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.



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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!




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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!




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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!



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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.



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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.



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Yosemite National Park Sunset at El Capitan - Landscape Photography

Yosemite National Park Sunset at El Capitan

Landscape Photography

Yosemite, you stole my heart...

This year has been lacking when it comes to landscape photography, behind the scenes, and how I got the shot videos. Well, I got done fed up with that so I decided to take a spontaneous trip to Yosemite for sunset.

I packed myself a delicious pasta to have a picnic, my backpacking stove to make the pasta of course, all my camera gear, and off I drove. When I approached the booth I handed the ranger my year pass and she looked at me... "oh no this is a free admission day sweetie". I politely said oh sorry, thank you and drove into the park. The entire way to the valley I debated on turning around. Typically free admission days mean ALOT of people. I just wanted a nice trip to Yosemite, a yummy picnic, and a beautiful photo. I didn't want to be bombarded by people.

Ultimately, I decided to keep driving and to my surprise the park wasn't too busy. Yay! I drove around the park just enjoying the afternoon as I got there a few hours early. I knew exactly where I wanted to take my sunset photos so I wasn't in too big of a rush to find that perfect spot. My plan was to get an image of El Capitan and the Three Brothers with their reflection on the water of the Merced River.

California has received quite a bit of rain lately, so this hindered my sunset image as the Merced river was incredibly full and flowing quite quickly. So a reflection image obviously wasn't going to happen with a full swiftly running river, but it still was an incredible spot to be.

There were no clouds in the sky, so when golden hour rolled around my plans changed ever so slightly. With no clouds in the sky, means no color, which means the ultimate goal would be for the granite to turn a beautiful golden color. This happens well before sunset which actually worked out perfectly. I was able to capture El Capitan during the golden hour, and then drive the Yosemite Valley Loop to get these additional images.

The day was so incredibly peaceful. It was wonderful to get out and about on my first real landscape photography adventure of the year.

I hope you all enjoyed this one. Have you ever been to Yosemite? Leave me a comment with your favorite spot in the comment section below.

Wishing you nothing but fun adventures and beautiful photos.



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Testing the Sony A7riii and Batis 18mm- My First Impressions

Testing the Sony A7riii and Batis 18mm

My First Impressions

As you all know by now I got the Sony A7riii and the Batis 18mm F2.8. Yas!

When I got home, I had to charge the battery before I could take it for a test run. Talk about a bummer. They really should come with fully charged batteries, just saying...

So there I sat on my couch watching the battery charge. I tried to walk away and do something, but I wanted to play with it so much that I just couldn't help but check on it every 10 minutes. Charging... charging... charging...

Finally, the battery was charged and I could begin playing with it! Yay! My very first impression, was that yes, it is just like the Sony A7rii. Now, the menu is a little different, and there was a surprise to the menu that I wasn't ready for. Read here to see more about that.

I decided to head over to Millerton lake for sunset. I figured it would be a good hike, and an awesome sunset opportunity. Now, if you don't know about this trail, you should really check out my blog post about it here. It is gorgeous.

For this trip I decided to only bring my new Batis 18mm F2.8 lens. The whole point of this adventure was to try out my new gear. Typically, I use my peak design clip, and this day was no different. I wanted to see how my new set up worked with my backpacking set up. Let me tell you it was a dream! Super light and amazing! The Batis 18mm F2.8 is so incredibly light you barely feel it on your hip! This is exciting for my upcoming backpacking trips.

As the sun began to set, the colors in the sky began to change. Let me tell you it put on quite a show.

My First Impressions - The Good:

  1. The colors that come out of this camera are amazing!
  2. The images seem to be much crisper and cleaner than with the Sony A7rii
  3. The continuous focus feature on the Sony A7riii is amazing
  4. The low light Autofocus worked wonders! Seriously it is so much better in low light that the Sony A7rii.
  5. The entire set up is so incredibly light you barely feel it
  6. The camera is so similar to the A7rii it doesn't take any time to begin using. There isn't a 'learning curve' per se.
  7. The Batis lens is such an incredibly wide lens. The prime lens is going to take a bit of getting used to as I typically shot with the Sony 16-35mm f4; however, for the weight savings, I think it is going to work out perfectly.
  8. I know that the F2.8 on the Batis is going to come in handy for my backpacking adventures and astro photography.

My First Impressions - The Bad:

  1. Check out this blog for the 2 things no one tells you about the Sony A7riii
  2. I can be lazy, so the 18mm prime lens is going to take a minute to get use to as I am going to have to move around quite a bit to get the perfect composition.
  3. That's It! So far, this set up is BadA$$

I can't wait to share all the amazing images that come from this new set up. I will do an update on what I think about the set up in a future blog just to keep you guys in the loop : ) ; however, I don't think my impression is going to change much because wow! Just Wow!

I hope you all enjoyed the blog. Make sure to leave a comment below!

Wishing you the very best,



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Klamath River Sunset - I Forgot My Tripod - Landscape Photography

Klamath River Sunset 

I Forgot My Tripod

Landscape Photography

Heading up  to Klamath California is one of my favorite things in the whole year. I get to hang out with my family for a whole week, camp, adventure around the redwoods, and be in one of the most gorgeous places for Landscape photography. Let me tell you its a photographers dream. There are mountains, oceans, and forests filled with giant redwoods! Umm... need I say more?

I Forgot My Tripod Klamath River Sunset Landscape Photography by Bessie Young .jpg

Klamath is about a 9 hour drive from my place, so getting ready for this trip can be interesting. I am always worried that I am going to forget something... and yes, this year I did!

I made the drive, and enjoyed my first night with my family. The next day I wanted to get a pretty sunrise picture and that's when I realized it.... I forgot my tripod! Ugh! Seriously frustrating; however, I did have a small Joby tripod that I brought to use with my Sony A6500. I figured I couldn't make it work with my Sony A7rii, but then again...

So, the entire trip I decided to not use the tripod until one evening when the sunset was going to be amazing. I just knew it was going to be amazing, so out I went with my little Joby tripod, my Sony A7rii, my adventure dog Yota, and determination to get a beautiful Klamath River Sunset image.

It was challenging, it made me think, it made me have to be creative, and it completely worked! I am so excited with the images that came from this adventure.

So moral of the story? You don't need all the fancy gear to get the shot! Furthermore, sometimes it is better to not have all the gear. It challenges you and really makes you stop, think, and be creative!

I hope you all enjoyed this blog. Have you ever forgotten something on a long trip? Leave a comment below. I would love to hear.

Wishing you nothing but fun and beautiful adventures!


I Forgot My Tripod Klamath River Sunset Landscape Photography by Bessie Young Klamath California Sunset.jpg

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Alpine Loop Utah - Finding Fall

Alpine Loop Utah - Finding Fall

Fall is my absolute favorite time of year! I am obsessed with everything fall. ... the crisp air, the cooler weather, the gorgeous leaves changing colors, the holidays just around the corner, all of it! Plus to make it that much better, it means I get to wear my comfy sweaters, tall boots, and hats!

So naturally, I also love to take pictures of fall. As a landscape photographer, this is the perfect time to take pictures, at least in my opinion, because you get the gorgeous scenery with a bunch of color! How can you not love that?!

This Fall I was on a mission to find the beautiful fall colors. In early September I began researching where the best places were to see fall colors. The Alpine Loop was a place that kept coming up in my searches and to make it even better, it isn't that far from where I live. Well compared to places like Canada, New York, or Vermont, Utah is a hop skip and a jump from California. So I set my sights on Utah and never looked back.

What is the Alpine Loop?

This loop is a scenic drive that follows along Hwy 92 running through the American Fork Canyon. It is approximately 20 miles long. You travel through the Uinta National Forest and end along Hwy 189 in the Provo Canyon. The road is completely paved starting off as a two lane road with a double yellow line; however, it eventually changes into a windy, narrow one lane road.

The Alpine Loop scenic drive offers amazing views of a mountain called Mount Timpanogos along with views of various other peaks that were carved by glaciers.

The road is open from May to late October entirely depending on the weather. If you want to spend the day in the area, go on hikes, and so forth, you will need to purchase a $6 pass at the entrance booth; however, if you are just passing through there is no fee.

The Adventure

My trip started on the north end of the Alpine loop along Hwy 92. I traveled into the canyon taking in all the gorgeous views. Let me tell you though, I was not expecting the traffic. There were people everywhere, which made driving a little tense.

The road started off as a two lane road with a double yellow line; however, as you began to climb into the mountain the line went away and the road began to narrow. Eventually, there were sections that were only one car width wide.

This area offers so many gorgeous views and opportunities to take photos; however, pull outs are few and far between, plus with the amount of people on the mountain made it a bit more difficult. It can get a little frustrating when you see the perfect picture; however, you cannot pull over to get the shot. So, if you ever decide to travel along the loop, make sure that you are ready for alot of people, and also make sure that your patients are in check. In hind sight, I would say use ever pull out as an opportunity. Just take the pull out and then decide after you park if it is a good spot or not.

The entire area is gorgeous, the drive is gorgeous, and I loved everything about it.


An Unexpected Surprise

As I ended my journey along the loop and found myself driving down Provo Canyon. The light was fading fast, and I thought my adventure was over. All of the sudden as I looked to my left there was a huge waterfall!

Not knowing the area at all made it difficult to figure out how to get to the falls, but I had to get there! After all I most likely won't be back in the area for quite some time, if ever, so I had to make it happen!

After almost giving up on the idea of catching an image of this gorgeous waterfall, I found a spot to turn around! Finally!!!! Rushing back to the falls, there was just a few more moments of usable light. I set up my camera in a rush, got my settings just right, clicked the shutter button, and then took a big sigh of relief :)

Satisfied, overwhelmed with the gorgeous day, and excitement to edit my photos I headed back to my hotel room to get a bit of sleep and begin my adventure to June Lake, California.

I hope you guys enjoyed this blog and adventure. If you did don't forget to subscribe :)

Wishing you nothing but beautiful adventures,






Idaho Falls, Idaho

Idaho Falls, Idaho

Bessie Young

While on an adventure to find fall I found myself staying in Idaho Falls, Idaho. I already knew that Idaho Falls was famous for a waterfall in town; however, I had no idea where it was or how to get to it.

After booking my hotel room, I lay there googling Idaho Falls. Much to my surprise I was staying right next to the falls! Seriously?! How much more convenient could that be?

Ultimately I decided to sleep in, get some breakfast, and then stop by the falls before I continued south to Utah. It was quite cold that morning, the snow had fallen the previous day, and things were a little frozen over; however, that wasn't going to stop me from getting a beautiful picture.

There is a nice trail that follows the falls the entire way. I drove along the road to scope out where exactly I wanted to get my shot, parked, and then walked along the trail. Ultimately, I ended up at the most Northerly side of the falls and the most Southerly side of the falls.

If you want to read a little about walk along the river check it out here.

How I got the shot:

Note: Make sure to watch the video first.

First shot (on the top of this blog):

  1. Use a Wide Angle Lens. I used my Sony 16-35 mm f4
  2. It was quite bright that morning, almost 9am, so I had to use a 10 stop ND Filter in order to get the smooth water.
  3. Tripod - This is to allow for a long exposure
  4. Adjust settings as needed. My settings were based around my shutter speed as I wanted smooth water. My settings were: ISO 80 | Shutter speed 2.5 seconds | Aperture F 6.3

Second Shot (right below):

  1. Same technique as above
  2. Settings were: ISO 64 | Shutter speed 8 seconds | Aperture F 11


I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment below and don't forget to share with your friends!

Wishing you nothing but fun adventures and beautiful photos.


My Gear

P.S. wanna know what gear I used? Check it out my Gear list or check it out here:

Kit Used:
Camera: Sony A7Rii:
Favorite Lens: Sony FE 24-70 F2.8 G Master:
Wide Angle: Sony 16-35mm lens:
Vanguard Tripod:

Samsung Note 4 smart phone

Editing & Processing:
Bulk editing: Adobe Lightroom:
Fine tuning: Adobe Photoshop :
Viva Video Pro for combining videos


Ansel Adams Wilderness Day 4 Backpacking

Ansel Adams Wilderness Day 4 Backpacking

by Bessie Young

The Start of Day 4

Well the last day of the trip consisted of waking up fairly early to get a beautiful smooth Rosalie Lake picture, eating my breakfast, drinking my coffee, and then packing up for the hike out. It is a bitter sweet moment when you are packing up your things for the last time and going on the journey out, back to reality. As you walk down the trail you think about all the fun experiences you had, all the beautiful moments, and of course the gorgeous scenery.

Ansel Adams Wilderness Backpacking photographed by Bessie Young. There is seriously nothing better than waking up to a big ole cup of coffee when you are out backpacking. Check out the adventure.

The Hike Out

My photography goal for the hike out was really just to capture the beautiful scenery along the way. I didn’t have a set point to be or a picture that I just had to take. I just wanted to be able to take pictures. The gorgeous wildflowers were out which made me oh so happy and made the trail so beautiful.

The end destination was Agnew Meadows trail head to get picked up by the shuttle which would take me into Reds Meadow for a delicious lunch. After stuffing my face with a big ole juicy burger, I hopped on the shuttle which took me into Mammoth Lakes.

The hike out can be a bit emotional for me. It is a happy moment and a sad moment. Excited to get back to the world yet sad to get back to the world at the same time; however, every time I hike out I always say, man I should have scheduled one more day. Leaving the wilderness always leaves me wanting more.

Day 4

Trail Details:

Rosalie Lake to Agnew Meadows Trail Head

  • Distance: 7.43 miles
  • Elevation gain / loss: 1,876', -2,896'
  • Max Slope: 50.2%
  • Agnew Meadows Trail Head Elevation: 8319'
  • Rosalie Lake Elevation: 9,363'
  • Max Elevation: 9,473'
Elevation Profile Rosalie Lake To Agnew Meadows Trail Head by Bessie Young.jpg

The Day isn't Over

My plans for the evening was to get some dinner and a nice ice cold beer. I was unaware that dinner would consist of a huge BBQ festival in the middle of Mammoth. There were so many people it was quite strange, as I had just been in the wilderness alone for basically 4 days. Coming back to a crowd was a bit of a shock, but it was a super fun evening as I got to try out a few different BBQ items and then headed over to the Mammoth brewery for the beer that I had been craving for the last day or so.

On the way back to my hotel room, the BBQ festival was still going and the music was getting loud. As I got closer I realized it was one of the bestest songs, Free Bird by Lynard Skynard. Thinking that it was a cover band, I stood over with the crowd to enjoy the song. Much to my surprise, it was actually LYNDARD SKYNARD! No Joke! The actual band was there. Talk about the perfect way to end the perfect trip J

I hope you all enjoyed following along with me on this journey. If you are just popping in make sure to check out days 1, 2, and 3.

Wishing you all gorgeous pictures and fun adventures!


p.s. if you haven't seen days 1 - 3 check them out here

Day 1 , Day 2 , Day 3

My Gear

P.S. wanna know what gear I used? Check it out here:
Kit Used:
Camera: Sony A7Rii:
Favorite Lens: Sony FE 24-70 F2.8 G Master:
Wide Angle: Sony 16-35mm lens:
Vanguard Tripod:

Samsung Note 4 smart phone

Editing & Processing:
Bulk editing: Adobe Lightroom:
Fine tuning: Adobe Photoshop :
Viva Video Pro for combining videos




How To Take A Panoramic Picture | Minaret Summit | Landscape Photography

How To Take A Panoramic Picture

on location at the Minaret Summit

Mammoth Lakes, California



After my adventure to find fall throughout Montana, Utah, and California, I ended up in Mammoth Lakes. While searching around Mammoth for fall colors I stumbled upon this beautiful lookout, the Minaret Summit. When I saw the amazing views this lookout had to offer, the first thing that came to my mind was I need to get a Panorama! I mean, what better spot to take a panoramic picture than when your staring at one of the most iconic ranges in the Sierra?!

I decided that this was also the perfect spot to talk a bit about how I take panoramic pictures :) So....

How to take the perfect panoramic picture:

Step 1:

  1. Set up your tripod.
  2. Level your tripod.
    • This is key! Make sure that the bubbles on your tripod are spot on.
  3. Point your camera to the left side of your scene. This will be your first image.
    • Make sure to add a little extra space to each side of your panorama as you will loose a little bit in post processing.
  4. Lock your tripods adjustments in place.
  5. Double check your camera settings and fine tune the focus.
  6. Put your camera on at least a 2 second timer for an ultra clear shot.
  7. Take the picture.

Step 2:

  1. Unlock your pan on your tripod.
  2. Pan to the right about a third of the way from your previous frame.
    • This means you want to have approximately two thirds of your previous image in your second image.
    • Why? This way your images have enough data for stitching them together in post processing and will guarantee a clear image with no seams.
  3. Lock your tripods adjustments in place.
  4. Take the picture.

Step 3:

  1. Repeat step 2 until you pan across your entire scene. I have found that I typically take 4-5 frames.

Hopefully this helps you to capture those beautiful panoramic pictures that you have always dreamed of!

Wishing you nothing but the best!


P.S. Wondering what gear I used? Check out my gear list here.



Ansel Adams Wilderness Day 3 Backpacking

Ansel Adams Wilderness Day 3 Backpacking

by Bessie Young


Day 3

The sun kissed my face and the cold air surrounded me. Day 3 has officially started. I stretched out, opened my eyes, and couldn't stop thinking about the image I got last night at 2 in the morning! The Milky Way over Mount Ritter. Wow!

Once again, I didn't get up early, but I felt like I had a pretty good excuse since I got up at 2 in the morning for night photos. As I lay in bed my tummy started growling and all I could think of was coffee, food, and water.... in that order.

Time Flies

I crawled out of bed and was quite shocked with realizing that it is already day 3! Wow, where does the time go.

Garnett lake was a beautiful view to start off my morning. I sat on a ledge and gazed over the lake, drank my coffee, and ate my oats. As always the morning flew by and it was time to pack up and start my day 3 adventure.

A Challenge

The hike to Rosalie was nothing but beautiful. I traveled down the JMT from Garnett Lake and made it to the T. This would take me back to the Trail head or to Rosalie. I turned right crossing the river and heading to Rosalie for the night.

I wasn't prepared for what was ahead of me. You see, at the map didn't have any information on the distance from Shadow to Rosalie. I could make my guesses, but I wasn't sure. As I walked past shadow lake, the trail began to switch back. I knew that I would be climbing a hill, but..... 22 switch backs later I made it to the top, red faced and sweaty. My mind mentally wasn't ready for this kind of mountain. Talk about a challenge.

But hey, I made it and it was more than worth it.

Trail Details:

From Garnett Lake to Rosalie Lake - Ansel Adams Wilderness

  • Distance: 6.75 miles
  • Elevation gain / loss: 2727', -3111'
  • Max Slope: 56.8%
  • Garnett Lake Elevation: 9,747'
  • Rosalie Lake Elevation: 9,363'
  • Max Elevation: 10,126'
Garnett Lake to Rosalie Lake Ansel Adams Wilderness by Bessie Young.jpg
Elevation Profile Garnett Lake to Rosalie Lake Ansel Adams Wilderness by Bessie Young.jpg


A Relaxing Evening

I was so excited that I could have a fire at Rosalie lake. There is nothing better than having a camp fire out in the wilderness when it is a bit chilly.

The night consisted of taking photographs of the lake at sunset, enjoying a beautiful campfire, trying to eat all my food so I wouldn't have to pack it out, and then getting some night shots.

After the starts came out and I got some satisfying shots of my tent, the camp fire, and the stars, I scurried off to bed to get some shut eye before my adventure out.

Wishing you nothing but amazing adventures! Stay tuned for day 4!


p.s. if you haven't seen day 1 check it out here. You can find day 2 here.

My Gear

P.S. wanna know what gear I used? Check it out here:
Kit Used:
Camera: Sony A7Rii:
Favorite Lens: Sony FE 24-70 F2.8 G Master:
Wide Angle: Sony 16-35mm lens:
Vanguard Tripod:

Samsung Note 4 smart phone

Editing & Processing:
Bulk editing: Adobe Lightroom:
Fine tuning: Adobe Photoshop :
Viva Video Pro for combining videos




Hope Valley, California | Autumn is here!

Hope Valley, California | Landscape Photography

by Bessie Young Photography

Fall is my absolute favorite time of year. The colors are beautiful, the weather is perfect, and you start to get that feeling that winter is coming and all the fun holiday festivities are just around the corner. It is the beginning of the end of the year, and for some reason it adds a sense of peace. Everything begins to slow down a bit, and we start thinking about the things that really matter such as friends, family, nature, and our true creator. It brings a peace of mind knowing that life isn't all about hustle. Throughout the year we forget to stop... take a deep breath.... and enjoy what truly matters. We are so busy with our day to day lives that the year flies by, but then fall comes around and for some reason it helps us to stop and think. It helps us to look back on the year, and to look forward to the rest of the year. We get a sense of peace. A sense of meaning and understanding.

The spring, summer, is quite a hectic time for people in their lives, but then it comes to autumn, and to winter, and you can’t but help think back to the year that was, and then hopefully looking forward to the year that is approaching. Enya

Hope Valley is one of my absolute favorite places in California. Growing up, we would always head over to Hope Valley in order to bring in the Fall season. Sometimes we would hit the aspen's changing at just the right moment. Other times we were either a little too early or a little too late. No matter when we got there, it was still amazing. The sound of the aspen leaves fluttering in the wind, the picnic and family laughter, and the beautiful melody of the creek. It brings everything together. It is funny how some of us cling to certain traditions and if we happen to not be able to accommodate that tradition we feel slightly lost inside. A little piece of our year is missing.

Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn.
Elizabeth Lawrence

This year, we hit the Aspens just right. The colors were amazing! There were oranges, yellows, greens, and reds. It was absolutely beautiful! Heading over to Hope Valley we decided to take Hwy 88. This Hwy is beautiful and is mainly forest. If you need gas make sure to gas up in Jackson before making your long journey to Hope Valley.

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. Albert Camus

The Aspens seem to change in early October, depending on the weather. Since Hope Valley is so close to South Lake Tahoe it is the perfect weekend adventure. Not to mention that South Lake Tahoe has an amazing Oktoberfest that occurs during the first weekend of October :) Talk about perfect timing! Fall is my favorite time of year. Not only the colors make fall the best, but all the festivities that happen during this season. Oktoberfests, Harvest festivals, Halloween parties, and Thanksgiving to only mention a few things. How can you not love Fall?!

Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.
George Elio

I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did don't forget to subscribe to my blog :) This way you will get an email whenever I post something new.

Please leave a comment! I would love to talk to you.

Wishing you nothing but amazing adventures and beautiful days.


Ansel Adams Wilderness Day 2 Backpacking

Ansel Adams Wilderness Day 2 Backpacking

by Bessie Young


Waking up in the wilderness

Ugh.  The night had been restless as it always is for me on the first night out in the wilderness. Typically it takes me a night to get used to the new sleep environment no matter how many times I go backpacking.

My goal was to wake up for sunrise and catch the sun illuminating the peaks above camp. Ya right. That wasn't happening what with the star photos last evening and the first nights restlessness. Once I finally crawled out of my tent I was greeted with the sounds of birds chirping, the beautiful hum of the creek, and the amazing high Sierra crisp morning air. You cant get much better than that!  Even if i did miss the sunrise.

Breakfast consisted of oatmeal with almonds, protein powder and freeze dried fruit, with a big ole cup of coffee. I enjoyed a long lazy morning basking in the incredible views surrounding me. I was in no hurry to pack up and hit the trail. The cost of my laziness would be hiking during the warmer part of the day.  Oh well, Garnet Lake here I come.

Up and Over

The hike to Garnet Lake was less than 4 miles although if felt like much more. The sun was extracting payment for my mornings laziness and my usually trustworthy day 2 hiking legs were nowhere to be found. I must have left them at the truck. The views however were absolutely gorgeous and I captured a fewalong the way.


As I reached the pass I found snow! A lot of snow. I carefully walked down the snow covered north side of the pass, trying my darndest not to slip and fall on my face. I slowly made my way to an overlook where I could see Garnet Lake! Yay! Perfect spot for lunch and a quick power-nap.

Glicading? What?

Laying at the top of the mountain, I heard a group of hikers cresting the pass. They were as concerned with the possibility of doing a snow face plant as I was. Then one hiker laughed and said 'we can just glisade'. My ears perked up as I had no idea what glisade was. Come to find out you just plain sit down in the snow and slide.

With a near 200% snowfall I guess all the backpackers are doing it these days :) Naturally I was determined that I had to try it before the trip was over.

Garnett Lake

Nap complete I continued down the trail to Garnet lake where I came upon my first opportunity to try out this so called Glisading. I sat my booty on that cold snow and pushed off. Whoosh! Down the mountain in a blink of an eye. It was so much better than trying to walk down the slippery slope. At the bottom I popped up and realized the downside of glisading... an ice cold and quite wet bottom side. It took awhile to dry, but it was so worth it! Next time you get the chance to glisade down a mountain you need to do it, but be prepared to have a wet booty after.

Garnett lake obviously didn't disappoint. It was beautiful!

The Moon Doesn't Care About your Night PHOTOS

The evening came on quickly. I was incredibly excited as I expected the Milky Way to be directly over Mount Ritter. 9 O'clock rolled around and the moon was high in the sky and extremely bright robbing me of any chance to get star photos. Bummed but undeterred I decided I would stay up until 10 to see if the stars would get brighter in spite of the moon.

10 o'clock rolled around and the stars were unable to outshine the moon. At 10:30I decided to go to bed, disappointed to say the least. The Milky Way was was in fact over Mount Ritter, but it's true beauty was overpowered by the glow of the moon.

A chill woke me just before 2 in the morning... As I laid there, I began an argument with myself. I could tell that the moon had set indicating the stars should be shining bright. If only I would crawl out into the cold I could capture the image I was dreaming of. After fighting with myself for about 15 minutes I finally got my lazy booty out of bed.

I headed down to the lake hoping to get the perfect composition.  In the cold I set up my camera and clicked the shutter button. The exposure was 15 seconds, a long cold 15 seconds. My screen went black, and then boom! There it was! The most awesome night photo I have ever taken. Excited and no longer feeling the cold I had to take a few more.

I had finally captured the Milky Way over Mount Ritter.  I gathered my things and ran back to the tent hoping for some decent sleep the remainder of the night. As I shut my eyes my mind lingered on the images I had just captured.   Sleep was not quick as I lay there thinking about the shots and the amazing adventure that I had ahead of me for day 3....

Wishing you nothing but amazing adventures! Stay tuned for day 3!


p.s. if you haven't seen day 1 check it out here.

My Gear

P.S. wanna know what gear I used? Check it out here:
Kit Used:
Camera: Sony A7Rii:
Favorite Lens: Sony FE 24-70 F2.8 G Master:
Wide Angle: Sony 16-35mm lens:
Vanguard Tripod:

Samsung Note 4 smart phone

Editing & Processing:
Bulk editing: Adobe Lightroom:
Fine tuning: Adobe Photoshop :
Viva Video Pro for combining videos




Ansel Adams Wilderness Day 1 Backpacking

Ansel Adams Wilderness Day 1 Backpacking

Mammoth Lakes, CA

by Bessie Young

This year’s backpacking trip took me onto portions of the Pacific Crest and the John Muir Trails within the Ansel Adams Wilderness. It was such an awesome adventure and I am so excited to share the images with you all.

The planning of the trip was a bit difficult as California received quite a winter with over 200% of normal snowfall and I wanted to be there when the flowers were in bloom. As a result of all the snow this caused me to postpone the trip until late July.  It also made for some last minute travel changes as certain areas of the trail still had quite a bit of snow. Luckily the permit gods smiled upon me and everything worked out perfectly.

Starting the Day

The day started off in the early morning with packing things up into the truck and heading off into the unknown. I traveled through Yosemite, over Hwy 120 to the Visitor Center in Lee Vining. This is where I picked up my wilderness permit. As I talked to the rangers they requested my planned camp locations for each night. I was so excited to tell them Ediza Lake for the first night as I had really been looking forward to taking photos of the sun setting over the Minarets. The ranger looked at me with a bit of confusion and said “Ediza lake is frozen over". Honestly, I had no idea how to respond so I just said ”Oh”. As I left the ranger station I figured I could just wing it if Ediza Lake was actually frozen over.

After picking up the permit I headed down into Mammoth Lakes, CA for lunch before hitting the trail. My permit was for the Shadow Lake Trail out of Agnew Meadows Trail head. In order to get there you have to take a shuttle bus from the ski resort which costs 7 dollars.

Getting on the Trail

Once I got on the trail all my packing worries from the day before went away. Do I have all my stuff? Did I get the water filter? Did I grab all my camera gear? It’s quite funny how when you are preparing for backpacking you think you need everything and the kitchen sink; however, once you get out there all the worry, questioning and anxiety goes away. Once you set your feet on the ground and start walking, you begin looking around, enjoying the scenery and just living thin the moment.

The trail started off fairly easy along the Pacific Crest river trail. The destination for night 1 was Ediza Lake, which is about 7 miles in. As I walked through the wilderness I swear I could have taken 1000 more pictures than I did, but I had a long journey ahead of me. The trail takes you along the Middle fork of the San Joaquin river and up to Shadow Lake. The climb to this lake is steep, rocky, and in the full sun. Shadow was a beautiful sight to see after the hot, steep climb up the mountain.

Making it to the First Lake

As I walked along Shadow Lake I saw a couple sitting on some rocks with their little one in their arms. I looked closer and yelled "Becky?" with a questioning voice. She looked up, a little startled and dismayed, and replied 'Bessie'? It was so amazing to see Becky out on the trail. You see, I went to high school with Becky and we worked together at Baskin Robbins in Sonora for about 4 years! This area is so remote and over 5 hours from home. It just goes to show how small the world truly is. We chatted for a few minutes and then I went on my way to reach my destination before nightfall.

Continuing on

Continuing on I talked with some fellow hikers asking where they have been and what they had seen. My main question was about Ediza Lake as I wasn't even sure if I was going to be able to make it. Everyone I passed assured me that there was no snow on the trail; however, they did say that the bridge which crossed the river to get to the lake had been washed away due to the heavy winter that California saw.

As I traveled, I found this gorgeous meadow along the river.

Making it to Ediza

It was a difficult meadow to leave as it was absolutely amazing. I could have sat there all day, but I needed to make it to the lake. Right before the lake I had to boulder hop along the river since the bridge was gone. This was a bit difficult but let me tell you, it was completely worth it!

There wasn't alot of camping spots at this lake. All the good spots were already taken; however, some reason this didn't bother me at all. I was able to see the lake, get some amazing images andcamp at the beautiful meadow I passed along the way. The total mileage for the day was just shy of 9 miles.

Home for the night

The meadow along the river made for the perfect evening. Unfortunately, there was a requirement of no camp fires in this area so instead of sitting around watching the fire I star gazed. As I sat there looking up I noticed the Milky Way just above the mountain tops.

Day 1 was a huge success for hiking and getting beautiful photos. Let me know if you have been to this area by leaving a comment below. If you want to see days 2-4 make sure you subscribe to my blog.

Wishing you nothing but absolutely amazing adventures!



My Gear

P.S. wanna know what gear I used? Check it out here:
Kit Used:
Camera: Sony A7Rii:
Favorite Lens: Sony FE 24-70 F2.8 G Master:
Wide Angle: Sony 16-35mm lens:
Vanguard Tripod:

Samsung Note 4 smart phone

Editing & Processing:
Bulk editing: Adobe Lightroom:
Fine tuning: Adobe Photoshop :
Viva Video Pro for combining videos



Solar Eclipse 2017 | Landscape Photography

Preparing for the Solar Eclipse 2017:

Let's just say that I had planned to go see the Solar Eclipse 2017 since 2016. I was so excited about it and had a plan to travel to Wyoming to witness the natural phenomena. The plan was to watch the Solar Eclipse in Wyoming, and then adventure into Yellowstone National Park. This seemed like an awesome plan to me. As the Solar Eclipse started getting closer some unsettling stories began to surface. Small towns worried about not being able to handle the crowd, running out of gas, sewers not being sufficient.  Some small towns were preparing for the eclipse the same way they would prepare for a natural disaster. Word was every small town in the path of totality was going to become a parking lot.

One week before I left for Wyoming, I decided to change plans. My new plan was to head up the California Coast and into Oregon. This took a bit of research in order to find places to camp along the way as everything seemed to be full the closer you got to the path of totality. I ultimately decided that not seeing totality was going to be good enough. I opted for a less stressful adventure, less people, and hopefully less traffic. Honestly, I wasn't even sure I was going to be able to get a good photograph of the eclipse (yes I was nervous and doubted my capability), so going into the path wasn't something that was a must for me. I wanted to get as close as I could get without sitting in traffic for hours.

Ready to Photograph the Solar Eclipse?.......Not really:

Leading up to the Solar Eclipse, let me tell you, I did my research when it came to how to photograph it. I knew I had to get the series of images. You know the one that shows all the different phases of the Solar Eclipse. Everything I read was that an ND filter would be sufficient to take Solar Eclipse photographs. I read it on the internet so it must be true, right?  Um, no.  PLOT TWIST!

The night before the solar eclipse I read an article on the Sony website - why didn't I go their first? Then another article and another, explaining that an ND filter wasn't sufficient.  Using one would reduce my camera to a paper weight. I needed to have a Solar filter. I had the wrong filter! Obviously I couldn't find a solar filter the night before the Solar Eclipse. What was I going to do? Was this it? Did I travel all this way to not get the picture?

After doing a bit more research I found out that I could use a welders lens. That is right a welders lens! You know the lens that welders use in their helmets. The search was on. Where could I get one? Where could I find this, last minute, in the little ocean town of Bandon on a Sunday evening? Nowhere, that's where. I feared I might not be able to capture the solar eclipse but hey, least I found out before I ruined my camera.

Undeterred I made a plan.

Up before the sun:

My goal was to make it as close to the zone of totality as I could without getting stuck in the crowds. I was aiming for Roseburg but if I could get further North I would. I woke up early but that wasn't the difficult part. The difficult part was not having coffee :( that's right... I hit the road without a drop of coffee. Who does that anyways?

As I traveled along Hwy 42 towards Roseburg I passed through the small town of Coquille and guess what... they had a little drive through coffee stand. You don't even know how excited I was.  With a new vigor I continued on to Winston.  As I pull into town I see a hardware store.  Surely they would have a lens, right?  Wrong.  Sold out.  Now where?  NAPA!  That's where.

I called Napa not realizing it was right around the corner from me.  When they said they actually had a couple I about lost it.  Pretty sure I was yelling at the guy on the phone when I said I'd be right over. You guys have no idea how excited I was to hear this. I could actually get the pictures of the Solar Eclipse! Now to find the perfect secluded spot to photograph the eclipse.

The set up:

I found a spot along a country road that would work perfectly. I was at a location that was about 97% totality (meaning 97% of the sun would be covered by the moon).  The ideal spot to capture the photo I have always dreamed of capturing.

The Solar Eclipse 2017 began around 9 am. There are various phases of the Solar Eclipse and I wanted to capture them all. At 10 am it started to get darker and the temperature started to drop. The darker it got, the cooler it got.  Eventually I needed my jacket. 10:21 was the full solar eclipse and at 10:23 it was over. It got about as dark as dusk and then began to slowly get brighter and warmer.

The Final Image:

I got it, I did it and I was able to document to Solar Eclipse 2017! Ultimately, I stayed at my location until about 11:40 because I wanted to make sure to capture the all the different phases of the event. Doing so I was able to create this image:


Although I didn't get the one image with full totality, I am absolutely excited with the way that this turned out! How awesome is this?!

If you want to read a little more about the solar eclipse, how it happened, where it was, and so forth check out this article here.

Note: The solar eclipse image is available for sale on my website here.

Wishing you all nothing but beautiful adventures,



P.S. wanna know what gear I used? Check it out here:

Kit Used:

Camera: Sony A7Rii:
Favorite Lens: Sony FE 24-70 F2.8 G Master:
Wide Angle: Sony 16-35mm lens:
Vanguard Tripod:

Samsung Note 4 smart phone

Editing & Processing:
Bulk editing: Adobe Lightroom:
Fine tuning: Adobe Photoshop :
Viva Video Pro for combining videos

Chetco Bar Fire | Brookings, Oregon

Chetco Bar Fire

This summer's road trip took me up the coast of California and into Oregon. I traveled along Hwy 1 in California and then made my way to Hwy 101 continuing into Oregon. The further I traveled North, the more smokier it got. Ash eventually started falling close to the border of Oregon and California.

Once I reached Brookings, Oregon the sky began to get dark. I looked out over the ocean and the sky was nothing but a deep gray. As I continued North on Hwy 101 the sky got darker and darker,  eventually requiring me to turn on my headlights.  The feeling was eerie and surreal at the same time, like nothing I have ever felt before.  The colors in the smoke began to change from gray to blue, to purple, to red, to orange, and then to yellow.


Incredible overlook

Just outside of Brookings I saw a sign for a lookout so I decided to flip the turn signal and check it out.  As I parked got he car and walked up the stairs to the lookout I could already tell this was going to be an incredible sight.  It was a beautiful disaster. I created a little video and took these images to document this powerful moment in time.


The Chetco Bar Fire

To read a little more about the fire and get some detailed information check it out here.

So many people are currently dealing with being evacuated, thinking about the possibility that their home may be lost.  My heart, thoughts, and prayers go out to each and every individual dealing with this fire.

Wishing you all nothing but the best,



P.S. wanna know what gear I used? Check it out here:

Kit Used:

Camera: Sony A7Rii:
Favorite Lens: Sony FE 24-70 F2.8 G Master:
Wide Angle: Sony 16-35mm lens:
Vanguard Tripod:

Samsung Note 4 smart phone

Editing & Processing:
Bulk editing: Adobe Lightroom:
Fine tuning: Adobe Photoshop :
Viva Video Pro for combining videos