Sunday, October 12, 2014

"Mist in Cooks Meadow" Yosemite National Park, California in Fall.

"Mist in Cooks Meadow" Yosemite National Park, California in Fall. Visiting Yosemite when the valley is full of fall colors is one of my favorite things to do. This image captured in Cooks Meadow has the fall colors and backlit leaves as the sun was rising over the peak. The mist in Cooks Meadow together with the fall colors were just tranquil and peaceful! I found the backlit leaves and curvy branches twisting with the leaves just captivating and spent about a hour with these branches just looking for the right composition. Did you find the hidden treasure in the top left of the photo?! Half Dome is tucked in the trees. Enjoy! John Copyright John Harrison Photography

Saturday, February 8, 2014

"Winter Sunset at Valley View in Yosemite National Park"
Copyright John Harrison Photography
"Winter Sunset at Valley View in Yosemite National Park"
I captured this image in February a few years ago in similar conditions as the weather is there currently in Yosemite - rain and clouds down in the valley with snow at the higher elevations.  This day we headed out thinking that it was raining and no chance of a sunset.  As we headed out the clouds started to clear with the sun poking through.  Each minute just started to get better and better!   Like a symphony unfolding in mother nature's concert hall - the drama and excitement changing each minute in Yosemite. El Capitan totally covered in clouds one minute, wide open the next.  No sun one minute, orange, pink and blue the next!   What an amazing time.  Hoping to head up to Yosemite and catch another clearing storm!  The great thing about taking photographs in Yosemite is the weather, clouds and lighting creates totally conditions so that image you capture won't look like anyone else!  Go to Yosemite and take lots of pictures! 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Perfect Gift for a Photographer - a "Nifty Fifty" - a 50mm f/1.8 or 50mm f/1.4 lens

"Russian Blue at Christmas" Looking for a gift for a photographer?! Consider a 'nifty fifty' - a 50mm Lens that has a f1/8 or f/1.4 aperture. There are four great things about these f/1.8 and f/1.4 lenses 1) They let LOTS more light in allowing you to take pictures indoors without a flash. Kit lenses are usually f/3.5 to f/5.6!!! The f/1.8 lens lets in considerably more light allowing pictures to be captured indoors without a flash. 2) If you are using a kit lens, you have quickly figured out your pictures still may not have that soft blur, or bokeh, in the background like the attached image. The face of the cat is nice and sharp and the lights from the Christmas tree are all blurry. You will get this with a 50mm f/1.8 lens. - One note - this is called a shallow depth of field and shooting at f/1.8 can cause subjects eyes to be in focus but their ears and everything else are out of focus! Experiment and understand what these can do before you are shooting those once in a lifetime images! 3) These lenses can be very inexpensive. The f/1.8 can be found for ~$100 new or used. The f/1.4 runs from $250 to 400. You can find them here: f/1.8 http://amzn.to/JoNYMs (Nikon) http://amzn.to/1ffEfm4 (Canon) or f/1.4 http://amzn.to/1kN5UvY (Nikon) or http://amzn.to/18Pbvj8 (Canon). You can also pick them up used on Craigslist quote often. 4) The last benefit of these lenses is they are super sharp! - especially for the $$. You will really be amazed what you can do with one of these lenses! One other option is to get a 35mm lens. With the crop factor on the sensors - the 'zoom factor' of 1.4x or 1.5x may bring you closer than you want. Nikon has this great 35mm f/1.8 lens that is very reasonably priced! http://amzn.to/19LXsIi (Nikon) or http://amzn.to/1bIMYMP for the Canon 35mm f/2 lens. Give them a try and consider it a great holiday present for yourself, a budding photographer or person with only the kit lens for their DSLR. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Fall Colors and Leaves from the SF Bay Area!

Fall Colors! While there is snow and ice in many places in the country, we still have some fall colors around here. This is from last weekend amongst the Redwoods in the Santa Cruz mountains near Boulder Creek/Big Basin and Castle Rock State Park. The marble treatment on this image gives a holiday ornament feel to it imho. Let me know if you like it! Kudos to Claudia Welsh for turning me onto the MarbleCam app! Free for iphone here! http://bit.ly/1d3MO1B  — at Redwoods near Big Basin and Castle Rock State Park

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

San Francisco Transamerica Pyramid and Mandarin Oriental Hotel at Sunset

"San Francisco Transamerica Pyramid and Mandarin Oriental Hotel at Sunset" One of those clear days from Alcatraz Island with the sun lighting up the Mandarin Oriental Hotel and Transamerica Pyramid. It took me three trips over to Alcatraz to get a clear view of the city. One trip was so fogged in you could not even see the city!  Nothing like weather in San Francisco, California.   Copyright John Harrison Photography 
— in San Francisco, CA.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Yosemite Winter Photography Workshop - Horsetail Falls 2014

"Yosemite Winter" Photo Workshop 2014!  Many of you have been asking - now is your chance!  - I'll be assisting on a Photo workshop in February 2014 with a Yosemite workshop from Muench Workshops run by Mark Muench and Andy Williams. This particular workshop will have Dave Porter as the lead pro and I'll be there assisting.  Dave and I will have some great things planned!  Winter is a fun time to hang out in Yosemite and the best part is there aren't many people there!  There are lots of places within Yosemite to shoot during the winter so come up and join us.  From El Capitan to Yosemite Falls, Bridalveil Falls, Gates of the Valley, or shooting along the Merced to attempting to capture Horsetail Falls off of El Capitan at Sunset, there are some great locations!  You can find our more about the workshop and signup here: http://bit.ly/16Ymh56    

Saturday, August 17, 2013

"Night Sky over the Lick Observatory" - Night Photography and Perseid Meteor Shower


"Night Sky over the Lick Observatory" I was chasing the Perseid meteor shower, but didn't end up with meteors! I did come away with some shots of the night sky and Milky Way above the Lick Observatory! With San Jose and Silicon Valley down below there is quite a bit of light around as you can see in the bottom right hand corner of the image. I saw a few super bright meteors but of course my camera was pointed in wrong place. I kept asking them to fly in front of me, but they just weren't listening! Wish I was in Yosemite watching them overhead!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

America's Cup AC72 Racing Boat Oracle USA Catamaran Racing


"Americas Cup Oracle USA" The Americas Cup race is coming to SAN FRANCISCO this summer. I caught one of the yachts out on a practice run shooting from the helicopter. It was flying! Great to see it closeup from above! You can find out more about the Americas cup races on their website here: http://www.americascup.com/en/sanfrancisco Enjoy! — in San Francisco, CA.  These
AC72 sailboats just FLY across the water! 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

"Above the Fog" The Golden Gate Bridge in Fog and the San Francisco Cityscape from the Marin Headlands

"Above the Fog" I love shots of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge but never had gotten the perfect shot with the Golden Gate Bridge poking through the fog. I saw the weather report at 11:30pm the evening before saying "your commute will be slow in the morning with low lying fog across the Golden Gate Bridge" I thought PERFECT! I'll head up in a few hours! I set out in the dark for the drive up to San Francisco to shoot from the Marin Headlands.




The hike up the hill in the dark and the fog with too much camera gear (30 pounds!) gave me a great early morning workout!  I arrived just as the sky was starting to have an amazing glow and the fog was swirling beneath the bridge. I decided to go for a longer exposure to capture the lights of the cars heading to the Golden Gate Bridge. On the right side of the photo you can see some cars heading along Conzelman Road.  I just love the curves and swirling fog together with the bumps in the hillside.   There were quite a few other photographers there including +Jim Patterson +Aaron Meyers +Joe Azure +Alan Chan +jared ropelato +Andrew Gilbert as well and I had an awesome time shooting and bonding while shooting!  It only took me a month to process my image :-)

The glow of the San Francisco lights, Car lights and Golden Gate Bridge and colors in the sky balanced with the greens of the hill and fog are what caught my eye. I went for a 1:2 panorama format for this which will look great above a fireplace, couch or in an executive boardroom printed 30" x 60" or larger!

This a single shot from the Nikon D800, Nikon 28-70mm f/2.8 lens (28mm), 30 seconds, f/13 and ISO 200.  This is processed in Lightroom 4 and post processing in Adobe Photoshop CS6.  I did not bring my Singh-ray neutral density filters on this trip but used the awesome digital ND filters in LR4 - my favorite feature of LR4! 

It is always a crap shoot as it can be clear in the Southbay down in Sunnyvale where I live and how the fog is in San Francisco.  Sometimes the fog is higher up and obscures everything and never clears!   I actually met +Jim Goldstein   the first time years ago hoping for a Golden Gate Bridge fog picture and we waited for hours enveloped in fog!!  Both of us were just waiting and waiting while his dog was hanging out.  That is part of the joy, frustration and chase of great photographs  - the weather and lighting will NEVER be the same!!!  (but meeting cool people when you are out is another great benefit!)

I'll be showing this print at my open house coming up May 11th and 12th in Sunnyvale.  Contact me for more information!!    Copyright John Harrison Photography  www.jharrisonphoto.com  +John Harrison  You can also find me over on Facebook here:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Yosemite-and-Bay-Area-Nature-Photography-by-John-Harrison/190152125697



#sunrise #fog #goldengatebridge #sanfrancisco #cityscape #Nikond800 #panorama #longexposure 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Learn about HDR Photography create the perfect Yosemite sunset shot!

Have you ever had that photo you had taken of a sunset on a beach have the sky all white and washed out?  Or maybe the sky is exposed properly but the foreground is all dark.   Whether it is a Yosemite sunset, or Lake Tahoe sunrise, there is more 'dynamic range' than your camera can see.  Yes, even for those $5000 DSLR cameras, your naked eye can see more range of light than the cameras.  You need to learn about using High Dynamic Range (HDR) Photography to merge together images.





This is a great source of learning about HDR Photography and blending those landscape images to make the perfect photos!   I use some of these techniques to process my images and get the best of the skies and and foreground all in sync.  StuckinCustoms has excellent HDR tutorials from Trey Ratliff and will get you up and going.  Good luck and let me know if you have any questions about the tutorials !  John





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