Monday, December 28, 2009

I love Seattle!

I went to the Jose Rizal Bridge last night just after sunset. I met another photographer, Raj, there and we walked down and through a hole in the fence that separates the dog park and the freeway so we could get a closer and slightly different view from this wonderful location.

This is the last image taken with my buddy's 5D, now I am just waiting to sell my 40D and 17-55mm lens so I can get myself a new camera!


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Above the Inversion at the Newcastle Golf Club

On Christmas Eve I got up at about 5am so I could drive out to North Bend and hike up to the top of Rattlesnake Ledge because there was a nice temperature inversion. If there is enough low-level moisture, this is often a recipe for a low layer of clouds and fog. Last January some friends and I hike up Rattlesnake Ledge and were treated to a spectacular sunset above the inversion.

This year I was hoping to catch sunrise. However the inversion layer was much shallower than I thought and it only extended east to Issaquah. So I drove around the Sammamish Plateau and then Cougar Mountain trying to find someplace at the right altitude with a view. I was about ready to give up when I found the Newcastle Golf Club. This place has a SPECTACULAR view! I really don't know if I was supposed to be there (there was a sign that said golfers only where I was shooting) but the grounds keeper didn't ask me to leave (in fact he asked for my business card, which I had).

I was also shooting with my buddy's Canon 5D, he let me borrow it since I am in the process of moving to a full frame camera.

You can see (and order) them all here. Here are a select few:

Mixing Out
View Larger

Sunrise Above the Inversion

Above the Inversion

Newcastle Golf Club

Slanted Cloud Deck

And in this image you can see some nice Kelvin-Helmhotz waves!
Kelvin-Helmhotz Waves at the Inversion
View Larger.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Zenfolio Site (for ordering images) Launched!

I've created a Zenfolio site where people can now order both prints and framed art from! It is set up so that you can order a print (or framed art) in the size that you want and it will be printed by Mpix (one of the highest quality online photographic printing companies) and they will ship it to your door!

As time goes on, the site will be updated with some of my more recent photos while older ones will come down so it won't get too cluttered.

It is also now linked with a slightly updated

Just in time for the holidays too! Happy shopping at!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Beauty of Clouds

What can I say, I love clouds. These three images we taken yesterday evening. The first is a 128 second exposure at the Mulikteo Lighthouse, the second is a 122 second exposure from Log Boom Park and the last is from Kerry Park on Queen Anne. I drove all over the place yesterday!

"Brush Strokes"
Brush Strokes

"Calm Waters"
Calm Waters - Take #2

"Hint of Blue"
Hint of Blue

Monday, August 10, 2009

Before & After Post-Processing

I have had a couple requests for some before & after post-processing images. Here are some particularly drastic examples from this weekend.

Feel free to ask questions in the comments section!

Dynamic Range
All of these shots were taken just after noon so the sun was almost directly overhead, this is usually the worst time to take photographs. It causes a HUGE dynamic range that cameras just cannot resolve. When working in Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) I use the fill light slider to bring back some detail in the shadows and the recovery slider to recover some of the details in the highlights.

White Balance
Another adjustment made was warming the white balance a bit to get rid of the blues in the shadows, this has the added benefit of warming the highlights too, making it appear as though the photo was taken later in the evening.

Enhancing the Sky
One trick I learned recently was how to make the sky pop! The trick is to reduce the luminosity and increase the saturation of the blues. This will darken the sky if it is a little overexposed. Note: this will not work if the sky is completely blown out (overexposed).

Enhancing the Waterfall
In order to bring out the waterfall a little I opened the image up in Photoshop CS4 and used the dodge tool set to highlights (at around 10%) and drew over the top of the falls.

Another option I've been toying with lately is adding vignetting to my photographs. It is very easy to over-do this option so be careful here.

"The View From Above"
_MG_2133 ORIGINALThe View From Above

"Through the Nooks and Crannies"
_MG_2164 ORIGINALThrough the Nooks and Crannies

"End of the Trail"
_MG_2191 ORIGINALEnd of the Trail

Monday, August 03, 2009

Blue Angels at Seafair 2009

Some shots from this weekends Blue Angels demonstrations. Thursday I shot them from Genesee Park, Friday from the roof of the Atmos Building and Saturday from the I-90 floating bridge. You can see them all here.





Saturday, July 25, 2009

Passing Showers

I was hoping there would be some great thunderstorm action here today but I only saw one strike... On my way down to SeaTac (to pick up Melissa from a BBQ) I stopped at the Jose Rizal Bridge and took this image of the showers approaching Seattle.

"Passing Showers"
Passing Showers

Friday, July 24, 2009

Richmond Beach Saltwater Park

This evening I drove out to Richmond Beach Saltwater Park to see if there were any noctilucent clouds (the answer was no). I don't believe I've ever taken photos here before. It's not too far from our place and it has a beautiful overlook of the Puget Sound. I'll have to head out there more often. I came away with these photographs.

"Swirling Mass"
Swirling Mass

"Moonset through the Rainfall"
Moonset through the Rainfall


Noctilucent Clouds (Round 2)

Around 9:45 this evening I received multiple phone calls from friends that there were noctilucent clouds (NLC's) out over Seattle. I quickly ran outside to see how interesting they were and was blow away at how bright and structured they were. I quickly grabbed my camera, coat and flip-flops and drove over to Log Boom Park. When I arrived I was amazed at how much brighter they were than last weeks NLC's. Below are the photographs that I took, you can also view the whole NLC set on flickr.

"Good vs. Evil"
Good vs. Evil

"Path to the Heavens"
Path to the Heavens

"Striking a Pose"
Striking a Pose

"Fading into the Night"
Fading into the Night

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Log Boom Trails

I went to Golden Gardens again this evening with some friends and on the way home I decided that yesterday's startrails image didn't satisfy me. So I drove out to Log Boom Park and set up this 103 exposure image. It doesn't have the dynamic tree that the last one did but there aren't a ton of planes either...

"Log Boom Trails"
Log Boom Trails

Each exposure has these attributes:
Shutter Speed: 30 seconds
Aperture: f/4
ISO: 640
Focal Length: 10mm

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Magnolia Expressway

Yesterday, Rahul and I drove to the bluff in Magnolia overlooking the Puget Sound a place I haven't been to recently. While my camera was working on this image I helped Rahul learn how to take night shots with his Olympus EVOLT E-510.

"Magnolia Expressway"
Magnolia Expressway

This is a startrails image made up of 143 exposures. I knew there would be a couple planes in this image but there are WAY to many....

Each exposure has these attributes:
Shutter Speed: 30 seconds
Aperture: f/4
ISO: 640
Focal Length: 10mm

Friday, July 17, 2009

Noctilucent or Polar Mesospheric Clouds

Extremely rare noctilucent or polar mesospheric clouds were visible in the PNW Tuesday and Wednesday this week! These clouds are usually not visible south of 50 degrees north but recently have been seen as far south as Nebraska. These clouds form in the mesosphere about 50 miles above the earths surface in the Northern Hemisphere summer when the mesosphere is the coldest (yes that's right, coldest). The can only be seen after the sun has set (usually about an hour into twilight) when the sun is illuminating them from below (because they are so far above the earth's surface they still receive sunlight).

The first sighting of these clouds was in 1885 and there is no evidence to suggest they may have been around before then, so this is a relatively new atmospheric phenomena that is not well understood. Some believe that it is tied with global warming as they have become more are more frequent over time and have moved further south. Whatever the cause, they are beautiful and make for great photographs!

UPDATE 7/23/2009: More noctilucent clouds (NLC's) formed today that were even brighter! Click here to see them.

Noctilucent Clouds

Noctilucent Clouds

Noctilucent Clouds

Thursday, July 09, 2009

One Fine Day

"One Fine Day"
One Fine Day

Monday, June 29, 2009

"An Eerie Night"

95 Second exposure taken from Log Boom Park.

An Eerie Night

Friday, June 05, 2009

Marine Push!

Update: Scott Sistek from Komo 4 News has posted a weather blog about the push. It has my photo as well as a link to my flickr set.

Update: the photo I took during the most intense part of the push is currently the front page photo on!

Tuesday: 88 degrees.
Wednesday: 89 degrees.
Thursday: 91 degrees.

This is JUNE for cryin' out loud! Well we FINALLY got some relief today around 9:00pm when a VERY strong marine push blew through.

My friend Don sent me a text at 8:50 this evening asking me if I was outside. He said that the sky was on fire and the winds had just come up quickly. I knew there was some very strong convection down in northern Oregon today so my first though was a very strong gust front. Turns out it was an extremely strong marine push coming from the ocean! I looked at the radar and sure enough there was a strong signal of very strong winds that indicated it was almost here. I quickly threw my camera stuff together and went over to Log Boom Park at the northern tip of Lake Washington. I got there just in time to see the very end of the gorgeous sunset!

9:01pm Gorgeous Sunset Before The Push

I then turned my attention to the push that was almost there. It was fairly obvious where it was by looking at both the clouds and the surface of the water.

9:05pm Before The Push

I ran down to the end of the pier and set up my camera just as the wind started to pick up. Here you can see the surface of the water is starting to get a little rough as the winds pick up ahead of the push.

9:10pm The Push Arrives

Then it hit within about 30 seconds. The winds gusted up to over 50 knots and made it very hard to stand, let alone take photos! Below is a 1 second exposure I took during the most intense part. I am holding on the the tripod and camera as best as possible to keep it from shaking!

9:13pm The Strongest Part!

Then as the winds settled a bit (down to 20-30 knots) the enhanced bands of clouds rolled overhead

9:18pm Enhanced Clouds Move Overhead

9:18pm Enhanced Clouds Move Overhead

After about 5 more minutes the winds settled to 15-20kts where they stayed for awhile. This is the last shot in the series showing the enhanced band moving north.

9:23pm Push Has Passed

I packed up and left. I have NEVER been on such a photographic AND meteorological high at the same time. It was a meteorologists/photographers dream!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Welcome To Seattle

I took this from a park that sits just to the north of Boeing Field. Mount Rainier has been spectacular the last couple of days! I'm slowly working on posting photos regularly again.

Welcome To Seattle

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Startrails in Photoshop CS4!

Finally tried my first startrails image since getting my MacBook Pro. I used the photoshop action and stacked 109 30 second exposures together. It came out better than expected! I really like the light trails from the planes too as they take off from Sea-Tac Airport. The exposures were taken from Kerry Park on the south side of Queen Anne.

Startrails From Kerry Park

UPDATE: I am currently working on a 3 part night tutorial series! See my most recent blog posts to see it!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Photo of the Day

The sun sets behind Gerberding Hall on the UW campus. I had just walked out of our midterm review session and happened to have my camera with me.

Gerberding Hall Sunset

Monday, January 12, 2009

Ducati Shoot

Sunday Melissa and I drove out to Gig Harbor so I could take some photographs for Cari. Cari was the bride at the most recent wedding I shot and she wanted to have a poster made for her husbad Ryan of his Ducati motorcycle since he is going to Cuba this spring with the Coast Guard. I made a couple mock-ups and we both agreed on this one:


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Bokeh Shots

I've been playing a little with my new 17-55mm lens and decided to try to take some bokeh shots, something I've never really done before. Anyways, this one was my favorite!

Candle Glow