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Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve

I recently discovered the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve near Murrieta, CA and, I have to say, I am extremely excited for all the future photo opps I have to look forward to. The terrain is classic California with rolling hills, meadows and oak trees dotted throughout. I personally love this type of landscape both for hiking and taking pictures. And I can already tell this place will be exploding with wildflowers in the Spring - I can't wait to get out there on a beautiful Spring day with billowing cumulous clouds drifting overhead.

This first picture was taken in January before any major rains hit the area so the terrain was quite dry. Nevertheless, the hike out there was fantastic and the oak trees, lighting and clouds refused to let me leave without taking a picture or two.

The following week, Southern California experienced some of the most severe storms since El Niño way back in the 90's. The rainfall was like nothing I've personally ever seen before. It was coming down hard, fast and relentlessly. It caused havoc at my home by choosing to seep under the walls and soak my carpet, but it made for some interesting scenery (and anyone who knows me knows I love inclement weather, so I was happy). The following two pictures were taken during a very small break in the rain. In fact, I was out there with an umbrella over my camera for some of the shots.

This first shot is a natural pool that formed in this meadow. The clouds reflecting off it were begging for a vertical composition.

There was also a creek flowing in between the hills that was quite interesting to me. It was like no creek I'd seen before - obviously a very rare one - because it wasn't in a typical creek bed with rocks and sediment. It was just water flowing through the valleys between these hills, right on top of the grass and finding the path of least resistance. I wouldn't consider it a beautiful creek and I wouldn't even consider the following picture a beautiful picture, but it was just too interesting to not photograph and share.

My time out there in the rain among these beautiful hills and meadows all by myself was beyond words. But as if all the amazing scenery and peaceful solitude wasn't enough, I was lucky enough to spot two coyotes traversing the hills on the other side of the creek. Seeing them in their natural habitat was truly breathtaking.

The craft of photography is always fun, but it's experiences like these why I really go out there and take pictures.

Fuller Mill Creek

I finally had some down time over the weekend (thanks to Christmas), so I thought I'd head out to get some pictures in a new location. After a little bit of research time on the net, I chose Fuller Mill Creek up in Idyllwild, CA. I was hoping for a snow-covered creek, and there was some snow, but just not so much on the creek. Nevertheless, it was fun to explore this beautiful little creek and now I now where to go when we get some new snow up there. Anyway, here are the results:

Have a Happy New Year!

New Winter & Spring 2010 Workshop Schedule

Introducing the new workshop schedule for winter and spring 2010!

Announcing 19 new photography workshops scheduled for fall 2009, winter 2010 and spring 2010! The spring workshops include wildflower photo excursions to many wildflower hot spots like Joshua Tree National Park, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve! To get more information and to see the upcoming schedule of workshops, head over to the†Workshops Main Page.

Reserve your spot in one of these workshops today before they fill up!