Half Dome in the Clouds

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Granite and Clouds

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Taken in April 2016 from the Yosemite Valley. This giant slab of granite is just west and a little north of Half Dome.

Symmetry

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Let’s get this out of the way right now. In case you’re wondering, no, the clouds were not exactly like this when I took this picture of the Palm Springs Visitor Center.

That’s not entirely true. The clouds on the right side of this iconic structure are natural and looked just like this when we visited Palm Springs between Christmas and New Years’ last year. On the left side of this hyperbolic paraboloid at the time I took this was a clear blue sky with a bit of the mountains showing at the base of the image.

As I looked at the original image with the symmetry of the building, it seemed incredibly obvious to me to turn this into more of a composite and take the clouds from the right and mirror them on the left.

Now, I appreciate if this is not your cup-of-tea. But for me, I think it really makes the image. Here’s the original shot below. You can decide for yourself which one you prefer.

Original image.

Original image.

Composite image.

Composite image.

About the Structure

Regardless of which photo you prefer (if either of them!), this is one of the most iconic buildings in Palm Springs, California.

It is now the Palm Springs Visitor Center, but it was originally the Tramway Gas Station and its construction was completed in 1965 and is considered to be a prime example of modernism in architecture.

Without a doubt, the defining feature of this building is the cantilevered, wedge-shaped canopy. There’s a sign on the building that describes this shape technically as a hyperbolic paraboloid.

If you go to Palm Springs, be sure to stop here. It’s on Highway 111 and serves as the entrance to the Palm Springs Tram.

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Palm Springs Tramway

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Palm Springs Tramway 33.858404, -116.558178

Surfer Spectator

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I’ve tried to surf before and I’m terrible. So I think I’ll stick with photographing those who know what they’re doing.

The other weekend, we made the short drive down the coast to one of the most spectacular surfing points in the south central coast / northern southern California called Rincon Point. Man oh man, were the waves cooperating.

The Rincon Classic surf competition was going on just around the corner, but I was having fun shooting all of the amateur surfers who were just south of the pros.

There were dozens of surfers out competing for the waves. I have no idea how they keep track of and avoid each other as they are all trying to catch the same wave. They clearly have a method to the apparent madness and they all seemed to get along just fine.

This was one of my favorite shots of the day. One surfer was just trying to ride the wave out and get on the other side of it, while another surfer had clearly caught it and was making his way through.

Sunset at Black Butte Ranch

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Top of Multnomah Falls

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Going back to June 2012, I took this photo at the top of Multnomah Falls.

This was a 30 second exposure at f/4 and ISO 100. I used the Lee Filter Big Stopper ND Filter (10 stops!) to get the exposure correct.