Tag Archives: Northern California

Travel Guides: Summer & Winter In Lake Tahoe (4K)

Lake Tahoe is a large freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, straddling the border of California and Nevada. It’s known for its beaches and ski resorts.

Video timeline: South Lake Tahoe(4:45), Emerald Bay(16:25), Meeks Bay(18:15), Homewood(19:10), Tahoe City(19:43), Truckee(20:29), Tahoe Vista(21:48), Kings Beach(22:12), Crystal Bay, NV(23:22), Incline Village(24:01), Sand Harbor(26:23)

On the southwest shore, Emerald Bay State Park contains the 1929 Nordic-style mansion Vikingsholm. Along the lake’s northeast side, Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park includes Sand Harbor Beach and Spooner Lake, a gateway to the long-distance Tahoe Rim Trail.

Soundscapes: California’s Giant Redwood Forests

Redwood National and State Parks are a string of protected forests, beaches and grasslands along Northern California’s coast. Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park has trails through dense old-growth woods. Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park is home to Fern Canyon, with its high, plant-covered walls. Roosevelt elk frequent nearby Elk Prairie. Giant redwood clusters include Redwood National Park’s Lady Bird Johnson Grove.

An #OurGreenPlanet co-production with The Listening Planet, in association with The Moondance Foundation.

Yosemite Moonbows: A View Of Rainbows At Night

Ever see a rainbow at night? Moonbows (aka lunar rainbows) are a rare and mesmerizing phenomenon caused by light from a full moon shining on rain or the spray of a large waterfall. This first-of-its-kind video captures the famous moonbows of Yosemite National Park in a way that has never been seen before – by filming at real-time speed!

Until recently, the only way to film by moonlight was to use timelapse to gain more light through longer exposures. While timelapse is a useful filming technique, the fast motion doesn’t illustrate the immense scale of Yosemite’s waterfalls. I wanted to capture a true-to-life moonbow experience using a cinematic 24 frames-per-second frame rate. To meet this goal, I started experimenting with a new camera, fast lenses, and advanced noise-reduction software during the 2016 moonbow season. Every April, May, and June since then I would collect more footage and refine my low-light shooting skills while enjoying the incredible beauty of Yosemite in spring. In all, the footage in this video was filmed during 11 separate visits to Yosemite.

Filming at 24 frames-per-second allowed me to capture brief details that would easily be missed by timelapse. The shooting star (see if you can spot it!) was my favorite fleeting moment. I also enjoyed being able to film the fine textures of the falling water, the hypnotic ebb and flow of the wind-borne mist, and the excited reactions from people enjoying Yosemite at night. Filming at normal speed also accommodated live audio recording of Yosemite’s nocturnal soundscape.

In addition to the technical challenges of filming moonbows, I also needed to know when and where to see them. As with rainbows, moonbows require a precise alignment of the light source (the full moon, in this case), an area of rain or mist in the air, and the person observing. Using 3D-modeling software, I developed a method to visualize when moonbows could be seen for a given location. These calculations have helped me discover new compositions for photographing this striking phenomenon, and in 2018 I created the website YosemiteMoonbow.com so that I could share this information with others who want to see the moonbow from popular vantage points in the park.

Moonbows are just as common in nature as rainbows, but they often go unnoticed because human vision isn’t as sensitive to color in low light.  When you first arrive at the base of the falls, you might see the bow as a gray arc in the mist, but as your eyes get acclimated to the dark, the moonbow will grow more vivid, especially when wind intensifies the spray. Compared to humans, cameras are much better at perceiving color in the dark, easily revealing the hidden beauty of moonlit nights.

Capturing the Yosemite moonbow with video hasn’t been easy.  These dark scenes are a stretch for even the best low-light cameras, to say nothing of the challenges of trying to do quality photography while being sprayed with water in the cold dark of night.  But that’s all part of the moonbow experience.  There’s something a little wild about heading out into the forest at night to stand in the spray of a raging waterfall, but it’s always a good time!

Learn more about moonbows in Yosemite by visiting yosemitemoonbow.com

Views: The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge (4K)

The San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge, known locally as the Bay Bridge, is a complex of bridges spanning San Francisco Bay in California. As part of Interstate 80 and the direct road between San Francisco and Oakland, it carries about 260,000 vehicles a day on its two decks.

New Books: ‘San Francisco – Portrait Of A City’ (2022)

Starting with an early picture of a gang of badass gold prospectors who put this beautiful Northern California city on the map, this ambitious and immersive photographic history of San Francisco takes a winding tour through the city from the mid–nineteenth century to the present day.

The Streets of San Francisco

An epic pictorial history of the City by the Bay

Enjoy eye-catching views of the city’s most enduring landmarks and symbols: the Golden Gate BridgeChinatown, the picturesque trams that wind up and down the famously steep hills, the popular waterfront, its beautiful bay, and its spectacular cityscapes and vistas. San Francisco’s counterculture movements that shaped our collective consciousness are also featured prominently: the beats of North Beach, the hippies of Haight-Ashbury, the gay communities of Castro, and the Black Panthers of neighboring Oakland. Some of the city’s most famous residents also make appearances: Robin Williams, The Grateful Dead, Angela Davis, Janis Joplin, Sylvester, and Allen Ginsberg, among others.

This book features hundreds of newly found images from dozens of archives including museums, universities, libraries, galleries, private collections, and historical societies, from 19th-century daguerreotypes to mid-century Kodachromes to 21st-century digital pictures. Master photographers include, among others: Stephen Shore, Imogen Cunningham, Fred Lyon, Steve Schapiro, Minor White, Dorothea Lange, Albert Watson, Robert Frank, Garry Winogrand, William Claxton, Fred Herzog, Ansel Adams, Jim Marshall, and many local shooters. Also includes introductory essays and captions by Bay Area–based author Richie Unterberger and a “Best of San Francisco” books, music, and movies section and biographies of the photographers. Tony Bennett famously sang, “I left my heart in San Francisco,” and this meticulously researched and conceived portrait will equally inspire and make you fall in love with the spirit of the City by the Bay.

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Wildfires: The Alder Creek Giant Sequoia Graveyard

On a dead still November morning in the Sierra Nevada, two researchers walk through a graveyard of giants. Below their feet: a layer of ash and coal. Above their heads: a charnel house of endangered trees.

This is Alder Creek Grove, a once idyllic environment for a majestic and massive specimen: the giant sequoia. It is now a blackened monument to a massive wildfire—and humankind’s far-reaching impact on the environment. But these two researchers have come to do more than pay their respects.

Linnea Hardlund and Alexis Bernal, both of the University of California, Berkeley, are studying the effects of record-breaking fires such as the one that destroyed large swaths of Alder Creek Grove in the hopes that their findings will inform forest management that might preserve giant sequoias for future generations.

So far, those findings are grim: mortality in Alder Creek Grove is near 100 percent. Of the mighty trees that stood watch for thousands of years, only charred skeletons remain. About a century of aggressive fire suppression and a warming, drier climate have created a perfect environment for unprecedented fire.

On August 19, 2020, it came to the Giant Sequoia National Monument. The SQF Complex was two fires—the Castle and Shotgun fires—that burned for more than four months, affecting nearly 175,000 acres. And a preliminary report on the Castle Fire estimated that 10 to 14 percent of all living giant sequoias were destroyed.

Hardlund, who is also at the nonprofit Save the Redwoods League, and Bernal fear that, without scientifically informed intervention, such fires will continue to return to the Sierra Nevada—leaving the once proud guardians of the forest a memory and another casualty of our ecological failure.

Views: The ‘Ansel Adams Wilderness’ In California

The Ansel Adams Wilderness is a wilderness area in the Sierra Nevada of California, United States. The wilderness spans 231,533 acres; 33.9% of the territory lies in the Inyo National Forest, 65.8% is in the Sierra National Forest, and the remaining 0.3% covers nearly all of Devils Postpile National Monument. 

View: Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, California

“Sunday Morning” takes us to the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest – trees that date back thousands of years – at Inyo National Forest in California’s White Mountains. Videographer: Lee McEachern.

Views: Sequoia National Park In California (4K)

Sequoia National Park is an American national park in the southern  Sierra Nevada east of Visalia, California. The park was established on September 25, 1890, to protect 404,064 acres  of forested mountainous terrain. Encompassing a vertical relief of nearly 13,000 feet (4,000 m), the park contains the highest point in the contiguous United StatesMount Whitney, at 14,505 feet (4,421 m) above sea level. The park is south of, and contiguous with, Kings Canyon National Park; both parks are administered by the National Park Service together as the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National ParksUNESCO designated the areas as Sequoia-Kings Canyon Biosphere Reserve in 1976.[3]

The park is notable for its giant sequoia trees, including the General Sherman tree, the largest tree on Earth by volume. The General Sherman tree grows in the Giant Forest, which contains five of the ten largest trees in the world. The Giant Forest is connected by the Generals Highway to Kings Canyon National Park’s General Grant Grove, home of the General Grant tree among other giant sequoias.

Drives: Redwood National Park In California (4K)

Driving through the best stretch of road in Redwood National Park in Northern California USA. Known for having the world’s largest (not tallest) coast redwood, which measures 20 feet (6.1 m) in diameter and 340 feet (100 m) tall. Just a couple miles east of Crescent City, this unpaved stretch of Howland Hill Road offers motorists an intimate encounter with the towering old-growth redwoods in Jedediah Smith State Park. Numerous pull-outs and trailheads along the way, including the Boy Scout Tree Trail and Stout Grove. – Redwood National Park Brochure

Route: https://goo.gl/maps/B6WJSBPDEX9A72ea6