One Hour in the Alabama Hills

It seems we can't drive along U.S. 395 through Lone Pine without stopping in the Alabama Hills. Something about this landscape just draws us in every time. We spent the Christmas holiday weekend playing cameras in the Eastern Sierras, which meant we went past the Alabama Hills twice...once on the way to Bishop, and once on the way home. 

On the way to Bishop we were trying to beat a storm, so we just stopped in the Alabama Hills for about an hour. But an hour was enough to set the tone for a great weekend of hikes and early morning shoots and snowball fights. 

I wish we could spend more time on the far side of the Sierra Crest, but I imagine that the rarity of our visits over there make each trip that much sweeter.  

Thirsty Thursday: Vacation

Rambler: Beth

Drink at Hand: 2010 Cambiata Tannat

Thirsty Thursday here again...time to pour something yummy and make those weekend plans. This week I decided to play with a few photos I took while my parents were visiting for Christmas. They were already on vacation, but I went ahead and took a few days off as well and we went to the Eastern Sierra. The area is one of my favorite places anywhere, so I was excited to share it with my parents. We went to all the usual places, but I found a few photos that weren't the iconic Eastern Sierra shots, just places we happened to find ourselves throughout the day. I started playing around with one of these photos in Nik Analog and liked I decided to process a few more the same way, giving this set a vintage "family vacation" feel. 


I had fun picking the images to do in this set, but I also realized that I could have done more with the camera. I was focused on capturing images of the landscape and I missed out on some cool moments that made the trip our family trip, like the yummy Chinese food or the random stuff we found while driving around. That's really my goal for the coming year...more capturing of moments! Pretty landscapes are nice, but there's something fun about making images that go together to tell a story, whatever that story may be. 

Get out there and make moments...and don't forget to capture them! 

Thirsty Thursday: Convict Lake Sunrise

Rambler: Beth

Drink at Hand: Ancient Peaks 2012 Merlot

Thirsty Thursday here again...time to pour something yummy and make those weekend plans. My parents are visiting for the holidays from Iowa, and I decided we should take a little road trip to the Eastern Sierras. It was a short trip, but we did of exploring along U.S. 395 in and around Bishop. 

On our first morning in the Eastern Sierra we went to catch sunrise at Convict Lake. In typical Welliver Photography fashion, the sky was completely clear...not one ounce of drama. Add a setting moon to that cloudless sky and we didn't even get good winter twilight colors. But we were there, so I snapped a few frames. 

Here's one in the pre-dawn light. 

And this is what it looked like once the sun started to hit the top of Laurel Mountain. 

While conditions weren't incredible for photography, any morning spent shooting in the mountains is pretty much perfect. Get out there and enjoy your favorite scenery this weekend!

Thirsty Thursday: Mountains

Rambler: Terry
Drink in Hand: Poppy Pinot Noir

I can't believe it's another Thursday. Even worse, I can't believe I don't have Friday off. . . darn the government and figuring the money things out (sort of).  Oh, well, such is life. Looking forward to a relaxing weekend. Hopefully there won't be too much "work" over it. And since I've been working quite a bit lately, I haven't had the time to go through Germany and Italy pictures (yes, I know this is not good). Fortunately, the library is quite extensive, so here's a few from close to this same time two years ago. The Eastern Sierras are something at sunrise. You really can't appreciate how huge and majestic they are until you're standing below them. The reflection of color in the water gives all the shots a sense of peace. Here's to a relaxing weekend!

Thirsty Thursday: Mono Lake Sunset

Rambler: Terry
Drink in Hand: Monterey Red Table Wine

It was probably not the best day to be at Mono Lake. Well, in the sense that there was very little drama in the sky. We have found that this is pretty typical for us when we attempt to capture a sunset. That's not to say that we don't get clouds and a fantastic sunset every now and then (because we have) . . . . but it seems that a clear sky is our norm . . . especially when we are looking for a sunset. I suppose that's typical, it always happens when you're not really looking for it. Regardless, here are a few shots of Mono just before sunset and then one at sunset. If you haven't been, it's worth a trip. Kind of an alien like place. And besides, then you're on the eastern side of the mountains and the Eastern Sierras are gorgeous.

Thirsty Thursday: More Aspens

Rambler: Beth Drink at Hand: Hot apple cider...mmmmm

Thursday is here again already, so that means its time for the weekly installment of Thirsty Thursday. Time to pour something yummy and make those weekend plans. I just got back from a drizzly and chilly trail run, hence the warm drink in my hand! Fall continues to slide into winter, and sadly tonight will probably be the last weeknight trail run of the year with the time change coming this weekend.

Before I let fall scoot all the way out of my mind, I have to share some more autumn color. Last fall I spent an week in the Eastern Sierra chasing golden aspens and snow-capped peaks. I happened to be there in the days immediately following the first major snow of the year. This makes the commute from the central coast over the Sierra Crest a pain in the rear, but it was beautiful. This was the scene at North Lake. Yeah, not your typical North Lake perspective, but I was happy to work for this view away from the masses on the shore.

Sometimes the close-ups are just as good as the big views.

There's a big storm headed for California this weekend, so the high country will likely see quite a bit of snow. Heck, the snow level here is supposed to drop to around 3000' by tomorrow night. Who knows, maybe there will be a little dusting on the local peaks (probably not, but maybe). The first snow of the year is always magical. So clean and fresh.

Get out there and find something pretty to look at this weekend!


Thirsty Thursday: Eastern Sierra Recap

Rambler: Beth Drink at Hand: 2008 Ventana Chardonnay...oh so buttery yummy!

Its Thirsty Thursday once again...time to pur something yummy and make those weekend plans...or in this case, re-live an awesome weekend gone-by.

I brought work home every night this week, and every night I played with photos from our latest trip to the Sierra instead. Work will always be there, right? But there will soon be more trips to the Sierra and I can't have unedited photos hanging in the queue. As you've probably already noticed from our previous posts or rambles/rants on twitter, facebook, etc, we had a great time in the mountains, despite the boring skies and lack of dramatic light. I told my boss when I got back that Tuesday, it was an incredibly beautiful weekend in the mountains and a horrible weekend for photography! But nevertheless, we still came away with a few nice images. Aaaaand, we didn't have to worry about frostbite, getting drenched in a thunderstorm, or wind blowing the tripod over (all things that have happened before!).

These are my favorites from the weekend. Perhaps you'll see something you like. If you do, leave a comment. And as always, thanks for stopping by!

Sunrise at Silver Lake.  

Terry working his magic at Convict Lake. 

 Mono Lake is always a challenge for me. I rarely come away happy at sunrise or sunset. I suppose it didn't help that a bratty kid threw rocks at me this time around while I was composing a shot. He was lucky his parents called him back over not long after. This was from a hidden parking lot where there were no people, thank goodness.

 Terry had never been to Bodie, so I was more than happy to show him around the old mining town. Love shooting here, just wish the park hours were a little more photographer friendly. Some morning light here would be fantastic.

 On our last morning we went to Convict Lake again. We shot from the dam this time...a cliche composition of this lake, but I hadn't shot this angle before. Afterwards we hiked the trail around the lake, mainly so Massey could get a good run in before the 6-hour drive home. Some of my favorites from the weekend are from this hike.

 Finally, in the last 10 minutes of our last hike, some clouds moved in and gave us a few shadows and a hint of drama. And then it was time to drive home.

Thirsty Thursday: Eastern Sierra

Rambler: Beth Drink at Hand: Marilyn Remark 2009 Rose de Saignee...if you haven't had a Marilyn Remark wine yet, you owe it to yourself to try one if you can find it. Joel and Marilyn make some fantastic wines...and if you can splurge for the Grenache, do it! Or come visit us and we'll take you to the tasting room just around the corner from us.

Now that I got the free plug for the local winery out of the way, its time to get down to business. Another Thursday here, another night to pour something yummy and make those weekend plans. I haven't gotten to write a TT for a couple of weeks, but now that all my bike racing is out of the way for awhile, I have a little more time to write bloggies and a lot more time for weekend adventures of the non-pedal-powered variety.

This weekend Welliver Photography is headed to the Eastern Sierra! I've been there a few times but Terry's only been there for a few hours...miserable and expensive hours at that. The plan for the weekend is "there is no plan!" We got a cabana for the Honda Element so we can throw down the therm-a-rests and sleeping bags and cuddle up with Massey in the back of the car to sleep. We'll drive around searching for good stuff during the day. Should be fun.

I remember my first time in the Sierra. I headed out of Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite for 4 days of solo backpacking. Having grown up with family vacations to Colorado followed by 5 years of living in Colorado Springs, I've always had a thing for the Rockies. But that first time I went to the Sierra blew me away. After those 4 days, I was hooked. The mountains are gorgeous, the alpenglow and twilight colors are phenomenal, the clouds are fantastic. I fully embrace any opportunity I can to get there, and I can't wait to share some sights with T.

Like I said, there is no plan. I pulled a few of my favorites from my visit there last fall. So many things we could check out this weekend...Bodie, Mono Lake, the June Lake Loop, Buttermilk Valley, Bristlecone Pines, Owens Valley, Alabama Hills, countless sub-alpine lakes, canyons, aspen stands...the choices are endless. I think we'll be tired on Monday evening!





Sierra Macros

A couple of weeks ago I did the Mountain High Workshops Fall Color Workshop up in the Eastern Sierras. It was a great workshop with some incredibly talented pro-photographers for instructors. I learned a lot about landscape compositions and refining my eye to see better light and small nuances in the frame in order to make a stronger photograph. So there we are, in the awe-inspiring Sierras, full of colorful aspens and beautiful alpine lakes, and I kept taking macro shots. I can't get enough of the small details. It helped that I had the trusty Canon 180mm macro lens along in my bag...that lens does magical stuff.  While everyone else was shooting the amazing landscape with their wide-angles and super wide-angles, I was tinkering in the trees with my macro. Below are a few of the better results. I have a few of my landscape shots already posted on Flickr.

Thanks for reading!