July 2013 Desktop Wallpaper – Window to Capitol Peak

When two good friends pay a visit from California I have to bring out all the goods and show them the best locations to photograph in Colorado. Michael Bonocore, Natalia Stone, and I spent all night photographing the Milky Way over Capitol Peak and just after sunrise resorted to our tents for a quick nap before heading off on our next adventure. The view out of my tent door wasn’t too bad!

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Sunrise Above the Fog – Patience Paying Off

Recently I wrote a post titled 10 Things Photography Has Taught Me About Life. In that post, the item that I gave the most value to was patience. A few weeks ago this paid off for me in the best way.

Mount Evans is a 14er which sits on the front range just outside of the Denver metroplex. On it is the highest paved road in North America which is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day each year. Since moving to Colorado in 2007 I’ve kept a daily eye on the weather hoping to see a prediction of slow moving storms which bring low fog through the valley below the peak’s summit. Time and time again I’ve left my house at 3:30 AM only to catch a cloud-free sunrise or a dense whiteout. Watching a new day begin from 14,000 feet made each trip worth it, but continually not getting what I set out to see was a huge test to my patience.

That all changed last week.
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June 2013 Desktop Wallpaper – Trout Lake and Mount Shasta

This photo was shot on an early morning at Trout Lake in Northern California. This adventure led me into the countryside where myself and 3 of my photographer friends spent all night capturing the Milky Way over an abandoned barn. We wrapped up the all-nighter at Trout Lake before heading back to San Francisco on little sleep.

(A big thank you to Aperture Academy’s Brian Rueb for the GPS coordinates and location help in finding this and other epic spots throughout this weekend.)

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Death Valley (part three)

At 282 feet below sea level, Badwater Basin is the lowest point in North America. The pool contains less than an inch of water and is covered with a layer of salt that rises above the basin floor in a multitude of hexagon patterns. The repeated cycles of freeze/thaw creates the hexagon shapes.

The water is, like the name states, unacceptable to drink, and during most times of the year when the basin is low, visitors are able to walk on the surface, often leaving deep footprints in the salt. My friends and I walked beside the salt flats where the basin meets the dirt of the desert in order to minimize the impact of footprints through the middle of the delicate honeycomb shapes.

Badwater in Death Valley, California

Death Valley Badwater Salt Crystals

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Death Valley (part two)

Hoping to find a perfect place for a morning sunrise, we left camp for the Mesquite Flat sand dunes around 4am. Hiking through deep sand is difficult enough during the day time, but struggling to see where you’re going makes it seem very “two steps forward, one step back.” Luckily, night-time made for a pleasant hike before the afternoon heat took over.

When the winds pick up, these dunes are one of several across the world that experience the singing dunes described in the video below. It was perfectly still on the morning we visited, so unfortunately we didn’t experience any songs, but I did manage to capture some great photos.

Mesquite Flat sand dunes in Death Valley

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