Haleakala NP, HI – House of the (Rising) Sun

Posted September 12th, 2014 by
Categories: Fossil Beds

Photographing the sunrise at Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii

Picture: Sunrise as seen from the summit of Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii

Image: Sunrise as seen from the summit of Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii

My family recently returned from a summer vacation holiday trip to Maui. Months before, my wife had asked what I’d like to do for my fiftieth birthday. As an almost off-the-cuff remark I said, “Watching the sunrise from atop Haleakala.” Now mind you, the mountain or place itself wasn’t the point, as much as I was saying I simply wanted to be watching the sunrise atop a mountain; any mountain. Haleakala was simply the one that came blurting out of my mouth. But my wife wanted to go to Hawaii, so this became her excuse to start planning our vacation.

A couple weeks after my birthday, we arrived in Maui. The last time I’d been to the island was with my wife on our honeymoon, 24 years ago. Research indicated the best time to catch a sunrise on Haleakala was the morning after your arrival, since you’ll have a few hours of time difference working in your favor. My kids weren’t too thrilled about waking up at 3:30 am, but they endured. Our research had also indicated it would take about 1.5 hours to drive to the summit from our location in Kehei. (Plan on 2 hours from Lahaina or Kaanapali.) I figured to be safe we should plan on arriving about 45 minutes before sunrise.

Picture: The Big Island of Hawai’i as seen from the summit of Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii

Image: The Big Island of Hawai'i as seen from the summit of Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii

My first hint of what was about to come was as we turned onto the Haleakala road at 4:15 in the morning, along with about 7-8 other vehicles. “Honey, it looks like we’re not the only ones heading up the mountain.” Understatement. Another line of cars greeted us we round the corner to the entrance station, where rangers were happily collecting entrance fees. Silly me forgot (read: didn’t think to bring) my National Parks Pass which was resting comfortably in my truck back home. As we snaked our way up the mountain, you could see a bead-string of car headlights working their way along the switchback road.

We arrived at the Visitor Center just as it was starting to get light. The photographer in me was suddenly confronted by a dual-problematic scenario. My wife was squirming and reminding me for the 15th time she needed a restroom just as I entered the traffic-jammed and already filled parking lot. (Note to self: Next time, leave even earlier.) People were parked double cars thick, and smack dab in front of signs that said No Parking Anytime. We eventually fled the area for the even higher elevation Observatory where we managed to find a parking spot. Thankfully, and although still crowded, this area was not the completely crowded madhouse back down at the Visitor Center.

Image: Dawn over the observatory on the summit of Haleakala, Maui, Hawaii

Picture: Dawn over the observatory on the summit of Haleakala, Maui, Hawaii

When you’re photographing the sunrise at Haleakala National Park, one of the conditions you’ll want to hope for is a layer of tropical clouds off to the east and below the summit to provide a little extra visual drama, as well as providing a good subject to photograph in themselves. Because of the 10,000-foot elevation at the summit, you will also likely be treated to a vivid twilight wedge of color when looking in the opposite direction of the sun.

One of the best tips we got before our trip was to Read the rest of this post »

Point Reyes On-Assignment Photo Workshop Sept 26-28

Posted September 3rd, 2014 by
Categories: California, Coast, Photo Workshops and Tours, Point Reyes, Workshops

Picture: Cliffs of Drakes Bay, Point Reyes National Seashore, Marin County, California

Image: Cliffs of Drakes Bay, Point Reyes National Seashore, Marin County, California

I’m again leading a 3-day Photo Workshop, “Point Reyes – On Assignment” at the beautiful Point Reyes National Seashore on September 26-28, 2014. This workshop is sponsored by the National Park’s non-profit partnership organization, the Point Reyes National Seashore Association and their Field Institute. For an amazingly friendly price, this special workshop includes accommodations at the Point Reyes Historic Lifeboat Station.

This workshop will focus on developing a creative and personal vision of a place, combined with visual storytelling. In addition, we’ll conclude the workshop with a wonderful image critique and review. For more information or to register, visit the Point Reyes Field Institute’s Photography web page. If you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area, or coming to Northern California in late September, this would be a fantastic chance to learn from me while out in the field at one of California’s most-scenic locations.

I hope you’ll join me for this fun weekend filled with photography. Also, if you know anyone in the area who loves outdoor photography and might be interested in this course, please consider forwarding this information or letting them know about the class. Thanks! – Gary. :)



If you like this post , I would greatly appreciate it if you’d consider sharing this with your friends using one of the Social Media sharing buttons located at the top of this post. You can also sign up to receive free updates by email when future posts are made to this blog.


 



Image ID#: 110408a_SCZ-0284



Popular Photographic Print Sizes

Traditional Prints feature:
* a luster surface
* no watermarks
* white paper border




Click here for Information & Pricing on larger paper, canvas, or metallic prints, incl. matted & framed prints. For complete purchase options, please contact me directly.


Gary Crabbe is an award-winning commercial and editorial outdoor travel photographer and author based out of the San Francisco Bay Area, California. He has seven published books on California to his credit, including “Photographing California; v1-North”, which won the prestigious 2013 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Gold Medal award as Best Regional title. His client and publication credits include the National Geographic Society, the New York Times, Forbes Magazine, TIME, The North Face, Subaru, L.L. Bean, Victoria’s Secret, Sunset Magazine, The Nature Conservancy, and many more. Gary is also a photography instructor and consultant, offering both public and private photo workshops. He also works occasionally a professional freelance Photo Editor.

Aerial view over Maui and tips for shooting from airlines

Posted August 26th, 2014 by
Categories: Aerials, Hawaii, Photos, Travel

Picture: Aerial view of clouds and sugar cane fields over south central Maui while on approach to Kahalui Airport, Maui, Hawaii

Image: Aerial view of clouds and sugar cane fields over south central Maui while on approach to Kahalui Airport, Maui, Hawaii

I started my last post with the idea that photography, especially travel photography, is often about finding yourself balanced between things you can and can’t control. And such is exactly the case when shooting out of a commercial jet airliner. For those of us photographers who aren’t pilots, any chance to fly becomes a great opportunity to get a perspective on the world that we just don’t get to see on a daily basis.

You can choose your flight, and ideally if you could, you’d choose a window seat in front of the wing, or if not, as far back from the wing as possible. In front of the wing, you won’t have to worry about jet exhaust distorting the air like you’d find sitting behind the wing. (Obviously this is for wing-mounted engine aircraft.) You can also choose the time of day that your flight arrives or departs.

A couple things you can’t control are delays, weather, and the plane’s flight path.

Image: Aerial view of clouds over the Pacific Ocean enroute to Hawaii Picture: Aerial view of clouds over the Pacific Ocean enroute to Hawaii

One other thing you can’t control, from a photographic concern, is the (visibility) quality of the windows. Are they clean, or are they scratched to all heck. Are they scratched on the inside, outside, or both. Depending on these factors, you might be able to get some great shots, or you might be shooting through the proverbial bottom of a Coca-Cola bottle. If the window are scratched, like mine were, one of the best tips for still getting a semi-decent picture is to shoot with a very wide aperture, like f/2.8 if possible, and look for a portion of the window that may not have as many scratches. At higher f-stops, even starting at f/5.6 scratches start becoming more visible, appearing like soft, out of focus blobs, akin to what a spray of water drops on your lens creates.

My other tip is to keep your camera Read the rest of this post »

Travel Photography is often about Get What You Can

Posted August 22nd, 2014 by
Categories: Hawaii, Photos, Sunset, Travel, Trees

Picture: Palm tree at sunset, Kihei, Maui, Hawaii

Image: Sunset behind palm tree, Kihei, Maui, Hawaii

Almost all travel photography has a combination of things that you as the photographer can or can’t control. Sometimes it simply boils down to a take-what-you-can-get proposition. Nowhere is this more true than when a professional travel photographer takes a family vacation, especially when the family doesn’t revolve around your photography. I’ve learned over the years that I need to balance out those moments when I do or don’t take my big bag of camera gear with me. When I do have my camera gear nearby, unless I specifically have my photographer hat on and am ‘working’ a scene, I often just look for those easy grab shots and Get-What-I-Can.

Image: Sunset behind palm tree, Kihei, Maui, Hawaii View from our rented apartment, Kihei, Maui, Hawaii. (Shot w/ my S4 Android Cell Phone)

A perfect example of this was the very first evening after arriving at our rented apartment in Kihei, Maui. It was a long day filled with alarm clocks and air travel starting at 5:00am, and we were planning a 3:00am wake up to drive the next morning to catch the sunrise at Haleakala National Park. Dinner appetites, as they often do, begin to boil over in direct relation to the sun’s proximity to the horizon, and such was the case this evening. Rather than running across the street in the middle of dinner, I chose to stay behind and NOT play Mr. Photographer. But even so, as the sun set, the quality of the compelled me to grab my camera from the bedroom and step out on to our lanai (balcony). In the midst of a scene filled with condos, traffic, traffic lights, telephone poles & wires, etc, I simply focused on what I could get; a clean shot of a palm tree at sunset using a zoom lens to crop out all that other ‘citi-ness’ that I didn’t want in my photo.

Within a minute I was back with the family having dinner and watching Shark Week on the Discovery Channel in advance of our upcoming snorkeling adventures.

Read the rest of this post »

Starburst images on the Nikon web site

Posted July 30th, 2014 by
Categories: California, Mountains, Newsworthy, Photos, Yosemite

Picture: Sunburst behind rocky spire near Vogelsang Pass, Cathedral Range, Yosemite National Park, California

Image: Sunburst behind rocky spire near Vogelsang Pass, Cathedral Range, Yosemite National Park, California

A couple weeks ago I mentioned that one of my images from The Subway in Zion National Park was being used on the Nikon web site in their Learn & Explore section.

I’m pleased to let you know that five more of my images are now also on the Nikon USA Web site (also in the Learn & Explore section) illustrating an article about adding a starburst effect into your images.

Featured in the article is a tip I learned from my old boss, Galen Rowell, about how to chase or repeat a sunrise or sunset so you can get more than one sunrise or sunset in the same day. In this case, the same idea was applied to photographing the sun setting behind this rocky pinnacle along the Sierra crest in Yosemite National Park.

Needless to say, I’m delighted, thankful, and honored that my work has been selected to grace the virtual pages of the Nikon USA web site.



If you like this post , I would greatly appreciate it if you’d consider sharing this with your friends using one of the Social Media sharing buttons located at the top of this post. You can also sign up to receive free updates by email when future posts are made to this blog.


 



Image ID#: TIGA-2041



Popular Photographic Print Sizes

Traditional Prints feature:
* a luster surface
* no watermarks
* white paper border




Click here for Information & Pricing on larger paper, canvas, or metallic prints, incl. matted & framed prints. For complete purchase options, please contact me directly.


Gary Crabbe is an award-winning commercial and editorial outdoor travel photographer and author based out of the San Francisco Bay Area, California. He has seven published books on California to his credit, including “Photographing California; v1-North”, which won the prestigious 2013 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Gold Medal award as Best Regional title. His client and publication credits include the National Geographic Society, the New York Times, Forbes Magazine, TIME, The North Face, Subaru, L.L. Bean, Victoria’s Secret, Sunset Magazine, The Nature Conservancy, and many more. Gary is also a photography instructor and consultant, offering both public and private photo workshops. He also works occasionally a professional freelance Photo Editor.

Featured Google Plus Presentation Light Landscape and Personal Vision

Posted July 23rd, 2014 by
Categories: California, Death Valley, Deserts, National Parks, Photos, Presentations

Photo: Storm clouds and pastel light on sand dunes at sunset, Mesquite Dunes, near Stovepipe Wells, Death Valley National Park, California

Image: Storm clouds in evening over sand dunes and mountains, Stovepipe Wells, Death Valley National Park, California

Last week I was delighted to be a featured guest and give a special Google Plus Hangout version of one of my popular public and workshop presentations called, Light, Landscape, and Personal Vision. The hour-long presentation was recorded for posterity, and can be found by clicking the link above, or you can watch it directly on YouTube.

The presentation was done as an episode of the Read the rest of this post »

My Zion Subway photo featured on Nikon’s web site

Posted July 16th, 2014 by
Categories: canyons, National Parks, Newsworthy, Photos, Travel, Utah, Zion National Park

Picture: Left Fork of North Creek at The Subway, Zion National Park, Utah

Image: Left Fork of North Creek at The Subway, Zion National Park, Utah

It’s been a bit of a crazy spring & early summer season for me, but there are a number of things which have been going on regarding my photography which deserve a brief mention. Sometimes being accused of being too humble, I hope you’ll allow me to catch you up on some of these items over the next few blog posts.

So up first: I’m delighted to announce that an image I took last fall during a hike to Zion National Park’s famed “Subway” is now being featured on the NIKON USA web site in their Learn and Explore section. It’s called “One Shot: Are We There Yet? A photo destination well worth the effort.”

I should mention that while I’m thrilled that Nikon found and decided to feature this image, the Subway is one of the most Read the rest of this post »

Photographing the Beaches of Point Reyes July11-13

Posted June 19th, 2014 by
Categories: Bay Area, California, Coast, Fossil Beds, Outdoors, Photo Workshops and Tours, Photographers, Photos, Point Reyes, Sunrise, Travel

Picture: Photographer shooting the sunrise at Drakes Beach, Point Reyes National Seashore, Marin County, California

Image: Photographer shooting the sunrise at Drakes Beach, Point Reyes National Seashore, Marin County, California

For any photographers located in or around the San Francisco Bay Area, or traveling to the area, I’ll be teaching another 3-day photographic workshop at Point Reyes on July 11th through July 13th. The focus of this class will be (wait for it….) “Photographing the Beaches of Point Reyes.” This workshop is being sponsored and run by the excellent folks at The Point Reyes Field Institute, which is part of the non-profit park’s partner organization, The Point Reyes National Seashore Association. For more information about this class, or to register, please visit the PRFI web site. I’m happy to answer any photography related questions before the class, while questions about logistics should be directed to the PFRI.

The cost for this class through the PRFI is an insanely great value, and includes accommodations at the Historic Point Reyes Coast Guard Lifeboat Station.

I’ll hope to see some of you there!



If you like this post , I would greatly appreciate it if you’d consider sharing this with your friends using one of the Social Media sharing buttons located at the top of this post. You can also sign up to receive free updates by email when future posts are made to this blog.


 



Image ID#: 130322a_BA2-0177<



Popular Photographic Print Sizes

Traditional Prints feature:
* a luster surface
* no watermarks
* white paper border




Click here for Information & Pricing on larger paper, canvas, or metallic prints, incl. matted & framed prints. For complete purchase options, please contact me directly.


Gary Crabbe is an award-winning commercial and editorial outdoor travel photographer and author based out of the San Francisco Bay Area, California. He has seven published books on California to his credit, including “Photographing California; v1-North”, which won the prestigious 2013 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Gold Medal award as Best Regional title. His client and publication credits include the National Geographic Society, the New York Times, Forbes Magazine, TIME, The North Face, Subaru, L.L. Bean, Victoria’s Secret, Sunset Magazine, The Nature Conservancy, and many more. Gary is also a photography instructor and consultant, offering both public and private photo workshops. He also works occasionally a professional freelance Photo Editor.

Have you ever broken a law to get a photograph?

Posted June 11th, 2014 by
Categories: Legal, Photographers, Photos

Picture: No trespassing signs and fence along the shore of Lake Tahoe, South Lake Tahoe, California

Image: No trespassing signs and fence along the shore of Lake Tahoe, South Lake Tahoe, California

Have you ever broken a law or ignored a warning to get a photograph?

The things some photographers do leave me raising an eyebrow, rolling my eyes, or worse, feeling like the words, “I’m a photographer,” is becoming more and more a dirty phrase.

Now mind you, I’m not as pure as fresh-fallen virgin snow, but fortunately I can say most of my tainted snowflakes fell during my teenage years, which I thankfully survived. However, this post isn’t about stupid teenager mentalities, but rather us adult photographers and the lengths we’ll go to get a photograph.

A spate of images which I’ve seen over the last few months seems to point out that some photographers don’t mind bending or breaking an occasional rule or law in order to get a photo.

Image: Footprints in the mud on the Racetrack Playa, Death Valley National Park, CaliforniaIt started earlier this year with a brutally wrenching photo posted by the National Park Service of footprints trampled into the mud at the Racetrack Playa in Death Valley. Now this something I personally know to be well-signed at the parking lot. The park service clearly says driving on the playa is prohibited, but it’s unclear if these *idiots* broke an actual law by ignoring a posted request to not walk in the muddy portions of the playa. (Photo: Neal Nurmi / NPS)

I know for the National Parks, many things are posted as advisory warnings, but you won’t necessarily be breaking a law if you ignore them. Examples common in my local park, Yosemite, include things like “Stay back – Waterfall”, “Stay off – slippery rocks”, “Don’t hike in Tenaya Canyon”, “Don’t climb Half Dome if a storm is forecast”, etc.

But those warnings are clearly different from something like where there is a law saying “No Entry” or “Prohibited.” In the above cases, you may have to pay for your rescue if you ignored a warning, but I’m not sure you’d get a fine just for being an idiot who wants to climb Half Dome during a summer thunderstorm.

So what about where there are signs clearly posted for laws prohibiting something?

Before I go further; it’s confession time: my personal infraction level seems to be entirely weighted to sleeping in my truck where it may not have been allowed. (Some cities or entire counties may have ordinances against sleeping in vehicles.) I may have also broken a speed limit on dirt road once or thrice. But I can’t think of any time over the last many years of doing photography where I’ve specifically trespassed or broken any other laws to get a photo. I suppose you could chalk it up to being too scared, too chicken, or too respectful.

However, I’ve recently seen a bunch of photos posted by photographers who clearly seem to think it’s OK to go where they’re not supposed to go, or do something they’re not supposed to do, just to get a photograph. Whether it’s photographing a bridge from a certain location, entering an abandoned building, climbing on tufa at Mono Lake, standing on a branch of a Bristlecone Pine, or shooting a waterfall; I’m curious at what point does the desire for an image cause us to risk bending the rules or breaking a law?

Picture: Teenagers playing in the Sacramento River below Mossbae Falls, near Dunsmuir, Siskiyou County, California

Image: Teenagers playing in the Sacramento River below Mossbrae Falls, near Dunsmuir, Siskiyou County, California
Two of California’s most-scenic waterfalls cannot be reached because of no trespassing or prohibited entry, both of which are posted for safety reasons. Fortunately you can still photograph one of those waterfalls (in Big Sur) from a distance via a popular lookout trail. The other is Mossbrae Falls in Siskiyou County, near Mount Shasta. For over 100 years, people have been walking along the railroad tracks to reach this secluded waterfall. But until the age of digital photography and the internet, this location was not well known, and pretty much ‘off-the-radar’. Access along the tracks was pretty much a given access easement. But as word and the number of photos of this location spread, so did the number of people trying to reach or photograph this beautiful location.
But as I wrote in my book, Photographing California; vol. 1 – North, a few years ago, the crowds causing parking problems in the small town of Dunsmuir, and erosion along the banks of the railroad tracks caused enough of a problem that the town closed the parking area, and the railroad posted clear No Trespassing signs. The local Sheriff office now routinely cites people it catches walking on the tracks. (FYI: My images were shot a number of years before the access along the tracks was ‘officially’ terminated or the start of citations being handed out.)

Unfortunately, there is no access from the opposite side of the river, which crosses private property. This has rendered the falls inaccessible, except by traveling up or down the Sacramento River. Although there is a current plan to put in a public trail, that option doesn’t exist yet. So what’s a photographer to do if they want a photo of this waterfall? Trespass, or wait until the path is built.

Does the urgency or desire to get a photo warrant taking the chance of getting caught trespassing. or perhaps, even worse, risking serious injury or even death if a train should come by at exactly the wrong moment, and you’re stuck in a place with no chance of safe retreat? (In Big Sur, the beach at the base of the falls is closed due to the risk of falling off the steep, fragile, and eroding cliffs.)

Now let’s say you choose to go and take pictures of said waterfall, regardless of the rules or posted signs. You then post your beautiful images of the falls online to the ohhs and ahhs of admiring fans, followers, and fellow photographers. I’m just curious what message you’re sending? Look at this beautiful photo; I broke the law to get it, so you should, too? What about the more contradictory, “It’s OK if I do it, but you shouldn’t”?

So… where’s your line? Are there absolutes? Are there exceptions, and if so, when and why? Have you seen any photos taken by someone doing something or of someplace they shouldn’t have been? Anyone else feel like confessing? I hear it’s good for the soul, but don’t take my word for it.



If you like this post , I would greatly appreciate it if you’d consider sharing this with your friends using one of the Social Media sharing buttons located at the top of this post. You can also sign up to receive free updates by email when future posts are made to this blog.


 



Image ID#: ssku-2020 (Mossbrae Falls)



Popular Photographic Print Sizes

Traditional Prints feature:
* a luster surface
* no watermarks
* white paper border




Click here for Information & Pricing on larger paper, canvas, or metallic prints, incl. matted & framed prints. For complete purchase options, please contact me directly.


Gary Crabbe is an award-winning commercial and editorial outdoor travel photographer and author based out of the San Francisco Bay Area, California. He has seven published books on California to his credit, including “Photographing California; v1-North”, which won the prestigious 2013 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Gold Medal award as Best Regional title. His client and publication credits include the National Geographic Society, the New York Times, Forbes Magazine, TIME, The North Face, Subaru, L.L. Bean, Victoria’s Secret, Sunset Magazine, The Nature Conservancy, and many more. Gary is also a photography instructor and consultant, offering both public and private photo workshops. He also works occasionally a professional freelance Photo Editor.

Are my images shot on slide film now dead?

Posted May 27th, 2014 by
Categories: Barns Farms and Rural Scenes, California, Photo Business, Photos, Stock Photography

Picture: Crescent Moon in evening light over oak tree on Palassou Ridge, Santa Clara County, California

Image: Crescent Moon in evening light over oak tree on Palassou Ridge, Santa Clara County, California

I have to wonder, from a business perspective, if many of my older images which I shot on professional-grade transparency slide film aren’t, for lack of a better term, ‘dead’?

Earlier this spring I received a call from a client looking for images of rural Santa Clara County. I had images, but it would to take some time for me to get them online for review. You see, these images were all shot on transparency film. They are part of my stock files from back in the day when professional photographers used to send slides to clients, who would then review submissions on a lightbox using a loupe. (I refer to this as the period when photography was tangible.)

Currently a full a decade into the digital-era, sending slides to a client just doesn’t happen anymore. I honestly can’t remember the last time I sent slides to a client; perhaps now akin to listening to my last music cassette tape. To get these images to the client for review required me to edit my collection of transparencies, scan the slides, clean the scans of any dust spots, and finally post low-resolution scans online for the client to review.

Now this client notwithstanding, I have a large number of images in my files which have never been scanned at high resolution. After working through this collection of images, I’m left asking myself a larger business related question; (professionally) is it even worth the time it takes to scan and keyword these images for stock sales or distribution to stock agents? Read the rest of this post »