Tag Archives: California

Hero Video of Russell Abraham

My colleague and studio mate hired me to make a hero video for his website update. We shot an interview in the studio and I employed his images as a pan and scan for imagery. We also added some footage that I got during one of our jobs together.

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The Newest National Park: Pinnacles National Park

Bear Gulch Resevoir

Pinnacles had been on my radar at least a couple of years before becoming America’s newest National Park.  It’s rhynolitic lava spires, talus caves, condors and remarkable proximity had been singing their Siren song for quite a while.  But now that it had become part of the National Park system, it was time to act upon it before it became too popular and inevitably too crowded.  The National Park status is important because they are set apart by Congress for the use of the people of the United States as opposed to National Monument status which are areas reserved by the National Government because they contain objects of historic, prehistoric, or scientific interest.

The park is known for its astonishing geology. About 23 million years ago a massive volcano spewed lava in massive molten chunks in what is now the Los Angeles County. It was then transported to its current location (just 80 miles south of San Jose) via the San Andreas fault on a geologic time line. The lava cooled and years of erosion created tall pink spires while allowing huge boulders to fall and wedge themselves into the narrow canyons forming tenuous roofs for the talus caves.

Last April, a friend and I finally heeded that Siren call and set out for an over nighter in the park. It didn’t disappoint; we hiked the caves at Bear Gulch the afternoon of the day we arrived and did the climbs of the High Peaks Trail in the coolness of the next morning.  Although the camping areas are a little exposed, they are quite reasonable for a stay of a couple of nights. Although we never saw the much vaunted condors, the magnificent scenery of the hikes more than made up for it.


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Fall Leaf Time Lapse

Time lapses can be tricky to capture. Even when you control all the lighting and environment, as I did here in my studio, you can still get annoying flicker. This can be caused by micro changes in lighting and kelvin temperature as well as shutter inconsistencies. See the below video for the “out of the camera” (mostly) results.

However, there is software GB Deflicker that averages the frames out the luminance and inconsistencies. I was fortunate enough to try a Beta 3 release from Granite Bay Software.

As you can see the results are spot on. I highly recommend this software to anyone who is dabbling in time lapse.

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Fall Colors in the Eastern Sierra


For more than two decades, I was hoping to go up to the Eastern Sierra to photograph the fall foliage. Either I was too busy or I just missed the narrow 2-3 week window out of neglect. This season, a photo buddy and I just marked it in the calendar and preplanned the trip –novel idea. The weather and the advance of Winter cooperated and we spent 3 full days traveling the Highway 395 corridor for all the great colors.

We stayed in Mammoth Lakes because it offered the most choice in accommodations and was about central to the travels. We used the guide provided by the Mono County Tourism board and talked with locals to find what was most turned at the time.

I brought along my dedicated IR point and shoot which rendered some interesting images especially in Bodie.


The complete gallery can be seen here:



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SORAA at Kwan Hemni

SORAA is an inventor and manufacturer of high end LED lamps. Their lamps are remarkable for their color spectrum and beam pattern. In fact we shot this promo for them using their lamps for fill as well. We were able to shoot this spot at the wonderful Marin home of Sylvia Kwan and Denis Hemni who are the partners at the architecture firm of the same name.

This video was shot entirely with my new Canon 5D MK III.canon-eos-5d-mark-iii-jjc It features a new, low noise, sensor and improved record times of up to 29 minutes.

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Iconic shot of Berkeley


I  had a client at the beginning of the year who required an iconic shot of Berkeley for the header banner on his website. Initially, I thought that wouldn’t be so difficult but as I began to run through the mental images of having gone to school there and having lived in the area, I was pretty stumped on one that would look good and iconic on such a thin ribbon that he was proposing. Berkeley doesn’t have a remarkable or distinctive skyline. In fact the only image that leaped to mind was of Sather tower with perhaps an overview of Berkeley in the background. I had in mind a shot with the tower to the left from the Tilden Park region but in scouting the area, I found a construction crane just to the right of the tower and just about the same height. After driving the Berkeley hills to about an hour I found a great spot to capture this image just above the Greek Theatre and managed to pull the Golden Gate in as well.

Canon 5D Mk III, EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM, 120mm at f/10 at 15 seconds

It worked out rather well for his banner:


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The Art of the Twilight Shot

Nothing quite sells a set of photographs like a twilight shot. It is often referred to as the money shot because most clients swoon over it. On a recent shoot for Jackson Dean Construction, I was given the instruction to get many angles of the exterior. But when I got there, I realized that there were few angles and they would all have to include the front facade to hold any interest. Therefore, with a limited number of angles, I decided to shoot a couple of times throughout the afternoon and ending with the twilight shot above.

The prime objective of the twilight shot is to balance the exterior and interior luminance. This can occur anywhere between 1 hour before sunset to one hour after. It is also dependent upon the Sun’s setting direction and the geographic features in it’s path. I  recommend disabling the auto focus because it can get dark enough to throw it off. Rather than resetting your color balance to 3200° (tungsten) I recommend leaving the setting on daylight (5000°) to warm up the building. Then you can desaturate the red/yellow from the tungsten sources in post. Finally, make sure you are set on a tripod, in place, before this time occurs because, depending upon the time of year, it may only last for about 5 minutes.


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DPA Workshop: Advanced Photoshop – Photoshop for Photographers

Saturday Nov. 19th, 9am-5pm ~ DPA Instructor Eric Sahlin $150 per person

At Adobe Systems as a contractor in 2007 – 2008, I  had the privilege of working on Photoshop and Bridge. Photoshop is the most ubiquitous and powerful imaging software in the world and a must for every photographer. Eric will cover advanced techniques to improve your workflow. The course will cover:

  • Photoshop Bridge Management
  • The new features of Adobe Camera Raw
  • Work space customization
  • Color fundamentals, neutralization and local adaptation
  • Blending, image distortion and luminance controls
  • Cloning and healing techniques, Noise reduction and output sharpening for print and web

Photo ©Eric Sahlin Photography

I will do a deep dive into these features and how they will improve you output. Please bring your own images to work on for the second half of the class.

This course is meant for intermediate and above users of the program. Please bring your Mac or PC Laptop, loaded with Photoshop CS4 or CS5 to the studio (a free trial is available at Adobe).

Photo ©Eric Sahlin Photography

The studio is located at 309 4th Street #108 Oakland, CA

Register online at: www.digitalphotoacademy.com, or via email: info@digitalphotoacademy.com, or Toll Free: 877.372.2231  877.372.2231 

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DPA Special Class: Landscapes at Point Lobos

Saturday and Sunday, September 24th & 25th  – $150

Point Lobos State Reserve is just south of Carmel, California. It is what famed landscape artist Francis McComas’s called “The greatest meeting of land and water in the world.” When going there you are travelling on the same paths that enticed Ansel Adams and Andrew and Brett Weston. It has the best vistas per foot walked than any other park in California –and it’s small enough to make a complete subject within a day.

I will lead a small group of digital landscape photographers through the park over a 2 day period.  Everyone will assemble at the Sea Lion Point Parking area in Point Lobos at 1pm on Saturday for a brief overview and shoot until sunset –and perhaps a little after that. Warning – the park does have a car limit and if you don’t get there early you may be waiting until someone exits or walk in from the road.

The next day we will meet at Katy’s Place (Mission Street between 5th and 6th) for Breakfast in Carmel at 7am or at Sea Lion Point Parking at 8:30am and shoot until noon. This will give you the full range of light in the park.

Subjects covered include:

Research and pre-planning
Mapping shots and going over the kit
Interpretation and composition
Composition techniques

This is open to all levels but a working knowledge of your camera is required. Please bring your standard kit including some long lenses like 200mm or longer. But please only bring the kit you are prepared to carry. Although this is a small park, there will be a fair amount of walking. Please bring comfortable shoes, water, hiking snacks and a light Jacket.

Accommodation can be readily found in Monterey and Carmel –here is a list of recommended places:

Carmel Mission Inn
Carmel Lodge
Carmel Wayfarer Inn
Bay Park Hotel
Hotel Abrego
Hotel Pacific

The accommodation, travel, meals and park entrance fees are not included in the pricing and are up to you to make the arrangements.

Register online at: www.digitalphotoacademy.com, or via email: info@digitalphotoacademy.com, or Toll Free: 877.372.2231.
This also makes a great gift for the photographer in your life. Gift certificates are available from DPA.

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DPA Workshop: DSLR 101 for those who want to know their camera

May 11th 6pm – 10pm ~ DPA Instructor Eric Sahlin  $50 per person

The DSLR can be a little overwhelming when you are not used to it. I will take you through the simple concepts and commands that will put you back in control of your images.

Whether you have a Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Pentax, or whatever -the fundamentals are the same and easily explained.

Please bring you camera with the batteries charged and your owner’s manual.

The studio is located at 309 4th Street #108 Oakland, CA

Register online at: www.digitalphotoacademy.com, or via email: info@digitalphotoacademy.com, or Toll Free: 877.372.2231 .

This also makes a great gift for the photographer in your life. Gift certificates are available from DPA.

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