Thursday, November 25, 2021

Carson-Iceberg Wilderness/Stanislaus National Forest, CA

On 28 May 2021, I took a day trip to Stanislaus National Forest in California traveling along SR-108 (my parents drove, as I can't drive anymore). I also visited Carson Iceberg Wilderness on my hike. Here are the photos I took with my mirrorless camera. You can see the cellphone photos I took here.

The photos in this blog post are taken on my attempted hike from St. Mary's Pass Trail Head to Sonora Peak via St. Mary's Pass Trail. I hiked in both Stanislaus National Forest and Carson Iceberg Wilderness. I didn't end up being able to make it up Sonora Peak as the last bit of the trail was too steep for my liking (I've been visually impaired since August 2018), and I figured it's beyond my hiking skills. I still hiked up to almost 11,000 ft (3353 m) above sea level. 

If you do want to do this hike, note that if you head up there from the San Francisco Bay Area (sea level), you will get hit with altitude sickness! I mostly had no symptoms (until I tried to run around up there), my dad was a bit worse off than I was, and my mom got moderately sick from the altitude. Learn the symptoms of altitude sickness, sometimes people might feel a bit sleepy and euphoric, and do something stupid. Altitude sickness can slow down your brain, "dumb you down", and make performing simple tasks hard. Stay safe while hiking, know your limits, and don't push yourself over your limits. I do not recommend hiking this hike alone. I'm not a medical professional, so make sure you do your own research. The information here is just based on my own experience as a wilderness photographer for over a decade.

For this hike I also recommend you bring a physical compass and learn how to use it, as it is easy to lose sight of the trail or get lost on this trail (your phone can malfunction and/or run out of power). Also hiking poles are a necessity. 

Message from the photographer: This might be the last blog post with photos I've taken on a "real camera" (not taken with my cellphone) for a while. The vision loss, due to visual snow syndrome, has made photography and traveling very challenging. These are the last of the photos in my archive that I've taken with a "real camera". I'll probably have more blog posts out with cellphone photos as those photos are more casual, my mom is sometimes helping me with those, and it doesn't require the post processing and sorting I normally do with photos I take on my "real camera". I know in the past I've mostly used cellphone photos as a filler for when I don't have anything to post, and I really don't want to turn this blog into a cellphone photos only blog, but with the vision loss, it is very hard. 

A scenery photo of Stanislaus Peak shot on St. Mary's Pass Trail in Carson-Iceberg Wilderness.
Approximate GPS location (type into Google): 38° 21' 07" N 119° 38' 57" W

The clouds looked amazing that day. California is in drought so there was very little snow in the Sierras.

Black and white process of the photo above.

A panorama from St. Mary's Pass Trail in Carson-Iceberg Wilderness.
In the photo are Stanislaus Peak (center), and Red Peak & Bald Peak (left).
Photo shot near the same position as above.

Normally in the month of May, I wouldn't be able to even hike here as there would be too much snow, but California is in drought and the Sierras isn't getting as much snow in the winter.

Black and white process of the photo above.


A scenery photo from St. Mary's Pass Trail in Stanislaus National Forest.
Photo shot near the same position as above.

Black and white process of the photo above.

A panorama from St. Mary's Pass Trail in Carson-Iceberg Wilderness.
On the right of the panorama is Night Cap Peak.
Photo shot near the same position as above.

Normally in May, the areas I've photographed would be covered with snow, but due to California's drought, there is barely any.

Black and white process of the photo above.


A scenery photo of Night Cap Peak shot from St. Mary's Pass Trail in Stanislaus National Forest.
Approximate GPS location (type into Google): 38° 21' 01" N 119° 38' 56" W

Black and white process of the photo above.

A scenery photo from St. Mary's Pass Trail in Stanislaus National Forest.
On the right of this photo is Night Cap Peak.
Photo shot near the same position as above.

Black and white process of the photo above.


A scenery photo from St. Mary's Pass Trail in Stanislaus National Forest.
In the photo are Walker Mountain & Hanging Valley Ridge (center), and Hanna Mountain (right).
Approximate GPS location (type into Google): 38° 20' 52" N 119° 38' 53" W

Black and white process of the photo above.

A scenery photo from St. Mary's Pass Trail in Stanislaus National Forest.
In the photo are Walker Mountain & Hanging Valley Ridge (center), Mt. Emma (left), Hanna Mountain (slightly right from center), and Tower Peak (right).
Approximate GPS location (type into Google): 38° 20' 40" N 119° 38' 50" W

Black and white process of the photo above.

This is all the photos for today. I hope you have enjoyed the photos! Please don't forget to view the cellphone photos I've taken on this trip here. Please don't forget to share the blog post with your friends and family members! Also, if you want to get notifications when I post up more photos, "Like" us on Facebook or follow me on Twitter and Instagram. These links can also be found on the top of the right sidebar.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Tomales Point Trail (Part 2) - Point Reyes National Seashore, CA

On 30 April 2021, my mom and I went to Point Reyes National Seashore in Inverness, CA for a day trip. We did an out and back round trip walk to Tomales Point and back via Tomales Point Trail. I took both cellphone photos and photos with my mirrorless camera. The photos are split into 3 blog posts. I hope you enjoying viewing these photos. 

Full Resolution Photos: If you want to see full resolution photos of any of the photos you see here, use the following links. If you wish to purchase prints of any of the photos, please contact me here. To view my best Point Reyes National Seashore photos, use this link. To see all of my photos from this trip, use this link.

Parts: 1 | 2 | Cellphone Photos |

In this part, I have photos from my walk from the parking lot to Tomales Point, photos from Tomales Point, and a few close up photos of caterpillars. The photos are taken on Tomales Point Trail.

A scenery photo with wild flowers and cypress trees from Point Reyes National Seashore.
The flowers in the photo are Douglas Iris (Iris douglasiana), Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), and Yellow Bush Lupine (Lupinus arboreus).
Approximate GPS location (type into Google): 38° 13' 29" N 122° 58' 47" W

Black and white process of the photo above.

A scenery photo with wild flowers from Point Reyes National Seashore.
The flowers in the photo are Wild Radish (Raphanus raphanistrum), Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), and Yellow Bush Lupine (Lupinus arboreus).
Approximate GPS location (type into Google): 38° 14' 07" N 122° 59' 26" W

Black and white process of the photo above.


A scenery photo with wild flowers from Point Reyes National Seashore.
The flowers in the photo are Wild Radish (Raphanus raphanistrum) and Yellow Bush Lupine (Lupinus arboreus).
Photo shot near the same position as above.

Black and white process of the photo above.

A scenery photo with wild flowers from Point Reyes National Seashore.
The flowers in the photo are Wild Radish (Raphanus raphanistrum) and Yellow Bush Lupine (Lupinus arboreus).
Approximate GPS location (type into Google): 38° 14' 09" N 122° 59' 26" W

A photo of a Ranchman's Tiger Moth Caterpillar (Platyprepia virginalis) and Yellow Bush Lupine (Lupinus arboreus).
Approximate GPS location (type into Google): 38° 14' 12" N 122° 59' 30" W

Funny story when I was trying to identify the caterpillar using Google Lens. Google Lens kept identifying this as the Isabella Tiger Moth (Pyrrharctia isabella) which happens to have the exact opposite colour pattern (brown in the middle, and black on both ends). 😂 I guess artificial intelligence is still not there yet, can't really blame Google. You can see what the Isabella Tiger Moth looks like here.

A photo of a Ranchman's Tiger Moth Caterpillar (Platyprepia virginalis) and Yellow Bush Lupine (Lupinus arboreus).
Photo shot near the same position as above.

I really hope you enjoyed viewing these photos of the Ranchman's Tiger Month Caterpillar. It took me a long time to take these photos as my vision impairment (due to visual snow syndrome) made it extremely challenging to take these photos. It took me a long time and many tries before I got a few usable photos of the caterpillar. I can't see in detail very well as my vision is distorted by the neurological vision loss and it was pretty dark that day due to fog. I'm still surprised at how good these few usable photos turned out though. I might be dealing with vision loss due to visual snow, but I didn't lose a decade worth of photography experience.


A scenery photo of wild flowers and Tomales Point.
The flowers in the photo are Wild Radish (Raphanus raphanistrum).
Approximate GPS location (type into Google): 38° 14' 23" N 122° 59' 41" W

Black and white process of the photo above.

A scenery photo of wild flowers and Tomales Point.
The flowers in the photo are Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) and Yellow Bush Lupine (Lupinus arboreus).
Approximate GPS location (type into Google): 38° 14' 23" N 122° 59' 41" W

Black and white process of the photo above.

A photo of a Ranchman's Tiger Moth Caterpillar (Platyprepia virginalis), Wild Radish (Raphanus raphanistrum), and Yellow Bush Lupine (Lupinus arboreus).
Approximate GPS location (type into Google): 38° 14' 18" N 122° 59' 37" W

A photo of a Ranchman's Tiger Moth Caterpillar (Platyprepia virginalis) and Yellow Bush Lupine (Lupinus arboreus).
Photo shot near the same position as above.

This is all the photos for today. I hope you have enjoyed the photos! Please don't forget to share the blog post with your friends and family members! Also, if you want to get notifications when I post up more photos, "Like" us on Facebook or follow me on Twitter and Instagram. These links can also be found on the top of the right sidebar.

Parts: 1 | 2 | Cellphone Photos |

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Lick Observatory - Mt. Hamilton, CA (Cellphone Photos)

On 13 November 2021, I went up to Lick Observatory on Mt. Hamilton near San Jose, CA with my family. This trip was mostly for my dad as he has never been up there before. We stayed until sunset. Here are the cellphone photos I took while there. I didn't end up taking much photos this time as I took a lot of photos last time (the photos can be viewed here).

A scenery photo from the main parking lot of Lick Observatory. In the photo you can see the winding mountain road which is State Route 130, the road you take to get to Lick Observatory from San Jose, CA.

A sunset scenery photo from the main parking lot of Lick Observatory. In the photo you can see the winding mountain road which is State Route 130, the road you take to get to Lick Observatory from San Jose, CA.

A sunset scenery photo from the main parking lot of Lick Observatory. In the photo are the visitor center and the 36-inch Crossley Reflector Telescope.


Sunset scenery photos from the main parking lot of Lick Observatory. In the photo you can see the winding mountain road which is State Route 130, the road you take to get to Lick Observatory from San Jose, CA.

A sunset scenery photo taken near the visitor center of Lick Observatory. In the center of the photo are the Shane 3-meter Reflector Telescope and the Automated Planet Finder. Also in the photo is State Route 130.

A sunset scenery photo taken near the visitor center of Lick Observatory. On the bottom of the photo is Observatory Peak Road, the road leading up to the main parking lot of Lick Observatory from State Route 130.

This is all the photos for today. I hope you have enjoyed the photos! Please don't forget to share the blog post with your friends and family members! Also, if you want to get notifications when I post up more photos, "Like" us on Facebook or follow me on Twitter and Instagram. These links can also be found on the top of the right sidebar.

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Tomales Point Trail (Part 1) - Point Reyes National Seashore, CA

On 30 April 2021, my mom and I went to Point Reyes National Seashore in Inverness, CA for a day trip. We did an out and back round trip walk to Tomales Point and back via Tomales Point Trail. I took both cellphone photos and photos with my mirrorless camera. The photos are split into 3 blog posts. I hope you enjoying viewing these photos. 

Full Resolution Photos: If you want to see full resolution photos of any of the photos you see here, use the following links. If you wish to purchase prints of any of the photos, please contact me here. To view my best Point Reyes National Seashore photos, use this link. To see all of my photos from this trip, use this link.

Parts: 1 | 2 | Cellphone Photos |

In this part, I have photos from my walk from the parking lot to Tomales Point. The photos are taken on Tomales Point Trail.

Message from the photographer: I know it has been a really long time since I did a blog post like this with photos shot on a "real camera" (photos not taken with my cellphone). The vision loss from visual snow syndrome is still a huge problem, making it challenging for me to do stuff like this. That being said, there are only 2 more blog posts with "real" photos after this one (photos not taken with my cellphone), because the vision loss has limited my mobility, my ability to take photos, and my ability to process the photos afterwards. There are very little photos from my "real camera" left in my archives which is the reason for the limited amount of blog posts. I do hope to take a bit more soon (and this hope might not be too far off, read my next update).

Update on my vision: This will just be a very quick update on my vision. Hopefully, I'll get around to doing a more detailed, and dedicated blog post for this soon. I've had a few people on social media ask me what the experimental visual snow treatment that I've been doing is. Some visual snow patients don't know about the Visual Snow Project (VSP). VSP is an experimental visual snow syndrome (VSS) treatment developed by the Visual Snow Initiative. At the time of writing, I'm half way through the treatment, and I accidentally missed a few days when I got too busy, and I missed a few days when I got depressed. The treatment has not touched my night blindness, but my day time vision has partially recovered. My day time vision is still not normal, but it has been less disabling. If you suffer from VSS like me, I recommend you give VSP a try. The treatment can be done on your computer, and it's only half an hour out of your day for 3 weeks. Even if the treatment doesn't completely cure you, being able to recover some of your vision is still better than nothing.

Scenery photo with wild flowers from Point Reyes National Seashore.
The flowers in the photo are Wild Radish (Raphanus raphanistrum).
Approximate GPS location (type into Google): 38° 11' 26" N 122° 57' 33" W

Scenery photo with wild flowers from Point Reyes National Seashore.
The flowers in the photo are Wild Radish (Raphanus raphanistrum) and Yellow Bush Lupine (Lupinus arboreus).
Approximate GPS location (type into Google): 38° 11' 31" N 122° 57' 39" W

Scenery photo with wild flowers from Point Reyes National Seashore.
The flowers in the photo are California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica), Wild Radish (Raphanus raphanistrum), Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), and Yellow Bush Lupine (Lupinus arboreus).
Approximate GPS location (type into Google): 38° 11' 48" N 122° 57' 51" W

Black and white process of the photo above.


A scenery photo of Tomales Bay shot from Tomales Point Trail.
The flowers in the photo are Wild Radish (Raphanus raphanistrum).
Approximate GPS location (type into Google): 38° 11' 53" N 122° 57' 44" W

Black and white process of the photo above.

A scenery photo with wild flowers from Point Reyes National Seashore.
The flowers in the photo are Wild Radish (Raphanus raphanistrum) and Yellow Bush Lupine (Lupinus arboreus).
Approximate GPS location (type into Google): 38° 12' 55" N 122° 58' 31" W


A scenery photo with wild flowers from Point Reyes National Seashore.
The flowers in the photo are Douglas Iris (Iris douglasiana) and Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
Approximate GPS location (type into Google): 38° 13' 11" N 122° 58' 38" W

A photo of Tule Elk (Cervus canadensis nannodes) and wild flowers.
The flowers in the photo are Douglas Iris (Iris douglasiana), Wild Radish (Raphanus raphanistrum), Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), and Yellow Bush Lupine (Lupinus arboreus).
Approximate GPS location (type into Google): 38° 13' 19" N 122° 58' 36" W

A photo of Tule Elk (Cervus canadensis nannodes) and wild flowers.
The flowers in the photo are Douglas Iris (Iris douglasiana), Wild Radish (Raphanus raphanistrum), Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), and Yellow Bush Lupine (Lupinus arboreus).
Photo shot near the same position as above.


A scenery photo with wild flowers and cypress trees from Point Reyes National Seashore.
The flowers in the photo are Douglas Iris (Iris douglasiana), Wild Radish (Raphanus raphanistrum), and Yarrow (Achillea millefolium).
Photo shot near the same position as above.

Black and white process of the photo above.

A scenery photo of Tomales Bay shot from Tomales Point Trail.
The flowers in the photo are Douglas Iris (Iris douglasiana), Wild Radish (Raphanus raphanistrum), Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), and Yellow Bush Lupine (Lupinus arboreus).
Approximate GPS location (type into Google): 38° 13' 26" N 122° 58' 43" W

Black and white process of the photo above.

This is all the photos for today. I hope you have enjoyed the photos! Next time I have more photos from Tomales Point Trail, photos from Tomales Point, and a few close up photos of caterpillars. Please don't forget to share the blog post with your friends and family members! Also, if you want to get notifications when I post up more photos, "Like" us on Facebook or follow me on Twitter and Instagram. These links can also be found on the top of the right sidebar.

Parts: 1 | 2 | Cellphone Photos |