Tag Archives: USA

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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Vegas Baby!

Some new casinos hotels and shops on the Strip.

Some new casinos hotels and shops on the Strip.

I’ve avoided Las Vegas like the plague for most of my life. The few times I’ve flown in, I’ve usually left from the airport to points south like the Lake Powell area. I’ve always viewed gambling as a form of taxation for the uninformed and the artiface and public drunkenness as massively unappealing. Yet when I had the opportunity recently to spend a short weekend there, I decided to give it another shot.


Center square in the Venetian.

Much to my surprise, they have abandoned the Disneyesque themes and started building casinos that an adult would not feel silly being dragged into. With its elevated pedestrian walkways and outdoor escalators the Strip made me marvel at the city planning and made for an entertaining stroll up and down it. Although most of the casinos still looked the same on the inside; endless rows of generic slot machines, dizzy lighting and gaming tables, there were a few notable exceptions: The Cosmopolitan, Paris, Paris, The Bellagio and The Venetian.


Fremont Street

Even old Vegas had its charm and coupled with reasonable temperatures and a lack of crowds, the city proved itself more interesting than I thought. I even found the short weekend too short to fully cover the Vegas I wanted to see and I’ll probably come back for more than just work.



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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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1000 Broadway Ave.

I was recently hired to shoot the Trans Pacific Center at 1000 Broadway. Of course it had to be done on a very busy intersection and during the winter. In the northern hemisphere the sun is about 23° further south than in the summer and unless you have a south facing building, at least half will be in shadow. In addition, this was a block size building and the sun rose right above it. I solved this problem by shooting an additional sky and striping it in.

The backlit shot of the building with a custom lens shade -my hand.

I liked the original sky with the sun flare


After blending the two images with a coupe of others and after a little more work on perspective and lighting, I arrived at the final image. Customers today won’t accept an average shot which requires Photoshop work to make it acceptable.


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DPA Composition in the Field Workshop: Wildflower Expedition

Saturday May 7th – 10am-2pm ~ DPA Instructor Eric Sahlin $50 per person

April showers bring May flowers and with the years increasingly turning wet, it is especially true in Northern California.  I will be teaching a composition in the field workshop at Tilden Regional Wilderness.

I will cover:

  • Telephotos, macros and extension tubes
  • Compositional techniques
  • Use of Fill and Ring flash
  • Bounce cards

Please bring your DSLR and all the gear in your kit.

Photo ©Eric Sahlin Photography

The group will assemble at the Quarry Picnic area at 10am. After a few notes Eric will lead the hike up Quarry, across Big Springs Trail and back down Seaview. It’s an easy hike (under 1 mile) and there’ll be plenty of stops along the way. Please wear appropriate shoes and bring water and a lunch for the journey. All Levels welcome.

Photos ©Eric Sahlin Photography

Photo ©Eric Sahlin Photography


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

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Clouds over north Maui

I’ve got to confess that I was a little hesitant to just go to Hawaii for the short time we we able to get away -but Maui more than lived up to its lore! This island has it all. Rain forest, Haleakala, great beaches and diving -it was a true marvel and deserved more than the 10 days we devoted to it.

You can see more of the shots in the gallery Maui 2007

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