These new bottles from Tahoe Blue Vodka have been in the works for quite awhile. I've been helping with test photos throughout the process to help them determine a final design that is as appealing in person as it is through photos. These ones definitely grab your attention more than the previous design and really [...]
Keeping the Father's Day backpacking tradition alive for the 12th year in a row, we headed to Island Lake just north of Lake Spaulding. Though it wasn't a photo-centric trip, I did take a couple landscape photos as well as our group photo (long exposure for that one). Unfortunately, the trip got cut short due [...]
Well, I ended up selling a lot of my astrophotography gear and picked up a used ASI1600MM mono camera and filter set. All I can say is that the results you can achieve are night and day different. The files are so clean even after just a few hours of integration. I still have some [...]
You know that photo NASA took back in the '90s with the Hubble telescope called the Pillars of Creation? Well, that iconic photo was the first photo to get me interested in space. This is my first attempt photographing the Eagle Nebula, which if you look closely, features the pillars in the center. I ended [...]
My photo was selected for the Fstoppers - Critique The Community: Product Photography video. 4 out of 5 stars is a win in my book! https://youtu.be/kA828SNW7GY?t=2961
The family and I finally took an actual vacation (since the kids were on Spring Break). We decided to go down to Pismo Beach for a couple days. The weather was a bit cold, but everyone had a great time. I was able to sneak away for an evening at Shell Beach to explore some [...]
Happy birthday to my second child, Dylan, who is now 7 years old! We ran down to Springview Johnson Park in Rocklin and used the same piece of railroad we found last fall when we did Nolan's birthday photos. It had been moved slightly since then, but was setup with the bridge nicely in the [...]
Having shot most of the beginner winter astrophotography targets already, the famous Rosette Nebula was next. The major accomplishment on this one was the fact that it includes over 8 hours of integration from multiple nights.
Although this is a winter target for me, it seems very fitting of what California looks like in the summer... on fire! I finally feel like I am making decent progress with this very difficult niche of photography. From an image capture standpoint, I've made a lot of errors, but continue to learn from them [...]
This composition of Orion's Belt, that includes the Orion and Horsehead nebulae, has been on my "to-do" list ever since I got into astrophotography. I've shot them each individually, but I really wanted to get them in a single shot for ease of processing, printing, etc. For this, I used my 275mm Radian Raptor and [...]
We finally had some nights without clouds and rain, that coincided with a new moon, which gave me the opportunity to shoot the Horsehead Nebula sitting in Orion's Belt. By no means is it award winning, but I'm happy with the progress I'm making. This is 20 x 5 minute exposures with dark and flat [...]
Like most people, I've had a lot more time at home recently than I'd probably like. Add to that a baby that doesn't like sleeping through the night and you get the perfect recipe for astrophotography. I mean, what better use of time in the middle of the night do you have? The 3 photos [...]
Another project completed for Catalyst Builders, HMA Architecture and FiveWest Interiors. This team always seems to knock it out of the park. It was a difficult home to photograph due the steep hillside it sits on, but I was able to make it work with a very tall tripod and tilt shift lens.
The company I work for, Valley Communications, performed the structured cabling, security management systems and audio visual systems on this new Dept. of General Services building at 1215 O Street in Sacramento. This was a last minute shoot as we needed the photo ASAP for a marketing piece. Rather than spend 10 hours cloning out [...]
Another great Father's Day in the books. My brother just moved out to Tennessee, but he and his 2 kids flew back out to keep the tradition alive. We ended up camping at Goose Lake and then doing a day hike to Long Lake nearby. This photo is from Big Bear Lake on the way [...]
When my wife was pregnant with our 3rd son, she got horrible heart burn at night and couldn't sleep. After trying everything under the sun to help her (us) sleep, she found pickle juice of all things. Since we were buying pickles by the pallet just for the juice I was reminded that the good [...]
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE everything about this modern wine country farmhouse that was built by Catalyst Builders with interior design by FiveWest Interiors. I was even treated to a spectacular sunset to top it all off. I think it is time I update my house and I think this will be used as inspiration.
Wow, this rustic modern home was an absolute joy to photograph. All the dark interior wood floors and trim definitely made it a challenge to light though. This was shot for Catalyst Builders, FiveWest Interiors and Donald Joseph Architect. I was really hoping for a fresh blanket of snow for the exterior, but I seem [...]
I was on my way to Truckee to shoot 3 houses when I came upon this beautiful scene right after passing over the summit. This is just a handheld panorama from the vista point coming into Truckee. The fresh snow, thick fog and pastel sunrise were just too good to pass up.
I'd like to welcome my 3rd son, Nolan, to this world! For this photo, I used a rusty steel background I already had and then built a little bed out of barn wood that is sitting on a small cowhide. Really going for that rustic theme on this one.
I had the pleasure of shooting this beautiful home for Catalyst Builders and HMA Architecture. It is located in the always beautiful Schaffer's Mill in Truckee. I had to deal with a ton of smoke from the forest fires nearby, but overall made it work.
I've always been fascinated by the stars since as far back as I can remember. I've done star trail and milky way photography before, but am now just getting into deep sky astrophotography. It's a little tough from the light polluted skies in my backyard (Bortle class 7), but waiting for a moonless night with [...]
Here is a shot of Russian River Brewing Company's Pliny the Elder. Such a tasty brew and one of my all-time favorites. Maybe one day I'll be fortunate enough to get to try Pliny the Younger...
It's been a long time since I've been out taking landscape photos with all this shelter in place stuff, working harder and more than ever, etc. With all that, the family and I took a short camping trip to Silver Lake to escape the heat in the valley. The trip was full of ups and [...]
For our annual Father's Day tradition of going backpacking we went to Caples Lake (I didn't do any landscape photography this time, but here is the group):
I recently completed some product photography of supplements for Most Potent and now finished shooting the various ingredients for displaying on their website. It was actually quite tricky to shoot as I had to get the powder in a somewhat uniform pattern on glass so I could have the background below easy to swap out [...]
Since I've been diving deeper into the film photography world, I knew it was time to try 6x17 panoramic film. The dedicated cameras for that format are rediculously expensive, so I sought out other options. I was able to find a company out of Italy that uses a 3D printer to make the camera that [...]
Happy 5th Birthday to my son Dylan! I've been thinking of how to make taking photos of my own kids more stressful and finally came up with the idea of shooting large format film and studio lights. I used a 150mm lens (50mm equivalent) and got everything focused and dialed in. I then had to [...]
I wasn’t quite sure how to make shooting large format film more hipster-ish until I found out I could develop film with coffee instead of regular photo developer! I sort of stumbled upon Caffenol by accident when I was researching alternative developers because I wasted a few sheets of film learning that my developer had [...]
After working with Tahoe Blue Vodka for many years, I was asked to shoot a bunch of cocktails for them to update their website. The goal was to create a consistent look between each shot, so the bottle remained constant throughout and I swapped out drinks/added the hint of the ingredients on the side. I [...]
Whenever I get a free afternoon/evening and don't have much time to travel far, I usually head up to Auburn to take some photos along the river. The river was really low, which made some new rocks appear that I've never seen before. I found a cool hole worn away in the rock that reminded [...]
Sometimes you just get perfect light for the twilight exteriors. The sun was setting behind me and behind a bank of pink clouds, which helped add a nice pink soft light to the entire scene. This home in Northstar was shot for Catalyst Builders and Donald Joseph. This was my first time back to Northstar [...]
This was a spec house built by Catalyst Builders, designed by Donald Joseph and with interior design by FiveWest Interiors. Although there weren't any home furnishings to help with the interior shots, the exterior was a joy to shoot (mainly because it was the first in awhile I've done that was on level ground!).
This house was a tough shoot with the extreme grade leading up to the house, but very rewarding end results. Built by Catalyst Builders, designed by HMA Architecture and interior design by FiveWest Interiors.
I had the extreme pleasure of shooting this newly finished home in Auburn that was inspired by many of the farmhouses throughout the Napa area. I love when I get the opportunity to work with a builder (Landmark Builders), architect (HMA Architecture) and interior designer (Pepperjack Interiors) on a shoot to create a cohesive set [...]
While on my weekend getaway to the Sierra Buttes, I shot a handful of sheets of 4x5 film. Since I mostly focused on shooting digital, I didn't get peak light on film. Though the vibrancy of Velvia was ridiculous even without amazing colors in the sky. Here is a black and white photo of sunrise [...]
I try to visit the Sierra Buttes at least once every year. It is by far my favorite “local” spot to visit for the amazing scenery and relatively small crowds that visit. For nearly 10 years, I’ve tried photographing these mountains at sunrise, sunset, midnight, winter, etc. and never really come away with a photo [...]
Here are a handful of shots I did for HMA Architecture of a modern home in Winchester Country Club. Out of the nearly 40 final shots I provided to the client, none of them required any Photoshop, HDR processing, flash fill lighting, etc. All edits were done with a single RAW file in Lightroom. Gotta [...]
For our annual Father’s Day backpacking trip, we visited Shealor Lakes just off of Highway 88 near Kirkwood. It was a fairly short hike in terms of distance, but had a decent amount of elevation change considering my little one wasn’t much help with carrying his own pack. I’m guessing I was carrying close to [...]
Apparently we planned our vacation to San Diego right when the sun lines up with the Scripps Pier in La Jolla at sunset, which explains why I made sure to avoid the crowds and come at sunrise. Here are a few early morning shots from under the pier (when the light didn't cooperate nearly as [...]
My wife had a work conference (free hotel) in "sunny" San Diego, so I took a mini vacation with her and the kids. It was overcast most of the trip and actually fairly cold/windy. On one of the nights she had off, I had the choice of visiting Ballast Point Brewing or doing some photography. [...]
Here it is, the 5th and final bridge shot, Fair Oaks Bridge. The others from the series being No Hands Bridge, Rainbow Bridge, Tower Bridge and Guy West Bridge. This was surprisingly the hardest bridge to shoot out of all 5 of them. I took multiple trips here looking at the bridge from every angle, [...]
Every year or so, I force my family to hike up a mountain/wander around a forest/etc. for our family self portraits so that I can print a large photo to hang above our mantle. I'd like to say we were lucky this year in that the field for the photos was less than a mile [...]
Here is the 4th (out of 5) installment in my commissioned landscape photos of bridges around the Sacramento area. The others are No Hands Bridge in Auburn, Rainbow Bridge in Folsom and Tower Bridge in Sacramento. Although I was treated with a wonderful sunset, the pungent smell of pot and swarms of mosquitoes really killed [...]
This is the 3rd in a series of bridges I've been commissioned to photograph around the Sacramento area. No Hands Bridge was first and Rainbow Bridge Folsom was second. I stayed through sunset, but ultimately selected a long exposure about an hour before sunset because the yellow Tower Bridge stands out so much more against the [...]
I've been commissioned to take a handful of landscape focused photos of some of the more iconic bridges in the Sacramento area with the goal of creating a cohesive set of images highlighting the area for a corporate office lobby. I already have a shot of No Hands Bridge in Auburn and now have this [...]
This location has been on my shoot list for a couple years now as it is one of only a handful of waterfalls that flow directly into the ocean. The timing just hasn't been right because the creek only flows after a good rain and it is about a 3 hour drive each way. Sure, [...]
The family and I spent Sunday at the San Francisco Zoo, drove down to visit some friends in Half Moon Bay, hit up Martins Beach around sunset and then spent the night in Santa Cruz. Since we were staying a few minutes away from Natural Bridges, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to shoot the location [...]
Martins Beach is probably one of the most unique and picturesque beaches along the California coast with its unmistakable jagged rocks. The beach has been in the news recently with a wealthy landowner trying to make it a "private" beach, so I was a little unsure if we'd be able to make it down to [...]
We finally got some rain in Northern California, so I had planned to go to a waterfall along the coast that only flows right after a rain. We left our house around 11am, figuring 6 hours was long enough to drive 3 hours, hike and get setup before sunset. Unfortunately, we hit some pretty horrible [...]
This one will be used for display purposes at Raley's and is definitely one of the more complicated product photos I've done for Tahoe Blue Vodka. Between the fake snow (which takes forever to get it where you want it, but still look "natural"), then the pile of coffee beans and of course the actual [...]
This home was built by Catalyst Builders with interior design by FiveWest Interiors. I got to photograph it unfurnished because it was built as a spec house and the new owner will be moving in shortly. All the details on this home were top notch and a joy to photograph.
On my way back from another architectural shoot in Truckee, I stopped by a spot along the Yuba River that had a ton of fall color hoping to get a shot of some rapids with colorful trees in the background. Unfortunately, there just wasn't good light and I couldn't find a composition I liked. As [...]
I am honored to have had my photo of the Sawyer Hotel win 3rd place in the Architectura Obscura Photography Contest and be featured in Comstock's Magazine. They even used my photo on the table of contents page.
Wow, what a view from this house! Literally right on Lake Tahoe with a private pier. With expansive views comes ridiculously hard photography due to the wide dynamic range of the scene though.
Here I am, just minding my own business, driving to Tahoe for some architectural photography when I start to see the makings of a beautiful sunrise. The timing couldn't be better as I pass by the Emigrant Gap vista point and see the valley below also filled with fog. I didn't have much time to [...]
After being rained on (and nearly snowed on over Spooner Summit) earlier in the day doing architectural photography for FiveWest Interiors in Reno and Zephyr Cove, I stopped by Downtown Truckee for a fall color photo on the way home. The passing storms created some wonderful movement in the clouds that just begged for a [...]
Wow, the autumnal colors are going off this year at Lake Tahoe! I’ve been trying to get a nice panorama of the lake, but just haven't found the right location until now. After hours and hours of research on Google Maps, I finally found a location that I’d seen before in a few photos, but [...]
Nothing beats repeat business! Here is another shot for Tahoe Blue Vodka featuring their bottle and Bloody Mary that will be used in their advertising in BevMo.
Here are a few shots of Tahoe Blue Vodka's various bottle sizes they now offer. Their bottle is still one of the most difficult bottles to photograph between the shape, texture and lake showing through. Congrats to Tahoe Blue Vodka in becoming a partner of the San Francisco 49ers!! I can't wait to go to [...]
After a long hot/smokey summer, it felt pretty good to escape to the Fort Bragg area for a couple days camping on the beach with my family and my brother's family. We were pretty socked in with fog most of the time (we couldn't even see the waves crashing a hundred feet away at times). [...]
The family and I went scouting on Donner Summit a few weeks ago trying to find a new photo location (I didn't bring my camera gear for that trip since we were just exploring as a family). It didn't take us too long, but we found a fallen tree with roots wrapped around a rock. [...]
FiveWest Interiors has been on a roll lately. Here is another one of their interior design efforts in Schaffer's Mill. The owners' dog was so nice and well behaved, wanting to get in on all the shots:
It's always nice being recognized for the quality of your work. Sometimes it pays off with some free gear too!
For our annual Father's Day backpacking trip, we had planned on setting up camp along the Pacific Crest Trail between Highway 80 and Donner Pass Road. My brother and dad went out a day before me and ultimately decided it wasn't a great location for a variety of reasons. So we decided to go to [...]
Although I only photographed a limited potion of this home for FiveWest Interiors, it was still a fun home to shoot (ridiculously difficult with the expansive windows though):
Although I didn't get that great of a sunset, this shot on Ektar 100 was by far my favorite from the trip. I know people rave about Velvia, but so far I am definitely more of a fan of Ektar. This was shot on Delta 100 before sunset (and before the rambunctious tourists knocked over [...]
I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to photograph this wonderfully decorated home in Schaffer's Mill for FiveWest Interiors:
Happy Birthday to my youngest son, Dylan, who is turning 3 year old. I had an old rusty sheet of metal with tons of character sitting around from another project that I thought would make the perfect portrait background. I put him in a blue shirt to bring out the blue in his eyes as [...]
I like coffee and I like alcoholic beverage photography... so why not combine the two for a whiskey style coffee shoot of Jittery John's Cold Brew Coffee Espresso Blend? The coffee comes in a flask shaped bottle, which goes perfectly with the "whiskey" glass sitting on a barn wood table and with a rusty metal background [...]
Here is the latest vlog documenting my photography journey at Table Mountain: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gYDdEPV__4
After a very dry December/January/February, we finally got a decent amount of rain in early March. With late Winter through early Spring typically being the best time for photographing waterfalls and me wanting to get the kids out hiking more, I figured Table Mountain would be a good location as there aren't many trails and [...]
I've always been intrigued with large format film photography; the slow pace, unmatched quality/resolution and not knowing if you got the shot until weeks later when the film has been processed/scanned. Since I primarily shoot with a Nikon D850, which claims to be on the same level as medium format film, I knew I had [...]
While in Santa Cruz for a family vacation, I knew I had to visit Natural Bridges for a sunset photo. I guess the rest of the town thought they would do the same because it was very crowded. Nothing real special in terms of sunset color, but still nice to be out shooting with my [...]
Just a simple 2 minute long exposure panorama at Davenport Beach as I waited for the sun to rise. Not my usual style of landscape photo since it is very minimalistic, but I think it is still nice to look at.
Last time I was at this location, a big wave came in and soaked me (damaging part of my camera in the process). I apparently didn't learn from my past experience and found myself standing in about 3' of rushing water trying to knock me over. Luckily there wasn't any damage to my camera or [...]
The weather looked interesting enough this afternoon that the family and I decided to make a quick trip to Auburn to check out No Hands Bridge at sunset. My wife took the kids for a walk across the bridge while I scurried down the hillside to find a composition. I found this rock with an [...]
What more can you ask for? Fall foliage, fog and clouds that grab the first light of sunrise. Oh, and one of the best views in the area. I went a bit unconventional with the camera setup on this photo. I knew I wanted to use one of my tilt shift lenses to help with [...]
When you are forced to go to San Francisco early for work, it only makes sense to take a small detour to Treasure Island for sunrise. I had planned on checking out a small sea cave along the shore, but while climbing over the boulders to get there in the dark I saw 3 pairs [...]
Ever since I got my Lee Filters SW150 filter kit for my 14-24mm lens (back when they were the only ones making a filter system for that lens), I was always a little concerned about using the neoprene “hood sock”. Sure, it would keep the front element clean from dirt/water/etc., but anything bumping the front [...]
We had quite the nice sunset yesterday evening photographing the new Kimpton Sawyer Hotel in Downtown Sacramento (thanks to the predictions of Skyfire/The Photographer's Ephemeris). Besides dealing with the crowds from Disney on Ice letting out from Golden 1 Center, this was a pretty straightforward photo. I had to use my 19mm tilt shift, shifted [...]
Since I was not fortunate enough to have any clouds for my sunset photo at North Lake, I figured I'd try to squeeze in a Milky Way shot of Bishop Creek (just West of Aspendell) looking up towards the mountains. I knew it was a bit late in the year to attempt a Milky Way [...]
Highway 395 along the Eastern Sierra is probably one of the most beautiful drives in California during the Fall. The whole Bishop Creek area outside of Bishop usually turns a vibrant yellow/orange/red in early October and it has always been on my list of places to photograph. Even though I wasn't feeling well, I made [...]
One of my first clients, Loomis Basin Brewing, reached out to me late last week because they wanted to update their website with some of their new beers. The goal was to mimic, as best as possible, the photos I did for them years ago and keep with the hops/wheat/grains theme on a black background. [...]
I am very honored to have had the opportunity to photograph this home in Martis Camp that won Kitchen of the Year by Kitchen & Bath Business for 2017. Here are the details: https://www.kbbonline.com/news/awards-events/kbbs-2017-design-award-winners-announced/
My wife and I were given a 2 night stay in South Lake Tahoe this weekend (thanks Judy!). I somehow convinced my wife to go up with the kids early Friday afternoon so I would have to drive separately and have my own car for some astrophotography. Bonsai Rock, on the east shore of Lake [...]
Round 2 at this beautiful home in Martis Camp (the exterior was still recovering from the heavy winter last time I shot it). I mainly focused on exterior shots this time and tried to highlight how the very expansive sliding doors in the back tuck away to really bring the outside in (or inside out?). [...]
The Kalalau Lookout is probably one of the most beautiful locations I've been to. Had our trip not been so last minute, I definitely would have made sure to get a permit and backpack the Kalalau Trail. Since there aren't too many compositions of this location and fiery sunsets are very rare, I had the [...]
How people come to Kauai and not make the hour or so drive to Waimea Canyon blows my mind. We talked to so many people that said it was too far or too windy to go see. I might even go as far as saying it was my favorite part of our trip and I [...]
Since this is one of Kauai's more powerful falls, I definitely wanted to make sure to at least take a photo while we were there. The waterfall is beautiful from the top, but I was looking for a more unique view and something different. Before coming to Kauai, I watched a handful of YouTube videos [...]
Our flight, with time change, had us landing in Kauai in the early afternoon. That gave us just enough time to get a car (we opted for a convertible), get checked into the hotel and then drive up to the North side of the island for sunset. After countless hours of researching beaches via Google [...]
Since we were fortunate enough to be attending a wonderful family wedding in Galena yesterday afternoon, it only made sense to make the short trip over the mountains to Lake Tahoe for sunset. As we came into Incline Village, I wasn't sure whether to try something along the east shore like Bonsai Rock or Sand [...]
To continue our yearly tradition of going backpacking on Father's Day, we headed up to the Sierra Buttes. Even though we technically didn't "backpack" this year and actually stayed in a campground, we did do a day hike up to Volcano Lake. For a relatively short hike, it sure beats all the crowds down at [...]
I've been really getting into trying different kinds of coffee lately (whether on purpose or out of necessity due to lack of sleep I do not know exactly). Being that this one is somewhat local to me (Oakland), I knew I had to add it to my list to try out. It seems like cold [...]
I've imagined this photo in my head for years, but have just been waiting for the stars of the Milky Way to literally align with the horizon of Yosemite on a moonless night. Summer is the best time of year for this, so there are only a handful of moonless nights that it can happen. I [...]
I had the pleasure of getting to photograph this exquisite home in Martis Camp for Catalyst Builders, Chris Heinritz Architecture and Jules Wilson Design Studio. We were going for a natural look to the photos to give the home a bright, open and airy feeling.
This beautiful house, located in Schaffer's Mill, was built by Catalyst Builders. The interior was nicely stagged by the owners prior to my arrival, which really helped in getting some great shots. After a long winter, the snow was nearly completely melted outside besides a few patches by the house. I'm sure that in a [...]
I've been so completely busy with architectural photography recently that I haven't had a chance to get out and shoot many landscapes. So here is a long exposure from last year that I haven't released until now. After scrambling down the rocky cliffside through the snow and finding the spot that frames Donner Lake under [...]
The new Golden 1 Center in downtown Sacramento is such a difficult building to photograph due to it being so tall with no room to back up far enough to compose a shot. Luckily my 19mm tilt shift is just wide enough to fit the entire arena into one shot, shifted up of course to [...]
My website got hacked in early March 2017. I lost everything, which included over 6 years of blog posts. Time to start over I guess...
Since my website was hacked, I lost all the detail of my blog posts. However, this has been a very popular post due to its link on FStoppers and I thought I'd at least make the link active so everyone can see the photo. Writing our kids' names with sparklers has been our family tradition [...]