Half Dome, bathed in yellow light at sunset

Timing in Landscape Photography – Amazing Light Show at Sunset from Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park

There’s an understanding amongst photographers that “it’s all about the light”. After all, photography is all about capturing light.  It’s also true that “timing is key”.  While visiting the Sierra foothills recently, I took a couple day trips to explore areas within reach of where I stayed. This post is about an amazing light show at sunset from Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park during one of those trips. Read More

Exploring Black & White Photography

Almost all of the photography I’ve done throughout my life so far has been in color. I tend to really pick up on the various colors in a scene, and consider them to be important in capturing the mood of the environment. Even if the scene is relatively monochromatic, like a stark snowy landscape, or bare trees on a cloudy autumn day, there’s still a bit of color, and I like to include it. However I’m experimenting with seeing and photographing differently. Read More

Late Afternoon/early evening at Evolution Lake

Perspectives of a Lake

Evolution Lake, John Muir Wilderness, California

I’ll probably make many posts about lakes, particularly those of the Sierra Nevada in California. Lakes are a natural attraction whether sightseeing by car, or backpacking far from civilization in the wilderness. Along highways, they provide the context for all kinds of recreational activities – whether they be swimming, canoeing, or water skiing. In the backcountry, whether on day hikes or overnight backpacking, lakes provide a source of needed water, places to fish, and scenic campsites. Read More

On Fog in Photography

For a long time I sought out clear skies and sunshine for making photographs.  I strove to make each photo as clear and sharp as possible, as somehow I felt this made the images “better”.  As time went on, and my creative vision and photographic skills developed, I began to realize there was much more to photography than clear blue skies, and in fact these conditions weren’t necessarily even ideal.  Most photographers would say, “duh, that’s obvious”, but that was my learning path.

One of the conditions I find most intriguing these days when seeking out photo opportunities is fog.  It doesn’t necessarily have to be, the thick, heavy, wet and soupy Read More

A Unique View of the Eastern Sierra

Last summer I went on several backpacking trips to places I’ve wanted to see, but had never had the chance, in the eastern Sierra of California.  One of these (actually in late September) was to an area up above Convict Lake, south of the tourist and ski town of Mammoth Lakes.  I had actually planned to go up over Mono Pass from the Rock Creek road, further to the south, but got a late start and chose a shorter trip.  Although this was a “second choice”, it turned out to be a great trip.

The hike started with a very slow drive over well over an hour up a rocky Jeep road through Laurel Canyon (high clearance is required – don’t try this in a regular car!).  I first checked out Laurel Lakes at the end of the road, then backtracked to the Laurel Lakes trailhead.  Parking there was minimal, so fortunately I was the only one there (this also made for a peaceful hike).  It was a very interesting trail, climbing up over a pass and then descending down to an area with several lakes.

It threatened to rain throughout the hike, but fortunately it held off until just after I had set up my tent by Genevieve Lake.  Talk about perfect timing!  Even then it only rained lightly for a short time, although numerous strong thunderstorms passed by the area.  I read later that some epic thunderstorms passed through the Bishop area further to the south that evening.  I could see the lightning over the peaks surrounding the lake, and tried to photograph it, but … I need to practice more :-).

Once the storms had passed, I had a very quiet and restful night there, and hiked out the next morning after a leisurely breakfast.  I made the photo below looking through a saddle high with Convict Lake far below (the lake is not visible in this shot).  I really liked the cloud formations over the saddle, creating a window through which I could see the valley below, and the mountains to the east.

Looking through a saddle high above Convict Lake, Eastern Sierra, California
Looking through a saddle high above Convict Lake, Eastern Sierra, California

The next image is a view of the foliage starting to turn.  This is looking down into Laurel Canyon from the Jeep road on the way out.

Foliage starting to turn in Laurel Canyon, Eastern Sierra, California
Foliage starting to turn in Laurel Canyon, Eastern Sierra, California



Abuzz in the Garden

I made this photo a couple years ago, before the worst of the current California drought (so there were still flowers in the garden). I used an 80-400mm and just played around to see what I could find, and felt I got lucky with this one. 🙂 It is cropped quite a bit to frame it the way I wanted.  I wished I had been able to get the focus more on the snout of the bee, but it refused to stay still…_DSC0798-3

Bay Area Inversion Layer – from Mount Hamilton, Lick Observatory

A month or so I took a drive to the Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton east of San Jose, California.  The weather was such that there was an inversion layer as you can see from the low-lying fog throughout the region.  There were some cool textured clouds overhead that created a very interesting effect.  This shot was looking west from the parking lot by the observatory.  It was in the late afternoon, maybe an hour before sunset.

#mounthamilton #lickobservatory #rx100m3


Welcome to the new Bill Heiser Photo Blog

Thanks for stopping by!  As you can see, this blog is brand new, but I’ll be posting updates on a regular basis.  The theme is primarily landscape and nature photography, with some urban landscapes.  If you have any suggestions or other feedback, please feel free to leave a comment – I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Meanwhile, here’s a photo I made in the Eastern Sierra, showing the early light just before sunrise.  It seemed fitting for the new blog 🙂

Hope to see you back here soon!


Early Morning Light from Little Lakes Valley, Eastern Sierra, California
Early Morning Light from Little Lakes Valley, Eastern Sierra, California