Optimal Focus Photography Posts

June 23

Spectacular 109′ tall Bassi Falls is located in the Crystal Basin area of the El Dorado National Forest, west of Lake Tahoe. These gorgeous falls at peak springtime flow crash over enormous boulders and the water sheets over huge, flat slabs of granite. It is located off a rural, pot-holed dirt road (high clearance vehicles recommended). Photographic possibilities abound in this location, not just of the falls themselves, but also among the pines, foliage and granite boulders at the base of the falls.

Read the Post Bassi Falls

June 11


Located in Northern California, Lassen Volcanic National Park is an astoundingly beautiful, diverse, yet under-appreciated park in the national park system. Lassen gets approximately 400,000 visitors per year, while nearby heavyweight, Yosemite, overshadows Lassen with an astounding 3.8 million annual visitors! So what does that mean? For introverted nature photographers like me, averse to large crowds, Lassen is a perfect national park visit even in the high season. And, the park is renown for evidence of it’s volcanic activity. Here are some of my favorite highlights, just barely scratching the surface of this beautiful park. Read the Post Lassen Volcanic National Park

May 22

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.”
― Carl Sagan, Cosmos

Read the Post Stars, Moonbows & Planets!

April 30

Even though it was an unfortunate year for the California poppy due to the fourth year of crushing drought, and wildflowers in the areas surrounding Sacramento bloomed unusually early due to an early season heat wave, there was still a short window of time to capture the brief blooming season this Spring. Read the Post Northern California Spring Flowers

April 28


Mono Lake, a large, desert saline lake in California, has one of the most surreal and alien looking landscapes ever seen anywhere. One of it’s defining features is it’s tufa rock formations, resembling stalactites, and are in fact, deposits of calcium-carbonite towers caused by the interaction between freshwater springs fed by the tributaries which flow through Lundy Canyon, and alkaline lake water, caused by lack of an outlet causing high levels of salt to accumulate in the lake. Read the Post Milky Way Over Mono Lake

April 7

In the early morning hours of April 4th, 2015, the west coast had a front row seat to an unusually quick lunar eclipse on Easter weekend. Lunar eclipses occur when the full moon, opposite the sun, enters into the earth’s shadow. This particular eclipse was only 3 ½ hours long, but the total eclipse lasted only 5 minutes. Read the Post Improvising a Lunar Eclipse Sequence

March 27

One of my Instagram followers had seen my posts from a recent day trip to Yosemite, and asked me for advice on places to photograph the park in a single day. I’m fortunate to live in Sacramento, which is very close to many picturesque locations in Northern California within a day trip, including iconic Yosemite National Park. Read the Post Yosemite in a Day

March 22

The short, damp days of winter in Sacramento seems to lend itself to exploring a facet of photography that for me, has been up until now, mostly unexplored: the exciting world of night photography. Primarily photographing landscapes, my most engaged time of day to be out shooting as my schedule allows is typically at sunrise and sunset, with some post-processing in the middle of the day. I still have a day job to pay the bills, after all, and going in and getting off of work when it’s still dark can really put a damper on your spirits, particularly when you want to continue to be creative. So these past few weeks, rather than lament the short, overcast, rainy days, I tried some new things, and re-tried some old things. Read the Post The Short, Damp Days of Winter

March 22

When I moved to California, and saw Lake Tahoe for the first time, it literally took my breath away. The juxtaposition of clear, emerald water, blue sky, towering pine trees and the peaks of the Sierra Nevada is truly a sight to behold. The challenge can be that you want to capture it all in one photograph! Read the Post Lake Tahoe’s East Shore

March 22

One of the most rewarding aspects of visiting Yosemite National Park in the winter, besides the lack of summer crowds, is the interesting alignment of the moon a few days before it is full against the iconic valley peaks such as Half Dome, El Capitan and Sentinel Rock. In the winter, you can get as close to peacefulness and solitude in the valley as is possible, while witnessing a lunar spectacle only possible in the winter. Read the Post Yosemite in the Winter