Archive for January, 2011

2 New Proposed Monuments in the Mojave Desert

January 27, 2011

There could be 2 new desert monuments in the Mojave Desert if a proposed bill, the California Desert Protection Act of 2010 is passed.
Here is a little bit of info on how much land is out there and how much is needed for solar projects.

• 23 million acres of California Desert.
• 125,000 acres is needed for an ambitious solar power goal.
• There are 350,000 acres are being looked at by the BLM and are not affected by the Desert Protection Act of 2010.

Green Dilemma: Solar Power in the Mojave from Peter Rhalter on Vimeo.

The desert resembling a Hawaiin Island in the proposed Mojave Trails National Monument
The desert resembling a Hawaiin Island in proposed Mojave National Trails Monument

A large cinder cone in the proposed Mojave Trails National Monument
A large volcanic cinder cone in the proposed Mojave Trails National Monument

An old mining relic along Route 66 in the proposed Mojave Trails National Monument
An old mining relic along Route 66 in the proposed Mojave Trails National Monument

A map to the proposed areas.

More info can be found here on Diane Feinstein’s site and the campaign for the California Desert.

Please help protect the desert’s vital life and resources. Take Action!

Mojave desert tortiose shell and wildflowers.

Website: Portfolio
Workshop info: Scenic Photo Workshops
Private or small group workshop info: Learn.
Steve’s Photo Tips and How To Page
Steve’s Landscape Photographer Tools Page

The Santa Monica Mountains

January 22, 2011

Alpen glow on the Santa Monica Mountains coastal range.
Alpen glow on the Santa Monica Mountains coastal range.

The Santa Monica Mountains are one of Los Angeles’ backyard photo locations. The coastal range spans from the Hollywood Hills in the east and ends in the west past Malibu at Pt. Mugu. What makes this different from the rest of North America is you can photograph fall color and spring flowers all in the same day. It sounds impossible but the mild winters of the mediteranean climate makes this possible.

What's Blooming right now in January?  The lilacs and a few other early bloomers, I'm not crazy just in a mediteranean climate so spring starts early here!
What’s Blooming right now in January? The lilacs and a few other early bloomers, I’m not crazy just in a mediteranean climate so spring starts early here!

Early bloomers under sandstone in the highest part of the mountain range.
Early bloomers under sandstone in the highest part of the mountain range.

The moon setting into the Earth's Shadow.
The moon setting into the Earth’s Shadow.

Website: Portfolio
Workshop info: Scenic Photo Workshops
Private or small group workshop info: Learn.
Steve’s Photo Tips and How To Page
Steve’s Landscape Photographer Tools Page

Interpreting the Landscape

January 15, 2011

The Three Brothers reflecting in the calm winter Merced 2007

Some of the best landscape photographs are not created from the luck of being in the right place at the right the time. They are sculpted from the raw landscapes that we see time and time again. Our experienced eye helps us compose the scenes we stand in front of right before the light begins to get at it’s best.

Our photographic vision is developed each and everytime we are out. Have you ever not just settled on any composition? Struggling with composition is completely normal. Everytime we head out and the light is mediocre, we have the opportunity to exercise our composition skills and get more closely in tune with the ecosystem we are visiting. In light that isn’t so luring we can practice refining our technical skills so when the light is great we can photograph subconsciously and not think so much about the technical aspects of how to work the camera in the field.

Our imagination generates beautiful well composed scenes worthy of any landscape photography prize but it’s how we connect our imagination and composing skills in the moment of being there. We need to check to see if we have the light we need for our subjects in mind or do we need to make adjustments, maybe change our subjects completely and adjust to the quickly changing light. Other questions that may arrise could be, does our specific land forms follow a cadence from front to back or how will exposure affect the balance of light in the histogram? Are blocked up shadows more powerful to the scene?

Developing a clear mental picture in your mind and precisely connecting with it through the lens is only part of interpreting the landscape.

The scene above was taken years ago after I had recently upgraded cameras, wanting to have the same scene as I had previously photographed with one of the first very popular digital SLR cameras, the scene I had come home with was completely different due to nothing more then varied clouds.

Website: Portfolio
Workshop info: Scenic Photo Workshops
Private or small group workshop info: Learn.
Steve’s Photo Tips and How To Page
Steve’s Landscape Photographer Tools Page

Spot Connet GPS Device Upgrades Itself!!

January 10, 2011

Spot has big changes coming at the end of this month!!!
You will be able to text message with it via your smart phone while connected via blue tooth which is great compared to the older version that only sent an SOS or morse code type single message to your contacts. Technology changes so fast it’s amazing!

Spot Connect has new features and will connect to a smart phone.

Yes folks, you’ll be able to update your facebook & twitter if you’d like to.

My 2010 Best Photographs

January 7, 2011

2010 was a great year for landscape photography, we experienced a fantastic wildflower bloom in California. Here are a few of my best from the year, I wish I could pull a few more off the hard drive! Have a great year everyone!!

Petroglyphs Owens Valley

Light painted petroglyphs in the Owens Valley near Bishop, Eastern Sierra

Alpen glow breaks through the clouds in the Eastern Sierra's North Lake on a cold autumn morning.

Alpen glow breaks through the clouds in the Eastern Sierra’s North Lake on a cold autumn morning.

Burney Falls in Northern California is constantly fed by a natural spring.

Burney Falls in Northern California is constantly fed by a natural spring.

A wild lenticular cloud formation slowly grows and moves across the Northern Mojave Desert.

A wild lenticular cloud formation slowly grows and moves across the Northern Mojave Desert.

Early dawn light creeps across the flooded salt flats of Death Valley.

Early dawn light creeps across the flooded salt flats of Death Valley.

Dangle your toes off of Toroweap's 3,000 foot cliff overlooking the Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park.

Dangle your toes off of Toroweap’s 3,000 foot cliff overlooking the Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park.

Wild mountain lillies bloom in an open meadow in Northern California's Cascade Range.

Wild mountain lillies bloom in an open meadow in Northern California’s Cascade Range.

Tiles of Earth sculpted by wind, water and sand in one of Death Valley's dune fields.

Tiles of Earth sculpted by wind, water and sand in one of Death Valley’s dune fields.

Pines catching thier first light on old rolling dunes in Lassen Volcanic National Park.

Pines catching thier first light on old rolling dunes in Lassen Volcanic National Park.

Friends paddle through a Colorado River cave in the Mojave Desert.  I really miss this moment.

Friends paddle through a Colorado River cave in the Mojave Desert. I really miss this moment.

Wildflowers bloom under Mt Shasta in a wild fire recovery area.

Wildflowers bloom under Mt Shasta in a wild fire recovery area.

A view through an arch in the Alabama HIlls displays a rainbow against rainy skies.

A view through an arch in the Alabama HIlls displays a rainbow against rainy skies.
A nocturnal alignment of earth and space in Joshua Tree National Park.

A nocturnal alignment of earth and space in Joshua Tree National Park.

One of the largest wildflower blooms I have ever seen occured in California's Central Valley.  Only 80 miles from Los Angeles.

One of the largest wildflower blooms I have ever seen occured in California’s Central Valley. Only 80 miles from Los Angeles.

You will eat me no more!

You Will Eat Me No More
Death Valley National Park

The Mojave Desert Tortoise is the largest reptile of the Mojave Desert. They walk on ground that can get over a 130 degrees. They avoid the heat in their giant burroughs where it is about 40 degrees cooler and hibernate there durning the winter. They can live for a year without water or maybe even 2 years without water.

In certain areas of the Mojave the average number of tortoises per square mile in the 1920’s was 100, now in the same areas there are less then a dozen per square mile. A host of animals depend on their large burroughs for homes. The Mojave Desert Tortoise is an endangered species because it’s population has dwindled in recent years. In order for it to be removed from the endangered species list it’s population must grow and be sustained for 25 years.

This series is part of a yearly tradition that Jim Goldstein has started where he posts a blog with links to many other yearly collections from other photographers. See them all here http://www.jmg-galleries.com/blog/2011/01/12/best-photos-of-2010/. Here are my 2009’s collection http://stevesieren.wordpress.com/2010/01/09/landscape-photography-my-best-of-2009/

Website: Portfolio
Workshop info: Scenic Photo Workshops
Private or small group workshop info: Learn.
Steve’s Photo Tips and How To Page
Steve’s Landscape Photographer Tools Page

A New Day

January 1, 2011

It’s a new year, I got together with some close friends last night and didn’t get to sleep until 5am this morning. It’s now 9:30 am and my heart is blasting my blood through my body, there is so much adrenaline to attack this new day. My head wants to sleep but my raging heart won’t let it. Will every new day this year be like this? I want to transfer this positive energy to someone somehow!

There is always a photograph in this blog but not today, let your passion and desires connect with imagination to create something new this year. Don’t let anything stop you from suprising us all!


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