Thursday, December 22, 2016

My Top 10 Tahoe Area Photos of 2016

It's time for my favorite blog post of the year! Every year I look back through my archive and pick out what I feel were my top 10 photographs of the year.

Oh what a year it has been! I added many new images to my archive. I was incredibly busy with commercial and Real Estate photography. I had a great summer selling prints at the Vista Gallery. And I recently bought a new camera. Thank you to everyone who has hired me, bought prints, and  shared and liked my photos on social media. You have helped make this a great year for me.

Here are my top 10, in order that they were shot:

1.  I finally caught a double rainbow!  The weather was perfect for rainbows this day, I kept seeing a single rainbow and I got many photos of it. But while shooting Downtown Truckee, suddenly a double rainbow appeared and gave me this incredible scene:

"Double Rainbow Above Downtown Truckee" - Photograph of an intense double rainbow above a snowy historic Downtown Truckee, California.

2.   It's always a tough choice when it comes to picking a spot to shoot a sunset on Donner Summit. There are tons of photo opportunities up there. This day, I decided to shoot this old stump instead of shooting under Rainbow Bridge. Boy am I glad I did!

"Donner Lake Sunrise 13" - Photograph of a vibrant sunrise above Donner Lake and Rainbow Bridge with a old dead stump in the foreground.
"Donner Lake Sunrise 13" - Photograph of a vibrant sunrise above Donner Lake and Rainbow Bridge with a old dead stump in the foreground.

3.  and  4.   Two of my favorites were shot at the same location, a couple days apart. The Camas at Sagehen Meadows is always a fun spot to shoot in the spring if the wildflowers bloom big. This year I got out for some night/sunrise fun with a couple photographer friends. Then, when it started snowing a couple days later, I got out again for one of my all time favorite images. When I look at the snowy, soft, abstract scene, I feel at peace.

"Sagehen Meadow at Night 1" - Photograph of the Camas wildflowers at Sagehen Meadows, near Truckee, California at night.

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

5.  Photography is my fav, but fishing is another way I love to spend my time. Just about every year I participate in the Jake's on the Lake  charity fishing derby. This year there was a little smoke in the air. Mix that with a sunrise on Lake Tahoe and you get this:

6.  OK, now this was a fun one to shoot. I knew I was getting something special. Lake Tahoe's water level rose and flooded some of the lupine along the shoreline. The lupine are always a favorite for Tahoe photographers but this is a look you don't see often.

7.  Who doesn't love fireworks?! This was shot from near the fire lookout above Kings Beach, Lake Tahoe. The Vista Gallery, where I sell my prints out of, can be seen in this shot.

"Kings Beach Fireworks 1" - Photograph of the 4th of July fireworks show above Kings Beach, Lake Tahoe.

8.  Where's Waldo? Or, Tony Spiker anyway... This was an incredible sunset that I captured by taking many photos and stitching them together in Photoshop in order to create a panoramic format that can be printed LARGE. Bonus, my friend Tony is in the photo, getting his own shot. You might have to click on the image and view it on my website in order to find him...

9.  Aspens and Lake Tahoe! I was introduced to this location this year, I have a feeling I'll be back. It was a great year for the aspen fall colors and when you have a background like that, you can't go wrong.

10.  New toys! Well really it's a tool for work but it still feels like a new toy. I recently purchased a Canon 5D SR. It's one of Canon's 50.6 megapixel cameras and I'm loving it.  I haven't had time to get too many landscape images with it yet but here's one, a long exposure during windy/wavy conditions. I really look forward to getting many new images with this camera in 2017. 

Cheers to 2016! May 2017 be even better!

-Scott Thompson

The images above are available as large fine art prints or as stock photography. Please click on an image to view it on my website and for purchasing options. 

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:  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.