Monday, April 29, 2013

My Love for Outdoor

fire on the sky at mono lake tufas, eastern sierra
Sunrise Mono Lake - Easter Sierra
My wife asks me "how come there are people who don't enjoy and appreciate a beautiful landscape!" At first, I don't think anyone can ignore the nature beauty that mother Earth has blessed upon us. But then I realize there are such people exist. The discussion takes me back to earlier year when I first embraced photography as a hobby. Growing up in a city all of my life, I rarely had a chance to travel anywhere. I didn't get to witness those beautiful sunrise with colorful clouds except in post card and prints or on the internet. To me, they were just a product of photographers' manipulation. "There is no way that could have been real," often told myself, until I took a trip to Mono Lake. I still remember as if it was just yesterday.  After 6 hours of driving, I arrived at Lee Vining on the Thanksgiving afternoon. Staying there for the night, the next morning around 4am, I drove the Mono Lake. It was my first time here and having to find my way in the dark was not at all fun. Luckily, I found the parking and headed to the shore of the lake. I tumbled around looking clueless because I didn't know where to start. As the dawn approaching, I could see clearer. It was a going to be a stormy morning according the weather in which I didn't check prior to this trip. I lost hope for any decent photo (based on my standard at the time). But as the sun rising up, I looked up and saw the whole sky lit on fire. It was the most dramatic sunrise I had seen. It was beautiful beyond any words could describe. I could only take a few shots before the color disappeared completely. It was a dull morning overall except for that short magical moment. The jackpot I took back from this trip is a beautiful photo that I still treasure to this day. To me right now, it may not be a technical perfect nor great in term of composition. Yet, it's a proud photo that is a real eye-opener to me. Since then, I have seen many spectacular sunrise and sunset. But still, the image of this moment burned deepest in my soul.  Now, I have my wife with me on every photo-expedition-trip. We can share these moments together. Our souls seem to merge into a single being upon gazing into a beautiful landscape. Now, I'm a believer.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Convict Lake - Peaceful Place Despite Its Name

Convict Lake Sunrise - Eastern Sierra Nevada

Out of all places in California, we love Eastern Sierra mountain range the most. It has world renown Yosemite National Park, the iconic Mono Lake tufas, the emerald green lake Tahoe, and many more breath-taking locations. Convict lake is also nested in the Sierra range. It's a relatively small lake surrounded by granite mountains. Early in the morning, the rising sun would lit the mountain giving us a gorgeous alpenglow. We were here late in May; yet it was still snowing hard. We got around 8 inches of snow the day before. But the following morning, the sky was clear and the breeze was freezing cold. It was really easy to access this lake. About 10 minutes from Mammoth Lakes town, we drove here and the vantage point in the photo above was literally next to the parking lot. Besides some people fishing, we were the only photographers in the area. So we didn't have to fight for a vantage point with other fellow photographers.

Orange County Beaches - A Treasure Closer to Home

Corona Del Mar Arch Rock - Newport Beach, California

Low Tide at Victoria Beach - Laguna Beach, California

Last Light on Yosemite Horse Tail Falls (Firefalls)

Classic shot of the horsetail "fire" waterfalls in Yosemite 2013. It's a relatively dry winter so there is not much water. We are lucky to witness it anyway.