Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween guys (if you celebrate it)! Are you going trick-or-treating tonight? Or are you passing out the candy to little kids? Tell me in the comments below! Hope you all have a safe night, and don't eat too much candy or you will get cavities!

So apparently I didn't finish my Yosemite photos yet, but since it is Halloween today, I thought I might celebrate by posting some photos related to the holiday! Here you are, Mr. Demon Squirrel! These photos were all taken on Arroyo Del Valle Trail in Pleasanton, CA. This is a walking trail behind my house that I usually exercise at.

Full Resolution Photos and Prints: If you want to see full resolution photos or buy prints of any of the photos you see, they are up on my portfolio for viewing. To see my best photos of Pleasanton in 2012, use this link. To see my best photos of squirrels from 2012, use this link. To see all of my photos from Pleasanton in 2012, use this link.


How did I do this? Well, by accident! Can you believe it? It was fairly dark so I did 1 photo (the last one in this blog post) at a higher ISO then I put up my flash and decided to try to shoot it with the flash at ISO 100. It worked out with a twist. I gave the squirrel a red eye! Now you are probably wondering why the red eye is so intense here. I have a small biology lecture prepared for you!

In animal eyes, there is a highly reflective layer of tissue called the tapetum lucidum in the back of the eye. This is what you are seeing in this image. The tissue in the back of the squirrels eyes is reflecting back the light from the flash! The tapetum lucidum tissue is not present in human eyes however, but we do have a retina which is the skin in the back of the eyes and that is where most of the blood vessels in the eyes are. The retina does not have much of a reflective property, but a regular flash is strong enough to light up the blood flowing through your eyes in turn turning the eyes "red"! How interesting? :) So in other words, animals tend to have a more prominent red eye than humans. How red eye reduction works is that a pre-flash will go off, which will cause the pupils of the eye to contract (kind of like an aperture inside of a camera) and this will cause less of the retina to be exposed to the flash.



Here is another shot of Mr. Demon Squirrel.

Here is a normal shot under regular day light with a higher ISO. No flash used. 

Hope you have enjoyed these photos and the small trick I taught you for Halloween themed photos! Have a safe night, and remember not to eat your collection too quickly. :) Have all of you have a fun and safe Halloween. Please don't forget to share my blog posts with your friends! If you would like to get notifications next time I post, you can "Like" me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter and Google+. These links can also be found on the top of the right sidebar.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Yosemite National Park/Mono Lake (HDR Compositions)

Yosemite National Park is a national park located in California that stretches eastern portions of Tuolumne, Mariposa and Madera counties in the central eastern portion of California and covers around 761,268 acres or 3,080.74 km² of land. Yosemite National Park is best known for its waterfalls, deep valleys, grand meadows, giant sequoias, giant wilderness area, and much more. Mono Lake, a salt lake east of Yosemite National Park that is located in Mono County, California, covers a total of 45,133 acres or 182.65 km². The lake is famous for its high salt content and its tufa formations. I have visited both of those areas and are here to show you some of the photos I took at these two places along with some other photos I have taken along the route. These photos will be divided over several blog posts. I hope you enjoy the photos! If you would like to get notifications when I do post, you can Like/Follow me on the following fan pages: FacebookTwitter, and Google+.

Full Resolution Photos and Prints: If you want to see full resolution photos or buy prints of any of the photos you see, they are up on my portfolio for viewing. To view my best Yosemite National Park photos from 2012, use this link. To view all of my photos from Yosemite National Park photos from 2012, use this link.

Parts: Yosemite Falls Comparison | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | HDR Compositions | Panoramas

Message from the author: It's almost Halloween guys! Right on Halloween (hopfully) I will have some special holiday related photos to show you guys. Those may get spliced in the middle of this chain of posts again, if I don't finish putting up the Yosemite photos before Halloween.

Now let's introduce you to the photos for today. Here are the HDR compositions that I did at Yosemite National Park! They will not be in order in which they are taken, instead I will be arranging them from what I believe to be the best, all the way down to the average looking ones. Hope you enjoy this post!

HDR at Tunnel View Turnout at Yosemite. There is Half Dome on the right in the distance. 

HDR of a sunset I did on the way home from Yosemite. Some ghosting still exists even though I turned on ghost suppression in Photoshop while compositing this. 


Here is another HDR at Tunnel View Turnout at Yosemite. This one is zoomed out at 16mm. The above one was at 35mm. It was done with my Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM Ultra Wide Angle Zoom Lens

Some landscapes as seen in Yosemite Village. 

Another shot in Yosemite Village near the motel I stayed at over night. Looks like this photo is out of a children's picture book doesn't it? 



HDR of the trail taking you up to Lower Yosemite Falls. 

This was near the trail taking you up to Lower Yosemite Falls. This used to be where the river is. All the water from the waterfall would be flowing down the mountain from here, but if you remember in my first blog post on Yosemite, it was a dry season. 

Here is an HDR from the hiking trail down to Mono Meadows. Its turnout is on the road up to Glacier Point. 


Here is an HDR on the side of the State Route 108 in Stanislaus National Forest.  

This is a stream on the side of the road in Stanislaus National Forest on my way to Mono Lake.  

 I think this on my way to Mono Lake. 


Landscapes on my way to Mono Lake.  

This was the view at a turnout in Yosemite.  

Thank you for looking at my HDR compositions! I hope you have enjoyed these photos. Next time I have some panoramas I did on my trip, so please check back soon! Please don't forget to share my blog posts with your friends! If you would like to get notifications next time I post, you can "Like" me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter and Google+. These links can also be found on the top of the right sidebar.

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Friday, October 26, 2012

Glacier Point/Mono Meadows/Wildlife - Yosemite National Park/Mono Lake (Part 8)

Yosemite National Park is a national park located in California that stretches eastern portions of Tuolumne, Mariposa and Madera counties in the central eastern portion of California and covers around 761,268 acres or 3,080.74 km² of land. Yosemite National Park is best known for its waterfalls, deep valleys, grand meadows, giant sequoias, giant wilderness area, and much more. Mono Lake, a salt lake east of Yosemite National Park that is located in Mono County, California, covers a total of 45,133 acres or 182.65 km². The lake is famous for its high salt content and its tufa formations. I have visited both of those areas and are here to show you some of the photos I took at these two places along with some other photos I have taken along the route. These photos will be divided over several blog posts. I hope you enjoy the photos! If you would like to get notifications when I do post, you can Like/Follow me on the following fan pages: FacebookTwitter, and Google+.

Full Resolution Photos and Prints: If you want to see full resolution photos or buy prints of any of the photos you see, they are up on my portfolio for viewing. To view my best Yosemite National Park photos from 2012, use this link. To view my best wildlife photos, use this link. To view all of my photos from Yosemite National Park photos from 2012, use this link.

Parts: Yosemite Falls Comparison | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | HDR Compositions | Panoramas

Message from the author: Wow, I have not posted in 5 days! Dang, sorry guys. I have been really busy with school work with the term paper and stuff. Didn't have much time to do blog posts. Well, I'm back because I have a little bit of time. So here are some photos for you guys!

Now let's introduce you to the photos for today. These are the last of the regular shots I did at Yosemite National Park. After this, I will have some HDR compositions and panoramas I did there. For today's photos, I have the rest of the photos from Glacier Point, then some photos from a partial hike down to Mono Meadows, and then ending with some sunset photos I took on the way home. Hope you enjoy!

Most of the photos for today are of wildlife. Here is a chipmunk on top at Glacier Point.  

 A cute squirrel at Glacier Point.



Yummy! Flower! 

 Cute aren't they?



One of my best shots from the trip. The chipmunks are so cute!!! ^_^  

A raven standing on top of a building at Glacier Point.  

 On the way down from Glacier Point, saw a deer. Decided to take some shots. 



Here is another deer shot.  

So on the way up to Glacier Point, I saw a turnout that said Mono Meadows. I decided to take a short hike once I came back down the mountain. This was just one of the many trails that lead into the Yosemite wilderness. I only hiked partially down and then went back up again. So not so far down, I saw a male mule deer. Lucky for me, I am quick with the camera and was able to get 2 blur free shots. HAHA But I had to kick the ISO pretty high as it was fairly dark already. 

 Here is another shot of the deer. Pretty good camera work right? I think if you do a little bit of hiking into the Yosemite wilderness, you can see more wildlife as I think these wildlife don't like human contact. All the deer photos in this blog post are of the mule deer. 



Landscape shots of the trees on the trail. If you do do some hiking into the Yosemite wilderness, just make sure you don't go too far, and bring adequate water. It is good to bring a cellphone too just in case you get lost (very easy in the wilderness). If you do decide to take a long hike, bring ribbons so you can mark your trail. Also a reminder, there is no overnight camping unless you get a permit from park officials.

A sunset shot on the way home. Not sure where this is. 

These are the last of the normal shots from Yosemite National Park! Check back soon for my HDR compositions and panoramas I did in the park! Hope you have enjoyed these photos. Please don't forget to share my blog posts with your friends! If you would like to get notifications next time I post, you can "Like" me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter and Google+. These links can also be found on the top of the right sidebar.

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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Wildlife/Bridalveil Fall/Glacier Point - Yosemite National Park/Mono Lake (Part 7)

Yosemite National Park is a national park located in California that stretches eastern portions of Tuolumne, Mariposa and Madera counties in the central eastern portion of California and covers around 761,268 acres or 3,080.74 km² of land. Yosemite National Park is best known for its waterfalls, deep valleys, grand meadows, giant sequoias, giant wilderness area, and much more. Mono Lake, a salt lake east of Yosemite National Park that is located in Mono County, California, covers a total of 45,133 acres or 182.65 km². The lake is famous for its high salt content and its tufa formations. I have visited both of those areas and are here to show you some of the photos I took at these two places along with some other photos I have taken along the route. These photos will be divided over several blog posts. I hope you enjoy the photos! If you would like to get notifications when I do post, you can Like/Follow me on the following fan pages: FacebookTwitter, and Google+.

Full Resolution Photos and Prints: If you want to see full resolution photos or buy prints of any of the photos you see, they are up on my portfolio for viewing. To view my best Yosemite National Park photos from 2012, use this link. To view all of my photos from Yosemite National Park photos from 2012, use this link.

Parts: Yosemite Falls Comparison | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | HDR Compositions | Panoramas

Message from the author: I feel a bit better now. Still coughing a bit so I can't make any new videos, but here is a new blog post. :)

Now let's introduce you to the photos for today. Today's shots are all from Yosemite National Park. I will have photos from Bridalveil Fall and Glacier Point and a scenery shot at a turnout on the way from Bridalveil Fall to Glacier Point.

A Steller's Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri) I saw on the hike up to Bridalveil Falls. Cute bird right? I love bird photography. Cute little critters. ^_^



Here is Bridalveil Fall this year. Not too much water. I've seen better before. Again, been a dry year, just go see my Yosemite Falls Comparison

Great cleaning supplies for your camera equipment! Protect your investment and get beautiful, clear shots!


So on the way to Glacier Point from Bridalveil Fall, I passed a turnout. I think this one is a bit past the Tunnel View Turnout. Here is a scenery shot from there. In my opinion, Tunnel View Turnout had a better view. I only did HDR compositions at Tunnel View Turnout so those will be coming up later along with the other HDR compositions I did. To see if I have posted them yet, see if I mention HDR in the Parts links at the top of the blog post. 

Here is Half Dome approaching Glacier Point. I think this view point is called "Old Glacier Point". 

Here is a shot from Glacier Point. 



Here is a closer shot at Half Dome. 

Here is the view from Nevada Fall from Glacier Point. I used my telephoto lens for this. If you take a closer look, it seems to be some sort of hiking trail at the top of the waterfall. I see a bridge and also a few people up there (I think).

Here is a shot also done with my telephoto lens of both Nevada Fall (upper) and Vernal Fall (lower). 



Since I had my telephoto lens on, I decided to also get a shot of this cute chipmunk. I prefer wildlife photography to landscape any day. ^_^ So cute! I wonder what it's eating. 

Another photo of Half Dome still at Glacier Point. 

Squirrel! 



I saw this huge bird in the rocks near the drop off at Glacier Point. Took a photo of it, but it was slightly out of reach by my telephoto lens, but the photos turned out alright. This here is an Immature or Female Sooty Grouse (Dendragapus fuliginosus). A grouse means chicken. 

This is all the photos for today. I hope you have enjoyed them! Next time I will have the rest of the regular shots I did at Yosemite National Park and after that, I will start uploading the HDR compositions and panoramas I did. Please don't forget to share my blog posts with your friends! If you would like to get notifications next time I post, you can "Like" me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter and Google+. These links can also be found on the top of the right sidebar.

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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Squirrels/Yosemite Village/Lower Yosemite Fall - Yosemite National Park/Mono Lake (Part 6)

Yosemite National Park is a national park located in California that stretches eastern portions of Tuolumne, Mariposa and Madera counties in the central eastern portion of California and covers around 761,268 acres or 3,080.74 km² of land. Yosemite National Park is best known for its waterfalls, deep valleys, grand meadows, giant sequoias, giant wilderness area, and much more. Mono Lake, a salt lake east of Yosemite National Park that is located in Mono County, California, covers a total of 45,133 acres or 182.65 km². The lake is famous for its high salt content and its tufa formations. I have visited both of those areas and are here to show you some of the photos I took at these two places along with some other photos I have taken along the route. These photos will be divided over several blog posts. I hope you enjoy the photos! If you would like to get notifications when I do post, you can Like/Follow me on the following fan pages: FacebookTwitter, and Google+.

Full Resolution Photos and Prints: If you want to see full resolution photos or buy prints of any of the photos you see, they are up on my portfolio for viewing. To view my best Yosemite National Park photos from 2012, use this link. To view my best squirrel photos from 2012, use this link. To view all of my photos from Yosemite National Park photos from 2012, use this link.

Parts: Yosemite Falls Comparison | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | HDR Compositions | Panoramas

Message from the author: Pushing myself up to write a blog post even though I have a headache. HAHA Well can't sleep all day anyways. Got other stuff planned. Let's just get this over with. -__-"

Now let's introduce you to the photos for today. Today's shots are all from Yosemite National Park. It will cover some shots I did in Yosemite Village and at Yosemite Falls. This includes squirrel photos, landscape shots, and a few photos of Yosemite Falls itself (well kind of). If you remember from my first blog post, Yosemite Falls was dry this year. Let's get started!

It's all like: "Who's at the door?!"

The squirrel photos before the first landscape shot is all done in Yosemite Village near the motel room I stayed at there. 

Black Friday is coming up! Check out the deals on Amazon. It doesn't even have to be Black Friday, they have deals everyday!


Looks like the squirrels just burrow anywhere they want, including under the stairs... 

The squirrel was probably like: "Maybe if I lie as flat as I can, I'll blend in and he won't see me!" XD That's what went through my mind when I first took this photo. 



This was a view of Half Dome near the trail that take you up to Lower Yosemite Falls. I thought the meadow in the foreground looked great. The colors were saturated a bit with a circular polarizer. Good thing sun was at the correct angle at the time of the shot! :)

Update 11-25-2012: Also, notice how the rule of thirds play a big role in making this shot look nice. The grass in the foreground covers around 1/3 of the image, Half Dome and the trees cover about another 1/3 of the image, and the sky uses up another 1/3 of the image. Try to use the rule of thirds in your shots more often. It will really help spice up your shots. I apparently did this subconsciously without even noticing it at first until one of my G+ fans pointed it out for me. HAHA

Photography Tip: Circular polarizers come in handy especially if you are taking photos of landscape or of things involving water or glass. Circular polarizers can help you saturate colors in your photos and bring out more contrast, especially the sky! Circular polarizers can also help get rid of glare especially glare from water and glass. The only 2 downside is it does cut light to your camera by 1-3 stops, so a tripod is unavoidable while using one or you will need to compensate for the light loss and that it only works the best when the sun is perpendicular (90°) to your camera. When buying a circular polarizer  make sure you get the right size for your lens and never go too cheap. Something over $70 is usually good quality optically speaking. Eric recommends that you get quality optics from B+W, Hoya, and Heliopan. I know it sounds expensive, but if you do buy a cheap one, they usually cause unremoveable color cast, blurring, and glares to your images. If you plan on getting a cheap filter, I recommend that you just go with no filter because it will make your photos really crappy. Trust me, I have cheaped out before, and immediately I thought what a waste of $10. Many beginner photographers make this mistake. Just trying to save you some money here. 

So I was taking a rest before going up the trail to Lower Yosemite Falls, this squirrel was standing still on a post. I quickly switched over to my telephoto and took the photo.



Here are the dry Yosemite Fall! Remember the comparison I gave you in the first blog post where I compared this year (2012) to 2010?



Disappointed tourists. LOL That includes me... But I got a photo of the dry waterfall right? Well I really wanted to try out my ND filters... Didn't really get to. The photos wasn't bad though. 



Here are two shots of the only two water streams I can see. Go see my first blog post to see where they are located on the dry waterfall. 

This is all the photos for today. If you are disappointed in Yosemite Falls, you are not the only one... I really wanted to go play in the water. I also really wanted to test my new ND filters. I didn't get to, but I did get to test them later back home (well near home) at Natural Bridge State Beach in Santa Cruz, CA. The Santa Cruz photos will come up later. In the next blog post, I will have photos from Bridalveil Fall and Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park. Please don't forget to share my blog posts with your friends! If you would like to get notifications next time I post, you can "Like" me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter and Google+. These links can also be found on the top of the right sidebar.

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