Friday, January 27, 2023

This Morning's Sunrise Shoot At Donner Lake

I had a morning photoshoot scheduled today with Coach Martin of MVB Coaching. Martin trains athletes for marathons, cross country skiing and more. His beginner cross country ski lessons helped me get going with the sport right away. (He also does online consultations and training if you're interested...)

Last night, I looked at the Skyfire app and it was forecasting a great sunrise with lots of color. So a change in the plans was made and we decided to meet up even earlier, in the dark, and head out for about a 30 minute trek to a great view spot at Donner Lake, here in Truckee, California.

The forecast was correct! We ended up with some beautiful photos with a colorful sky and stunning scenery behind the action. Here are a few of my favorites from this morning:

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Shot with a Canon 5DS R and a 24-105mm lens. A flash unit on the camera was used. No lens filters or tripod. The photo above was ISO 1000, aperture f/4.0, and 1/200 of a second. The photo below was ISO 640, aperture 7.1, and also 1/200 of a second. A decent amount of work was done to the RAW images in Photoshop in order to balance everything out.


Once we were done shooting images at the peak sunrise color, Martin found this wood chair and took a quick break. Gotta stop and smell the roses, even when you're a competitive athlete.


I thought I'd share a screenshot of the Skyfire app. As you can see, Friday morning was in the orange which means "GO SHOOT!" It's the best sunrise/sunset forecast app I've ever used. A dollar a week for the subscription adds up but for me, it's totally worth having.



Yes, that is frost on my beanie, it was chilly out. Tons of fun, good exercise, and some great photos too.

Thanks for looking and I hope you are all having a photogenic day. Cheers to the weekend!

Scott Thompson
Scott Shots Photography


Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Snow Snow and More Snow, New Photos

It's been snowing a bit in my area. Ok, it's been snowing a ton! We aren't having the biggest year yet since I've lived here in Truckee, however we are getting close...

I was planning on taking Quill dog for a snowshoe hike yesterday afternoon, but after trying it in the backyard before I left, I decided not to bring him. It was just too deep. I was ok with my snowshoes so I walked down the street to Alder Creek for a little photography fun.

As you can see in the photos, Alder Creek is buried in areas and was a bit sketchy to walk near. I didn't want to fall through the snow into the creek. It was great exercise and I ended up with a few keeper photos:


These were all shot with a Canon 5DS R and a 24-105mm lens, handheld with no tripod or filters. I was trying to keep things simple and not add a bunch of weight, it was a tough enough hike as is. Fortunately, someone had already broken trail so some areas of my hike were a bit easier than others.





We've been getting some surprise colorful sunsets lately that were not in the forecast, so since I had some free time, I thought I'd cross my fingers and go for it. Nope... It was a dud sunset. There was a touch of warmth to the sky as you can see below, but not what I was hoping for. Oh, well, it was fun to get out.


Thank you for looking and I hope you are all having a great day!

Scott Thompson
Scott Shots Photography


Friday, January 13, 2023

New Prints at Gallery 5830' in Downtown Truckee

It was a very busy holiday season at Gallery 5830' in Downtown Truckee, California. And lately, I have been busy creating more prints, canvasses, and ordering more metal prints (My studio is not set up to print on metal). It's been great, new work is up on the walls at the gallery, so I thought I'd share a few photos.

Part of my canvas print process is coating the prints with a UV and water resistant glossy coating. I can also produce non-coated glossy prints, but they get damaged easily at galleries and by moving them around a lot so I have found that a nice protective coating is best.


You can see both of the prints above on the wall at the gallery now, along with many other new pieces. Nice and full again, ready to view, enjoy, and hopefully buy...



If you ever find yourself in Truckee, please feel free to contact me and I'll do my best to meet up with you at the gallery. There have been lots of little events and exhibit openings there lately. This current exhibit below is by Ryno of They are digitally manipulated photos, something I'm not always a fan of, but these all look great! It's a fun look when done well and printed up large.


Thanks for looking and I hope you all have a great weekend. Cheers!

Scott Thompson
Scott Shots Photography


New Snowy Truckee Photos

I took a couple short drives into town with the camera yesterday. It was dumping snow but there weren't many other vehicles on the roads so it was actually quite enjoyable. I have a 4 wheel drive vehicle and proper studded snow tires so traction on snow and ice is not a problem for me, it's those other drivers that cause problems...

Because of all the fresh snow, there are hardly any places to park along the roads. Eventually, I found a little pullover along Donner Lake and stopped for a few quick photos of some snowy docks along the shore. This one below was my favorite.


Shot on a Canon 5DS R and a 24-105mm lens. This ISO was 400, the lens aperture was f/8, and it was a quick 1/320 second shot. I wanted to make sure I was able to freeze the frozen snow flakes in the shot.


After getting a few dock photos and not much else, I went home thinking I was done. Quill was glad I was back as it was play time for him:


Later in the day, the sky started to clear and it was looking like it was lining up for a surprise nice sunset. So I grabbed the gear and headed back into town, this time to the Truckee River. Again, parking issues... but I was able to find a business's parking lot near the river so I parked for a few minutes and captured this scene.

Another handheld shot. It's hard to use the tripod and lens filters when it's dumping snow so simple handheld shots are usually best.


Sunset ended up being a bust. It started dumping snow again and the color in the sky did not happen. So, I took a walk in historic Downtown Truckee and ended up with these two keeper images below. I couldn't resist shooting the leg lamp! As a Christmas Story movie fan, I would totally put this up in my living room for a couple weeks out of every year. Wouldn't you???


And a nice scene of one our best restaurants in town, in my opinion. Great food and a great atmosphere there. This is usually a fairly busy corner, but not many people out yesterday.


It's snowing again today. It's that time of year, and fortunately we've been having a big winter. All of our reservoirs should fill up nicely and fingers crossed, the spring wildflowers should bloom big in a few months.

Thank you for looking and I hope you are all having a great day. Cheers!

Scott Thompson
Scott Shots Photography