Sunday, December 23, 2018

My Top 10 Tahoe Area Photos of 2018

It's that wonderful time of year again where I get to look back on my photos from this last year and decide which 10 shots were my favorite. It was a difficult year for choosing the best as I got out a ton this year and added many new photos to the archive.

Thank you everyone for your continued support, likes, loves, shares, upvotes, and print purchases.  You all make it possible for me to continue doing what I love to do.

Here are my top 10 Tahoe area photos, in the order that they were shot (click on the images to view them larger on my website)

1. Last winter, I shot a bunch of new snowy Downtown Truckee scenes that were very popular on social media. This image ended up being popular with traditional media too and was licensed for use in the Wall Street Journal. The article is HERE.
"Downtown Truckee 41" - Photograph of historic Downtown Truckee, California shot during a snow storm.

2. I've shot this awesome wavy shoreline on Lake Tahoe's east shore before. I had an idea for shooting it at night and I finally executed it! I love how the lights from the cars highlight the wavy shoreline even more. 
"Tahoe East Shore At Night 1" - Photograph of the wavy shoreline along Lake Tahoe's east shore, shot at night while cars were driving along the road.

3. It's hard to go wrong at Eagle Falls above Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe, especially when you get a nice sunset in the background with the falls flowing strong in spring.
"Eagle Falls At Emerald Bay 7" - Stitched panoramic photograph of Eagle Falls above Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe flowing strong. Shot at sunset.

4. I had a lot of fun this year "light painting". The lights from the Casinos on Tahoe's north shore and south shore made for some really fun subject matter. This was my favorite of the bunch, the Crystal Bay Club on the north shore. 
"Tahoe Lights 7" - Photograph taken at the Lake Tahoe northern state line casinos. The look was achieved by shooting a handheld long exposure and zooming the lens during the exposure.

5. I was lucky to get out backpacking a few times this summer. My favorite place to backpack to and camp at is Paradise Lake. You can probably see why it's my favorite spot in the photo below. This shot made it onto the cover of Tahoe Weekly magazine.
"Wildflowers at Paradise Lake 3" - Photograph of wildflowers and puffy clouds in the early morning at Paradise Lake.

6. One of the best sunsets I have ever seen! My photographer friend Tony Spiker shot it with me and we were saying that nobody would believe our photos because the sunset was so itense. The little bit of wildfire smoke in the air mixed with perfect sunset clouds and created this incredible scene.
"Sunset at Lake Tahoe 43" - Stitched panoramic photograph of a vibrant smokey sunset at Lake Tahoe, just north of Sand Harbor.

7. My underwater housing for my camera was used a bunch this year. I shot this arch at Whale Beach, Lake Tahoe while swimming around with the camera. So much fun!
"Boulders at Lake Tahoe 54" - Photography of a keyhole like boulder formation at Whale Beach, Lake Tahoe. Shot shortly before sunset while swimming with an underwater housing for the camera.

8. Again, I got out with my photographer friend Tony Spiker and we had some fun at an aspen grove above Lake Tahoe. We used headlamps to light up the aspen, and the Milky Way can be seen above the lake. This one will look incredible as a large print.
"Milky Way Over Lake Tahoe 5" - Night time photograph of stars and the Milky Way above an aspen grove and Lake Tahoe.

9. Over/Under shots! Like I said, that underwater housing was used a bunch this year and I had some fun getting shots of Kokanee Salmon spawning with yellow fall colors in the background. An incredible experience.
"Kokanee in the Little Truckee River 3" - Over/under photograph of Kokanee Salmon spawning in the Little Truckee River near Stampede Reservoir.

10.  Last but not least, Secret Cove! My favorite spot on Lake Tahoe for photography. Add in some fall colors on a nice sunny calm day and you get perfection! I could spend every day at this cove if I had the time...
"Secret Cove in Autumn 5" - Photograph of fall foliage along the shore at Secret Cove, Lake Tahoe.

There you have it, my top 10 Tahoe area photos for 2018. Many more photos were shot and those can be found on my website here:  Recent Work  It's been a great year of getting out there and getting the shot. I hope I can get even more photos in 2019...

If you'd like to follow along throughout the year, please follow me on these social medias: Facebook, Instagram, Steemit, Dtube.

Large canvas prints, metal prints, gift items, and image licensing available at

Happy Holidays! Happy New Year! Cheers! And thank you for looking and reading!

-Scott Thompson

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

New Rainbow Bridge Sunrise Photograph - And A Behind The Scenes Video

A few days ago, I got out to one of my favorite "go-to" spots for sunrise photography. It's a fairly easy spot to get to when I don't have a lot of time to spend hiking or driving further. Rainbow Bridge above Donner Lake and Truckee, California has provided many cool photos for me over the years. Although I was hoping for more explosive sunrise colors that were also higher in the sky, I really can't complain as the vibrant pinks were beautiful looking.

"Sunrise at Rainbow Bridge 4"

Photographed with a Canon 5DS R and a 16-35mm lens set at 28mm. A graduated neutral density filter was used on the lens in order to darken the sky above the bridge a bit. The ISO was 400, the aperture was f11, and it was a 30 second exposure. The scene actually looked darker to the naked eye but the long exposure helped lighten the scene and also bring out more color to the lights of Truckee and Hwy 80 in the background. The RAW image was worked on in Photoshop's Camera RAW feature where I lightened the shadow areas quite a bit.

The making of this photo can be seen on a recent dtube video:

 As always, fine art prints of this image are available through my website. Canvas prints, prints on metal, and photo gift items.

Thank you for looking, reading, and watching!

-Scott Thompson

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Lake Tahoe TV Interview - I Was On TV!

I was recently interviewed by Lake Tahoe TV and was asked to talk about Kings Beach and the Vista Gallery, where I sell my landscape photography prints out of. Sadly, I missed seeing the footage air on the actual TV, but it was also uploaded to YouTube, here it is:

Thank you for looking!

-Scott Thompson

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

New San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge Photos

I recently was in San Francisco for an event and the next morning, I shot these Golden Gate Bridge photos. The first two are at sunrise, the third one was a little bit later but still in the early morning. A video from that photo adventure can be seen at the bottom of the blog, here are the photos:

"Golden Gate Bridge Sunrise 8" - Photograph of San Francisco and the famous Golden Gate Bridge at sunrise.

 These photos and more San Francisco Bay area photos are available on my website as large fine art prints or to license, download, and use as stock photography. Click "add to cart" for pricing info:  San Francisco Photos.

-Scott Thompson

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

New Lake Tahoe Underwater Photographs - Prints Available

Lake Tahoe's east shore can provide some great underwater photography opportunities, especially in the summer when it's warm and easier. I shot these this summer in the Secret Cove and Whale Beach areas. Please enjoy this glimpse at a bit of Tahoe paradise.

"Boulders Under Lake Tahoe 10" - Underwater photograph of minnows and boulders taken while swimming at Whale Beach, Lake Tahoe.

"Boulders Under Lake Tahoe 3" - Underwater photograph taken while swimming near Secret Cove, Lake Tahoe.

"Boulders Under Lake Tahoe 8" - Underwater photograph taken while swimming at Secret Cove, Lake Tahoe.

If you would like to see video footage of me capturing these photos and talking more about the shoot, please visit my vlog here:

These photos are available as large fine art prints, printed by me personally. Click on the text below an image to view it on my website, click "add to cart" for prices. Thank you!

-Scott Thompson