Alabama Hills California Photography - Sunrise Landscape Photography

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Wow, this last weekend was kinda a whirlwind of emotions.

Thursday morning I woke up to find my Instagram page had been deleted. Yep, my entire photography page was gone. I kinda freaked out a little and then started googling what happened and/or how to get it back. Well, everything that I read said that once your IG is deleted there is no getting it back. It is gone forever.

Ya, after reading post after post about not being able to get your instagram page back, I freaked out a little more.

This entire situation made me think that I really needed to create a blog post about it, so make sure to check out that blog post here.

With this all happening, everything looked so grim. It looked like I was going to have to start from scratch. It really got me thinking about why I started my business, do I still want to continue my business, was it all worth it, and so forth. I ultimately decided to take a little road trip, head out on a camping adventure to a place with no cell phone reception. A place where I could find my love for photography all over again. So that is what I did. Alabama Hills Recreation Area was the perfect place on the map…

The Adventure

Off I went on a 5 hour trip to the desert. Let me tell you, everything was getting in my way and making me think that I shouldn’t be going. I was also super worried about missing an email from IG to restore my account, but I was determined. I needed peace and quiet. I needed to be able to be in nature. I needed to be able to just breath. To get away from all the hustle and bustle of the world. To just be.

Alabama Hills California Photography - Sunrise Landscape Photography by Bessie Young Photography - alabama hills california camping

So, I continued to push forward and drive. There was traffic everywhere. I missed my exit to grab food. There was a massive accident in Bakersfield that was causing huge delays, but I continued my trip.

After I got outside of Bakersfield I knew it was going to be smooth sailing :)

Alabama Hills Recreation Area

The Alabama Hills are a formation of rounded rocks and eroded hills set between the jagged peaks of the Sierra Nevada and the geologically complex Inyo Mountains. Both geologic features were shaped by the same uplifting occurring 100 million years ago.

Visitors enjoy touring film sites, photography, rock climbing, exploring natural arches, and viewing the swaths of wildflowers that bloom every spring. Horseback riding and mountain biking are popular activities.

https://www.blm.gov/visit/alabama-hills

Alabama Hills is such an absolutely amazing place. It is just outside of Lone Pine, California. You can camp anywhere you want to as long as the signs permit.

The camping is free and is first come first serve. When I showed up the place was super busy. It was Friday evening and you could tell that everyone else had the same idea as I did.

I drove around for quite some time to find that perfect spot, and I finally found it! It was the perfect little spot to view the mountains to the East and to view Mount Whitney to the West.

Alabama Hills California Photography - Sunrise Landscape Photography by Bessie Young Photography - alabama hills california camping
Alabama Hills California Photography - Sunrise Landscape Photography by Bessie Young Photography - alabama hills california camping

Alabama Hills Sunrise:

I woke up at the crack of dawn, literally lol. I was sleeping in the back of my truck and facing east. Yep, the light before the sunrise was crazy bright. It was about 5am, and I just knew I wasn’t able to go back to sleep. Plus, I had that little voice inside my head yelling at me, telling me

You better get your bootay out of bed or else you are going to miss the sunrise!

So, I dragged my lazy self out of bed, and started to witness a beautiful sunrise. I debated on creating a Youtube video for the trip. I wasn’t going to because I really wanted to focus on taking pictures, on falling in love with photography again, and realizing why the heck I do this in the first place, but I just couldn’t help myself. I HAD to create a video in order to share all the amazingness with you.

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Alabama Hills California Photography - Sunrise Landscape Photography by Bessie Young Photography - alabama hills california camping

I went about this entire morning much different that I usually do. Normally, when creating a Youtube video, I would walk around and find one composition. This way I could talk through the composition, why I chose it, yadda yadda yadda. This time, I decided that I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to TAKE PICTURES! I wanted to walk around, see the beauty, and capture what I saw, so that is exactly what I did.

IT. WAS. AMAZING!

The one composition that I had to share

While I was walking around I found a crack in the rocks and thought it would be the perfect composition to talk through. I mean it was the absolute perfect example of a leading line. The crack in the rock lead you right to Mount Whitney.

It took me a few tries to actually get this one just right. I wanted Mount Whitney to be almost centered (which breaks alot of rules, but I think it works perfect for this image.). I wanted the rocks to lead straight to Mount Whitney and I wanted to be able to emphasis the fact that these rocks are massive. I did this be putting my camera between the rocks so that they took up the majority of the foreground.

So what was my setup?

Camera: Sony A7riii

Lens: Sony 24-70mm G master F2.8

and of course a handy dandy tripod.

I continued to walk around capturing fun images of Yota, taking a timelaps with my Sony A7rii and just enjoying the view. It was gorgeous and I couldn’t have asked for a better morning. Let me tell you, it was exactly what I needed.

The sun finally peaked over the mountain tops and it was time to head back to camp for coffee and breakfast. Yes, I did all of this before coffee. Like who the heck am I ?

I ended up spending another night here at Alabama Hills. It is exactly what I needed. I seriously couldn’t have asked for a better trip. I felt inspired and rejuvenated. It helped me relax and it reminded me why I started this business:

  • to capture Gods beauty with my camera the best way I can

  • to share the world the way I see it, through my lens

  • to help you learn photography

  • to show you that it is possible to do what you love

  • to inspire you

Have you ever been to Alabama Hills? Did you even know about it before you saw this post? Comment below and let me know.

Do you have any questions for me? Ask your question in the comments below and I will get back to you.

Wishing you the very best!

Bessie

 

P.s. Love this post? Check out these similar ones:

How To Take Flower Photos - Joshua Tree National Park Wildflowers

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About 2 weeks ago I came down with a cold and it was something fierce. It sucked. It lasted an entire week! I woke up on Wednesday and I felt like I had been hit by a truck! I thought that it was going to be just a day thing, but man did it last longer.

The ultimate bummer part is that I had plans to go to Death Valley that weekend! I was super hopeful that I was going to get better; however, it just didn’t happen. So… my Death Valley trip got cancelled. It sucked!

Then, after about a week of this not feeling good and having a temperature over 100, I started to feel slightly better, but really not 100%. So another weekend went by of me just being lazy, laying on my couch, and trying to get better.

Finally, after 2 weeks, I was feeling quite a bit better. I started to get the itch. All I could think about was Death Valley and the wildflowers. After deciding I was going to make a trip no matter what, I started to do my research for Death Valley (checking weather and road conditions). To my surprise it was supposed to be in the upper 90’s! Yep, I really wasn’t ready for camping with a low of 65 and a high of 98.

With all that being said, I thought I was going to miss out. I figured it just wasn’t in my cards this year, but then I remembered Joshua tree! I have never been to Joshua Tree and I knew it was supposed to have quite a bit of wildflowers. I checked the weather… High of 75…. Yep Joshua Tree it is!

How To Take Flower Photos Joshua Tree National Park Wildflowers by Bessie Young Photography

The Adventure

Joshua Tree National Park is about 5.5 hours from my place. I left around 11am thinking that this would give me enough time to get to the park, roam around for a minute, and then get a sunset shot… Boy was I wrong lol.

I headed down the freeway and everything was going smoothly until I hit the dreaded LA traffic. I got to San Bernidino and the traffic was terrible. It basically cost me 1.5 hours. So my 5.5 hour trip turned into more of a 7 hour trip which put me in a bit of a time crunch.

Joshua Tree National Park Wildflowers

There are two entrances to Joshua Tree, the North and South. I chose to stay in Indio along Hwy 10 in order to start at the South entrance. Then, my plan was to stay in Yucca Valley for the second night which is near the North side entrance.

When I finally reached Indio, I checked into my hotel, and then I was off to the South side entrance of Joshua Tree National Park.

When I arrived, I had about a half hour until sunset so, I ended up barely making it into the park, pulled over at the first trail I could and walked around.

It was awesome! There were so many flowers blooming and the trail was just what I needed to stretch my legs and get some neat shots of the flowers.

While I was there, I figured it would be the perfect time to talk about how to take flower photos. So, I created the video above for my Youtube Channel, and wanted to put these tips into writing. So, lets get to it!

How To Take Flower Photos by Bessie Young - Joshua Tree National Park Wildflowers Landscape Photography Fine Art.jpg

Tips on How to Take Flower Photos

Ultimately I have 2 types of photos that you may want to get, and the tips to get those photos. I wanted to get you started with taking flower photos because Spring is here!!!

1. How to get that creamy background

  • You need to get at their level. Yep, you have to move your bootay and get down to the ground. Don’t try to stay standing up. This is where most people go wrong.

  • Use a low F stop/ wide aperature. Basically, the lower the number the better in my opinion. Now most lenses will go to F4. This is ok, but ultimately you want to be around F2.8 or lower. If you are just starting out, just make sure that you are at the widest aperature possible for your lense. As I was saying F2.8 or lower is so much better. This is where you are really going to see that creamy background, also known as bokeh. This means that yes, you are going to have to spend a bit of money to get that type of lens; however, it is totally worth it!

See the images below for example. All of these images were taken from ground level at F2.8.

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2. How to get that amazing landscape shot with the flowers in the foreground

Ok, so do you ever see those images, of the amazing flowers in the foreground, yet some how there is still that awesome landscape in the background? These are some of my favorite images! So how do you get them?

  • You need to again, get down to their level. Get up close and personal with those beauties. This is going to allow you to have the flower in the foreground and then the gorgeous landscape in the background.

  • Use a moderate F value. What do I mean? Basically you will want a good ‘landscape’ F value. I prefer F8 - F11.

  • Focus on the mountains in the background. Whalah! You get your beautiful landscape wildflower image!

3. Other Tips

  • Type of Lens to use: Really, anything that will allow you to focus manually and to shoot at a wide aperature. For me, I use my Sony 24-70mm G master F2.8

  • Type of camera to use: You really need a camera that will allow you to shoot manual mode. If you don’t have this, then you are going to be hard pressed to try to use these tips. I use the Sony A7riii and the Sony A7rii

  • Time of year to take flower photos: Pretty much any time of year that there are flowers! Now, if you want wildflowers you will need to shoot in the spring time.

    • For desert wildflowers you will want March and April, but these little flowers die quickly so you really need to keep an eye out on how the flowers are doing. There are awesome websites that you can check. The National Park Service website even has cool wildflower ratings :)

    • For foothill wildflowers you will want to go out during March and April.

    • For high mountain wildflowers you will want sometime in late July and early August.

    • Note: This all depends on the weather and the rain accumulation. You will need to check. These months are all a rough estimate.

  • Time of day to take flower photos: Sunrise or sunset. These are the ultimate best because you are going to get that soft gorgeous light. If you happen to be shooting during the middle of the day, you can always block the flower with your shadow to help mellow out the light.

How to Photograph Flowers - Joshua Tree National Park Wildflowers 2019 By Bessie Young Photography.jpgHow To Take Flower Photos Joshua Tree National Park Wildflowers by Bessie Young Photography

Do you have any tips on how to take flower photos? If so, comment below. I would love to add them to the list :)

This blog is all about community over competition. Let’s help each other, be friends with each other, learn together, and grown together.

Wishing you the very best!

Bessie

 

P.s. Love this post? Check out these similar ones:

Yosemite National Park Firefall 2019 - Horsetail Fall - Landscape Photography

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Oh man was I hesitant to go to Yosemite for a second time to capture the firefalls. I kept thinking

you aren’t going to see it…

whats the point…

why do you continue to do this to your self? (put yourself through stress etc)…

Is it worth it?…

You aren’t a real photographer anyways (imposter syndrome at its finest)…

Let’s just say this battle went on for quite a bit but holy moly am I excited that my better side one :)

The Adventure

So my first attempt to see the firefalls was a bust. If you want to see more of that adventure head on over to Yosemite National Park Firefalls 2019 First attempt 1. Now in this attempt I learned alot of things. Things that made my second attempt go much smoother. One thing was the fact that Hwy 140 is a much easier drive when there is snow because they actually freaking plow that road. Hwy 41 was an absolute mess and took me over double the amount of time to get to the valley than it should have taken.

Yosemite National Park Photography by Bessie Young Woman Outdoor Photographer - Horstail Falls Yosemite Firefall

This attempt was so so so much smoother. I checked the Yosemite webcams and was able to see that the weather was looking amazing. I gathered all my gear and off I went.

The drive was beautiful! I always plan for breaks and hiccups along the way, so I left with ample time to get to my spot. As I was driving along hwy 140 there were signs for road construction…. ugh….

Slowly I turn each corner until I finally see the man with a big ole red stop sign. There I sat for almost an hour. Yep, didn’t plan for a one hour delay. Naturally, I am getting a tiny bit worried, but I did schedule for quite a bit of a buffer to be able to find my perfect spot, set up my gear, and not feel rushed.

Finally, the man let me though and I was off!

Yosemite National Park Firefall 2019

On the Yosemite National Park website there is a spot specifically discussing the Firefall. It had explained that there was absolutely no parking along the south side or north side drive of the Yosemite valley loop. The place you could park was in the Yosemite village parking lot. The park had closed down one lane for pedestrian traffic with the expectation that there were going to be hundreds upon hundreds of people trying to see this natural phenomena. The walk to the perfect spot, or at least the spot I planned to shoot from, is about 2 miles the parking spot.

So, I parked, gathered my gear, and began my trek. It was icy, super slippery, and incredibly cold. I believe it was supposed to get below twenty degrees that night. As I was walking I was keeping a close eye on El Capitan. Sunset was scheduled to begin about 5:20 or so, and I was right on time no thanks to the awesome construction I had to wait through.

All of the sudden, it started to look like it was going to happen. I was still about 1 mile away from my spot. Now, even with running, this would have taken me 8 minutes to get there. I didn’t have 8 minutes, but I started running anyway. Frantically looking from side to side to see if there was a good spot to set up. I was worried, I started to freak out, “i am right here and not going to be able to get a good picture of it” …. Let me tell you, alot of negative self talk was happening at this moment.

Finally I found a crowd of people and the absolute perfect spot. I waded through the crowd and found an opening with an amazing angle looking right up at the falls!!!! Thank you LORD!

I set up my gear and not moments later did I begin shooting…

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The face of El Capitan started to go from an normal granite blue color to a golden yellow. It then changed from a golden yellow to an orange and then it all of the sudden went dark. Like completely dark! Everyone sighed and some people even started to leave thinking that the show was over.

Slowly from the bottom the color started to come back, slowly the golden yellow started to glow, then the orange, and then the entire fall looked like it was on fire! This lasted for so long I was amazed. The colors then faded into a pink, to a purple, and then back to a blue as the sun started to set and the night began to fall upon us.

IT. WAS. AMAZING!

Long Lens Vs. Wide Angle:

The very very first time I was able to capture the firefalls I had done all the research. Everything said that you need to shoot with a long lens, or a telephoto lens. So naturally I used my 100 - 400mm lens. Now at the time I didn’t know any better and at the time I wasn’t lucky enough to have multiple camera set ups.

When I was taking the shot, it wasn’t exactly the shot I wanted. I ultimately wanted a wider shot. A bigger landscape shot, cause… duh…. that is what I love!

So this time I wanted to share with you some examples of a long lens vs. a wide angle lens. This way you can decide what image you actually want to get and be prepared to capture the image that you are dreaming of.

Set up 1:

Sony A7riii

Sony 24-70mm G master F2.8

Set up 2:

Sony A7rii

Sony 100-400 G master F2.8

I set up my cameras right next to each other. This way you can get the best comparison available. So here it is … Long Lens vs. Wide Angel: 35mm vs. 250mm

How to capture the Firefalls?

Make sure to head on over to my blog on “How to shoot the Yosemite National Park Firefalls” . This blog gives you all the details: What gear to bring, how to see it, where to go, what it is, so on and so forth.

So where was I for this shot?

I parked at the lodge and walked West along the North Side drive for about 1.5 miles. Here is a little aerial of where I was. I wasn’t quite at the El Capitan picnic area.

Patience, Persistence, Love, and Grace

I have to put this in here, because this was a huge part of my adventure and a huge part of my trip. I had tried to capture this image the previous day. I was feeling defeated after not seeing it, and after how stressful that day really was.

Ultimately, I didn’t want to try again. I was feeling super discouraged. I was having all sorts of negative self talk, and it just sucked. I wanted to give up. Wasn’t really being able to pin point why I was doing this in the first place. Once I thought about this long and hard, it helped me to get my lazy booty off the couch and go have an amazing adventure.

Yosemite National Park Firefall 2019 - Horsetail Fall - Landscape Photography by Bessie Young Photography 1.jpg

While I was in the park, running to my location because the firefalls were going to start without me, I began that negative self talk again…

So what is my point here. My point is to not give up and to freaking give yourself grace. It doesn’t always work out as planned. It doesn’t always go smooth. It doesn’t always even work, but you know what…. it is always worth it. You are always worth it. Doing what you love and what sets your soul on fire is always worth it; however, when you are struggling, just try to be nicer to yourself along the way. You can’t control everything. Remember that. For this trip… I coudn’t control that I was stuck in construction, yet I wanted to give all the reasons as to why it was my fault that I was running behind. IT ISN’T ALWAYS YOUR FAULT. YOU CAN’T CONTROL EVERYTHING.

If you can remember this while things are going a little sideways it is going to make your life, your outlook, and pretty much just everything that much better.

The other little part of this is patience and persistence. You are never going to get the shot that you want the first time. You will walk away from multiple adventures without the shot. This is landscape photography. You have to realize that you are working with Mother Nature and let me tell you, she doesn’t care what you want, she doesn’t care about your plans, and she won’t listen to your ideas. You have to be patient. You have to be persistent. You have to KEEP TRYING.

Ok…. enough said….

Have you ever seen the Firefall? Did you even know about it before you saw this post? Comment below and let me know.

Do you have any questions on how to shoot the falls? Ask your question in the comments below and I will get back to you.

Wishing you the very best!

Bessie

 

P.s. Love this post? Check out these similar ones:

Yosemite Firefall 2019 - Horsetail Fall - Attempt 1 - Landscape Photography

The Adventure

Horsetail Falls Yosemite Firefall is a sight to see. I have only ever seen it one time, but I have tried multiple times. This year I tried again.

The adventure started like every other one. Plan the trip, pack up the gear, and go. It should have been easy peasy right? WRONG! It typically takes me 2 hours to get to Yosemite Valley. I left around 1pm which meant that I would have over 2.5 hours to find my spot, set up, and enjoy the view.

The drive started out nice. You know, a nice clear sunny day, but as I started to get into the mountains the roads started to get a little snowy. Now I had planned for this. I drove my truck, brought my chains just in case, but I wasn’t prepared for the roads to be completely snowed over.

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There were cars everywhere. Most were pulled over putting on chains, some were stopped while their kids went sledding, and others seemed…. well…. stuck.

This slowed me down quite alot. I was only able to drive about 15-20 miles per hour due to the cars in front of me with chains on. As I approached the entrance of the park it was already 3:30. That is 2 hours already. I should have been on the valley floor by this time, but I was still an hour away if things went smooth. The firefall should start at 5:20 - 5:40.

Since I was already so far behind, I almost turned around, but I figured I had made it this far I might as well keep going. Unfortunately the roads were the exact same condition almost the entire way to the valley floor.

As I approached Cathedral Beach Picnic area it was already 4:50pm! It took me almost 4 hours to get to the valley floor. That ate away all my cushion time to adventure around and find the perfect spot. I only had 20 minutes to get to my location and set up. By the way, my spot was about a quarter mile hike to the river in the snow.

As I tried to hurry, I slipped quite a bit on the ice and in the snow, but I made with over 10 minutes to spare! YAAAASSSSSS!

I set up my gear and got ready for the show. The sun was setting and the light was looking just right. There was even a super neat little cloud right over the face of El Capitan.

It was 5:20. As the sun lowered, the falls started to turn yellow. It was happening!

Then, all of the sudden, out of now where, the light went away. Everything went dark except that tiny little cloud over El Capitan. It stopped. The firefall stopped! I sat there and waited…

Nothing.

5:30 came around and Horsetail falls was still dark.

Still Nothing.

5:40 came around and everything began to get blue… blue hour was upon me and it was obvious that it didn’t happen that night.

So, I took advantage of where I was and got a few pictures with the remaining light that was in the sky.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see it, but this was only Attempt 1. I am determined to see it, so stay tuned for Attempt 2…

To Be Continued.

Luckily I was able to see it in 2016 so I wanted to share that series of images with you:

Yosemite Firefall Series - Yosemite National Park Landscape Photographer Bessie Young

How to Photograph Horsetail Falls Yosemite Firefall

Let’s talk about what the Yosemite Firefalls actually is, how to see it, and how to photograph it…

1. What is the Yosemite Firefalls?

This is an amazing natural phenomena that occurs in Yosemite. Basically, it is where the waterfall that runs off of El Capitan, called Horsetail Falls, lights up and looks as though it is on fire as the sun sets. It turns a bright yellow, then orange, then pink color.

Yosemite National Park Photography by Bessie Young Woman Outdoor Photographer - Horstail Falls Yosemite Firefall.jpg

2. How to see the Firefall

In order to to see the Firefall off of Horsetail falls you have to have all the right conditions. It is a little tricky:

  1. The Horsetail fall waterfall that runs off of El Capitan must be flowing.

  2. The western sky must be clear. Basically, you don’t want any clouds to cover the sun as it sets or else you won’t see the falls change colors.

  3. You have to be there at sunset (this year it was around 5:20)

  4. You have to be at the right angle. You need to be on the east side of the waterfall looking up at it.

  5. The angle of the sun has to be just right in order to hit the waterfall and create the gorgeous colors. This only occurs in late February. Basically the 2nd and 3rd week of February are the optimal times to see it.

3. How to Photograph the Natural Phenomena

Alright friends this is where it gets fun! So obviously you have to be there at the right time of year, have the right conditions, and be at the right angle. Now how do you make sure to get the shot you want?

You need to explore Yosemite and decide where you want to take the picture from. Try to envision the photo that you want to take. Do you want a tight cropped photo? Do you want a wide landscape photo? Once you figure out the composition that you want, this will help you choose your spot.

4. Other Gear You Need (Not Photography Related)

SO MUCH GEAR! lol, no not really, but kind of. Ok so you need your photo equipment obviously, but you also need to bring other things.

  1. Water

  2. Snacks

  3. A chair to sit and be comfy in (not necessary but nice)

  4. A head lamp to walk back to your car

  5. WARM CLOTHES - This happens in February in the High Sierra Nevada Mountains. Think COLD. This year it was getting down into the teens people. I bring:

    • Yoga pants under my hiking pants

    • Thick wool socks

    • Hiking boots

    • Beanie

    • Base layer long sleeve shirt

    • Down Jacket

    • Gloves

  6. Hand warmers. This things are amazing if you get cold easy.

  7. Backpack to carry all your things

5. Other things to consider

According to the Yosemite National Park website they are going to be implementing a permitting process. It was supposed to start this year, 2019; however, due to the snow they decided to push out the permit requirement to start next year 2020. I am uncertain as to how that his going to look, but make sure you are prepared so you don’t go to all the planning just to get to the entrance of the park and have to turn around.

Have you ever seen the Firefall? Did you even know about it before you saw this post? Comment below and let me know.

Do you have any questions on how to shoot the falls? Ask your question in the comments below and I will get back to you.

Wishing you the very best!

Bessie

 

P.s. Love this post? Check out these similar ones:

Super Blood Wolf Moon Landscape Photography

I have the absolute best people in my life. My sister and her husband originally told me about this natural phenomenon. Then, a couple weeks later a couple of good friends asked me if I heard about it. Finally, a few days before the occurrence, my mom sent me a text telling me about it. Seriously though? How cool is that? I have such an amazing support system for my photography. Whenever something cool is happening, I know that I will hear about it one way or another.

Super Blood Wolf Moon Landscape Photography by Bessie Young Photography.jpg

The Planning

When my sister told me about it, obviously I began researching it. When is it? What is it? Where to see it? I mean all the things 😊 If you want to learn a bit more about all the details make sure to check out my recent post on ‘How to Photograph the Super Blood Wolf Moon’. This blog will give you probably a bit more information than you were expecting about this awesome show that the moon put on.

My original plan was to head out into the foothills of my hometown to get some pretty images; however, that plan got thwarted when the weather called for rain. I’m not talking a slight drizzle either. I’m talking about a down pour. As I started to search for places to go and check the weather, it seemed like the majority of the State of California was going to be cloudy during the Super Blood Wolf Moon. Northern California was calling for thunderstorms and Southern California was calling for full cloud coverage. So, I got a little discouraged and figured I wasn’t going to be able to see it. Then I found the spot! The spot that might have a potential to be partially clear during the Super Blood Wolf Moon…. Lone Pine and the Alabama Hills.

The Adventure

The question was, do I want to spend all the time, money, and effort to head over to the Alabama hills with pretty good odds not to see it? Well, I’m somewhat of a gambling girl, so I hopped in the car on Sunday to go and take my chances.

The drive to Alabama Hills is about 5 hours from my town. Not too terrible, but leaving on a whim left me in a little bit of a hurry. The moon was supposed to rise around 5:30pm and I left at 11:30. The eclipse wasn’t supposed to happen until 8pm or so; however, I really wanted to get an image of the Super Moon coming up over the mountain tops.

I rolled into Alabama Hills about 4:30. PERFECT Timing let me tell you. I was super stoked because I also got to get some amazing sunset images. I mean seriously though, I took way too many sunset pictures. The clouds kept changing and things just were getting better and better. It was absolutely gorgeous. I wish I could share all the images with you.

Alabama Hills California Sunset - Fine Art Photography by Bessie Young Photography
Rising Super Blood Wolf Moon January 2019 by Bessie Young Photography Landscape Photography

Actually, I got so caught up in taking sunset images, I didn’t leave much time to set up for the moon rise. Luckily, I was able to get both sunset and moon rise! YAS!

The sky was partially cloudy, which made for some amazing sunset pictures, but it sure made me nervous for the moon. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to see it at all.

Since the Blood Moon wasn’t supposed to begin until around 8pm, I had plenty of time to go grab some dinner. After dinner I headed back out. Let me tell you friends, it was freaking windy and cold. Like cold, cold cold. I had my down jacket on, a beanie, and hand warmers, and man it was cold.

Rising Super Blood Wolf Moon January 2019 by Bessie Young Photography

Getting the Shot: The Super Blood Wolf Moon

Super+Blood+Wolf+Moon+Landscape+Photography+by+Bessie+Young

As I sat in my car, I looked up at the sky to only see clouds. You could see portions of the clouds lit up due to the brightness of the moon, but no moon! I sat there for a bit with the moon peaking out and then hiding behind the clouds. It played this game for almost an hour. As it started to peak out, I noticed that the eclipse had stated.

Well I guess I am not going to get the shot after all

The most frustrating part of this whole thing was that the clear sky was just at the edge of the moon. Yas, it was inches away from being visible. How frustrating is that?!

So, I figured, I would get all my stuff set up just in case. I opened my door, and the wind almost tore it off. To the East was the clouds and the eclipse occurring right before my very own eyes, being hidden by the clouds. To the West there was a lightening storm. Where I stood was open skies with the wind whirling around me.

Super Blood Wolf Moon Landscape Photography January 2019 by Bessie Young Photography

As I set up my tripod, in the dark, the wind wanted to blow the entire set up over. I tried to get a few shots of the moon with the cloud cover and was completely unsuccessful. Eventually, I moved the car to block the wind. I sat there… waiting….

I could see the moon beginning to turn red, but the cloud cover was just barely too much that all my images were turning out blurry. All of them were blurry!!! I got a couple mediocre shots and the moon went completely behind the clouds for what seemed like forever. It was over, I was packing up. No reason to sit and stare at the night sky hoping for something to happen.

I packed up all my things and sat in my car. Checked my phone, and just tried to get a bit warm. Then, out of no where, the MOON!!!! The full blown MOON!!!! I scrambled, cursed a little, and then jumped out of my car, set my equipment back up and BOOM! I FREAKING GOT THE SHOT!

It was awesome and I am so dang thankful that I didn’t drive away when I was thinking about driving away!

Super Blood Wolf Moon Landscape Photography January 2019 by Bessie Young Photography

What Were My Settings for the Moon Images?

I played around quite a bit with my settings and eventually settled on

Shutter Speed: 1 second

ISO: 2000

Aperture: 5.6

I hope you all enjoyed this blog. Were you able to see the Super Blood Wolf Moon? Did you photograph it? If so leave a comment below . I would love to hear about your trip!

Wishing you nothing but amazing adventures and pretty pictures!

Bessie

 

 

P.s. Did you like this blog? Check out these ones as well:

Rocky Mountain National Park Sunset Landscape Photography

Rocky Mountain National Park Sunset Landscape Photography

by Bessie Young

Rocky Mountain National Park Sunset Landscape Photography Tutorial by Bessie Young Photography .jpg

I have always wanted to see a moose. Always. It has been a dream of mine or goal of mine to actually finally see one.

A few years ago, I went to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. I was super excited to be in these locations as I thought for sure I was going to see one. Well… not so much. It didn’t happen.

Then a couple years ago I was up in the northern most part of Idaho. I was certain this was my time to see a moose… well, it didn’t happen again.

This year I traveled over to Colorado to take a long road trip back to California. My goal was to just see some beautiful landscape. As I planned my trip, of course moose was on my mind. I researched where to see moose in Colorado and the Rocky Mountain National Park was one of those places so of course that was going to be my #1 destination.

As my plane got ready to land the pilot began to speak letting us know that there is ‘some weather’. Now what that meant no one knew, but one thing I did know was that could effect my Rocky Mountain National Park adventure. The plane landed, and it was slightly snowing in Denver. I wasn’t too worried about it, but did think there was a bit of potential that my travels were going to be thwarted.

Denver was my home for the night. It snowed all night. When I woke up in the morning there was a dusting of snow, so I got on my phone to check the conditions of the park. Of course the main road through the park was closed, but good news was the valley was still open! Yay!! I was pretty excited as the meadow was one of my main destinations and one of the main places that you would be able to see moose!

So, I packed up all my things and headed to the park. The pass to the park was beautiful and snowy, well actually the entire drive was beautiful and snowy. As I entered the park there were so many beautiful views and even better, there was absolutely no one there! It was like I had the entire valley of the park to myself! Let me tell you, this was a huge freaking treat.

I traveled through the limited open area of the park searching for moose along the way. To my disappointment there was none. I do not know much about moose habits; however, I was definitely wondering if the snow had ran them down into lower elevation.

Wildlife photography by Bessie Young Photography 2018-7.jpg

Since there were no moose, my next goal was a good sunset landscape photograph. As I was wandering through the park I found some amazing views. I made it all the way to the closed gate, I sat there for a moment watching the cutest birds ever, and then decided on my final location for my sunset photograph.

The location for my main sunset image was an easy decision. There was a beautiful meadow with a stream that meandered through, the snow capped gorgeous mountains in the back, and surprisingly the only cloud in the sky. The stream was the perfect leading line right up to the mountains.

After I knew that I ‘got the shot’ I started playing around getting a few different images. Here are a few additional images that I got of the sunset:

On my way back to my hotel I was driving uber slow with big hopes that I might see a moose. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see one, but I was able to capture some pretty awesome images on my way.

I hope you all enjoyed this blog. Have you been to June Lake before? If so leave a comment below . I would love to hear about your trip!

Wishing you nothing but amazing adventures and pretty pictures!

Bessie

 

 

P.s. Did you like this blog? Check out these ones as well:

Fall Landscape Photography | June Lake California | Why have I never shared these?

Fall Landscape Photography | June Lake California

Why have I never shared these?

Landscape Photography by Bessie Young

Alright, lets chat a minute….

Last year I went on a trip to find fall. Fall is my absolute favorite time of year and I was determined to get some pretty fall images. Well on my adventure I ended up in June lake at the absolute perfect timing. All the aspens were gorgeous variations of yellows and oranges. I was ecstatic.

So I thought it was the perfect opportunity to create a beautiful fall landscape photography video. After I got all my footage and took some of the best fall images I have ever taken I got home and headed right to the computer to edit my video. I just HAD to share these images with you.

Well…. lets just say I was disappointed to say the least. The footage that I captured pretty much sucked. Yes…. sucked. I tried and tried and tried to make a video, but I just couldn’t. Everything about the video just wasn’t awesome. So I sat on it.

Later on I tried again to create the video because I just really wanted to share the images with you; however, I still just couldn’t. Maybe that is my perfectionist inside of me, but I just really didn’t like any of it. It was a crazy windy day which made for terrible noise. The video didn’t have much sequence behind it and seemed to just jump around like crazy. So again I didn’t post it.

Now it’s Fall of 2018. One whole year later. I thought to my self ‘hey this is the perfect time to post that video. Let’s do this!’ So again I tried and again I failed. Then I decided that there have just been too many times that I haven’t posted. Too many videos that I have created and that just end up in the recycle bin on my computer. Too many times that I have been a perfectionist and not shared some of the goodness with you even though it isn’t really up to snuff.

I decided that it was finally time to share this no matter what. So I created a different sort of video. Something that I wasn’t happy with, something that was less than par, and something that I forced myself to post anyways….

My thought behind this video is that it is better to share something less than perfect than to not share anything at all.

We are our own worst critics. We judge ourselves, talk negatively about our creations, and eventually just talk ourselves out of creating and / or sharing with others due to this idea that everything has to be just so.

Shop fall landscape fine art here:


I truly believe that so many amazing things have been created and thrown away just because the creator thought it wasn’t good enough. It could have been the next world masterpiece; however, it ended up in a trashcan somewhere.

So, it is time to just stop it. To stop throwing our creations away. So what if they aren’t perfect, and so what if they don’t get the best reviews. The idea is that you are still creating, still sharing, and still inspiring others. Plus, sometimes the imperfect things are really the best.

So here is my imperfect video with some of my best photos I have ever taken. Here is the video that I didn’t post for over a year because I judged everything about it. Here is a different take on my normal style, something that I am incredibly nervous to share and something that might have people judging my abilities, but here it is anyways.

I hope you all enjoyed this blog. Have you been to June Lake before? If so leave a comment below . I would love to hear about your trip!

Wishing you nothing but amazing adventures and pretty pictures!

Bessie

 

 

P.s. Did you like this blog? Check out these ones as well:

ND Filter vs. No Filter

ND Filter vs. No Filter

Photography Tips and Tricks

Have you ever really wondered what an ND filter really does? Does it really make that much of a difference when it comes to taking a landscape photo? Well, my friend, I conducted a test for you guys so you can see what a 10 stop ND filter looks like in comparison to no filter at all.

Yes, I hiked 7+ miles one way just to conduct this test for you ;)

ND Filter vs No filter Landscape Photography Tips and tricks by Bessie Young Photography Landscape Photography.jpg

So let me start off with saying why I love my 10 stop ND filter. It is pretty amaze balls for when you are trying to do a few things:

  1. Photograph in the harsh light

  2. Photograph waterfalls or moving water

  3. Wanting to take a long exposure

I particularly like to use the 10 Stop ND Filter when I am wanting to have that nice smooth water effect, but I cannot have a long exposure. The Filter allows me to crank my shutter speed to 20” and lower during the middle of the day. How cool is that?!!

A Neutral Density filter allows a photographer to control the exposure in an image very easily. The filter stops light reaching the camera sensor, therefore allowing us to leave the camera with a higher aperture for a longer amount of time.

This blog post is strictly to show you the difference between using a filter and not using a filter. We will get into how to use an ND filter and what they are all about in a different post. So stay tuned!

When do you find yourself using a ND filter? Comment below and let me know :)

10 Stop ND Filter vs. No Filter:

Side by side comparison:

These photos were taken at high noon at about 10,000’ elevation with all the glare imaginable due to the granite backdrop and the water.

Photograph with No Filter:

Settings: ISO 64 | f14 | 1/60”

ND Filter vs No filter Landscape Photography Tips and tricks by Bessie Young

Photograph with 10 Stop ND Filter:

Settings: ISO 64 | f14 | 20”

ND Filter vs No filter Landscape Photography Tips and tricks by Bessie Young Photography

So there you have it. The 10 stop ND filter vs. No filter. I thought this would just be a fun comparison and help you see the difference between using a ND filter vs not using one :)

Wishing you nothing but a beautiful day!

Bessie

 

P.S. Did you love this post? Want to see more photography tips and tricks? Check this out here:

Backpacking Dinkey Lakes Wilderness - Landscape Photography

Backpacking Dinkey Lakes Wilderness

Landscape Photography

I am just now finally posting about my backpacking trip back in August! Man where does the time go? Seriously though, just crazy. Anywho, lets get to it!

Hike to Cliff Lake - Base camp Day 1

There are two ways to get to Cliff Lake (two different trailheads). This trip I decided to take the trailhead out of Courtright Lake. The reason being that it is a paved road the entire way and the hike is about 1.5 miles shorter.

The Hike Details from the Trailhead to Cliff:

Distance: Approximately 5 miles. - everytime I hike to this lake my tracks shows a different number. Once it showed 4.75 miles, once it showed 5.5 miles, so I am averaging it out to be about 5 miles.

Max elevation: 9209’

Lowest elevation: 7979’

Trailhead elevation: 8363’

It ultimately took 2.75 hours to get to Cliff Lake from the trailhead.

Day 1 Sunset

I always have a few photography goals when I am out backpacking:

  • Document the trip

  • Get a few time lapses

  • Star shots

  • Sunrises for that nice soft water at the high mountain lake with the beautiful reflection

  • Sunsets with all the beautiful colors

After finding the perfect camping spot setting up base camp the sun just started setting and it was the absolute best sunset of the entire trip. I set up my camera for a fun time lapse and also got some amazazing shots!

Hike Around Cliff Lake - Day 2

Backpacking Cliff Lake - Dinkey Lakes Wilderness - Landscape Photography by Bessie Young - California Hiking Trails

Funny enough I have never hiked all the way around Cliff Lake. I have been here a handful of times but never actually have I hiked around it. So I decided day 2 was going to be a rest day just enjoying the beauty of the wilderness. During this time, I figured it was the perfect time to take a lesurely stroll around the lake.

For the most part the lake is easy to get around during the summertime. There is a nice trail that meandures around the lake and it is mostly flat. Then there is the cliff side of Cliff lake. Yes, where the cliff runs into the water. Now this is no joke, and definitely not easy to get around especially when you have a little dog. It doesn’t look too bad from the other side of the lake, but believe me it isn’t very easy. Now, it is definitely doable, especially if you didn’t have to worry about your Boston Terrier, but with Yota, it made it a little hard. I do have to say I ended up scooting on my booty with my dog in my lap a couple of times to make it to the other side :)

The walk around the lake took about an hour, but then again it took me much longer than it should have because of Yota and those steep rocks. It is definitely a must because the southerly side of the lake is the only spot that you can see Dog Tooth Peak from.

Day Hike to Little Lake - Day 3

On Day 3 I thought it would be perfect to hike to a lake called Little Lake. This lake is deep within the Dinkey Lakes Loop and rarely traveled to. It is about 2.3 miles from Cliff Lake to Little Lake. It is probably one of my favorite lakes for multiple reasons.

  1. There are always cute tree frogs

  2. It is the only place that I have seen Grouse

  3. It has pretty much the best view of Dog Tooth Peak

  4. There is never anyone here

  5. It has the best fishing of all the lakes

Hike Details:

The hike from Cliff to Little and back is not the easiest. Basically you go up a mountain and down the other side to reach Rock Lake. Then you continue downward to reach Little Lake. Now when you think about it, that means it is mainly uphill back to Cliff Lake.

Distance: 2.3 miles

Highest Elevation: 9961’

Lowest Elevation: 9081’

Elevation at Little Lake: 9493’

Round trip from Cliff to Little to Cliff: 4.6 miles

The Stars Came Out - Day 3

As I said previously one of my main photography goals is to get some awesome star photos. I loooooovvvvvveeeeee getting start photos of these beautiful high mountain lakes. It changes the perspective and makes it look like a completely different world. It is seriously awesome!

If you are interested I did make an entire blog post on How to Take Night Photos. Make sure to head that way for all my tips and tricks on how to get amazing shots like these ones!

The Last Day - Day 4 the hike out

The hike out is always the saddest time. It means that the trip is coming to an end. It means that reality is just around the corner. To remedy these post backpacking blues, I always make sure to pack a beer in my car for when I get back. This way when I am loading everything up I can enjoy it with a nice cold brewskie. I also make sure to pick a really yummy place to eat, because after multiple days eating dehidrated food, you really want ice cream or a big ole burger. This time I decided that my food of choice was going to be something from the Hungry Hut in Shaver Lake. (Yes I got a burger and a big ole berry shake. Amazing)!

I hope you all enjoyed this blog. Make sure to watch the video at the beginning to see a bit of the behind the scenes and how I got the shot.

Wishing you nothing but fun adventures, beautiful sunsets, and amazing memories.

Bessie

 

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Things don't always go as planned - Backpacking Devils Bathtub Graveyard Trailhead

Things Don't Always Go As Planned....

Backpacking Devils Bathtub

Landscape Photography by Bessie Young

Earlier in July I set off for a 4 day 3 night backpacking trip into the Ansel Adams Wilderness. The Graveyard trailhead starts at Edison Lake in Fresno California. The original plan was to stay at Devils Bathtub for a night and then head over to Graveyard lake for the remainder of the trip. Well let me tell you, things don't always go as planned.

The Trip to Devils Bathtub

The trip started off hot. The weather was calling for highs of 70 and lows in the lower 40's. The first day was a tad bit warmer than expected, but I started in the late morning so it wasn't too hot. I hiked from Edison lake to Graveyard Lake having to take quite a few stops to let Yota, my Boston Terrier, take a breather and cool off. We made it to the lake with plenty of time to enjoy the evening, set up camp, cook dinner, and just relax.

That night seemed incredibly warm, but I didn't think much of it. I didn't have my thermometer on, so I thought it was just my metabolism being heightened from the long walk in and the big pasta dinner I ate that evening.

Devils Bathtub Hike Details:

Distance: 4.5 miles one way

Elevation Gain: 1,551 feet

Trail Type: Out and back

Lake Elevation: 9,167 feet

 

Things don't always go as planned - Day 2

After packing up all my gear I headed off to Graveyard lake as planned. The day was getting hotter and hotter and with that I was getting a little concerned that Yota would be able to finish the hike.

About halfway to Graveyard I decided to take a break. You see Yota is a dog that will definitely out walk me, but not on this day. She wasn't panting hard, her tongue wasn't large, but she kept laying down every time I would stop. This was just weird. She is always out in front chasing lizards along the way. The break was the moment that I needed to make a decision. Was I going to head back to Devils Bathtub or continue on to Graveyard. As I sat there contemplating my day, Yota kept falling asleep. She was just so tired.

The Decision

I knew from the moment that I decided to take a break I was going to carry Yota. I might be overly cautious, but I couldn't imagine if anything happened to her. 

My choices were to hike to Graveyard which was all uphill, or head back to Devils Bathtub which was all downhill. Now Yota is 22 pounds and adding 22 pounds to an already 35ish pound pack is quite a big deal for me. So I decided to go with the flow, take it easy on myself, and head back downhill to Devils Bathtub.

Backpacking Devils Bathtub Graveyard Trailhead - Landscape Photography by Bessie Young Photography - California Hiking Trail

Ultimately it ended up being a really nice day after accepting the fact that I wasn't going to be able to see all the pretty lakes that I wanted to see.

When I got back to Devils Bathtub I ended up taking a nice long swim in the lake and then relaxing on the beach for the afternoon. After my lazy afternoon I set up camp and started to scope out my area in order to get ready to take some pretty sunset images.

That night I made sure to turn on my thermometer to see how cool it got. It ended up only getting down to 58, mind you it was supposed to be in the low 40's. Ya, so much different that what was forecast.

So, the moral of the story is to really just go with the flow. If I wouldn't have gone back to Devils Bathtub I woudn't have gotten some really pretty pictures and early morning shots. I also wouldn't have been able to just relax and enjoy the moment, the breeze, the fresh mountain air, and just being in nature.

I hope you all enjoyed this blog. Have you been to Devils Bathtub or Graveyard lake? If so leave a comment below . I would love to hear about your trip!

Wishing you nothing but amazing adventures and pretty pictures!

Bessie

 

 

P.s. Did you like this blog? Check out these ones as well:

Camera Gear for Backpacking

Camera Gear for Backpacking

What's in my bag

Recently I was out backpacking on my first trip of the year and I thought what better time than to make a video about camera gear for backpacking!?

Camera Gear For Backpacking Landscape Photography by Bessie Young Photography.jpg

I'm not going to lie, I debated on making this video because I was freaking exhausted. Yes... I had just hiked a bunch in the heat and all I wanted to do was zone out, but I got my lazy booty outta my chair and made this video just for you!

So, here are all the Camera Gear for Backpacking Things:

1. Camera and Lens:

  • Sony A7rii
  • 18mm Batis f2.8.
  • 24 - 70mm G master f2.8

2. Filters:

3. Cleaning Kit

4. Spare lens cap

5. Batteries:

  • Sony batteries
  • Anker Battery pack

6. SD Cards: Bring all the SD cards :)

7. Tripod

8. Peak Design Clip and foot

That's it!

Let me know what camera gear you take backpacking in the comments below.

Wishing you a beautiful day and dust free photos!

Bessie

 

 

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How to Photograph Waterfalls - Glenn Alpine Waterfall South Lake Tahoe

How to Photograph Waterfalls

Glenn Alpine Waterfall South Lake Tahoe

Landscape Photography

If you don't know by now, I am completely obsessed with waterfalls. I love going to new places and searching for waterfalls. They are so much fun to photograph and just amazing to be around. The rush of the river, the sound of the water, and the creative touch that you can add to each photo is beyond awesome.

So a few weeks ago I just so happened to find myself in South Lake Tahoe for an amazing Destination wedding. You guys, it was freaking awesome! I ended up going up the night before, and like I always do, I had to get out of the hotel and find a pretty landscape image. I am always saying "take advantage of where you are".

I have been to South Lake Tahoe a bagillion times; however, I have never been to the Glenn Alpine Waterfall near Fallen Leaf Lake. To be honest I didn't even know it existed. So off I went to catch a pretty waterfall landscape photograph during sunset.

The drive took about a half our from the boarder of California and Nevada. The road was pretty much a one lane road and quite rough, but the waterfall was beyond beautiful!

Let me tell you, I could have stayed here all night just sitting by the water, but the mosquitoes were out in force. They weren't your average mosquito either. They were like pterodactyl mosquitoes. So unfotunately I had to leave before I became one big mosquito bite.

If you get a chance, make sure to stop by the Glenn Alpine Waterfall along the Glenn Alpine creek in South Lake Tahoe. It is right off the road only about 200 feet and totally worth the trip.

How to Photograph Waterfalls:

  1. Use a low shutter speed for smooth water
  2. F 6.3 - F11 for a good depth of field
  3. Keep your ISO low (like always)
  4. Shoot when there is soft light (best at sunset or sunrise)

These steps will get you a nice smooth beautiful waterfall image.

Have you ever been to Glenn Alpine Falls or are you also obsessed with shooting waterfalls? Leave me a comment. I would love to hear about your trip and see your tips for shooting wateralls :)

Wishing you nothing but the very best!

Bessie

 

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Desert Landscape Photography - Red Rock Canyon State Park

Desert Landscape Photography

Red Rock Canyon State Park

Landscape Photography

The sunset was like none I have never seen before. Let me tell you it was amazing....

There is a part of me that is obsessed with the desert. It is strange since I grew up in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains; however, when I travel into the desert I feel as though I am going home. I am not quite sure what that is all about, but ever so often my heart and soul aches for the desert. This adventure was one of those times. One of those times that I needed to fill my soul with desert goodness.

So, off I went into the desert for a fun sunset image. I decided to head over through Tehachapi and into Red Rock Canyon State Park. The reason I chose Red Rock Canyon was because I have only driven through there one time on my way to Mammoth Lakes. I wanted so desperately to stop there and wait for sunset; however, I wasn't on a Desert Landscape photography trip at that time, I was on a Mammoth trip :)

When I arrived in Red Rock Canyon State Park it was incredibly windy. This created a little bit of an issue as far as creating a video, but wasn't going to be an issue for any photographs as my plan was to get a large image of the beautiful red rocks and the sunset. There wouldn't be any movement issue with the photograph that I wanted. The only concern I had was that my tripod not fall over while my camera was mounted to it :)

I arrived with plenty of time to scope out the area and find a good location for sunset, ending up in the Red Rock Canyon campground also known as the Ricardo Campground.

My ultiamte goal was to get a vast image with beauitful red mountains and a sunset. As I walked around, it was difficult to find my composition. I ended up finding a nice wash / dry creek that I could set up in and use as a leading line to the sunset.

Then it was all about waiting for sunset to arrive. As I waited, I found more and more compositions that I wanted to shoot. Everyway you looked there was a beautiful photograph.

The sky began to change color, so I took my 'safe shot'. Then I waited. Waiting for the best moment... the best color... the best shot. As the sky continued to change the clouds continued to move. This sunset seemed to last forever. Pretty soon, every way I looked there was an amazing sunset image. A different composition. A beautiful desert landscape photograph

As time went on, I decided to pick up and move my camera. Now, this is where I want to pose a question to you. Why stay in one position? Why stay in one composition shooting the same image over and over and over again?

I am all about planning out your trip, planning for one shot, and getting that one shot; however, once you get that shot, why do we keep taking the same photograph over and over and over again? STOP! Just stop taking the same image. Take advantage of where you are. Get your one image. Get that shot and get it right, but once you get it right, move your feet. Move around and get another composition if you have the time to do so.

This particular sunset and landscape was amazing. There were so many different compositions and the sunset seemed to last for hours (even though it really didn't last for any longer than normal). I decided, that I got the shot I wanted, so moved around and got additional images of the area around me.

This place is definitely going to be a place that I head back to. During this trip I did not have any time to hike around the trails, I was only able to stay along the established roads to find a composition. In my opinion, this area has endless potential.

Wishing you nothing but fun adventures, beautiful sunsets, and amazing memories.

Bessie

 

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Lake Tahoe Sunset - Incline Village Landscape Photography

Lake Tahoe Sunset - Incline Village

Landscape Photography

Spontaneous trips are seriously the best trips!

To Go to Lake Tahoe or Not?

I was sitting at home in my living room trying to decide what to do for the day. I have been longing to go to Tahoe, but haven't been able to find the time. Tahoe kept popping up in my head as something I should go do; however, it was about 10am and Tahoe is 5 hours from me.

This particular weekend, was a long weekend which made it more feasible. For some odd reason, I just couldn't make up my mind. Do I stay home and have a lazy weekend, or do I head to Tahoe with an adventure filled weekend? Tough decision right? To be honest with you, I wasn't being able to decide. I was weighing out the pros and cons, but my lazy bone was just getting the better of me. It is a little funny, but I ended up texting my mom and asking her for her opinion. "Tahoe of course!" 

So it was decided... a spontaneous Tahoe trip was in my weekend plans :)

Will there be a Lake Tahoe sunset?

I already knew where I wanted to go for a sunset image. It is a small hike up a paved road to an old fire lookout. So, there was no planning needed there other than making sure I allowed myself enough time to head up the mountain for sunset.

The entire drive there were clouds in the sky which made me super happy. I was thinking that the sunset was going to be on fire; however, the closer I got to Tahoe the more cloudy it became. After driving a ways, I ended up needing gas and finding a hotel room online.

I booked my hotel in Truckee, California and got there with plenty of time to eat dinner and plan out my evening. So naturally I had to try out the local Thai food place (my new obsession) and grab a beer at the local brewery before heading out. As I was eating dinner, I began to wonder... is there going to be a sunset? It sure didn't look like it. The clouds were getting thick and it actually started to look like rain again. Long story short... I debated for awhile on whether I should go for the hike or not. I decided to go for it. I mean after all I drove all the way up there just for a picture. Plus I had been sitting in the car all day so I needed to move a bit.

The Lake Tahoe Sunset - Incline Village Fire lookout hike

The drive was about a half our from my hotel and the hike was all uphill. It took a little over 10 minutes to get there, so lets just say 15 minutes. As I was almost to the top, the sun started to peak through the clouds. Man, my heart fluttered, and my hopes sky rocketed! Is there going to be a Lake Tahoe Sunset tonight? Oh please oh please oh please!

As I finally made it to the top, the clouds were completely broken up! Plus, I made it just in time for sunset! Plenty of time to scope out the area, find a good composition, enjoy the view, and get a good shot.

So the moral of the story is to just go! Just do it. You will never regret an adventure. Even if there wasn't a sunset the entire trip was super fun. Yes, it would have been nice to sit on my couch, in my Pj's, and watch something on Amazon Prime, but you know.... the adventure is way more worth it. The memories... the stories... all of it.

Next time you are debating on getting out and trying to get that sunset, go and try. The worst thing is that there may not be a sunset, but believe me, the time isn't wasted time. It is time making memories, enjoying nature, and being outside.

I hope you all enjoyed this blog. Make sure to watch the video at the beginning to see a bit of the behind the scenes and how I got the shot.

Wishing you nothing but fun adventures, beautiful sunsets, and amazing memories.

Bessie

 

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