Posts Tagged ‘santa monica mountains’

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

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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

Fall Color Photo Tips; Part 1

September 23, 2010

A few tips and ideas to keep in mind.

Backlighting can be the most dramatic light for fall color.

• Back lighting can be the most dramatic light for fall color scenes and you can capture it all in one exposure most of the time as seen here. Backlit foliage can make some of the dullest pop. Next time you see a colorful tree take a walk around it and see how the vibrancy and glow of leaves change as you walk around the tree. In the image above I decided to angle the camera so I could pick up a hint of side lighting for the shadows on the trunks which added depth to the mostly backlit subject.

Singling out a set of trees against a contrasting backdrop can improve your composition.

• Singling out a set of trees against a contrasting backdrop can improve your composition. Look for patterns to lead your viewers into your scene. In the image above, the partially submerged rounded stones and the diagonal lines created by the moving water were used a two lead ins from both corners of the scene. These lead ins pull the viewer into the simplified middle ground and background.

You can simplify your composition by finding shapes and patterns

• The majority of landscape photography is shot in the golden hour and sunset sunrise light, but fall foliage photography is done all kinds of light. How many times have stood in the bottom of a canyon near the middelo fthe day and noticed one minute you were in shade and the next minute you were in full sun. You can point the camera straight up into the sky in the middle of the day. This image was photographed at noon, you can photograph autumn scenery all day long so make sure you have enough batteries to keep you out from twilight to twilight.

Autumn in Los Angeles

Don't knock your local fall color it can surprise even the best of photographers!

• Don’t knock your local fall color it can surprise even the best of photographers! I would be pretty upset if I missed out on this place that is only 15 minutes from my home. Try finding a creek full of trees close to your home and practice there before you make that long trip and spend all that money on airline tickets, car rentals and gasoline. A little knowledge might be worth more then cost of a trip.

Part II : Fall Color Photo Tips

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 Warm California Sun

May 22, 2010

Santa Monica Mountain Shorelines
Santa Monica Bay, Northern Los Angeles Coastline

Pt Mugu is not iconic for photographers but in cinema is it gets worked to death. Most of all cinema work is done from the road and it’s usually car commercials full of curving road with Mugu Rock as the backdrop. This was taken down on the sliver of boulders in between the shore and Pacific Coast Highway so removing the evidence of man is the most challenging thing in the area. As urban as it may be you can still keep the feeling of a beautiful seascape. The Channel Islands lay vaguely in the distance.

When I first started photographing landscapes I was gone to often and my friends began to think I was a recluse. I was the guy that was most likely to be living on a mountain where there are no roads. Shooting closer to home can keep you happy and keep your social life well oiled. I will always get that phone call from a friend saying, “Let me guess you’re on a ____ in _____?” I’m usually never more then a few hours from home.

Part of the Ventura County Collection

Workshop info here.

What’s Blooming Locally in the Santa Monica Mountains

April 1, 2010

Spring always starts early in the Santa Monicas and there is plenty of sporadic blooms of many different species.

Here are a few examples from a drive I took yesterday along Pacific Coast Highway and some of the mountain roads:


Poppies


Datura


Sand Verbuena


Bush Lupine


Red Bud

There are plenty more, I have not found any fields of flowers yet just small patches of them so I wouldn’t go driving from miles away.

Unfortunately the Sunflower Trees are all past peak but everything else is blooming. I found it more of a challenge composing then anything else.

Workshop info

Steve’s Gallery