Travel Adventures

Behind the Scenes: Australia Adventure 2013 Video

With much excitement I'm happy to finally share this BTS video from Jenn and I's trip to Australia in January 2013.

This video has been a long time coming. Even though I do previz animation for a living I am always surprised at just how long editing a video like this takes to finish. lol (only took me 8 months)

This is more of a home video then anything else but I hope it gives you a little more insight about this fun adventure we were so blessed to take earlier this year.

Shot: On an Iphone 4s by Jennifer Gunther and myself Edited: in Final cut pro 6

The Ahwahnee Hotel - Yosemite National Park

The Ahwahnee Hotel - Yosemite National Park One of the most beautiful hotels Jenn and I have ever been too, the Ahwahnee is truly the crown jewel of the Yosemite National park, apart from the scenery of course! lol

Jenn and I had the opportunity to have dinner in the beautiful Ahwahnee Dining Room while camping in Yosemite in august (after a nice shower of course). The food was amazing and truly a once in a lifetime experience for both of us. I got to say it did feel a little odd having such a nice meal and then heading back to our camp site where there was no running water and pit bathrooms. The contrast was really telling of just how much there is to offer at Yosemite, from very rustic backpacking, to 5 star accommodations.

Yosemite truly is a magical place and I am really happy to know that its back up and running after the government shutdown.

How this shot was made: Canon 5dmkII, Canon 16-35mm f2.8II ISO1250, 16mm, f5.6, 10sec

5 exposures taken on location -2,-1,0,+1,+2 Merged together using the Merge to 32bit HDR tiff plugin from Photomatix in LR4. Exported to CS6 for Exposure blending, use of Nik color efex pro4 and other nik plugins to achieve final result. Exported using LR4

San Simeon Pier - Hearst Castle

San Simon Pier || Hearst Castle

On our way up the coast my friend Jon Stoll, Jenn, and I stopped to check out the San Simeon Pier. Its a beautiful little spot just outside the entrance to Hearst Castle. Jon had joined us for the night on his way back to LA and It was fun to have a good friend around. There is never a shortage of good times and laughter when Jon is around! :)

We had fun just walking around and enjoying the gorgeous blue green water. It was a wonderful afternoon and a wonderful spot!

CA Road Trip 2013- Julia Pfeiffer - Big Sur CA

Julia Pfeiffer - Big Sur CA

While on our way up the California coast Jenn and I stopped at Julia Pfeiffer to check out probably one of the most beautiful lagoons in the US.

Like most famous locations, I have seen hundreds of photos of this spot but nothing truly compares to seeing it in person. I still can't believe how colorful the water was! I would have loved to catch this spot at sunset but the open road was calling and we had to get back on the road. Hopefully I'll get to come back to this spot someday soon!

How this shot was Made.

Canon 5D mkII, 16-35 f2.8 L II 29mm, f16, 1/4sec, ISO 50

On Location: 5 Bracketed exposures using a singh ray neutral polarizer, and 3 stop Lee filter, and a modified cokin Zpro filter holder.

Processing: Exposure blending in Photoshop with various exposures. Used Nik Color Efex Pro 4, and other luminosity masks to bring out the colors and details!

Boise Depot

Boise Depot

I actually grew up in Idaho so when I went back this summer to visit my parents I made it my mission to stop at some of my favorite locations and take some pictures.

I passed up so many awesome photo opportunities when I lived there because I hadn't picked up photography yet (got my first camera back in 2008) so now I'm really playing catch up.

So stoked I was finally able to take this shot of the Old Boise Train Depot. Its such a beautiful spot.

Finding the Milky Way!

Finding the Milky Way

One of my first shots processed from my recent travel adventure. This shot was taken on the California coast in Cambria Ca, about ten minutes south of Hearst Castle. Man what a gorgeous place. I'm pretty sure the orange glow is coming from Morro Bay to the south.

How this shot was made, Canon 5D mkII, 16-35mm f2.8L II 16mm, f 3.2 , ISO 3200, 30s

Processed using lightroom 4, CS6, Color efex Pro 4. The light in the foreground is from using my head lamp to illuminate the rocks.

Back from a 3 week adventure!

Jenn in Yosemite Hey everyone, Sorry for the long pause between posts. Jenn (my wife) and I just got back from a three week adventure and I have been slowly getting back into the swing of things, and now am able to fill you all in. Two words........ROAD TRIP! It was Ledgen.....wait for it.....dary!!!  Mainly sticking to California we started in LA and did a large loop up the California coast, over to Sacramento, down into Yosemite, with a final swing over to Las Vegas  before heading home. It was a wonderful trip.

This trip was mainly a vacation but of course I brought my camera along and managed do a little bit of photography when I could fit it in! We had horrible photography weather most of the trip (no clouds :OP anywhere)  but we enjoyed gorgeous sunny hot summer weather,  clear skies, and the open road!

Highlights included flying up to see my parents in McCall, Idaho; stopping at Really Right Stuff in San Luis Obispo, Cambria, Morro Bay, Julia Pheiffer, Santa Cruz, a quick stop in San Francisco, Sacramento,  a week camping in Yosemite, Vegas, and not to mention getting to meet my new niece Phoebe that was just born!

It was a great three weeks. Can't wait to share some of the pictures with you over the next few weeks.

Adventure to Mono Lake, with Beboy Photographies

BTS Beboy Doing his thing

About a week ago I took an adventure out to mono lake for the first time!  I had never been there before and I was excited  to explore this well known location. I was even more excited by the fact that I was going to get a chance to meet up with one of my favourite photographers, "Beboy Photographies"!

If you havn't checked out Beboy's work I highly recommend it:

Beboy just started his first year of full time location independence with his girl friend, "Begirl", and they happened to be close enough that I could meet up with them at mono lake. Like Elia Locardi and his wife the call to photograph this beautiful world full time became more then just an idea but a calling that lead them to sell everything and hit the road.  I have tremendous respect for people like Beboy and Elia who dream big, take the big leap, and really follow their dreams!  :)  They truly are an inspiration!

My trip to mono lake was just a quick 36 hours or so but I did manage to get in two sunrise's and a sunset session before I had to head home.  It was a wonderful trip, and a wonderful time hanging out with Beboy.  Can't wait to do it again!

Enjoy these photos from my trip.

Technical Notes: I have been studying several advanced luminance masking techniques lately from the works of the very talented Sean Bradshaw, Jay Patel, and Chip Phillips. I have really tried to apply a lot of these new techniques in these photographers and Its been a huge learning experience.  These techniques have really been profound and have opened a lot of doors for more advanced editing and control I have not had in the past.  Its been wonderful. Be sure and check out their various tutorials if you get a chance. They are totally worth the investment!

Mono Lake Twilight

Mono Lake Twilight Had the amazing opportunity to hangout with one of my favourite photographers, Beboy Photographies:, at Mono Lake this weekend. It was my first time to mono lake and it was really fun walking around the giant salt "tufas"! Man what an interesting place. We both agreed that it looked more like the surface of Mars then a lake in California.

Also it felt great to be out, photographing this beautiful world. I always feel so much more alive when I'm out photographing and it was wonderful to get away from LA and be in nature for a weekend. Can't wait to do it more when I'm on vacation in a couple weeks! I can't wait.

How this shot was made. Canon 5D II, Canon 70-200 f4L IS 70mm, 13sec, f9.0, ISO 640

5 Exposures taken on location. All 5 Exported as layers to photoshop CS6 and combined using digital blending techniques. I think I only used 3 different exposures to get everything balanced, 0, -1, and maybe a little +1. Further adjustments using Nik Color Efex pro 4, Luminance masking adjustments, and some blurring techniques for smoothing the water even further. Final Export using LR4

The Rainy Watchman - Zion National Park

The Rainy Watchman - Zion National Park This was one of my first experiments with long(er) exposure photography during the day. My brother and I had just come down off of angle's landing and it had been raining all day. We were cold and wet but loving it. We decided to stop at the watchman bridge just to see if the clouds were going to part and light up at all but the cloud density was too much because of the rain. I decided to try a long exposure shot just to see what I could get. After a couple attempts and tweaking of settings I loved what I was seeing on the back of the camera and thought I nailed it! Much to my dismay when I looked at it on my laptop back home I had made a huge rookie mistake! Can any of you spot it?????

Note to self! If its been raining always always make sure there is no rain drops on your lens.....doh!

How this shot was made! Canon 5D mkII, Canon 16-35mm f2.8L II lens 120sec, f16, ISO 100

I shot this in blub mode for a 120sec using no filters since it was really dark by then. Processed a single exposure in Lightroom 4 then sent it to Photoshop for small adjustments using Nik software color efex pro 4. Final export using Lightroom 4

Want more info on how I process my images? Check out my video tutorial:

Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House

I just can't get enough of this Opera House. It has mesmerized me since Jenn and I were in Sydney back in January. Luckily every time I process a new photo from the trip I get to enjoy those sweet memories. Isn't it wonderful how photography can bring us right back to a place?

Photos make the best souvenir's.... :)

How this was made:
Canon 5d mkII, Canon 16-35mm f2.8 II
F11, ISO 640, 35mm, 15sec

5 Bracketed Exposures taken on location. Combined using the Merge to 32-bit HDR plugin, then adjusted in lightroom. Then taken into photoshop and enhanced using NIK Color Efex pro 4, Viveza, and Define to reach the final result.

Want more info on how I process my images, check out:

Sydney Opera House at Sunset

Sydney Opera House at Sunset One of the first photo's I took of the Opera House but almost one of the last processed. I always kinda start with the blue hour ones (Because I love that look) and sometimes forget about the sunset. But man I love how this one turned out. I just love the color change in the sky! Its really wonderful. Hope you like it too!

How this Shot was made: Canon 5D mkII, Canon 85mm f1.8 Prime 85mm, f16, 0.5 sec

5 Bracketed exposures taken on location. Processed using, Merge to 32bit HDR plugin, Lightroom, Nik Color Efex Pro 4, Viveza 2, Define 2.

More info about how I process my images check out my tutorial:

A walk in the park-Sydney Australia

A walk in the park-Sydney Australia After walking across the Harbour Bridge, the night before, I glanced over and saw this park. I knew instantly it would be the perfect spot to have a romantic picnic with Jenn and enjoy the sunset. It also would be a good spot to take some photo's and luckily my wife was very understanding about me slipping away after our picnic and doing some photography.

We got to the park early with some "take away" we got earlier from the mall food court where the "Sydney Sky Tower" attraction was. We sat on a bench and enjoyed talking, eating, and taking it all in!

There were all kinds of people in the park. Couples who had the same idea we did, other's were taking a workout class that just looked brutal, and a birthday party with a group of friends drinking wine and having a good time. We also ran into an older woman who took special interest in my camera and us. She lived just down the street and every night she walked down to the park to enjoy the sunset. After talking to her for a bit we began to pickup on some signs of early stages of dementia. She was repeating certain memories about herself a lot and you could tell she was a little disoriented but still pretty functional. She was such a sweet lady. We both thought about her a lot afterwards hoping for good things for her in the future.

It was a good night, and wonderful to spend time with my sweet wife!

How this shot was made:

Canon 5D mkII, 16-35mm f2.8L II

28mm F9, ISO 640, at 13sec (Base Exposure)

5 Bracketed exposures (-2,-1,0,+1,+2) taken on location. Exported 5 exposures to HDRsoft's Merge to 32-bit tiff plug-in. Lightroom adjustments on the 32bit tiff to get it as close to final as I could. Further adjustments in photoshop, including sharpening using "Highpass" filter, and some luminance masking adjustments for saturation to the sky, and healing brush touch ups.

If you want more info on how I do my processing. Check out my tutorial on the Merge to 32-bit HDR method:

Darling Harbor Sunset - Sydney Australia

Darling Harbor Sunset - Sydney Australia

This was the view from our hotel while we were in Sydney back in January. This particular night, my wife Jenn and I, were all snuggled up in front of the window getting ready for the Saturday night fireworks show that happens over Darling Harbor. We had a blanket, a bottle of Australian white wine, and some dark chocolate(its how we roll). It was awesome! A wonderful sunset and fireworks show in the comfort of our hotel room! What could be better!

How this shot was made:
Canon 5D mkII, 16-35mm f2.8L II Lens

5 bracketed images shot on location and processed using the Merge to 32-bit HDR plug-in method.

What to know more? Check out my Merge to 32-bit HDR Tutorial: