Posts Tagged ‘California’

Fall Color in Southern California December 2013

December 19, 2013

Fall Color in Southern California December 2013

For anyone interested in autumn color in Southern California right now 12/18/2013, you can easily find it in just about any creek below a 1,000 ft elevation. Creeks with some flow will have more vibrant trees, sycamore trees vary in color from gold to bright rusty reds. Even a dull tree can become illuminated by backlight so you be surprised what you’ll find close to home. Some of the creeks that are known to more water then others may still be green such as many of the springs in the local mountains.

The creek shown here is located in the Front Range of the San Gabriel Mountains near Santa Clarita, California. Just how long will these colorful leaves stay on the trees? It really depends and can change from one canyon to the next. Temperature, exposure to wind, and the amount of water are big factors of how long the leaves linger into January. There are too many canyons to name in Southern California so I encourage you to keep an eye out as drive through any canyons or going out exploring for local gems you never really knew about!!

Brothers

December 19, 2013

Brothers

Steve Sieren and John Sieren

Could you imagine having 2 babies back to back, we’re 9 months apart. It’s as close to twins as you can get. There’s a term for it, Irish Twins. While kids we were kids we were very close but we physically fought each other almost once a day. Call it hill billy or redneck but we were always close at the end of the day. We were both really into art as kids until one day he was diagnosed with Schizophrenia shortly after we got out of high school. Such a bad topic for families to deal with. Levels of Schizophrenia can vary from high to low and often spike at times. It’s a disability that is hard to deal with. My mother never wanted anyone to know about it.

The Movie “A Beautiful Mind” is a good example, so is “The Soloist” with Jamie Foxx of how a mind is altered by this condition. We are proud he hasn’t decided to cut off any contact with the family. My dad lives close to him near the Tahoe / Reno Area and visits with him regularly. I also visit as much as I can, you can tell by my portfolio of work because most of it originates somewhere between Los Angeles and the Lake Tahoe Area. He is and always will be a good brother to me. He is doing good and until this day people I haven’t seen in 15 years accidentally call me John, he always made a good impression with people.

For any families dealing with Schizophrenia during the holidays hang in there and do your best to keep your loved ones connected. Schizophrenia is out there more then you may expect, 4 out of 5 the groomsmen in my wedding party had a relative with this condition. Life isn’t always perfect but we make the best of it!!

This photograph was taken on the Truckee River just north of Tahoe on the California side in 2005.

America’s Newest National Park – Pinnacles

February 14, 2013

America’s Newest National Park – Pinnacles

Lichen covered boulders in the foggy chaparral at Pinnacles National Park.

This California Chaparral park is full of lichen covered boulders and high coastal mountain range views!! Some geologist say it’s the other half of the Santa Monica Mountains split into two different ranges long ago by the San Andreas and other faults. I’ve only been to the east side and found it very impressive from a landscape photographer’s point of view. Caves, canyons and high trails into a wilderness setting is what you’ll find there, check it out!! Park site

Pinnacles National Park is located 1 hour east of Monterey, 2 hours south of the San Francisco Bay Area and 4 hours north of the Los Angeles area on hwy 146, near hwy 101. There are two entrances to the park on the East and West Sides of the park. You may drive through King City to get to the other side of the park.

Late spring blooming monkey flower at Pinnacles National Park

Cave at Pinnacles National Park Monument California

See more of images of the wonderful California Chaparral by clicking here.

New Arch in the Mojave Desert

July 11, 2012

New arch in the Mojave Desert

A small arch in Red Rock Canyon State Park, California. This small overlooks the Mojave Desert from the cliffs above the desert floor. A clearing storm brings soft light to the El Paso Mountain Range in the background. This was only a little over an hour drive from the Northern Los Angeles area. There are plenty of arches that haven’t been photographed yet, so for the curious keep exploring.. .

See it larger here.

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

Composing for the Edges

June 27, 2012

Plush greens at McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park, California

While composing this photograph I had to imagine the merged files together as one because the 2×6 or 4×6, etc box of the viewfinder didn’t fit the format I was looking for. When we create panoramics we have to use our imagination and establishing the borders or edges of the frame are probably one of the most important parts of doing this. Here I took note on where there were dark areas around the bright waterfall so as the image is viewed there is more of flow downward without distractions along the edges of the frame. Any bright water on the edges would of pulled the eye towards it and disrupted the path and flow of where the water leads the eye through the scene. Here I chose to have an exit at the bottom where the water comes out of the frame. You can compose differently and keep the eye in the frame by keeping the white water away from the edges, this doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t want to have any bright water near the frame just keep conscious thought of where you place it. Conscious thought is what composition is all about. Have you ever felt you placed all elements of frame exactly where they needed to be?

We can create typical images of scenes such as this one but another thing to keep in mind is has it been done this way? If so fine take the picture then move on to the next scene while looking for something different.

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

Backpacking in Kings Canyon under the Milky Way.

June 25, 2012

Backpacking tent in Kings Canyon under the Milky Way.

Had a little teamwork on this one, Christina had her headlamp set up in the perfect spot with out knowing it! She was feeling the altitude on this trip so I had to carry a little more then I expected to keep her moving along. With the strong winds out I thought Christina might of wanted to turn around but she toughed it out and I’m glad! I came to shoot the alpen glow but think I like the night view more then the day stuff. This little old tent is about 10 years old and this may be it’s last photo. Too bad we don’t get the trade ins on tents or customer loyalty discounts!! It certainly lasted a lot longer then I though they would have, it was less then a 100 bucks and all I could afford at the time. I’ll get a lighter one next time!

It was a cool trip, meaning on the cold side. We didn’t jump into any of the mountain lakes or broke much of sweat because there was a constant breeze to keep our temps cool while hiking. Christina saw her first yellow bellied marmot and thought it would make a great friend for her pet dog to play with, that would be funny, a giant chihuahua playing w/ a marmot! We pitched the tent up next to the tallest boulder to block the wind, it’s blurring parts of the tent in this shot but it was stretched out pretty far with guy lines so you can’t really see much blur in it all unless you look closely. This was just a random unplanned shot where I knew I could use the 3 different layers make the scene work and fill the frame with interesting subject matter.

The Sierra has been pretty cloudless this late spring and early summer season. I love to frequent the places I shoot to get know the weather that isn’t the same every year. Some years we have almost cloudless summers and some we get more then the usual fair of afternoon thunder storms. I love going light with out a tent but haven’t been caught in a rain, hail or thunder storm with out a tent, but maybe someday I’ll get pelted to no end by baseball sized hail!!

Have you ever been caught without a tent while backpacking?

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

Half Dome’s North Face

November 20, 2011

Half Dome's North Face from Olmstead Point

Half Dome is no doubt the most heavily photographed icon in Yosemite Valley. It can be seen from so many vantage points through out the national park. This particular view is photographed very often and has a popular pull out parking called Olmstead Point. You’ll find many photographers and families shooting portraits up there. For us landscape photographers wanting the good light we can get a great view of Half Dome’s North Face from here. In this photograph it’s late light in the afternoon hitting the face of the icon with enough mixture of light and shadows to give it a three dimensional effect. Olmstead Point is located off highway 120 also known as the Tioga Pass road, it’s high elevation makes it’s easy access only available in the very late, early fall and summer months. In the winter you’ll need to snowshoe or cross country ski to access it, there is at least on company out there that will help you if you’re coming up from the bottom of the Tioga Pass on the East Side of the Sierra during winter.

Marmot at Olmstead Point Yosemite

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

Free Nature Photography Presentation

October 12, 2011

We'll be photographing the Santa Monica Mountains or the beaches of the Santa Monicas after the event.

I’ll be making a presentation which is free and open to the public.

Saturday, October 15 at 1:30 pm at the Visitor Center for the Santa Monica Mountains Nat’l Recreation Area (Thousand Oaks, CA).

The lecture and photo critique will be held next door to the visitor center.
Directions

This presentation will be on creating dramatic landscape photography.

This presentation will help you focus and better connect with nature while in field with your camera.

This presentation will help you blend art into your photography.

This presentation will provoke thoughts and help you become a more creative photographer.

Stop by and show your support for landscape photography as art in Los Angeles.

We will be shooting the local mountain or beaches after the event so please do bring your camera.

Please bring your camera for a shoot afterwards!

Join me for an exciting afternoon!

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 Power of Subject

March 26, 2011

Mobius Arch in the Alabama Hills with a dusting of snow.

During my Death Valley Eastern Sierra Experience Workshop I was taking some candid shots of the participants while they were in their moments of shooting the light at it’s peak. In the first image the arch is the main subject and in the second image it’s the photographer and what he is doing. I noticed the 2nd image to be even more powerful then the first and with a little bit of patience I was able to capture both images.

A photographer photographing Mobius Arch in the Alabama Hills near Lone Pine, California.

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

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


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