Canyonlands and Capitol Reef. These two aren’t coffee table books, there’s tons of detail on shot locations, composition, trails, etc., and publishing all that material on high grade…

Photographing Monument Valley

Monument Valley has been the embodiment of the American Southwest in the popular culture since John Ford began making his Westerns there (starting with Stagecoach).  And the visual impact of the place has been drawing photographers even since. To fully access these unique shoot locations, a tour is a necessity. The landscape photographer Josef Muench photographed the area in the early days and throughout his…