Yosemite Love Part I – Orange County Photographer

I had the chance to go to Yosemite National Park a few weeks ago. If you’ve never had the chance to go, I highly recommend it. It is filled with so much history, so much significance, so much beauty. It’s one of those places you go to and are constantly in awe of the natural beauty surrounding you.

There are a lot of recognizable locations in Yosemite. Many of them are recognizable because of Ansel Adams and his work (and if you go, visit the Ansel Adams gallery in Yosemite Valley!). Half dome is probably the most familiar to tourists…. Here’s a shot of Half Dome I took from the peak of Glacier Peak.

It really is so majestic. What is even cooler is that my husband and 3 of his friends actually CLIMBED this big rock back in June! Crazy, right? It took them ELEVEN hours to hike to the base, to go up, and then to hike back out. After seeing pictures of what it took for him to get up to the top, I’m just glad that I didn’t know how hard it would be before he did it or I would have been much more worried about him than I already was.

Yosemite is also a photographer’s dream – everywhere you look there is something to shoot! No wonder Ansel Adams decided it would just be easier to live in Yosemite Valley all year long so he’d never miss a shot.

I will share many more shots that I took in the weeks to come. For now, I wanted to share this one of my two favorite people. This was at Glacier Peak after the sun set – how lucky were we to be there to see the full moon rising over beautiful Yosemite Valley?

And this shot is a testament to having a camera with high ISO capability…. This shot was taken well after the sun had set with very little light at ISO 6400. Sure, there is way more noise than I would ever settle for in a family portrait, but not enough to ruin this awesome moment!




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Hoyt Family Portraits – Orange County Photographer

Right after I had this awesome shoot, I went on vacation. When I got back, my computer crashed when I was ALMOST finished editing their session. After getting that fixed, I go online to post the photos to find out that my blog had been hacked and it was no longer active. Honestly…. when it rains, it pours.

Thankfully, I was able to finish editing this session with this awesome family. I don’t get the chance to photograph teenage boys (young men?) very often, but it was a ton of fun. Like most kids they wanted the shoot over quickly, but overall they made it a lot of fun! And geez, are they handsome. AJ has this whole “James Dean” look going on, while Hayden has this fiery red hair which goes with his personality. Kari is a great friend and loyal client – you may recognize her from my boudoir shoot with her last year (go over to my other site, Jennifer Imus Boudoir, to check her out!).

Thanks Hoyt Family!


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Macro Monday (valve handle) – Orange County Photographer

One of the things I love about shooting Macro is that it really puts you in the frame of mind to look more consciously at the world around you. Things you might just overlook – like an old, rusty valve handle – can become interesting, even beautiful. And many times when I get home and download my memory card, I am amazed at the detail that is captured. In the image below, I could see the cobwebs interwoven throughout the handle, but it wasn’t clear on my LCD display that those could be seen. But they were… and they add even more beauty and character to this old, forgotten relic.

There were a lot of angles I could have shot this, but I chose to shoot it with a green plant behind it (which is not even that big). It really makes the colors pop!


Canon 5d Mkii/100mm Macro 2.8L – f2.8, ISO 160, 500



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images and inspiration – Orange County Photographer

I am probably dating myself, but I have memories of sitting for hours looking through piles of National Geographic and Life magazines that my parents had collected through the years. My dad was a professional photographer, so I’m sure he had a hard time throwing them away since these were like journals with pages and pages of some of the most beautiful, the most powerful images you have ever seen.

I think that’s when my love for photography started. Looking back, it probably wasn’t so much a love of taking photos at the time, but rather loving the feeling that those powerful images gave me. They made me feel like I was there in those faraway places. Those images educated me, encouraged me, entertained me and thrilled me. They were images filled with emotion – and behind them was a person who captured them. It was inspiring.

Now to be clear, I am not going to any war zones anytime soon. Or to jungles with really big snakes. I WISH I had that kind of bravery and determination, but that’s not me. But I can still look at those images. I can feel what the photographer wanted me to feel when I looked at them. And I can be inspired to always put forth my best… because those photographers certainly do.

My husband recently signed us up for a new National Geographic subscription. And those magazines are still as fascinating as ever. I want to start a pile of them in the corner and let my girls look through them and dream of faraway places, and exotic animals, and yes… even to recognize that there is sadness and war in the world.

And I had forgotten these that I had collected over the years…

(Canon 5d Mkii, 1oomm 2.8L macro/f3.5, iso 500, 800)

(Canon 5d Mkii, 1oomm 2.8L macro/f3.5, iso 500, 1250)

These will be out now as well, instead of put in a pretty cabinet for no one to ever look at. They will be out for those lazy Saturday mornings when my kids are bored, or that rare rainy day here in Orange County that is perfect for snuggling up and looking through books that can take them to faraway places… with their curiosity and imagination as their guide. And who knows where it will take them.




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