Category Archives: Photo Post

Photo Post: McArthur-Burney Falls, Burney, CA

McArthur-Burney Falls
Situated just outside Burney CA is the lovely McArthur-Burney Falls. It is a worthwhile but often over-busy sight to see if you’re in the area. We visited when camped at Hat Creek Hereford Ranch & RV Park north of Lassen Volcanic National Park which is about 20 miles from the falls.

Diane & I set out on a cross-country RV trip on June 29, 2018. The first destination of note was Lassen Volcanic Park in CA. We camped to the north of the park at Hat Creek Hereford Ranch & RV Park which is situated about midway between the park and the waterfall. The latter is lovely to see, of course, but it also offers a cooling respite on hot summer days as the canyon below the falls remains naturally chilled. Despite some trail closures in McArthur-Burney State Park we were able to enjoy a short hike that encircled the falls. Note that parking at the falls is limited and it can be difficult or impossible to get in to see them. Choosing your arrival time can make all the difference. Admission was $10 per car when we were there, $9 for seniors. See their web page formore information.

Photo Post – Fireworks

The fireworks this year had some rockets with streamers that zig-zagged in unpredictable ways. I caught one of them here along the the purple trails possibly remaining from a previous shell.

Click to Enlarge Images

It’s that time of year: barbecues, burgers and beer, hotdogs and a trip out to see the local fireworks display. I always look forward to photographing fireworks because “it’s like a box of chocolates… you never know what you are going to get.”

I cropped this image from a larger one placing the white spot of an exploding rocket near one of the “power points” of the frame. Have you heard of the rule of thirds?

In this post I’m including four shots I like best out of about 100 I shot during one of the area’s smaller shows. I think three of them are a little less typical than most fireworks photos I’ve seen. I think that’s why I like them so much.

Here, I kept the shutter open only momentarily capturing a small part of the rocket’s stars.

Getting cool fireworks photos is surprisingly easy. I could tell you how, but then I’d have to kill you… hahah. Kidding!

For this shot I opened the shutter after a single rocket was launched and just before it exploded. Then I closed the shutter a few moments after the white streamers appeared.

For how-to tips on photographing fireworks see my how-to post titled… drum roll… How to Photograph Fireworks. Well, what did you expect? LOL.

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How to Photograph Fireworks

I often like fireworks photos where they spill out of the frame.
I often like fireworks photos where they spill out of the frame.

I wish I had posted this a week or so ago in order to give you a little more of an opportunity to soak it all in, but better a little late than never. Right? There’s still a day till the 4th.

Fireworks are intensely hot explosions but photos of fireworks can be pretty cool. How’s that for some clever word play? OK, forget that… I’ve had a glass of wine…

I probably didn't leave the shutter open very long for this shot.
I probably didn’t leave the shutter open very long for this shot.

Seriously, getting good photos of fireworks requires both knowing how as well as good luck. I can help with the first part. READ MORE…

Sunset Over San Francisco

Sunset over San Francisco Bay & Mt. Tam
Mount Tamalpais to the west, across the San Francisco Bay as seen from the Berkeley Hills, January 17 or 18, 2013. This isn’t the most spectacular shot from that night, but it’s still one of my favorites. Click on it to enlarge.

I always try to include at least one really nice photo as a lead-in to my posts so as to catch the eye and raise interest in reading further. Today, I’m using one of my favorites of the San Francisco Bay Area. I’ll tell you why I chose this particular photo for this post but first I think you might find the back-story of its making of interest.

One of my customers, a business in Marin County, CA is a gift store that has sold some of my note cards. (If you don’t already know I make a line of fine-art note cards with my awesome-if-I-do-say-so-myself flower photos.) The proprietress asked me if I’d consider making some cards for her with “local color”, shots of the bay area. I decided I’d try at least one.

To make the image for this card I thought I would go up to the top of the east bay hills at sunset and shoot a silhouette of Mt. Tamalpais across the San Francisco Bay to the west, then composite-in a sunset I liked that I’d photographed some years ago in Death Valley. That was my plan, anyway, because we don’t get that many spectacular sunsets around here. When I arrived at the top of the hills to shoot my the mountain silhouette, however, what I just happened to stumble upon that evening was one of the most amazing, if not the most amazing sunset I’d ever seen. When I say that I’m including all the sunsets of my life, not just those in the Bay Area. I was beside myself with excitement, literally jumping up and down with glee. The lead shot for this post is one that resulted from my shooting that night. So, no need to do any photo compositing or image enhancement after all.

This shot reveals why I wrote that this was the most spectacular sunset I've seen in all my years. In the murky, dark, horizontal strip it's possible to make out the Golden Gate Bridge as well as Alcatraz.
This shot reveals why I wrote that this was the most spectacular sunset I’ve seen in all my years. In the murky, dark, horizontal strip it’s possible to make out the Golden Gate Bridge as well as Alcatraz.

Now, as to the reason I chose it for this post, it’s because I thought it quite appropriate—as the sun set over the San Francisco Bay Area that night, so it has recently set on my year and a half adventure of traveling America in my motorhome. That adventure is now behind me, which isn’t to say that I won’t have other RVing adventures in the future—I’m already contemplating the purchase of a 5th wheel RV, but that won’t be until at least next spring or summer, if at all.

As year end approaches and we plan our holiday get-togethers with family and friends and our farewells to 2015, let me take this opportunity to wish to you and yours greetings of the season and a happy and healthy 2016.

Meanwhile, should you have any additional, last minute shopping to do via or any shopping with Amazon in the future, please bookmark and use this link. I’ll get a little credit when you do and it won’t cost you anything more. Thanks. (My Amazon link is always available via the navigation menu at the top of all pages on the blog.)

Passion Flower
One of my flower note-card shots. Passion flowers like this one grow on vines, and there are about 10 varieties growing within walking distance of my apartment in Berkeley, CA. One right next door produces an edible fruit, a yellow banana passion fruit which reminds me in taste of a grapefruit. They are just amazing flowers. I mean, look at it. Wow!

Photo Post: Arches NP, Monument Valley, Goosenecks SP, Trona Pinnacles, Canyonlands NP, Valley of the Gods

I’ve been covering quite a bit of ground lately. Here are a few photos from places I’ve been:

Photo Post

Badlands National Park
Taken near Cedar Pass Campground in Badlands National Park.

I haven’t written a great deal lately–I’ve been very mobile. As I post I am just a few miles outside Arches National Park in Utah. I made a beeline here from Badlands National Park in South Dakota, stopping briefly at Mount Rushmore, followed by a few one-nighters on my way here.

This photo gallery includes pics from Omaha, NE, Badlands Nat’l Park and Mt. Rushmore in SD, and Arches Nat’l Park and vicinity in UT. While you should be able to view images in the gallery on a mobile device they will be too small to appreciate, so, if you can I suggest using a desktop or laptop computer. The bigger the screen the better. One click on a thumbnail should show  caption or part of it, and a second click should bring you into the slide show where clicking on the left or right will enble going forward or backward… I hope. LOL.