granite

Laser Chief

Laser Chief

Willie, Yan, and I had spent the night in Page, AZ and we found ourselves with half a day to kill. We arrived at Lower Antelope Canyon before they opened and were the first ones in the canyon. We didn’t see anyone for over an hour. One of my fellow photographer friends, Jave, has a wonderful photo in Lower Antelope Canyon of light beams in front of the Granite Chief, and we hoped we might be able to replicate his photo.

At some point one of the Navajo guides walked past and I stopped him and asked if he knew what time the light beams crossed in front of the Granite Chief. He told me that it was later in the afternoon but we had a flight to catch and couldn’t wait for that to happen. Willie wanted to get a photograph of the Chief anyways. Willie took some shots and just as we were about to leave I noticed a light beam forming near the eye of the Chief! Sure enough the tiny little light beam grew and grew as the sun came up through the canyon. We stopped and fired a number of photos. I like how this looks like the Chief was Cyclop’s early teacher … look at those laser beams coming out of his eye!

Nikon D800 w/Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED AF-S:
38mm, f/11, 2 sec, ISO 125

Purchase at Aaron M Photography

Winter’s Mark

Winter's Mark

Above: A selectively colored image. I loved the way the sunset touched El Capitan but the snowy scene seemed perfect for Black and White.

Below: The light on El Capitan was so nice on this evening that I couldn’t post just one photo. First, the setting sun imparted the image of a bra onto El Capitan, which I thought was amusing. Next, some color lit up the clouds with a golden hue that also reflected onto El Capitan, Half Dome, and the nearby mountain peaks.

Lost her Painties, by Aaron Meyers


On the top of my photography bucket list has been to witness and photograph a snowy Yosemite. This year I’ve paid close attention to the snow in Yosemite and finally during my Christmas break I had my chance to see Yosemite covered in snow! A giant storm had just hit the Eastern Sierras and dumped about 10 feet of snow (in fact, Kirkwood received 7 feet in ONE DAY!). Willie, Alan, Sammi and I planned on arriving just as the storm cleared. Unfortunately by the time we rented a 4-wheel drive vehicle and made our way through chain control and into Yosemite most of the storm had gone. The radar showed more clouds coming and we held our breath that sunset would be nice.

After visiting several stops around the Yosemite Valley and running into a couple other photographers that we knew we settled on returning to Tunnel View for sunset. Joined by a gazillion other photographers (or a ”meat market” as Breezy would call it) we witnessed a beautiful sunset. Although the clouds did not light up with much color there was an absolutely beautiful stripe of color that appeared on El Capitan, as some clouds made enough room for the light to seep in.

I combined 7 vertical images in Photoshop to create this 2×1 panorama of a snowy Yosemite. With snow on the trees and a pale, boring, blue color in the sky I knew that this photograph had to be done in black and white. I couldn’t help but love the red color that was caste across El Capitan and decided to selectively bring this back in. Fog crept in as the sun began to set and creates a nice mystical mood to the photo.

I printed this as a 24”x48” lustre print on Gatorboard and hung it in my office at my apartment! It looks great on the wall!

Nikon D800 w/Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED AF-S:
70mm, f/11, 1/4 sec, ISO 100
7 images stitched in Photoshop

Purchase at Aaron M Photography

Winter's View

Winter's View

One photo that has been high on my bucket list was a snowy Yosemite photo. Willie and I have been keeping an eye on the recent storms in the Eastern Sierras and a huge one hit over Christmas weekend, dropping over 7 feet of snow in one day in some areas I rented a 4 wheel drive vehicle and Willie, Alan, my girlfriend and I drove into Yosemite just as the storm cleared.

We arrived at Yosemite to see the entire place covered in white It was insanely gorgeous. The storm had moved out a bit quicker than we had hoped and we arrived late, to clear skies. As we looked west we saw another set of clouds coming in and we hoped we might be in luck After scouting several locations we decided that Ansel Adams had it right and we found our way over to Tunnel View for sunset. We were not disappointed Some low fog rolled into the valley, the trees stayed covered in white, and a slit of light made its way onto El Capitan for a beautiful view

To my surprise, my favorite image from the day happened to be one I had not expected at all. An almost full-moon rose just after the sun set, right during blue hour, and everyone raced around to capture the moon rising over Half Dome. I threw on my 80-200mm lens until Alan mentioned, hey, try going wide. By this point I was cold, tired, and ready to get home before the roads turned awful so I fired 1 quick shot, packed up my bags and went to warm up in the car. When I got home I realized how right Alan was I liked this shot more than all my others

In the end we spent twice as much time driving as we did in Yosemite but it was well worth it

Nikon D800 w/Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED AF-S:
55mm, f/11, 30 sec, ISO 200
No Filters

Ring of Fire

Ring of Fire

One of the coolest shots along the CA coast-line occurs during December/January every year: the sun just happens to set at just the right spot that a light-beam peeks through Pfeiffer Arch at Pfeiffer State Beach in Big Sur, CA. If the light beam happens to hit a splash of water it can also light up the spray. Willie, Celina, and I arrived about 2.5 hours prior to sunset to get the prime location. We heard a rumor that a workshop would be there and we wanted to beat them to the good spots. We were the firsts to arrive, picked the best composition that we could find and waited.

About 45 minutes before sunset the light beam started to show up. At first it was just a faint beam but about 20 minutes before sunset it really started to glow orange and red. We waited for a large wave to come through the arch and create a lot of mist and spray which would catch in the light and make the beam visible. Luckily for us there was a strong surf and about 15 minutes before sunset the light beam just lit up like crazy. I snapped away as fast as I could to make sure I captured it. About 15 seconds later this large beam was gone. There continued to be beams all the way until about sunset but they were never as big as this one.

Despite the fact that the D700 is supposed to have slightly better dynamic range than the Canon 5D Mark II, Willie kept getting great exposures all in 1 shot while I couldnt seem to avoid clipping if I exposed the rocks properly. In order to get this shot I had to expose one photo for the light beam and then a much darker exposure to capture the suns reflection off the splashes. I also blended a 3rd image in to keep the foreground rocks a bit sharper than the f/9 original exposure produced.

My apologies to the people behind us who were hoping to get a shot of the entire Pfeiffer Arch (wide angle). We setup early so we could get our shot and we knew that the light would only get better and didnt want to lose our spot by moving. I guess it worked out because a bunch of other photographers ended up moving close to us and at that point there was no way the guy who wanted to shoot wide was going to get his shot :( Sorry again

Nikon D700 w/Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED AF-S:
62mm, f/9, 1/10 sec, ISO 160, Tripod
No filters, NOT an HDR

Purchase at Aaron M Photography

Lower Bridalveil

Lower Bridalveil

For anyone whos followed my photos for a while this photo may be familiar. I took a very very similar shot about 2-3 years ago. 2 years ago I discovered (as did many others) that when the falls are barely trickling you can walk into the rocks and towards the granite rock face behind Bridalveil. When you get closer all of a sudden this gorgeous little waterfall opens up (Ill call it Lower Bridalveil Falls). I originally took this on a Nikon D40x, handheld, since i had decided to leave my camera/tripod in the car (oops). Ive been wanting to take a better (high quality) photo ever since.

Willie, Will, and I only had about 40 minutes before we wanted to hit the road so we ran super fast to the start of the little river where I knew this waterfall would be. We had to slow down when we got to the rocks because they were REALLY slippery and it was fairly complicated making our way through the maze of rocks over to Lower Bridalveil. We got there, setup our tripods as best we could, clicked away, and then raced back. Unfortunately Willie slipped at one point and bumped his shin a bit. He could still walk but it was uncomfortable.

Im not sure I like my new photo better but it was taken with a better camera, with better glass, and with a tripod, so yea.

Nikon D300s w/Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED AF-S:
27mm, f/10, 0.4 sec, ISO 200, Tripod
BW F-Pro Circular Polarizer. Cant remember if I used ND Grads

Available for Purchase at Aaron M Photography

The Littler Guy to the Little Guy

The Littler Guy to the Little Guy

A couple years back I was in Yosemite when there wasnt much water and I was able to walk all the way into Bridalveil Falls, almost to the rock face behind the falls. Along the way I found an amazing little mini-falls that turned into one of my favorite photos. While preparing for this Yosemite trip I noticed that Yosemite falls still had water, although only a trickle. I figured that we might be able to get pretty close to Lower Yosemite Falls and it might also make for an interesting photo.

Early Sunday morning we woke up and drove over to the lower falls. The water was just a trickle and we could walk along the rocks to get closer to Lower Yosemite Falls. Embarrassingly, along the rock-skipping journey I heard a giant Rrrrrrriiiiiiiipppp and looked down to see that my pants had split along my thigh Luckily they held together long enough to take my photos and get back to my campsite to change. Anyways, I digress. We were able to get surprisingly close to the rock face that hides behind Yosemite Falls and along the way I kept noticing that where Lower Yosemite Falls hits the rock and creates another falls was this gorgeous scene, which you see above. The further back I walked the better the scene got.

The sun started to creep up the granite rock face so I through on the polarizer to block some of the glare off the rocks and used my ND grads to darken the area that was starting to see the sun. Although I really liked this photo in color (see extra photo in the comments), I thought that a sepia version might make this more unique. I liked that it gave this an almost old time feel to the falls — like an antique photo

In other news, my newly ordered (but slightly used) D700 arrives soon Im excited

Nikon D300s w/Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED AF-S
42mm, f/16, 0.6 sec, ISO 160, Feisol Tripod
BW F-Pro Circular Polarizer, Hitech 0.9 ND Soft, and 0.6 ND Soft.

Available for Purchase at Aaron M Photography