Psychedelic Coast

Location: Big Sur, CA / Settings: F5.6, ISO 100, 215 seconds

This is by far the coolest tent I've ever slept the night in. I felt like I had to do the psychedelic vibe of it justice with a colorful prism style light-painting.  

The Devil's Brick

This image is based on a dream I had where I was walking on a beach and there was a sudden Tsunami, everyone starts running from the crashing waves and as I start running, a girl with a worried look shoves a bag to my chest. I look inside the bag for an instant to see a glowing red brick - hot like coals. I quickly bury the bag in sand and look up to see a charred man with cracks of glowing red on his skin in a suit looking down at me - he says 'I believe you have something of mine'.. I reply ' I believe you are mistaken' and then wake up. 

Distant Lights

Shiny-bone jones under starry skies at glass beach.

Rolling Bones

Location: El Mirage, CA / Settings: (Composite of 2 images) Skeletons at F8, ISO 100, 237 seconds. Skateboard & stars at F2.8, ISO 3200, 15 seconds. 

After researching a few dry lake beds, I soon realized it's the responsibility of every image-capturing human being to shoot an illusion where there's something that's usually small (but appears large) in the foreground and something that usually large (that appears small) in the background.

Just take a look at some of these images at the salt flats in Boliva for example. I wanted to put my own spin on that kind of photo.

Now run for your lives ;)

Tuojiangosaurus

Location: Salt Point State Park, CA / Settings: F8, ISO 200, 271 second exposure

This location was interesting because of the combination of sandstone and tafoni formations that scattered the coastline. After scouting around during the day (photos below) I tried to go back and shoot it at night. Unfortunately, it started to rain and most of the spots I wanted to hit were miles away. 

I took a chance and ran out to the first formations I could find and did the quickest light fossil I've ever done just as it began to really pour down. Happy to get this one in! Will have to look for a good all-weather solution to my photography.. A little rain is a crappy reason to put away gear.

trail

Here is the beautiful hiking trail.

alien coast

The rocky coast formations go on for a few miles. Apparently this sandstone was used to create the streets and buildings in San Francisco during the 1800's.

tafoni

Close-up of tafoni. Here's a link to the park's website in case you'd like to check it out for yourself.

Ebbs and Flows

Location: La Jolla, CA / Settings: F7.1, ISO 100, 266 second exposure

For this image I knew I wanted a reflection, but I need to thank my trusty new Dorcy Dive-light  for the underwater highlights. I put my arm into the water from behind the camera and directed it toward the horizon for this shot. Any night-shooter that lives near a large body of water needs a good underwater light source - this is a solid, bright and durable light-source.

fishes

Caught a few fishes swimming in some test shots.

parting the sea

I thought this area looked familiar, so I added a skeletal Moses parting the sea for good measure.

Last but not least - the seafood special.

Happy Trails

Location: Pacific Coast Valley - Big Sur, CA

happy trails

I can't do a place like this justice in photographs. 

a nice sunset

For these kind of moments you just have to experience it first-hand. 

pacific coast valley

Blue-hour at the Pacific Valley Bluff trail in Big Sur, CA.

coast valley at night

I hope some of these images will encourage you to take a long drive to somewhere you are curious about

Here's a link to the trail I took this images at.

Pizza Reaper

Location: Big Sur, CA / Settings: F7.1, ISO 100, 339 second exposure

The pizza-reaper was an idea my friend Jeff Morris said I should try out a few years ago. He's got a great drone video he just released called 'Above San Diego' that has some really unique shots - you should watch it.

Anyways, I liked his idea and tried a few photos years ago but they never came out quite the way I wanted - they were rough and un-practiced back then. 

Fast-forward a few years of practice and take that same idea to Big Sur, CA and now you have something worth looking at! Here's the fellow offering a slice, any takers?

You can download the wallpaper-size version of this image (iphone 6 size) in case you might want a pizza-reaper phone:

pizza-reaper wallpaper


Helter Skelter

Location: El Mirage, CA / Settings: (Composite of 13 images) F7.1 ISO 3200, 4 second exposures

I came to this location in order to try out some fun optical illusion ideas, but my focus switched after I saw the first bolt of lightning.

These images were shot at blue hour (after sunset) that's why the clouds have a purple hue to them.

For the Birds

Location: Bodega Bay, CA / Settings: (Composite) Light art at F8, ISO 100, 456 second exposure, stars at F2.8, ISO 3200, 15 seconds.

What trip up the coast of California can be complete without a look at one of the most iconic horror-film locations?

This historic schoolhouse in Bodega Bay used by Alfred Hitchcock in 'The Birds' was one of the places I thought my light-skeletons just had to visit.. Here they are with a few unwanted guests invading their group photo. 

Still made it to the church on time.

The best kind of Space-Invader

Location: Avila Sea Caves - San Luis Obispo, CA / Settings: F4.5, ISO 1600, 133 second exposure

space invader

This place is a short walk from the parking lot and I'm sure there was a lot more to explore if we had more time. 

For this shot, I used a black glove to hold a single G-technology rugged external hard-drive in place for roughly each pixel used in the notorious space-invader icon.

I shot with a fairly open aperture of F4.5 and an ISO set to 1600 because I wanted the ocean to be visible along with some nice and bright hard-drive pixels for my invader. In addition, I hit the entrance of the cave with a bit of pink and blue light to work with the black and blue invader.

Here's the location on a map in case you feel inspired to check it out for yourself:

location avila sea caves

This is the hard-drive I was using for each pixel in the invader, and yes it is on a sea-glass beach (different location than the invader):

G-tech drive glass beach

Two-tone Styracosaurus

Location: Bodega Bay, CA / Settings: (Composite) Light art at F8, ISO 100, 250 second exposure. Stars at F2.8, ISO 3200, 15 seconds.

After illustrating so many different dinosaurs, I'm happy to have found a new way to do the same thing. The two-tone colors and the myriad combinations they present make me stoked on creating a new style of light-fossils.. Upping the ante a bit I hope! 

Initially, I came to this spot in Bodega Bay because of it's unique geographic features and sweet views down the coast:

bodega bay location

You've got the beach on one side, bay on the other and walking distance between both. 

It's good to have options, and I wasn't as impressed with this view of the beach as I was with the back-lit sand and grass in the direction I had just walked in from. The ambient light from a nearby campground's street-lights were casting a yellowish light on the beach, which you can see here:

bodega beach

To sum up my feelings of Bodega Bay - it was a quiet historic town on the water, and a great place for seafood. More to come from this location.

Two-tone Parasaurolophus

Location: Big Sur, CA / Settings: F7.1, ISO 100, 270 second exposure

I've recently turned 32 and wanted to commemorate the passing of time (as I've done for every birthday since 30), so I took a trip up the coast of California with my girlfriend Astrobandit - 540 miles from Los Angeles to Fort Bragg. I will be sharing images from my trip over the next few weeks, and here is the first at the Riverside campground in Big Sur, CA. That water was cold!

Something to Bragg about

Location: Glass Beach - Fort Bragg, CA / Settings: F2.8, ISO 6400, 15 second exposure

Here's Astrobandit and I at the end of a long road-trip we took up the California Coast to Glass Beach at Fort Bragg, CA. It was cold and windy that night, so we were glad to have our Poler Napsacks - we went straight from our car to the beach wearing these warm and funky numbers.

Bone Dry

Location: Fossil Falls (Off Hwy 395) / Settings: (Composite of 2 images) Stars at F2.8, ISO 3200, 15 seconds / Light-painting at F8, ISO 100, 141 second exposure

This is one of those guided-by-intuition kind of spots, the kind that stick out like a sore thumb and curiosity gets the best of me, so I go in for closer inspection.

One of the more interesting aspects to this image besides the cool texture, is the lights glowing in the background.

If you want a good example for how light-pollution effects the landscape just look to Las Vegas (it's the strong background glow pictured here), over Death Valley national park and past some more desert over 140 miles away.

In Living Color

Location: Tree Tunnel - Point Reyes, CA / Settings: F3.5, ISO 800, 119 second exposure

This is one of those places every photographer wants to visit, and so many have already at different times of the day, dusk, dawn, and in the fog. 

However, when researching it - I hadn't seen a single photo of the tree tunnel at night - what a shame I thought! So, here's one.

Special thanks to the Ranger who parked his truck behind my camera and left his brake-lights on long enough to illuminate the long tunnel of trees with the brilliant red glow you see here. 

Tide-pools

Location: La Jolla, CA / Settings: F8, ISO 100, 196 second exposure

The texture at this spot in La Jolla, just south of the cove a few miles and popular tide-pools, reminds me of something you'd be looking at under a microscope rather than the life-size it is here.

It's interesting to see relations between the infinitely large and infinitely small, maybe we can learn something.

Another feature to this place is the abundance of tiny sea-snails, you can barely see them as small black specks surrounding the small pools. They were sharp enough to cut the bottom of my feet as I traversed the slick rock!

Drunk Boots

Location: Red Rock Canyon, CA / Settings: F8, ISO 100, 231 second exposure

Any man of age or not knows the best way to find their way home without remembering how they got there is to put on their drunk boots. It's like a compass of sorts where inebriated intuition takes hold and with any luck you will end up at home - across town or across the desert onto your neighbor's lawn. It won't be pretty, but drunk boots will get you home every time.