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Aaron Meyers
Attended University of Michigan
Lives in Silicon Valley
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Aaron Meyers

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Horsing Around in Mordor

Every February there's an absolutely stunning phenomenon that occurs in Yosemite National Park: a waterfall appears as if it's on fire! Horsetail Falls, which runs from snowmelt off the eastern side of the giant rock known as "El Capitan", hasn't existed for the last 5 years due to the California drought. But this year, thanks to El Niño, it has returned! As the sun sets with its orange light, and if it's located in the right place in the sky, its light reflects off the granite walls and onto the waterfall, making it look as if it's on fire! I last photographed this in 2011 and I was very eager to capture it again.

The angle in which the sun can hit the waterfall is fairly limited, and knowing which angles will work, I'm able to write a computer program every year that predicts on which days and what times the waterfall will erupt. This year, the ideal days were on Sunday, Febraury 21 and Monday, February 22. I had seen a number of amazing photos taken earlier than this but with my busy schedule, I planned on making 2 trips to Yosemite to see the Fire Falls. On Sunday, Willie, Mike, Sammi and I drove to Yosemite, rustled with the massive crowds (thanks to Social Media, thousands of people flock to Yosemite to see this), and then left in disappointment as clouds rolled in at the last minute and blocked the sun from hitting the falls.

On Monday I had planned to take 8 of my SmugMug co-workers to see the waterfall and we left work at 6:30am to get to Yosemite in time. A few people hadn't ever visited Yosemite, so we left some time to explore a bit of the park. Knowing the crouds could get large, we immediately dropped off Willie and our tripods and then ventured off to explore the park. Having photographed this in 2011 from one of the two main locations (South Side Drive), I was determined to try a new angle this year: near the North Side Drive, El Capitan Picnic Grounds. 

Clouds began to roll in during the afternoon and I began to get worried that our chance at the Fire Falls would be ruined, for a second straight day. Fortunately for us, the clouds (mostly) disappeared. Sure enough, by 5:15pm the rockface and waterfall started to turn orange. We all began snapping away like crazy. And then the light died! A cloud had gotten in the way! I wasn't ready to give up and sure enough, after 10 minutes, the sun dipped below the cloud deck and sure enough, the Fire Falls erupted again, this time with the sun in position to turn it a glowing red color! 

While I photographed this with my D800, I also setup my old D700 with an 80-200mm lens and recorded 30 minutes of timelapse footage, taking 1 photo every second for 30 minutes. I combined 1,890 photos into this minute long clip, which you can see here. In it you can see how the light starts orange, fades to white, and then returns to red:
https://vimeo.com/leftquark/firefalls2016.

For information on when to see Horsetail Falls, how to shoot it, and what the best days will be, visit my blog at http://blog.aaronmphotography.com.

Nikon D800 w/Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3:
200mm, f/11, 1/40 sec, ISO 640http://www.aaronmphotography.com/Nature/Water/i-t4qsn2m

#Horsetail   #Yosemite   #NationalPark   #waterfall   #firefalls   #fire   #horsetailfalls   #sunset   #lava  
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For those of us living on the other coast, thanks for sharing this! Love the photo, and the video is awesome.
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Frozen Rose
Just outside the town of Banff lies 3 beautiful lakes known as the Vermillion Lakes. By the time we arrived in November the first lake had mostly frozen over and was covered with snow. The second lake was starting to freeze and the third lake was somewhere in the middle. What makes the Vermillion Lakes special is that Mt. Rundle sits behind them and when the sun rises, it can leave some amazing scenes in its wake.

On this particular morning the clouds were a bit too thick for the beautiful sunrise that we were hoping for. What we did witness, however, was a beautiful light display, with the clouds and the sun shooting rays of light out over the mountains. We happened to be hanging out at the Third Vermillion Lake when we found these frozen air bubbles, just as the sun decided to peak out and send lightrays in every direction. We ran around, very carefully, making sure not to break the ice!

Nikon D800 w/Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8:
17mm, f/11, 1/500 sec, ISO 100
http://www.aaronmphotography.com/Nature/Landscapes/i-dX665w8

#Banff   #VermillionLakes   #sunrise   #bubbles   #ice   #icebubbles   #frozen   #lightray   #landscape   #photography  
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Nice composition and amazing light +Aaron Meyers​, I really like this shot 😉
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Swept Away
Life has been really busy lately. So busy that I haven't had much time to grab my camera and take some photos. I had missed a number of beautiful sunsets in the Bay Area the previous few weeks and I knew I didn't want to miss all of them.  When the escaype forecast predicted a small chance at a nice sunset, Willie and I grabbed our gear and drove up to Gray Whale Cove in Half Moon Bay, CA.

Ironically Gray Whale Cove was the first place that +Willie Huang   and I photographed together, back in 2011. I had just found out that there was another guy at work who was getting into photography and a friend suggested we go out and shoot together. My photography has grown to an amazing place with Willie steering me to places I never imagined I'd visit. We've explored deserts in the South West, waterfalls in Oregon, mountains in Montana, hiked up rivers, inside slot canyons, blown tires in the middle of no-where, driven through Icelandic blizzards, crawled into ice-caves, witnessed the Northern Lights, hunted secret locations, and so much more. 

We knew Gray Whale Cove had a small seastack that is only visible at a low tide, something that this particular evening was going to have. We just hoped the clouds moved a bit more north for us. This cloud bank that you see here was quite isolated, with mostly blue skies all around it. Fortunately for us, it lit up beautifully after the sun dipped below the horizon. The retreating waves carved out shapes in the sand, something I was able to take advantage of in the foreground of this photo. I also loved the way the wave picked up the color of the sun as the waves continued their line-building.  

Nikon D800 w/Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8:
20mm, f/11, 1/3 sec, ISO 100

#seastack #sunset #graywhalecove #halfmoonbay #ocean #sand   #escaype  
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love the gallery!
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Goodnight Giant
I've always loved this location under the Bay Bridge — the way that it captures the San Francisco skyline is hard to beat. The Embarcadero Center lights ... the Beacon atop the Transamerica Building ... Cost Tower ... the bridge lights all make a pretty surreal scene.

Just to the left of this frame lies AT&T park where on this particular night the San Francisco Giants (baseball team) hunted for a World Series Game 4 victory. The entire city skyline turned itself orange for them, from the lights on top of buildings, to an orange Beacon and orange glow of Coit Tower. The Giants responded with an 11-4 victory! Even the moon made an appearance, as it set right behind the Transamerica Building.

It was super fun to meet Matt Walker for the first time, after so many conversations on Flickr, Facebook and text. Also great to shoot with Rebecca and Wilson Ng, then meet up with Jeff and Tung who were above us (and the Bay Bridge).

Nikon D800 w/Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8
42mm, f/18, 30 sec, ISO 400http://www.aaronmphotography.com/ArtArchitecture/Main/i-WzXJGnz

#SanFrancisco   #BayBridge   #SFGiants   #Giants   #Transamerica   #Beacon   #orange   #WorldSeries   #KCRoyals   #TreasureIsland   #Embarcadero   #CoitTower   #lights   #sunset   #bluehour  
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Indeed a really prefect composition and the city lights look awesome!
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Milky Von Wong

Superstar photographer +Von Wong  joined @SmugMug on our epic company retreat this year in Park City Utah and I enjoyed getting to know him and his girlfriend Anna over the 7 day trip. When they asked me to cancel my flight home and spend 4 days driving to San Francisco with them and Nick, I knew I couldn’t refuse!

I shouldn’t have been surprised to learn that Ben, whose photographs always include people, didn’t have the patience to wait for Nick and I to do our landscape photographer thing. As long as the hike or the scene would be epic we might capture his interest long enough not to make us pack up and head somewhere else. We hiked The Narrows. We walked the Vegas strip. We explored eroded landscapes and salt flats in Death Valley. And on the last night we showed him the Milky Way for the first time with his naked eye. Ben and Anna have been creating a “selfie-series” of photographs, taking fun and unique portraits of themselves in unique places. Mobius Arch was going to be another stop in this series. 

We made our way to the Alabama Hills in Lone Pine, California and arrived at Mobius Arch just after sunset. We made a quick stop to use the “Sky Guide” app to figure out when the Milky Way would align properly and went off to grab a pizza dinner. When we got back to the arch, Ben knew immediately where he’d be setting his camera down for his epic Milky Way selfie! I on the other hand, struggled for almost an hour to find a composition that I liked (for an epic landscape). That’s when I decided “you know what, let’s get in on this portrait photo!” I found a different spot to place my camera and while Ben composed his as a landscape photo, I placed my camera as portrait orientation.

To capture this photo Ben and I would set my camera on a 10-second timer. At the 8 second mark, Ben would use an app on his Android phone to trigger a 2-second timer on his camera. Meanwhile, I would grab my flashlight, right to the right of them and prepare to light-paint them. I fired a quick flash of the light on Ben to provide the light on his legs, arm, and face. Meanwhile, Nick, hiding behind the arch, lit Anna’s face and then painted the underside of the arch. Once we had a light-painted version we were happy with, Ben and Anna moved out of the scene, and I took a second photograph with a longer exposure and no lights to get a photo without strange shadows on the rocks. Lastly, we refocused on the stars, and took a 3rd photo to capture the Milky Way in all its sharpness and glory.

Nikon D800 w/Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8:
15mm, f/2.8, 15 sec, ISO 2000
http://www.aaronmphotography.com/Nature/Landscapes/i-6Q9rvF8/A

#alabamahills   #milkyway   #milky   #astrophotography   #night   #mobius   #mobiusarch   #people   #lightpaint   #lightpainting  
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Bravo, nicely done!
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Christmas Gift
+Zachary Cohen and I have a Christmas tradition to wake up at the wee hours of the night on Christmas Morning and drive to San Francisco to photograph the sunrise. It started a number of years ago, before I had family obligations, partially because I don't celebrate Christmas and partially because Zack was away from his family. Regardless, we've done this for about 6 years now and it's a fun little tradition (minus being super sleepy).

Looking at the weather forecast, I wasn't quite sure where we should head this year. We'd done the Golden Gate Bridge, we'd photographed the Bay Bridge, we'd been to the ferry building ... most of the iconic SF photos had been done. Fortunately, the decision was made very easy when I woke up at 4am and checked Escaype (our favorite sunrise forecasting app) and it said "HEAD TO THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE."

Despite Zack being a few minutes late, we arrived at the Golden Gate Bridge quite early. Looking at the clouds, I knew we needed to be close to the bridge ... the views from Hawk Hill would have had too much empty sky. Battery Spencer became our go-to spot. Here we ran into another photographer, a visitor to SF, Eddy Lin, who asked to tag alone. We were in for a treat, the sunrise pre-burn was absolutely stunning. I find the Golden Gate Bridge looks its best during Blue Hour, when the bridge is still lit up, the lights are on and visible in the city, and the sky is still mostly blue, with a star or two to be found left in the sky. Sure enough, the entire cloud system lit up like an explosion and we snapped away for a good 20 minutes. 

Once it burned out I packed up my gear and walked back to the car and took a pit-stop at the bathroom. When I walked out the door I realized the sky was on fire again. Grabbing our gear we raced back to the bridge and took a few iPhone snaps, by now the sun was coming up and the real burn was on, but with the city and the bridge lights washed out, I didn't even bother with the real camera.

Nikon D800 w/Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8:
20mm, f/11, 20 sec, ISO 125
http://www.aaronmphotography.com/ArtArchitecture/Main/i-QVpfGZK

#SF   #GGB   #GoldenGateBridge   #Christmas   #Xmas   #Sunrise   #sky   #city   #California   #SanFrancisco   #colorful   #BatterySpencer  
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Fantastic scene!
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Hidden from View
There's a reason why Ansel Adams' photos of Yosemite National Park became so famous – they’re absolutely stunning. Tunnel View is one of those iconic spots that everyone has to see in real life at some point. Photos don't do it justice. Well, often they do, and even after seeing a million photos from this spot, I never get tired of them. That's because the scene can change so much from photo to photo.

Willie, Zack, and I had ventured to Yosemite early on a Friday morning in December 2015, in hopes of capturing a beautiful sunrise. We drove all through the night, arrived just before sunrise, slept an hour, and then spent the day exploring. The beautiful snowstorm didn't produce what we wanted and by noon most of the snow had melted off the trees. Towards sunset, however, a new storm started to roll in and we had high hopes that sunset might provide us with an excuse to take some beautiful photos.

Sunset turned out to be a dud, the storm blew in and covered the entire scene in clouds. What it did do, however, was provide an amazing display of light, fog, and cloud coverage just before sunset. The golden hour glow turned the low storm clouds into a golden mask, hiding El Capitan, Half Dome, Cathedral Peak, and the other mountains in a beautiful golden blanket. Fog rolled in and danced amongst the trees, while blue sky tried to fight back against the incoming storm. It provided quite the extraordinary view before the entire thing became covered in clouds again.

Nikon D800 w/Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8:
45mm, f/13, 1/25 sec, ISO 100
http://www.aaronmphotography.com/Nature/Landscapes/i-sd64w3W

#Yosemite   #NationalPark   #TunnelView   #fog   #clouds   #sunset   #escaype  
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Worth a Vermillion Bucks
November in Banff National Park is known as the season of Ice and Fire. The November temperatures cause the lakes and rivers to begin freezing, while the stormy skies light up in beautiful pinks, reds, and oranges. Planning a photo trip to the mountains is always risky because the weather can be so fickle. We had high hopes, though, that our trip would be both icy and fiery. 

Willie and I spent almost half of our mornings at the Vermillion Lakes. Poor weather preventing us from traveling further or exploring new areas, but we found this spot along 2nd Vermillion Lake that caught our eye. It had icy banks, reflecting water, and beautiful views of Mt. Rundle.

There were a number of spots along the lake that caught my eye, but when the sky exploded like it did for this sunrise, I knew I wanted to use the frozen lakebed as my foreground. Getting low meant I could get as much of the reflection as possible, and Mama Nature provided the rest. My favorite part: the glowing light rays shooting out of Mt. Rundle!

Nikon D800 w/Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8:
22mm, f/11, 1/6 sec, ISO 100

http://www.aaronmphotography.com/Nature/Landscapes/i-Tq7f7gM/A

#Vermillion   #Banff   #Canada   #Alberta   #Sunrise   #2ndVermillionLake   #VermillionLake   #LightBeam   #frozen   #reflection   #NationalPark   #escaype   #escaypeday  
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Dance with Me
+Willie Huang and I have been wanting to visit the sand dunes at Death Valley National Park for a long time now. Well, we visited a few years ago but we didn't have the equipment to take the photograph we wanted. If you happen to be at the sand dunes with a very large telephoto lens you can take advantage of how optics work: longer lenses compress the 3 dimensional elements into a more 2 dimensional and flat scene. Sand dunes off in the distance feel closer, mountains feel like they're in your face. Take this to the sand dunes and you can make one pretty amazing photo. Willie purchased Sigma's new 150-600mm lens and brought it on our trip to Banff. I was blown away by some of his photos and immediately ordered the lens, ahead of our desire to visit Death Valley in December 2015. Then, at the last minute, we cancelled our Death Valley trip and went to Yosemite instead.

I had already purchased, paid for, and received the new Sigma 150-600mm lens and figured I might as well bring it on our Yosemite trip anyways. It turned out to be a good call, because we saw a number of Coyotes hanging out in the meadows, and the lens turned out to be amazing. It also became quite useful while we hung out at Tunnel View for a sunset that never happened.

While waiting at Tunnel View for sunset, a new storm rolled in and threatened to cover the entire Yosemite Valley. Sunset clearly wasn't going to produce any beautiful photos and I was determined to make the best of it. I noticed there was some beautiful fog rolling into the valley, dancing amongst the trees. I looked at Willie and said "I'm getting the big lens." He looked back and replied "grab mine too." We spent the next 20 minutes capturing the beautiful fog as it played amongst the trees, blanketing the valley in a beautiful mysterious scene.

Here you can also see the impact of the Beetle infestation in the park. Typically, cold weather kills the beetles each year, but the last few winters have been too warm and the beetle population has grown, eating their way through many of the beautiful trees in the park and creating an even more hazardous potential fire situation. We're all hoping this winter will be cold enough to kill them off.

Nikon D800 w/Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Contemporary:
200mm, f/10, 1/6, ISO 100

#Yosemite   #NationalPark   #YosemiteNationalPark   #TunnelView   #sunset   #telephoto   #sigma   #600mm   #fog   #beetles   #trees   #forest   #dead  

http://www.aaronmphotography.com/Nature/Landscapes/i-VHNMd4g
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Beautifully done,  nice choice to go to the long lens.    So many people just stick to the wide angle when shooting here.   There are a zillion more options with a telephoto.   One of my favorites is upper Yosemite falls.   I just got the Nikon 200-500 and I'll be excited to use it when I'm there in mid Feb.  
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Stinky Hat
You never quite realize how stinky #seaweed  is until you’re surrounded by tons and tons of it. There was brown seaweed, green seaweed, yellow seaweed, slippery seaweed, snappy seaweed ... you name it, Martin’s Beach was covered in it. I had to walk out on this shelf, at low tide, towards the sea-stack, very carefully!

I haven’t had a chance to get out and shoot lately but the skies on this particular week were so nice that I had to grab my camera (and my new F-Stop bag) and hit the coast. +Willie Huang and I met up with +Michael Shainblum and +Brandon Lyons over at the beach and Escaype’s prediction for a beautiful sunset was spot on. We all ran around trying our best to make justice of this night. 

The typical composition, far to the right of this photo, would have also been nice but I wanted something different. The pools of water made a great glass surface to reflect the sky and the seaweed shapes added nice lines to this composition. I tried to keep the scene dark, to avoid all the clutter and focus the mood on the amazing sunset. 

Nikon D800 w/Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8:
16mm, f/11, 1 sec, ISO 100
http://www.aaronmphotography.com/Nature/Water/i-GKL77zk

#escaype   #escaypeday   #Martins   #Beach   #HalfMoonBay   #California   #Sunset   #seaweed   #reflection   #seastack   #seascape   #coastal   #ocean  
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Excellent picture Aaron 
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Iced In
I've always been fascinated by photos of ice-caves and in March I was lucky enough to visit 2 amazing caves in Iceland. The blue glacial color, the shapes, the water, and the rarity of them make these melting caves a fascinating subject. Willie and I wanted to visit more caves and we planned a trip to visit a gorgeous one at Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau Alaska.

A friend of ours had visited the Mendenhall Ice-Caves the previous year and returned with some of the most amazing photos I've ever seen. We had heard reports that part of the cave had collapsed a few months prior to our visit but we never imagined that the massive cave would be completely melted by the time we arrived. 

After hiking a few miles through rain-forest and then down and onto the glacier we began our search for the caves. We searched and searched and could not find the cave! That's when I noticed a giant open pit that looked sort-of familiar ... the entire cave had melted! It was gone! :( We explored a mile long section of the glacier in search of other caves. We found a few small ones, we found some that would become larger in the coming years, and we stumbled upon some beautiful caverns, but nothing was quite like the cave that had melted just a few months earlier. 

Not wanting to give up, we walked down towards the edge of the glacier, just about to where the glacier ended and became Lake Mendenhall, and stumbled upon this small cave. It had just enough height clearance that we could pick our way across rocks to get inside and see it’s beautiful shape and flowing water. Worried that the glacial water would cause my tripod to become brittle and break, I quickly snapped a few photos of the cave. Though not the massive cave we had hoped to find, it still turned out to be a great trip!

Nikon D800 w/Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8:
14mm, f/14, 1/3 sec, ISO 100
http://www.aaronmphotography.com/Nature/Landscapes/i-DSXrR7R/A

#Icecave   #Alaska   #Juneau   #Mendenhall   #Glacier   #cave   #ice   #water   #waterfall   #sapphire   #blue   #exploring   #adventure  
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Superb shot!
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Milky Mobius
I have an amazing job. My dream job. I get to be an Engineer and work for a photography company. SmugMug isn’t just any photography company though, it’s a family who really loves its customers and its employees. Each year they take the entire company and their families on a retreat and this year we spent a week in Park City, Utah. Superstar photographer Ben +Von Wong joined us on our epic week and I enjoyed getting to know him and his girlfriend +Anna Tenne over the 7 days in town. When they asked me to cancel my flight home and spend 4 days driving to San Francisco with them and Nick, I knew I couldn’t refuse!

I shouldn’t have been surprised to learn that Ben, whose photographs always include people, didn’t have the patience to wait for Nick and I to do our landscape photographer thing. As long as the hike or the scene would be epic we might capture his interest long enough not to make us pack up and head somewhere else. We hiked The Narrows. We walked the Vegas strip. We explored eroded landscapes and salt flats in Death Valley. And on the last night we showed him the Milky Way for the first time with his naked eye. 

The drive from Vegas to the Bay Area is long. 10 hours long. I decided we should break it up by spending the night in Bishop. As soon as Ben saw a photo of Mobius Arch he screamed “we’re going there!” So after Death Valley we made awry to Lone Pine and the Alabama Hills. We arrived at Mobius Arch just after sunset and figured out where it was and what time the Milky Way would line up behind it. Midnight to 3am meant that we grabbed some pizza, a nap, and then waited. Ben and Anna created a selfie-series photo. I snuck in a few photos of them posing under the arch. And when they left, I captured this one. 

Nikon D800 w/Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8:
15mm, f/2.8, 15 sec, ISO 3200
http://www.aaronmphotography.com/Nature/Landscapes/i-KrwKnNf

#Mobius   #MobiusArch   #Arch   #MilkyWay   #astrophotography   #astronomy   #sky   #alabamahills   #LonePine   #DeathValley   #night  
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Occupation
Engineer
Employment
  • Engineer, present
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Silicon Valley
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Introduction
I like taking pictures, hiking, cooking and doing stuff. I work to support my hobbies. I'm always busy.
Education
  • University of Michigan
    2005
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Male