Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Camas at Sagehen Meadows near Truckee/Tahoe

"Sagehen Meadows at Night 1"

Many years ago, shortly after I had moved to Truckee, my family went for a hike with some friends to Sagehen Meadows. The hike there was nice but the meadow was incredible. It was filled with purple camas wildflowers surrounded by green pine trees. I knew I would have to go back some time with my camera.

In 2005 I went back with my Canon EOS3 film camera and captured the image below. It was an incredible year for the camas. I was very happy with the image I got but when I eventually made the switch to digital photography, I really wanted to capture the sea of purple again.

"Camas at Sagehen Meadow"

I have gone back to this meadow just about every spring since and unfortunately, it has never been quite as incredible. Some recent years, there has barely been any purple at all. But that changed this year! Sagehen Meadows was once again exploding with color! And this time I had my Canon 5D MarkII to capture the images in a resolution that could be printed big enough to do the scene justice. Below are a couple photos I captured recently (as well at the image at the top of this blog post).

"Sagehen Meadows Sunrise 3" - These Camas wildflowers were photographed at sunrise in Sagehen Meadows, near Truckee, California.


"Snowy Sagehen Meadows 2" - This field of Camas wildflowers was photographed during a snow storm at Sagehen Meadows, near Truckee, California.

Sagehen Meadows is next to Saghen Creek, on the west side of Stampede Reservoir, just outside of Truckee, California. Many people have asked me recently were the meadow is so I'll spill the beans. Here is a link to information on the hiking trail to the meadow:  http://sagehen.ucnrs.org/Documents/Lower_Sagehen_Creek_Loop_Trail.pdf  I will also tell you that there is a way to 4x4 on a dirt road to the location, but there are many forks in the road and it would be hard to explain without showing, sorry.

The camas have already peaked this year but you can still see some purple out there. We recieved a couple inches of snow in the meadow a few days ago and unfortunately, that did some damage to the flower petals so it's not quite as photogenic as it was. But even when the camas aren't blooming, it's still a great place for a hike so get on out there!

Here is a slideshow of images I've shot over the years. All of the images are available as large limited edition prints, printed by me personally. Thanks for looking!

-Scott Thompson





Sagehen Meadows - Images by Scott Thompson

Sunday, March 27, 2016

The Amazing Fly Geyser - Photography Slideshow


Bucket-list item, check! I never thought I'd actually be lucky enough to shoot this incredible sight but last week, I did! The famous man made Fly Geyser. It's tough to shoot because it sits on protected private property in Nevada near the town of Gerlach. But I was incredibly lucky that a good friend was able to get us access. Tony Spiker of Spiker Photography got the green light when he approached the property owners with a fundraising project. I'll post a link to his project when he has everything ready to go. 

Fly Geyser was amazing to shoot. I can't believe how many different looks it can have in less than a 24 hour period. The tufa part of the geyser is made up of different minerals and the vibrant colors are due to the thermophilic algae on it. The colors shine through on daylight, sunset, sunrise, and night shots. A little extra light on the geyser from flashlights and/or camera flashes can really bring out the color in difficult lighting conditions. The spraying water and steam are constant which made for some great long exposures.  It was so much fun to shoot!

More information about the geyser can be found on it's Wikipedia page: 

Please enjoy this Fly Geyser slideshow below. A full screen slideshow can be viewed by CLICKING HERE.  These images are available to purchase as large fine art prints, printed by me personally, through my website and through Tahoe area art galleries. 






Tuesday, December 29, 2015

My 10 Best Tahoe Photos of 2015


It's that time of year again. Time for one of my favorite blog posts. Where I look back at all the photos I took during the year and pick my 10 favorite. I shot many cool photos this year but these stood out as my best Tahoe area photos. Please enjoy, and Happy New Year!



This one looks amazing as a 40"x60" canvas print. You can check the big canvas out at the Vista Gallery in Kings Beach.  I knew when I was shooting it that was a special sunset.

"Sunset at Lake Tahoe 32" - Photograph of a pink sunset over Heavenly Ski Resort and Lake Tahoe, shot from Tahoe City. Shot 2015-02-02

A classic angle at Rainbow Bridge. I usually shoot at this spot a few times a year. And I finally got a fog covered Donner Lake with an amazing sunrise. You can check out this as a 40"x60" canvas at Art Obsessions art gallery in Downtown Truckee
"Sunrise at Rainbow Bridge 1" - This colorful sunrise was photographed at Rainbow Bridge, above a fog covered Donner Lake and Truckee, California. Shot 2015-02-19

The iconic "Bonsai Rock" at lake Tahoe is shot by many photographers. I have shot it many times myself. But on this visit I found some wildflowers blooming. It made for a great foreground and a different look to Bonsai Rock.
"Wildflowers at Bonsai Rock 1" - These wildflowers were photographed along the East shore of Lake Tahoe at Bonsai Rock. Shot 2015-04-30

Sometimes the colors of Lake Tahoe's water is unreal. But it is real. The blues, greens, and aquas are something you need to check out it person to believe.
"Boulders at Lake Tahoe 43" - Photograph of boulders along the East shore of a very blue Lake Tahoe, just north of Sand Harbor. Shot 2015-04-30

Well, this might be my favorite for the year.  The lupine blooms were amazing all around Lake Tahoe. The last time I saw it bloom this big was in 2004. I shot many photos of the lupine but this one at night with the Milky Way was awesome.
"Tahoe Lupine at Night 2" - Photograph taken just before sunrise of Lupine wildflowers, the night's sky, the Milky Way, and Lake Tahoe. Shot 2015-06-17

I love shooting Donner Lake from Donner Summit. There's such a variety of foreground subjects and the lake always makes a beautiful addition to any photo.  Add a stunning sunset and you get this.
"Wildflowers Above Donner Lake 1" - These wildflowers were photographed at sunset above Donner Lake in Truckee, California. Shot 2015-07-01

This was a fun one to shoot while hanging out with my friend Tony Spiker of www.spikerphotography.com. The Milky Way, Lake Tahoe, and some trees on the side of a granite cliff. It all made for a pretty cool shot. 
"Milky Way Over Lake Tahoe 1" - Photograph of the Milky Way and other stars over Lake Tahoe at night. Shot 2015-09-07

Another spot I go to on a regular basis. Sometimes to walk my dog, sometimes for photography fun. It's a spot that only takes a couple minutes to get to after I drop my son off at school in the morning. Some mornings are better than others, I thought this was one of those better mornings. 
"Donner Lake Morning 9" - Donner Lake and Donner Summit photographed from the East end of the lake, also know as "dog beach". Shot 2015-09-17

It was cold on this morning. The early season snow blanketed the Martis Valley, the trees, and the mountains. I found this one lone tree that made for a simple yet cool composition. I like looking as this photo as I find it calming. 
"Snowy Martis Valley 4" - Photograph of a lone tree in a snow covered Martis Valley in Truckee, California. Shot 2015-11-05



This photo went "viral" and was shared on Facebook over 1,000 times. It was my most shared and liked image of all time! Like I said in it's post, Truckee is one of those towns that is magical during the holidays. Downtown gets a little extra light from all the Christmas lights. And we had snow this year, a great relief for everyone! Here's a link to the post that went viral:  Facebook Post Link While your there, please give my page a like!
"Downtown Truckee 22" - Photograph of historic Downtown Truckee, California, shot at dusk. Shot 2015-12-12


I would say that it was a good year for Scott Shots Photography. I added a ton of new photos to my archive and business was up. Thank you to everyone who enjoys, likes and shares my photos! And thank you to everyone who has bought prints, licensed images, or hired me for photo shoots! I'm a lucky man to be able to make a living with a camera. 

Cheers to 2015! May 2016 be even better!




For a larger view of these photos and for purchasing information, please click on the images. These images are available to order from ScottShotsPhoto.com or from local fine art galleries as large fine art prints, printed by Scott Thompson personally. Images are also available as photo gift items or as stock photography.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

New Scott Shots Photography Logo!



Introducing the new Scott Shots Photography logo!!!  Designed by Cesar Lopez of Atypical Design.

I have been using my previous logo for about 7 years, it was something I designed when I was a "hybrid" photographer. Meaning I shot on 35mm slide film, then scanned the film into a computer using a 4000 dpi scanner, and printed on a large ink jet printer. The film strip logo with ones and zeros instead of film sprockets was fun, but it's been a while since I shot film so I felt the logo was outdated.


I have known Cesar for quite some time as a friend, client, and service provider. He has designed business cards for me and helped me with my website. During a recent meeting about branding with some of Truckee's best marketing minds, the Market Well, I mentioned that I had been wanting a new logo but was stumped on what to do. Without even asking Cesar to do so, he had an incredible logo ready for me a day or two later. And I loved it! A few minor adjustments later and it was perfect.

When I first saw the logo, I immediately noticed the interesting, retro like font the Scott Shots was in, which gave a classic look to the logo. Then I noticed the Instagram-like camera, which said to me "modern photography". The "since 1998" well, that let's you know I've been at this a while. The rough edges and "wine stain" circle felt fun and artsy. The "Commercial - Fine Art", hey, that's what I do. Cesar Lopez nailed it all in a visually appealing circle of awesomeness.

I asked Cesar for a few words about his creation and he had this to say:

"The logo for Scott Shots Photo manifested in a flash of inspiration. Using some pre-existing textures and some typographic inspiration I was able to quickly create this logo simply as a proof-of-concept sketch for Scott Thompson to consider. Of course, I didn't expect for the quickly drafted concept to become reality and serve as the actual brand mark. However, as Scott put it, "Man, you just nailed it!" After a few tweaks and refinements we have a meaningful new brand mark for Scott Shots Photo.
I'm left wondering if it was truly just a flash of inspiration that created the design. Or, whether it was the 30 blessed years of working as a graphic designer and visual communicator that really did all of the work. The world may never know."     
- Cesar Lopez, AtypicalDesign.com 

Thank you Cesar, I look forward to using the logo for years to come!

-Scott Thompson