Nature Setting

Sterling, California

Late summer in northern California can see days well into triple digits, but thankfully the Feather River offers a cool retreat from the heat. This particular location, just outside of the small town of Sterling, has been a favorite spot of mine since I was a child. The lush vegetation along the riverbanks and the smooth granite rocks offer up many great nooks to relax in.

One such larger formation in the middle of the rushing river provided Jenn the perfect spot to lie in the sun amongst the tall grasses. The vibrant green providing a stark contrast to the warm skin tones and red hair. This place really is paradise.

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Pleasanton, California

Another image from our short trip to rural Pleasanton in the fall of 2005. This hillside, despite being mostly brown grass provided a great setting for a few shots. The sun was out and there wasn’t a cloud in the late afternoon sky.

In this image, the cloudless sky offered a distraction free area to really capture Jenn with some good contrast. She’s facing west with the lowering sun fully lighting the front of her body and leaving nice, dark shadows behind. The whole image has a sort of radiance to it as Jenn appears to shine in the sunlight.

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Pleasanton, California

The sheer joy of being out and about in autumn with all the colors of the foliage and the slight chill in the air is undeniable! Mid October was the perfect time for a drive east to the city of Pleasanton for some hill-top exploring and shooting. A bit longer of a drive than we were used to, as most of our trips within the bay area were centered around the peninsula.

We found a nice spot to park the car and hike along a farmer’s fence line until we could find an opening. A short walk through some oak trees and we found ourselves surrounded by lush vegetation that seemed to be springing to life despite the late season. Jenn, of course, seised the opportunity with a cheerful pose amongst the brush.

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Santa Cruz, California

Walking along the foot bridges and trails around the Natural Bridges State Park, just north of Santa Cruz, in early spring. The place is teeming with floral growth and Calla Lilys are in abundance.

This particular Calla Lily, however, managed to grow away from the rest of the pack in some dense foliage just off to the side of the path. And, even though the sun was shining, the light was filtered out quite a bit from the tree canopy above.

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San Leandro, CA

This past Friday was a great day for a little hike! I went out to Lake Chabot with Jenn around 9am and we explored a few of the trails around the lake. The weather was brisk in the morning with some low cloud cover that quickly thinned out to offer up some great lighting in the underbrush along the trail.

With the winter season fast approaching, the ground cover was rich with the vibrant colors of the fall leaves. And, despite the lengthy drought, there was a thick blanket of moss on the rocks and tree roots. One such spot along the trail offered up this view with the parting clouds letting through the bright sun behind the trees.

Nikon D300 w/Nikkor 18-70mm G: 18mm, f/3.5, 1/40sec, ISO 400

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San Gregorio, California

Back when I was living in San Mateo, Jenn and I would frequently visit the coast for photo shoots. One of the beaches that we found of particular interest was Pomponio South, which was located just south of Pomponio State Beach. The access to this stretch of sand however was not as easy, so it became a prime place for some art nude images.

This is an older image, from May of 2007, when we decided to take a morning drive out to this beach to make use of the softer light and the expansive beach provided by the low tide. Here we see Jenn kneeling on the beach facing out into the vast Pacific Ocean.

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Novato, California

Pacheco Valley, located on the southern end of Novato offers up a short nature hike at the terminus of Pacheco Creek Drive. The trail to the lower falls is well maintained and easy to navigate but becomes quite steep and narrow going above the lower falls.

This image was taken just above the lower falls, which had a bit too much overgrowth for a decent image after the heavy rainfall this past month. As with most of the Marin County waterfalls, Pacheco Creek Falls are heavily reliant on sustained rainfall and we’ve been lucky recently with a couple storm systems rolling through town.

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Novato, California

The lower cascade of Fairway Falls is known by another name, Arroyo de San Jose. While this is the proper name for this waterfall, most will just refer to it as the more common Fairway Falls due to the trailhead being at the end of Fairway Drive and near the Ignacio golf course.

I got a bit closer for this shot to really emphasize the ferns and moss growing on the rock face of the small waterfall. You can see how the moss directs the water and creates many drip spouts and the whole scene just explodes with vibrant green color. Certainly not what comes to mind when I typically think of Novato.

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Novato, California

Did a bit of climbing out at Fairway Falls earlier today. While the lower falls are quite litterally a walk in the park to get to, the middle and upper falls require some scrambling and steep climbing. The soft wet ground didn’t really help much, but some well placed tree roots sure made the climb up easier.

The middle cascade actually sits right above the lower falls, in fact for this shot my back was right at the edge of the drop that makes up the lower falls! I’m really glad nobody else came wandering up the trail making sudden loud noises. I took this one later in the trip, just before heading back to the car.

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Novato, California

We finally got some rain last week and over the weekend! Gosh it seems like forever since that has happened here in Northern California. I mean a real, decent downpour and not a half day of heavy mist. I decided to take an early morning trip to local Fairway Falls that I had not visited in maybe 10 years.

At the end of Fairway Drive in Novato is a trail access that leads up into Indian Valley and a series of small waterfalls. The falls are mainly seasonal, and have been pretty dry for the past couple years due to the lack of rain. I’ve had this trip planned for almost that long just waiting for the right time to go, and can finally check it off my list. Pictured here is the lower falls, and the easiest to access.

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