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Anza-Borrego Desert

I went to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park this past Thursday to get some shots of the Spring bloom. I'd never been to Anza-Borrego before, so I didn't really know what to expect, but overall, I really enjoyed the trip. The flowers were plentiful and the weather was nice. Lots of Brittle Bush, Desert Dandelion and Lupine. The Ocotillo cacti were also in bloom, which was great.

Even though what drew me out to this park in the first place was the flowers, that wasn't where I ended up getting my best pictures. Truthfully, I was only marginally pleased with my flower landscape attempts. Things just weren't vibing for me, I guess.†

I did, however, spend some time in The Slot where I got some great pictures. I spent around 2 hours in this narrow slot canyon and didn't see a single person while I was out there! The lighting was dramatic in many spots and the experience was so much fun. I'd never been in a slot canyon before and I was just blown away by it.

For this one ^ I threw some sand into the air to bring out the shaft of light.

It's a good thing I'm in shape because some of the canyon barely fit me with my backpack on.†

Tight quarters in The Slot.

Later on, I went out to Village Site to get some flower landscapes. Again, the results are just mediocre, but I still had fun. I tried my luck at some star trail shots, but didn't do too well (I've never really mastered that). I did get one nighttime shot I was pleased with.

Group Shoot at Descanso Gardens

I attended a really great group photo shoot at Descanso Gardens in LA County with some friends this past Sunday. It was just a bunch of photographers and models getting together to do what they do best without the pressures of money, deadlines or competition. These kinds of meetups are tons of fun and I highly recommend organizing/attending some if you have the chance (photographer, model or otherwise)!

Here are a few of my results from the shoot.

Models:
Morgan Carver (3,6,8)
Rachel Lindley (1, 2, 5, 7)
Alex Lake (4)
Forrest Wish (7)

And then the fog rolled in…

We had some major fog on New Year's Eve and on the night of New Year's Day. When it came rolling in on the 31st, I was a little bummed my night was pre-scheduled for partying, but it all worked out because I was able to get some shots the next night.

I basically just drove around Irvine looking for some good subjects. I experimented a little with off-camera flash, but the available light pictures came out much better. I put just a little treatment on most of these pictures - pretty much just vignettes and a little desaturation or saturation.†

†I love what fog does to the light. It creates so much depth.

This is actually a park in Irvine. That little building is a bathroom (I know...it takes away a little bit from the mysticism of it all).

And I had to do a little dramatic self-portrait action. This road runs behind Northwood High, through the hills. There is hardly any development back there yet, mostly avocado groves and wildlands. Shooting there was awesome! I kept hearing coyotes howling from deep in the fog! It was amazing, but a little creepy with the fog and all.†