The grass is always greener...

OK, so... As the summer months prepare to smack me firmly in the face, my mind begins to wander into Winter.  But then, I've always been a winter guy: love the snow, love the cold, love the crisp air.  I've always loved just strapping on the snowshoes and walking until I was dead tired, and shooting whatever caught my fancy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Washoe Winter...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Washoe Winter...

I'm a bit of a purist when it comes to my photography; when I shoot landscapes I like them to encompass Nature in all her wonder and raw beauty.  I don't like seeing creations of Man in my shots "out there."  My mind tends to roam to thoughts such as, "I wonder what this place looked like before Man set foot here."  In the depths of winter those thoughts are foremost in my mind because after that snow falls, it's all brand new.  :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Mono chill...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Mono chill...

I love contrasts in Nature:  a sprouting seedling on a field of burned-out pines, or the smallest of saplings rising up between towering sequoias...  Or snow in the High Desert of the American Southwest....  What we see has happened millions of times before, will happen millions of times again, but each time it's brand new, and each time it's the first time you've seen that scene.  I love seeing what many others have seen before but never seen before.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Waiting...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Waiting...

Winter will always give you that contrast: something you've seen before but not in quite the same way.  Isn't that really what it's all about anyway?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Symmetry & Contrast...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Symmetry & Contrast...

Shoot where you are!

                                                                                                                                           Pyramid fury...

I originally moved to Reno in 2004 from the California Coast for one main reason: I needed weather.  On the Central California Coast the weather is fairly constant, and that's OK!  But I found myself spending more and more time driving to SeKi or Yosemite or the Mojave Desert looking for inspiration that I just couldn't get from the beautiful coast.  Reno fit that bill perfectly: 30 minutes to mountain snow (Tahoe), and 30 minutes to high desert.  For a photographer looking to expand his horizons in landscape photography, it was the right decision for me.  And I've created a lot of great images in my time in Reno!

Whenever summer rolls around, I spent a lot of time staring at the weather maps on Weather.com to find a storm front that looks promising.  On July 3rd 2013, I was watching a cell move across the northern Nevada desert in the Gerlach area above Pyramid Lake.  I could see it growning, and then the report said the cell had stalled!  It was just sitting there, not moving, and I KNEW I had to get out there.  I grabbed my gear, dumped it in the Xterra, and hit the road!

I got to Pyramid shortly before sunset, and started shooting immediately.  The southern end of the storm was as clearly defined as you see at the right, and it was getting darker and windier with every passing minute.  Something great was coming!!

                                                                                                               Sunset storm...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Multi-strike panorama...

The show started early and kept going!  At times there were so many lightning strikes in rapid succession (above) that the sky lit up like it was daytime!  I was sitting on the south shore with several dozen July 4th campers, with the lake in the foreground and the mountain range on the north side, all wonderfully lit and framed by this amazing, unmoving storm!  I spent several hours out there, shot HUNDREDS of frames, and had the time of my life!

Techie stuff: Nikon D7000/Nikon AF-S 18-105mm 3.5/5.6G @ 24mm f3.8, manual (1.3 seconds), ISO 800

The New Year is here again!

A New Year has rolled around again, and it's time for us to examine what we want to do better, what we want to accomplish, and what (if anything) we want to fix!  As a rabid photographer, there are always aspects of my photography that I want to improve on: getting better white balance, getting more technical skills, and just GETTING OUT MORE!

I've always had one thing that really bugged me when I was out shooting, and that was just stopping when I saw a great shot!  My mind was racing with CAN I stop here, is traffic going to honk, am I trespassing to get THAT shot, etc.  I've missed some very great shots for not just STOPPING on impulse, getting out, and SHOOTING! 

NO MORE!  I resolve to STOPPING whenever the mood or notion strikes me, and just SHOOTING wherever the heck I want to!  I don't care about traffic, I don't care what others may think, and I don't care if I'm trespassing for that shot!  (Well, maybe not too carefree on the last one, but still)

What is your main photography-related Resolution for 2015??  Make it a good one!

 

~Steve

Welcome back!

Welcome to the freshly re-designed SierraPhoto.net website!  I have been thinking about this revamp for quite some time, mostly because I hate stale content and wanted to show off how much my own style and eye have matured over the years.  I've learned that trying to do it all leads to not much being done at all, and having too many projects prevented me from experiencing the passion of the few that I felt most.  So I'm moving on.  Both here, in my art, and in my life.

I hope you'll come back in the coming days and weeks to see what I've done. I really hope you'll share your thoughts and ideas!

Thanks!