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Hurricane Sandy photo gallery

I wanted to post a few of the outstanding photos I've run into on Flickr from Hurricane Sandy and the other wild weather hitting the Midwest this week.


A man riding his bike along Lake Michigan in Chicago. Photo by Chris Bentley, via Flickr creative commons.

 Manhattan, Hurricane Sandy  

A view of a darkened Manhattan from Williamsburg in Brooklyn. Photo by Reeve Jolliffe, via Flickr creative commons

 Front Street  

Front Street in lower Manhattan. Photo by Several Seconds, via Flickr creative commons.

Statue of Liberty storm surge perhaps taken from Ellis Island. Photo by Gordon Tarpley, via Flickr creative commons.

 Hurricane Sandy 2012    NY and NJ

Taxis underwater in New Jersey. Photo by That Hartford Guy, via Flickr creative commons.

 Coast Guard flyover of Long Island post Hurricane Sandy [Image 8 of 9]

Long Island, New York. Photo by U.S. Coast Guard, via Flickr creative commons.

Minaret Summit sunset

Sunset as seen from Minaret Summit in the Inyo National Forest near Mammoth Lakes, CA.

One final photo from my Eastern Sierra trip earlier this month. I took this one at Minaret Summit, just before Highway 203 turns into Reds Meadow Road. Click above to see larger.

A word of caution about the summit: The views are great but it's not the best place for photos because of some trees in the foreground. I darkened the foreground in this photo in Lightroom to mostly get rid of them. 

The better place to get a similar photo is to drive down the road toward Red's Meadow and stop at one of the first two pullouts (the road is narrow here, so use caution). 

The photo was taken with my 10-24 Nikon wide-angle lens, which gives super crisp images. 

More of my work is on my SmugMug site. Follow me on Twitter


Almost ski season

A big storm last week means ski season begins in earnest in the next few weeks in California, with Mammoth slated for a Nov. 8 opening. Click above to see larger. 

The above photo was taken near the base of Chair 23 at Mammoth Mountain in the Eastern Sierra. There are two ways to the top of 11,060-foot Mammoth -- 23 or the Gondola. The original was in color but I could never quite get it to work, so I went with black and white.

Please check out my SmugMug site and follow me on Twitter.


This photo is © Steve Hymon and it may not be used elsewhere on the Internet or in other media without the advanced permission of Steve Hymon.

Train on trestle

Gold Line train crossing trestle over Arroyo Seco.

I was taking photos for work last week and ended up with this outtake -- I stripped most of the color from the image in Lightroom. Click above to see larger.

It was actually quite a lovely late afternoon. But I like the various shades of gray in the Arroyo Seco flood control channel, bridge, train and sky.

The train, btw, is the Gold Line that runs between East Los Angeles and Pasadena with a swing enroute through downtown Los Angeles. See more photos from that afternoon and evening in this gallery on my SmugMug site.


This photo is © Steve Hymon and it may not be used elsewhere on the Internet or in other media without the advanced permission of Steve Hymon.


Very good deals this holiday season on the Nikon D5100

Just a heads up: there's some crazy good deals on the camera I own, the Nikon D5100 -- which happens to be a great DSLR. If you're looking for a holiday deal, this might be it.

Rumor is the 5100 line may be discontinued in favor of the similar 3000 line, but so what? It's still a Nikon, it will work fine in the future with different lenses and photo processing software and a deal is a deal. Perusing online, I've seen the D5100 body priced under $500 on several sites. I paid $649 for mine in fall 2011.

If you are like me and have little tolerance for the mind-numbing world of digital camera technical specifications, here's what you need to know: despite its label as a "beginners" DSLR, the 5100 takes high-quality images, has plenty of megapixels, is lightweight, durable and allows you to shoot in automatic or manual when feeling the creative urge. 

Yes, you can spend four times more on a DSLR with a full-frame sensor (called FX, the 5100 is a DX camera), but you probably don't need that camera unless you're a pro (I'm just a hobbyist). And spending money on camera gear doesn't necessarily mean you'll take great photos -- just like buying an expensive frying pan does not guarantee a wicked omelet.

Put a really good lens on this bad boy, shoot in RAW format and take a few minutes to process and you'll likely be very happy with the results. If you must spend money on photo gear, spend it on lenses.

If you're looking for a good review from someone who knows cameras inside and out, check out the one on Ken Rockwell's all-around excellent photo website. Or read the customer reviews on Amazon

I got my original Nikon D5000 (the 5100's predecessor) for about $850, which included the 18-55mm lens and the 55-200mm lens. I drowned the D5000 in a sea kayaking accident although the lenses survived. I replaced it with the very similar Nikon D5100 and have since added two more lenses, the very expensive 10-24 wide angle lens and a 35 mm fixed lens that is good for portraits and night photography.

If you're just starting out, I'd go with the 18-55mm and 55-200mm, which will give you plenty of shooting options. The 10-24 lens is simply whack, which I think means "very good" in the language of the hip.

Want to see some images this camera is capable of producing? Check out the one below and here are some of my best ones on my SmugMug site. Also, take a gander at the Nikon D5100 Flickr group.

A horse in a pasture in Round Valley, CA, in the Eastern Sierra. This particular pasture was along Pine Creek Road between 395 and the mountains. Lovely spot.


This photo is © Steve Hymon and it may not be used elsewhere on the Internet or in other media without the advanced permission of Steve Hymon.  

Rock Creek Canyon

A view of the Little Lakes Valley in the Inyo National Forest in October 2010.
It was two years ago this week that I got this shot in Rock Creek Canyon in the Eastern Sierra. It's on my dining room wall these days. Click above to see larger.

The photo is a testament to good timing. It had snowed a bit the previous night. The photo was taken about 3:20 p.m. -- a little less than three hours before sunset. This is the view south, meaning the sun was directly to my right. And there were a lot of clouds floating through, lending to the drama. 

I took this with my Nikon D5000 (since replaced with the D5100) before I was shooting RAW; I'm still not sure I got the processing quite right but who cares? The photo works and this is basically the same scene that was in front of me -- fall meets winter kind of thing.

If you've never hiked in Rock Creek, you gotta go. It's one of the more dramatic and accessible spots in the Eastern Sierra with many lakes surrounded by many tall peaks. From Bishop, drive north on U.S. 395 for about 23 miles. At Tom's Place, turn left on Rock Creek Road and drive 8.6 miles to the parking lot at the end of the road, the Mosquito Flat Trailhead. The trail begins by the restrooms -- go about .5 miles and when you crest the hill, that's the spot where this was taken. 

More of my work is on my SmugMug site. Follow me on Twitter.  


This photo is © Steve Hymon and it may not be used elsewhere on the Internet or in other media without the advanced permission of Steve Hymon

Snapshot of a dog going to the vet

Snapshot of Sammy in the car.

Turned around in the car and snapped this without even looking through the viewfinder shortly after informing Sammy he was going to the vet for some physical therapy. The camera focused on his nose, providing a nice selective focus image. 

Edited with Snapseed on my iPad -- I added the vintage filter and then used Lightroom to lighten the image back up. Click above to see larger on my SmugMug site.


This photo is © Steve Hymon and it may not be used elsewhere on the Internet or in other media without the advanced permission of Steve Hymon

More dog photos above!

Duck Pass Trail

View toward Barney Lakes and Mammoth Mountain from Duck Pass Trail.

One more from the recent Mammoth trip. This one falls under the category of hard to miss getting an interesting if you're willing to hike a bit. Click above to see much larger.

The photo was taken on the Duck Pass Trail, about a half-mile below the pass. The view is straight down to the Barney Lakes and, in the distance, Skelton Lake. At the end of the valley is Mammoth Mountain. Look close and you can see the ski runs. 

In interest of self-improvement and photographic criticism, I may have cropped this one a little too tight at the bottom (to get ride of some rocks in the foreground). It probably would have been a little easier to get away with the crop if the sky was a little more interesting -- one of those days in which I really needed more puffy clouds. Still a pretty nice view. 

I took the photo with my Nikon D5100 with my Nikon 10-24mm wide-angle lens, which delivers super crisp images. How crisp? Look at a much larger view

To get to the trail from town, take Lake Mary Road. Go past Twin Lakes and turn left on the Lake Mary Loop Road. Left at the entrance to Coldwater Campground and drive to the trailhead parking lot at the end of the road. There are two trails -- one to Emerald Lake, the other to Duck Pass -- which is the second one. It's about a five-mile hike to the pass, which also offers great views of Duck Lake, Pika Lake and the Silver Divide. 


My SmugMug site! 

This photo is © Steve Hymon and it may not be used elsewhere on the Internet or in other media without the advanced permission of Steve Hymon

Mono Lake sunset

South Tufa part of Mono Lake at sunset.
On my recent visit to the Eastern Sierra, I finally got around to visiting the shores of Mono Lake. My timing was good: about 20 minutes after pulling up to the South Tufa area, this sunset popped. Click above to see a larger image.

I'm guessing about three dozen other people came home with very similar photos that night -- this area is immensely popular with the shutterbug crowd. I can see why. And I don't even want to know how many tens of thousands of people have taken the above shot over the years.

I took this photo with my Nikon D5100 with the 55-200mm telephoto lens that came with my old Nikon D5000. I put the camera on a tripod and used a shutter speed of .8, which helped give the water a smooth and glassy look. 

If you're in the area, I recommend a visit. To get to this spot from Mammoth Lakes, drive 20 miles north on U.S. 395 and turn right on Highway 120. Continue five miles and turn left onto the good dirt road to the parking lot for the South Tufa Area and follow the trail to the lake's shore and pick a spot. Here's a wider view of the area.

More of my work is on my SmugMug site. Follow me on Twitter.  


This photo is © Steve Hymon and it may not be used elsewhere on the Internet or in other media without the advanced permission of Steve Hymon

Crenshaw Boulevard's big day

Waiting for space shuttle Endeavour on Crenshaw Boulevard.

Took this one on Crenshaw Boulevard in Los Angeles while waiting for the space shuttle Endeavour to roll by. In a city that is increasingly Latino, Crenshaw runs through the heart of Los Angeles' African-American community.

Nothing fancy about the photo. Not even terribly well framed or composed. But I like it as a snapshot of a slice of life of a big day on Crenshaw.

Here's another shuttle pic below, also taken on Crenshaw. Same thing. Nothing fancy but conveys the flavor of the day.

Space shuttle Endeavour on Crenshaw Boulevard approaching the heart of Leimert Park.

Check out my gallery of photos of the shuttle on my SmugMug page. And follow me on Twitter.


Endeavour closeup

When the space shuttle rolls for three days through your town, just see if you can stop taking photos.

This was at Crenshaw Boulevard and 54th Street, just south of Leimert Park, the heart of the African American community in Los Angeles.

Check out more of my work on my SmugMug site and follow me on Twitter.


Getting close to Space Shuttle Endeavour

A couple of photos I took with my crappy old iPhone 3gs yesterday as the Endeavour crawled down Crenshaw Boulevard in South Los Angeles. I have a bunch of photos yet to be downloaded from my Nikon -- hopefully later. 

As you can tell from the photos, getting close to the Endeavour wasn't exactly a problem. The photo at bottom needs better processing, but you get the idea. 


Space Shuttle & Donuts

Another pic from Friday evening, taken with the Instagram app on my ancient iPhone.


Space Shuttle Endeavour over the 405

Not only couldn't I resist seeing the Space Shuttle Endeavour being ferried over the 405 freeway in Los Angeles, I actually stopped at the camera store on the way there and bought a new 35mm 1.8 lens. Click above to see a larger image.

My justification: no point driving to the Westside to get a crappy shot of the space shuttle. I shot this from the bridge that carries Florence Avenue over the freeway; the shuttle was on Manchester getting a tow from a Toyota Tundra.

There was more than a few others on the bridge and we had to wait about two hours for the action to get underway. I would have waited all night -- this scene will never, ever happen again.

I converted the photo to black and white; I just like how it looks. I also left a lot of black space above the shuttle, a reference to its 25 previous journeys.

Check out more of my work on my SmugMug site and follow me on Twitter.



Dog in a pile of leaves

Teddy the dog near Bishop Creek.  
I snapped this one on sunset this past Monday along the North Fork of Bishop Creek. Teddy conveniently plopped in a pile of leaves and I took a bunch of shots trying to get him to look at me. 

That's not easy with either of my dogs under any circumstance and a little more difficult with Teddy since he's only got one eye. 

This was the best shot; couldn't get the white of his eyes but I liked everything else about the image. It looked nice but muted in color and is all around more striking in black and white. 


Fall colors at North Lake

Aspen grove at North Lake.Here's another stab at fall colors, taken at North Lake in the Eastern Sierra. It's a pretty cliche composition -- but was trying to find a way to make this aspen grove, just past its peak, interesting without overwhelming the viewer with a sea of yellow.

Camera: Nikon D5100. Lens: my beloved 10-24 wide angle lens from Nikon. I would marry this lens if I could.

Check out more of my work on my SmugMug site and follow me on Twitter.



Eastern Sierra fall colors

A hiker on the John Muir Trail crosses a log bridge over Minaret Creek in the John Muir Wilderness area.
Fall colors are tough. Not sure I got this one (click above to see larger), taken in the Eastern Sierra of California on the North Fork of Bishop Creek, just downstream from the Lake Sabrina Dam. I tried to follow some advice from a magazine: keep the color a small part of the photo in order to make it stand out better.

But it's a hell of a fishing spot -- there's a ton of trout in there and they sure weren't easy to catch on this night. I had a nice 12-incher on the line at one point but lost it as my partner abused me for keeping too much slack in the line. Otherwise, the bad boys in the creek pretty much rejected everything. 

As for this year's fall colors, it's just okay. This was among the best we saw during our recent trek to Mammoth. Up above here at North Lake, the colors were on their way out -- save for one good aspen grove. The area around June Lake was decent, too, and the colors were definitely popping in the hills above the town of Crowley Lake.


John Muir Trail log crossing

A hiker on the John Muir Trail crosses a log bridge over Minaret Creek in the John Muir Wilderness area.

This is the bridge for the JMT over Minaret Creek, about 1.5 miles upstream from the Devils Postpile ranger station.

I took the photo with the Camera Awesome app on my iPhone 3gs. Yep the resolution is lacking. But the composition and filter works pretty well.

Here are some other images made with Camera Awesome. If you like iPhoneography, Camera Awesome and Snapseed are the best two apps for processing (C.A. also has a nice shooting interface) with an honorable mention to Hipstamatic and Instagram.

Check out more of my work on my SmugMug site -- buy a photo, make me rich! -- and follow me on Twitter.



Mammoth Mountain Sunset

Spectacular sunset over Mammoth Mountain and Mammoth Lakes.

For the third night in a row, there was a spectacular sunset over the Eastern Sierra on Sunday (click above to see larger). I was driving south from June Lake and with the color show starting, needed to find a good vantage point pronto -- and remembered a good spot on Hot Creek Road, which provides a view north toward Mammoth Mountain and the Sierra Crest. 

I shot this with my trusty Nikon D5100 with my Nikon 10-24 wide angle lens, which I'm reluctant to ever remove from the camera. Not just because I paid $860 for this bad boy. The lens is that sharp.

That's Mammoth Mountain just right of center in the frame and to the right is the jagged peaks of the Minarets. Yeah, that detail would have been more striking with a big telephoto lens, but I like the wide angle for this job -- show the whole scene as I saw it. Plus I figured most other amateurs would throw a big zoom lens on their camera for this scene, so I did the opposite.

Have time to kill? Check out more of my work on my SmugMug site and follow me on Twitter.


Kayaking Tenaya Lake

Kayaking on Tenaya Lake at Yosemite National Park.

Nice day on Tenaya Lake in Yosemite National Park. Sadly no kayak rentals; bring your own.

The photo was taken with my Nikon D5100 with a 10-24 wide angle lens. I processed the image with the Snapseed app on my iPad, using the vintage filter. Not bad for a $5 app.

If you're looking to get good photos of Tenaya, drive to the east end of the lake for the view west. It's best when there is weather blowing in -- provides drama.

Check out more of my work on SmugMug site and follow me on Twitter.



Dog in snow

Teddy in March 2010 snowstorm in Tahoe City, California. Snow is forecast for the highest of the High Sierra early next week, giving me the perfect excuse to post this pic I took of my dog Teddy at Lake Tahoe a couple of years ago. 

The photo works because I followed the old photographer's maxim: get close. Then get closer. The image, by the way, was taken with a point-n-shoot camera, the Panasonic DMC-ZS3. 

Yes, I know. DMC-ZS3 is a terrible name, further proof there's a lot of marketing people getting paid for doing absolutely nothing. 

Please check out more of my work on my SmugMug site. Follow me on Twitter


Super moon

The super moon over the San Gabriel Mountain foothills. I shot this on the Sam Merrill Trail that ascends Echo Mountain above Altadena. I used a long exposure to capture the homes at the base of the mountains. As a result, I lost detail on the moon -- but I like all the other detail in the photo, in particular the high-tension wires on the ridge at left and the lights of the San Gabriel Valley in the distance. In honor of the recent full moon -- and it was a good one -- here's a pic I took of the super moon that lit up the sky back in May. The photo was taken from the Sam Merrill Trail, which climbs Echo Mountain from the end of Lake Avenue in Altadena. 

Not perfectly exposed. Whatever. I like it for a few reasons: the interplay between wilderness and suburb in So Cal, the distant lights of the San Gabriel Valley, the high tension wires high on the mountain ridge at left and a seriously bright moon. I couldn't figure out a way to not overexpose the moon and get the rest of the scene to expose correctly, so I went with this: ISO 200, shutter speed 15 seconds, f/13, 24mm on my 18-55mm lens that came with my Nikon 5100. I used a tripod and shutter release. 

Here's another taken the same night with my 200mm telephoto lens that came with the camera (in other words, a cheap-o but effective Nikon lens): shutter speed 1/125th, ISO 200, f/11. It's easy to over-expose the moon so play around with your manual settings in order to preserve the detail.

Killing time at work? Kill it criticizing my work on my SmugMug site. Follow me on Twitter.  


Carmageddon II

Working for a large transportation agency has its advantages: a front-row seat to Carmageddon II, i.e. the demolition of the north side of the Mulholland Drive Bridge over the 405 freeway. 

 It was a good chance to practice some night photography. The top two photos were taken with my crappy 55-200 mm telephoto lens with the camera on a tripod. 

In the top shot, I used an ISO of 800 and shutter speed of 1/50 of a second. I got a lot of noise which I reduced in Lightroom. 

In the middle shot, I kept the ISO low at 100 and used a shutter speed of 6/10 of a second. No noise! Like the first shot, I used a remote release. They're cheap. Buy one!

The bottom photo, which I like for some reason, I got up on a concrete block to shoot over the K rail and used my 10-24 mm lens, handheld. I kind of dig the composition even if there's a lot of black space and unoccupied space in the photo. Those are the lights of the San Fernando Valley in the distance. 

I have a few other photos in a gallery on my SmugMug site. You can also follow me on Twitter.