Thirsty Thursday: Roadside Sunset

Rambler: Beth

Drink at Hand: La Marca Prosecco

Thirsty Thursday here again! Time to pour something yummy and make those weekend plans. I'm knee-deep in editing a wedding we shot last weekend (yay!) so just one photo tonight. 

During my #desertpixelpedal trip I was trying to get from Moab to Zion ahead of a winter storm. I was getting close to the destination and part of me wanted to push through, but I could tell the sunset was shaping up nicely. The pre-frontal clouds were adding a lot of texture to the sky. So, I stopped. And here's what I got.

 Then I hopped back in the car and kept driving. 

It started snowing just as I was unpacking the car at the hotel in Hurricane. Perfect timing. So glad I took the time to stop. 

Thirsty Thursday: Ft Ord Stroll

Rambler: Beth

Drink at Hand: Newman's Limeade

Yep, its Friday, not Thursday. Ooops! We didn't get a Thirsty Thursday posted last night. In fact, it seems its been a few weeks since we've posted our regular Thursday evening babbles and pixels. We've been a bit busy, but hopefully things will settle down soon! 

Back in October, when we still had the luxury of getting home from work before dark (darn daylight savings time change), we hopped over to Ft Ord with our new cameras to play around a bit. Our old cameras were stolen earlier this fall, and we both dearly missed our camera time while we waited through the replacement process. While the location was a spot we hit up a couple times a week (the dog has to run!), we enjoyed having cameras in hand, daylight, cool clouds, and watching a dog that loves her open space just as much as her owners. 

Hopefully we'll have a few less clouds than we've had the last few days to get out and enjoy this weekend. 

Thirsty Thursday: Different Light

Rambler: Terry
Drink in Hand: 2009 Tolosa Estate Chardonnay 

I find it amazing how much light can change a scene in a short amount of time. Sure, you can process the images differently, adjusting curves here and there or combing multiple exposures into a single image to capture what you think you saw (or rather what you felt). But nothing seems to change the scene more than the fading light of a sunset.  These two images were shot during sunset on our Trinity Alps adventure. They are almost exactly 30 minutes apart from nearly the same location. The colors are so drastically different as are the moods. The first one reminds me of how grand the mountains are–towering and glowing above the shadowed valley as if saying that you should be up here. The second shot is more like a final hurrah with a touch of red before the shadows fall over everything–one last gift remembering what was (if only moments ago).

Thirsty Thursday: Mono Lake Views

Rambler: Terry
Drink in Hand: 2005 Chesebro Syrah 

We haven't been to Mono Lake for quite awhile. In fact, I think it's been over a year. These shots are from September 2011. I think these particular shots are peaceful with a bit of eeriness in them. All of them were taken with my old Canon 40D. We definitely need to get back there and get some shots without a such a flat sky. I don't think we'll be getting out there this weekend, but hopefully we'll get some time to take a few shots of something. Here's to a much needed Friday and a long two day weekend. Cheers!

Thirsty Thursday: Wyoming Skies

Rambler: Beth

Drink at Hand: Lamarca Prosecco

Hey Welliver Photography friends...Thristy Thursday here again. Time to pour something yummy and make those weekend plans! I finished yet another quarter of my MBA earlier this week (hence the prosecco) and finally have time to write a post and share some photos. Even better, I have recent photos to share! 

We spent a little time in Wyoming at the end of May visiting Terry's parents. My parents joined us from Iowa and one evening we found time to go for a drive. We ended up on some random road north of Cheyenne, chasing the last few rays of light in a constantly evolving sky. I'm sure my mom (photo assistant for the evening) was confused by my ADHD scrambling, but at least she's smart enough to avoid the steamy cow pies as we went running across pastures to get the right composition. 

We ended up with some incredible yet fleeting clouds. And some incredible but fleeting color. There for a minute, gone the next. It felt good to be out in my photographic element though. All is right with the world when I'm there, unencumbered by case studies, group papers, accounting problem sets, or the usual work issues.

Smiles. All around. 

In case you want to visit that tree, we were way out on Whitaker Road, northwest of Cheyenne. Or, better yet, get out there and find your own tree and crazy sky this weekend.  

Thirsty Thursday: Driving Sunset

Rambler: Terry
Drink in Hand: Ventana Monterey Red Wine (a.k.a., the red table wine)

Okay, so I understand the laws that govern driving–like following the speed limit, stopping at red lights, and not talking on the phone without a handsfree device.  I sure hope there's not a law for taking pictures of the amazing sunset while driving.  Because, if there is, I'm definitely guilty.  Sometimes, the moment requires you to just bend the rules just a bit.  I promise I was careful and next time, I'll have Beth drive.

The Welliver Photography Best of 2012

Well, here it is...our best from 2012. Last year wasn't a particularly prolific year of shooting for us, but we did squeeze in a few trips for some focused shooting in new spots. It's always a challenge to narrow down our favorites from the past year to a manageable collection, and in the interest of length, we decided to limit ourselves to 12 images each. Feel free to leave a comment and tell us which images are your favorites! 

Marin County: Golden Gate Bridge at Sunrise by Beth.

Panoche, CA: Brilliant Sunset by Terry. 

Garrapata State Beach: Bowling Balls by Beth.

Kaiser Wilderness: Snowy Trees by Terry. 

Switzerland: Lone Tree on a Snowy Hill by Beth.

Desolation Wilderness: Trail along Lake Aloha by Beth.

Kaiser Wilderness: Snowy Scene by Terry. 

Front Yard, Spreckels: Poppies by Beth.

Switzerland: Kapellbrücke Nacht  (Chapel Bridge Night) in Lucerne by Terry.

Switzerland: Shreckhorn by Beth.

Switzerland: Hut and Eiger by Terry.

Switzerland: Three Alps by Beth.

Switzerland: The view from Männlichen by Beth. Not the best technical execution in this photo, but the story behind this photo is epic. Stay tuned for that blog! 

Big Sur: Bixby Bridge by Terry.

Twenty Lakes Basin, Hoover Wilderness: Trail beside Conness Lake by Beth.

Twenty Lakes Basin, Hoover Wilderness: Cascade by Terry.

Twenty Lakes Basin, Hoover Wilderness: Campsite by Beth.

Columbia River Gorge, Oregon: Multnomah Falls by Terry.


Manzanar National Historic Site: Prayer Flags by Terry. 

Columbia River Gorge, Oregon: Waterfall by Terry.

Monterey, CA: Mustang by Terry.

Alabama Hills: Lathe Arch by Terry.

Alabama Hills: Mobius Arch, Rock, and Sierra Crest by Beth.

Alabama Hills: Mobius Arch by Terry.

Iowa: Cold Morning by Beth.

Of course Massey is wondering why she isn't included, so here's a bonus image of the dog posing like a rockstar.

Alabama Hills: Massey in the Mobius Arch by Beth.

We compiled our Best of 2012 in order to participate in Jim Goldstein's annual "Best of" collaborative project. In the next couple week's he'll post a whole long list of links to similar "best of" posts from other photographers. Be sure to check out that list as there is some truly amazing and inspiring work out there! 

Thanks for supporting Welliver Photography in 2012. Big opportunities coming in 2013...plenty of adventures to new places on tap. Here's to textured skies and nice light!

All photographs in this post are available for purchase in our Best of 2012 gallery on our store.

Thirsty Thursday: Winter Trees

Rambler: Beth
Drink at Hand: 2010 Tolosa Grenache Rosé

Thirsty Thursday here again! Time to pour something yummy and make those weekend plans. I dug into the archives for this week's edition, focusing on a subject that is so easy to overlook.

We were lucky enough to go home to Iowa for this past Christmas. Despite the freezing temperatures, yes, I did say lucky to go. I don't often get home to visit the family, so its always nice to see everyone. Besides visiting family, however, Iowa does have some beautiful scenes. That's right, I said Iowa is beautiful. Maybe its not the obvious beauty of wildflower-filled meadows with snow-capped mountains in the background or a frenetic scene of crashing waves and rugged rocks of an ocean shoreline, but still beautiful. I think since I don't get back that often I appreciate the beauty of the rural landscape more now than I did growing up.

While living in the mild coastal climate here in California is great, I do miss seasons. One of the things I miss most from the Midwest is the amazing dawn and dusk color gradient of the sky during winter. The lack of humidity brings out an amazing palate of pinks and purples and indigo at sunrise and sunset. The colors are so intensely vibrant on a crystal clear morning or evening. Frigidly cold, but vibrantly beautiful. I don't see those colors here at home. I also love the shape of the naked trees during winter. The trees look so different in winter, stripped of leaves, twigs twitching in the lightest breezes.

Enjoy some images snapped on a very cold day at my parent's house. My fingers may have suffered some minor frostbite, but I didn't mind. I couldn't resist the stark skeletons and brilliant colors.

Get out there and find something beautiful this weekend!

Thirsty Thursday: New Idria Adventure

Rambler: Beth with some photo contributions from Terry
Drink at Hand: Rail to Rail Chardonnay

Thirsty Thursday here again. Time to pour something yummy and make those weekend plans. This week's post is an interesting one. Its the story of a trip we took about a month ago, but had to keep the story in quarantine until we were sure we weren't going to suffer any ill effects...and on that note, I'll dive right in.

About a year ago, we took a little afternoon road trip through rural Monterey and San Benito Counties. It was a gorgeous drive with some interesting photo opportunities. So when we still had a day left on a Borrow Lenses super awesome camera rental for a wedding we shot on New Year's Eve, we decided to go explore that loop again, only this time I pulled out my trusty (so I thought) DeLorme California Gazetteer. I found a new "red" road, so I was sure we had a fail-proof route through the rural backcountry of San Benito County. I mean, most of the paved roads that I knew of were red on that map, so I figured we were safe. Off we went!

Red Barn
Ellie Off Roads
Pine Cone
Pine Cone Road
Big View
Ellie Cruising
Death Tree
No Trespass
Worried T
Main Street
Old Truck
Four Sunset
Sunset Road
Crazy Sky

The day started off pretty typical with barns and fences and stuff. We headed into the Clear Creek Management Area, which had signs that said "Emergency Closure" but we never found an actual closed sign or a gate stopping us, so we just kept going. Soon we found ourselves driving through this odd lunar-esque landscape, which it turns out was an abandoned asbestos mine. Awesome (sarcastic tone there). At this point we were on this crazy double track fire road with no room to turn around, so we just kept following the road up and up and up. So much for that nice "red road" in the gazetteer. Terry noted that there were a lot of pine cones, as he said, "just chillin'" along the road. I don't know what else a pine cone does after it falls from a tree...perhaps Terry was inhaling too much asbestos dust. We popped over the top of the Diablo Mountain Range with a sweet view across the Central Valley to the Sierra (tough to see, but they were out there). We'd already made it this far, so why not keep going down our "red road"? Besides, according to the signs, there was a little town called New Idria just ahead. So down we went. The road quickly became more "intense". While the drive up the west side of this 4x4 park had been relatively straightforward, the east side descent was a 4x4 death road...barely wide enough for Ellie with big rocks, 1,000' drop-offs, and mud holes. While Ellie is equipped with 4-wheel drive, I would call her a 4x4. It just kept getting worse. The concerns about inhaling asbestos and dying quickly faded as we plowed on down this death road. My favorite part was the double track with the ditch down the middle. Terry had to get out and guide me. No idea how he snapped a photo of me smiling at this point. Every time we made it through some sketchy section, something more ridiculously loomed around the next corner. Then we saw this tree. We stopped and snapped photos and said, wow, that's a cool tree. How does it even hold itself up? Little did we know that as we rounded that corner we would say the same thing about our car! Just around that corner was a sharp little turn where most of the trail had washed down a 500' ravine, leaving me to drive at a ridiculously scary angle above the drop-off. I think there are permanent finger dents in the steering wheel and a wrinkle in the driver's side seat upholstery from puckering. I'm not even exaggerating. Death Road. We finally made it on down the Death Road to the town of New Idria. I was more than ready for a break. As it turns out, New Idria is a ghost town at the site of an abandoned mercury mine. Just to recap, the road trip had now visited an abandoned asbestos mine and an abandoned mercury mine. Awesome (there's that sarcastic tone again). Given my obsession with photographing old, rundown buildings, I was pretty excited about our little mining town find and quickly found my groove snapping photos of the weird stuff you find left behind in a ghost town. The town had a creepy sort of quiet quality to it. Just as I was snapping that last photo of the random 1970s cancer book (weird, right?), Terry calls out to me in a very concerned, very worried voice. "Hey hon, I don't think we should be here. We need to go now!" I'm thinking to myself, huh? Terry always wants to push the the limits of not trespassing to questionable levels. I was confused as to why he thought we suddenly need to leave the public road from which we were taking photos right this minute. Keep in mind that Terry speaks absolutely no Spanish, other than "pelota aqui por favor" which he had to know while playing soccer around here. He saw this sign in Spanish. He figured the words "virus mortal de Hanta", "mortalidad del 50%", and "no anti-virus" couldn't be good. Then we found the English version. While neither of us knew what the hell the Hanta virus was, we decided we should move along and Google it later. So we trudged back to the car, across a creek with water of a very strange shade of reddish-orange, and headed out of the death town. Fitting that the death road would end at the death ghost town. (Side note: later that night we we got home we Googled the crap out of Hanta virus and New Idria mine. The virus is deadly, transmitted through rodent feces, and rarely reported in the US while the New Idria mine is on the EPA's top 10 list of most dangerous post-industrial environmental disaster areas...awesome). Fortunately the road turned back to pavement and wandered through some pretty pastured hillsides...what we expected to see along the entirety of our trip through San Benito County. Lots of cows, an encounter with a local, and not a single other car for miles and miles. The sun was quickly bringing the day to an end, and we figured we were out of luck for finding a good sunset spot. Then out of no where the sky suddenly turned unbelievably colorful--pinks and oranges that we rarely see at sunset. Unique cloud formations. We pulled over and started shooting. Now it was dark and we were still 2 hours from home. We headed home and monitored ourselves for signs of Hanta for the next few weeks. We survived the death adventure! Unfortunately, this was one of those "get out there and do something" adventures that I can't really recommend to anyone, but we did get a couple of cool photos out of it...and one crazy story!