December 23, 2017
Hello and happy holidays!
I know it's been awhile since I've posted. The last few months have been interesting. October was full of last-minute hiking, backpacking, brewfests, and concerts. Then November came along and welcomed me with an ear infection. The ear infection turned into some sort of nasty virus that ended up kicking my butt and took me down for quite awhile. I can't remember the last time I was that sick and for that long. The good news is that after finally allowing myself to rest for several weeks I am on the mend, and looking forward to the holidays and a new year!!!
You may notice that the site looks just a little bit different. While I was sick, I got bored and got the idea to change a few things around. Nothing major, only some aesthetic changes that I think make the site just a little bit better.
Feel free to explore around and tell me what you think. You'll notice there is now a "contact" page that you can use to contact me and some other small changes. There are some pages I still need to update, so if you stumble on something that looks a bit wonky, I'm on it! I will be doing a bit of tinkering here and there so keep checking back.
Until my next post, here are a few recently edited photos to share with you.
October 2, 2017
Fall is in the air. I've got one last backpacking trip coming up before it will probably be too cold to head to the mountains with the gear I have. One of these days, I'll invest in some colder weather backpacking gear, but until then I'll just have to backpack along the coast or go car camping... ..at least until it snows enough to start skiing again.
Speaking of gear, I often get questions about what type of gear I recommend for both hiking and photography. I try to keep my gear list updated on the Gear page and just recently added some of my favorite hiking gear, so if you would like to know, check it out. One day I'll write up reviews of some of my favorite gear so you can find out more about it.
One of the first pieces of my "Favorite Gear" that I'd like to share with you is the new version of Aurora HDR Photo Editing Software by Macphun. Aurora HDR 2018 just came out on Friday, but I already can see some significant improvements over Aurora HDR 2017. The biggest improvement is you can now get the software for PC and Mac. Aurora HDR 2017 and all prior versions were only available on Mac. I switched to a Mac when the first version of Aurora HDR came out, so that doesn't matter to me, but I know lots of PC users who have been waiting for this moment.
If you're a PC user, the choice for the best HDR software is now easy, it's Aurora HDR 2018. You don't even have to have three bracketed images like most HDR software because it works great with only one image too. If you're a Mac user, the choice is also easy, unless you already have Aurora HDR 2017. While there are some dramatic speed improvements and some beneficial changes to the UI with Aurora 2018, the overall image quality isn't much different. With that said, the upgrade price is relatively inexpensive and in my opinion is worth it for the improved speed and extra features. For more info click the Aurora HDR 2018 Banner and use the code "FROSWORLD" at checkout for additional savings.
Below are some pictures I edited over the weekend with Aurora HDR 2018 as a part of my workflow for the first time. Please note, that Aurora HDR 2018 was the primary software used to edit these pictures, but they were also adjusted with some additional editing plugins to create the finished product you see here. I'll be posting a full review of Aurora HDR 2018 after I have a chance to use it more and I'll also be working on a few video tutorials as well. Stay tuned.
September 16, 2017
Are all of you fellow outdoor lovers like me and trying to squeeze in as many adventures as you can before summer ends?
I know I spent the last few weeks of August and early September journeying up and down the Eastern Sierras trying to avoid smoke from all the fires here in California and looking for as many last minute adventures as I could find. One of those adventures was a bucket list hike of mine up the North Fork of Big Pine Creek to the Palisade Glacier. The Palisade Glacier is the largest remaining glacier in the Sierra Nevadas, and it sits right under the North Palisade which is the 3rd highest peak in the Sierra Nevada range.
To get to the Palisade Glacier, you'll take Glacier Lodge Road out of Big Pine, California and drive to the trailhead for the North Fork of Big Pine Creek. From there you'll set off on a trail that passes some of the most beautiful and easily accessible alpine terrain in the Eastern Sierras. Along the way, you'll pass three beautiful turquoise lakes that get their color from all the glacial sediment suspended in the water. Just past the 3rd lake, you'll follow a well-marked trail up to Sam Mack Meadow. This is where the trail gets much more challenging.
Sam Mack Meadow is one of the most beautiful little meadows I have seen in the Sierra Nevadas and makes the more difficult hiking completely worth it. It's nestled between two granite ridgelines with a lovely glacial stream running through it and several small pools that cast reflections of the surrounding peaks.
Once you've had a chance to take in Sam Mack Meadow, you set off for even more climbing to the base of the Palisade Glacier. I was lucky and got to see the glacier this summer after one of our best winters in recent memory. The lingering snow made the glacier seem so much more massive than the pictures I had seen online that were taken during the last few years when we were experiencing drought conditions. If you'd like to check out the Palisade Glacier, stay tuned for a more detailed description of the hike that I'll be adding to the Destinations section of this site in the future.
To check out some pics from my trip, scroll through the photos below or go to my John Muir Wilderness Gallery. Enjoy!!!
August 14, 2017
I know it's been awhile since I last posted. I've been busy planning trips and going on trips, along with holding down my day job.
You may recall in my last post, I mentioned that I had a trip upcoming to the High Sierras. Well, I ended up pulling the plug on that trip because there was still a ton of snow and dangerous stream crossings. That's okay because instead I went on one of the best backpacking trips ever to The Three Sisters Wilderness, and in a few weeks I'll be on vacation again. This time I am definitely heading to the High Sierras. The Three Sisters Wilderness turned out to be a great trip though, and I can't wait to go back to Oregon for more backpacking in the near future.
As a kid, I spent a week or so almost every summer camping with my parents in the Cascade Mountains and in particular near the Three Sisters and the town of Bend. I remember my last family camping trip there my freshman year in college. I had just started getting into backpacking and had read about how the South Sister (the southernmost of the "Three Sisters" volcanoes) could be summited without any rock climbing skills needed. Since then, it has always been something I wanted to accomplish, and why it took me this long, I don't know. I'm happy that I was able to accomplish it on this trip though and I know one thing... I'll definitely be going back to Oregon for more backpacking in the future. Stay tuned, I'll be posting a more detailed account of my trip up the South Sister. It turned out to be one of the best summits I've ever hiked.
In the meantime, if you want to check out some pictures from my trip, click the one below to go to my Three Sisters Wilderness Gallery.
July 5, 2017
I hope everyone had a great Fourth of July weekend. I got out for more exploring in the high country this weekend and had a blast. I went on a day hike to Meiss Lake from Carson Pass and it was gorgeous. The weekend before, I also got out for my first backpacking trip of the summer to Rubicon Reservoir and Desolation Wilderness and am amazed at how much snow is left above 8,000 feet.
I've got a trip coming up into the High Sierras in a few weeks and I sure hope that enough snow has melted to not have to carry crampons and an ice axe. It's a long hike and I don't want any more weight than I'm already going to have with all my food and supplies.
Oh well, what will be, will be, and like every summer I'll just make the most of it. It's funny, the area I am going to this summer is the same area I was forced out of two summers ago due to a fire. Well, if I miss it this summer, I can honestly say that it was fire and ice that kept me from it.
Stay tuned for more info on that upcoming trip as well as several others. I have quite a few short trips to the Lake Tahoe area coming up and so my posts may be sporadic. I'll try to keep updating my "Summer of 2017" Gallery that I just created to track some of my photos from this summer. Check it out below!
June 19, 2017
It's getting closer to summer which means backpacking season is around the corner. It may take a bit longer than usual this year to get back to the high country though. Until then, I'll reflect back on one of the early season trips I did last July to the Hoover Wilderness. I just finished editing all the pics from that trip and thought I'd share them with you below.
The trip was supposed to be a three-day, two-night trip where we'd make a loop around several lakes, into Yosemite's Virginia Canyon, and then back out over Virginia Pass. Well, on the way in I started feeling ill. I wasn't able to make it beyond the first 4 miles without getting sick and starting to feel utterly weak. I asked my friend Jeff if we could just put up camp at Green Lake and see how I felt in the morning. The rest of the day was hard. Setting up camp without anything in your stomach and being out of energy was horrible. I'm pretty sure I was suffering from food poisoning judging from the symptoms and the fact that I have been at much higher elevations without any symptoms of nausea. I went to bed that night hoping to feel better the next morning.
I was able to sleep through the entire night and by morning was feeling cautiously optimistic that I was doing better. I did some fishing around camp and finally got the courage to try to make breakfast. It turned out my body handled it just fine. Knowing that we would be getting too late of a start to finish the loop without pushing for a long hard day, we decided to stay at camp and hike to Virgina Pass for the day and come back. I'd be damned if I wasn't going to at least step foot in Yosemite National Park.
The rest of the trip I felt fine. We hiked up Glines Canyon, past some old mining equipment and all the way to a very, very windy Virgina Pass. The view was incredible!!! I was a bit bummed that I wasn't able to complete the loop down through the canyon and back up the pass, but I at least was able to see what my route would have been.
I'll be posting a full detailed trip report to the Destinations section soon in case you want to make this one of your early season trips. Make sure to check with the ranger station in Bridgeport though for trail conditions. Right now it's still under several feet of snow.
June 12, 2017
I hope you've been getting outside and enjoying what's left of spring. It's going to be summer before you know it and for those of us in the Central Valley of California, it will be time for those 100+ degree days very soon. Although this year, who knows. Ski resorts are staying open through August and it just snowed yesterday in the Tahoe area.
A couple of weeks ago, I went camping up near McCloud, California which is near Mt. Shasta and about 1 1/2 hours outside of Redding. I went to stay at Fowler's Campground on the McCloud River to do some fishing and take some photos of the Upper, Middle, and Lower McCloud Falls. I'd highly recommend checking them out, especially with all the water flowing this year.
The image below is one of my favorites from that trip. We hiked all day along the McCloud River and when I saw the Middle McCloud Falls, I had this "artistic vision" about coming back at night to capture it in the moonlight with stars out above. Around 11 pm, once our campfire was dying down, we set off with a few beers, my camera, and my tripod to see what type of shots we could get, and also to enjoy having the falls all to ourselves. During the day there were so many people you had to wait in line to get a good spot to take a photo. I was hoping we'd have the falls all to ourselves at night. The moon was so bright that we barely had to use our headlamps to make the 1.25 mile hike from camp.
Once we got to the falls, it was just as magical as I had envisioned. The mist coming off the falls combined with the full moon, and the still of the night created a dream-like feeling. We stayed for about an hour while I rattled off some photos that I was hoping would turn out halfway as good as it was to be there in person. Hopefully, when you look at the image below you get the same magical feeling I had when I was there.
To check out more pictures from that trip, click the photo below or go to my "Mt. Shasta, Mt. Lassen, and Vicinity Photo Gallery." This picture I also edited using that new Luminar program that I told you about in my prior post. It's a pretty amazing piece of software. In the future, I'll also add more specific details about this destination to the Destinations section of the site. Stay tuned!!!
May 31, 2017
In my last post, I mentioned a new piece of editing software that I absolutely love. It's called Luminar and it's by a company called Macphun. Macphun also makes Aurora HDR which as you know is one of my favorite ways to edit HDR photos. Macphun also makes other pieces of software that I frequently use in my editing workflow, for examples Noiseless and Intensify.
When Macphun first released Luminar, my thoughts were that I didn't need another piece of editing software. Even though I loved Aurora, I felt like purchasing Luminar was a waste when I already had Lightroom, Photoshop, and lots of other editing plugins. For one, Luminar can edit photos similar to Lightroom but not organize them like Lightroom can. Second, you can't combine images to create HDR images, and that is one of my favorite ways to edit photos. I kind of thought the people at Macphun were out of their mind and banking on the success of Aurora when they thought about releasing another piece of editing software. I didn't think there was any way it would be successful.
Well, I'm man enough to say when I am wrong, and boy was I wrong. The whole time Luminar has been out, I have heard and read nothing but great reviews, but I stayed with my opinion that I didn't need it. I can now see why it got such great reviews. Recently I found myself wanting to play around with some new editing tools and see if I could improve my workflow and/or create some different looks with my photos. This led me to give Luminar another look, and I'm so glad I did.
One of the major differences between Aurora HDR and Luminar is that Luminar doesn't create HDR images, but it works almost as well by using only one picture. Yes, that's right, you don't have to take three bracketed images to get a great look with Luminar. This makes it much easier to use on just about any picture and ideal for beginning photographers all the way to advanced photographers. I have found that sometimes I've taken three bracketed images to only end up using one because Luminar did such a great job. Another reason it works great for all skill levels is that you can customize your workspace and even save custom workspaces, so you only use the editing tools you need for your type of photography. If you've used Aurora, Luminar will feel very familiar, but you'll notice lots of new filters, tools, and more ways to adjust your image than there were in Aurora.
After about a month of using Luminar, I can say that I love it. Has it completely changed the look of my photos? Not always, but I could if I wanted to. It has definitely made the editing process faster on some photos too. Also, I have been able to give some different looks to individual images and found it works great with night photos. Another thing I love about Luminar is that I can use it by itself or as part of my workflow. In fact, I still use Lightroom as my primary photo organizer and for some types of photo-editing, especially as the final editing step in my workflow. I also still use Aurora for all my HDR images and sometimes use Photoshop to blend the Aurora HDR image with the Luminar image. This allows me to combine the best of both images into my final photo.
I highly recommend checking out Luminar if you own a Mac and want to try a one-stop shop for editing your photos and don't want to get into taking bracketed photos and creating HDR images. Also if you are a beginner and just want to buy a relatively affordable piece of software to get started with, this is an excellent choice. If you are an advanced photographer, you may or may not need Luminar depending on what other pieces of software you have but I encourage you to give it a second look like I did and see how much you end up loving it.
If you're interested in purchasing it, check out the banner below and use the code "FROSWORLD" at checkout to get 10% off. To get an idea of some photos I've edited with Luminar, check out the slideshow below.
Also stay tuned for more tutorials including ones on Luminar, more on Aurora, and some that cover my entire workflow including the use of Lightroom and Photoshop.
Laurel Mountain and Convict Lake in the morning sun
May 27, 2017
Happy Memorial Day Weekend!!! What happened to spring? With Memorial Day being the unofficial start of summer and the winter lasting as long as it did, it feels like we didn't have a spring. It could also be that I've been running around enjoying the outdoors as much as possible and so spring just flew by.
I've been trying to get out of town at least every other weekend for the last few months and as a result, have seen so many cool places!!! Sorry for the delay in posts, but hopefully today I can catch everyone up on the last month of adventures and give you some ideas of places to go exploring.
One of the first places I went this spring was to Table Mountain Ecological Preserve near Oroville, CA. It is a magical place of rolling hills with deep canyons that appear out of nowhere, waterfalls, and a great selection of wildflowers. It's best visited in the early spring after the rainy season so it may be too late to visit this year, but put it on the to-do list for next spring. If you'd like to see some of my pics from that trip, you'll see a link to the gallery below and I'll post a detailed trip report to the Destinations section of my site before next spring.
Another place I frequented this spring was the Marin Headlands and Point Reyes National Seashore. I found that the campground at Samuel P Taylor State Park is an excellent place to stay and use as a launching point for some beautiful hikes in the Point Reyes, Mt. Tamalpais, and Marin Headlands areas. You can see my entire Point Reyes and Marin Headlands gallery by clicking the image below this post. Currently, I only have trip reports for backpacking trips to Point Reyes but stay tuned for some info on the day hikes I've also been taking in that area.
Last but not least, I've been dying to get into the mountains and start hiking. A great early season location is the Caples Creek area located near Silverfork, CA in the El Dorado National Forest. In fact, I completed my first backpacking trip of the season there last weekend and it was fantastic. The river is rushing so fast right now that it lets out a deafening roar throughout the canyon. It's a pretty awesome display of the power of nature. I'll also work on getting that destination report up on the site soon. In the meantime, check out some of the photos in the gallery below.
Also stay tuned because I recently found a new piece of photo editing software that I have really enjoyed playing around with and I'll be adding to my tutorials section shortly.
Well, that's it for now. Enjoy the holiday weekend and get outside!!!
April 22, 2017
HAPPY EARTH DAY!!!
I wanted to take a minute today to say Happy Earth Day and remind everyone of the importance of taking care of our planet. If you want to get involved in taking care of our planet, go to www.earthday.org for more information on how you can help ensure that the outdoors stays beautiful for us and all of our planet's inhabitants.
Also, please don't forget that if you want to get outside and enjoy nature to follow leave no trace principles. It always amazes me at how I can hike 10+ miles to a beautiful location and still find trash left behind by inconsiderate human beings. Take a minute to pick up your trash and while you're at it, pick up anyone else's trash that they left behind. If we all do our part, we can make sure that our wild areas remain wild and beautiful for generations to come.
Remember that for beautiful creatures like those below, the outdoors is their home. You wouldn't want someone leaving trash in your home. Thanks!
April 17, 2017
It's been awhile, but I'm back and with some good news!!!
I recently sprained my toe pretty bad cleaning up around the house. What a lame injury to have to slow down and miss the last weekend of the ski season at Kirkwood. The good news is that gave me time to finish recording some tutorial videos and also finish editing a lot of photos!
I've been talking about a tutorial video to show you how to use Aurora HDR 2017 for some time, but it's finally here! The image below is the first photo I edit in the tutorial, and you can see the entire process by watching my Aurora HDR 2017 Tutorial Parts 1-3 on the Tutorials Page. I'll be working on Parts 4-6 soon so keep checking back. In the meantime click the Aurora HDR banner for more info on how to get Aurora HDR 2017 and learn how to use it by watching my free tutorials. You'll see it is really easy to create fantastic looking images. Use coupon code "FROSWORLD" at checkout for 10% off any regular priced Macphun software purchase.
I also just finished uploading several new images and galleries. Check out the Recent Uploads Gallery for all recent uploads. To see my last backpacking trip of 2016, visit the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness Gallery. This trip was beautiful with all the fall colors but would be an equally good early season trip. Stay tuned for a detailed trip guide for this hike. Last but not least, how have I never had a Lake Tahoe gallery? Well, I have one now. This gallery will have pictures from around Lake Tahoe but will not feature any taken in wilderness areas.
Stay tuned for more tutorials and some new Destination Articles with some great spring hikes!!!
February 26, 2017
Wow, where has the time gone. It's almost spring. It's hard to tell in Northern California with the amount of rain and snow we have gotten so far this year, but it will be March before we know it which means spring is right around the corner. I've been enjoying the excellent skiing conditions but am starting to get that itch to do more hiking. Last weekend I had a chance to do just that.
Early last Saturday morning, I took my brother to the airport in Oakland. I decided that since I would be in the area, I should explore an area in Marin that I had wanted to explore for awhile, Muir Woods National Monument. Muir Woods has very limited parking, and I always heard you had to get there really early to get a parking spot to avoid the crowds. I arrived at Muir Woods around 8:00 am and got one of the very last parking spots. They weren't kidding, this place does fill up fast.
After parking, I set off for the visitor center. It costs $10 per person to enter the National Monument. The main trail through the monument is raised boardwalk or paved trail, and it was packed! Luckily, once you went a couple of miles, there were options to leave the main boardwalk and enter nearby Mt. Tamalpais State Park. I was so excited to get on some muddy singletrack and have most of the place to myself.
I ended up completing a 7.5-mile loop through some of the most beautiful redwood forests I have seen in the Bay Area. The recent rain had every nook and cranny flowing with water and the light filtering through the forest canopy was fantastic for photography. I'll be posting a destination article on the entire hike shortly, but until then enjoy some of the pictures from my Muir Woods Gallery by clicking one of the images below.
January 23, 2017
Wow, winter is off to a great start, isn't it? I can't believe how much water and snow we have received already and it's only January. It's great news for the drought, and a larger snowpack will make summer backpacking so much more fun and beautiful!
The rainy days also helped me get caught up on some editing from last summer's trips. To catch up on all of my most recent uploads, check out my "Recent Uploads" gallery below or on the"Galleries" page. Enjoy!!!
Oh, and I almost forgot. I'm getting really close to releasing my first free tutorial. In it, I will edit three photos and show you how easy it is to use Aurora HDR 2017 for all types of photos. Stay tuned.
January 16, 2017
It's funny, every January when the ski season is in full swing is also around the same time I have to start thinking about my "big" backpacking trips for the summer. By "big" I mean trips where the permits can be harder to get. Most permits in the Sierra Nevada can be reserved no more than 6 months in advance, so January is when I like to start thinking about getting permits for any must-do trips for the summer.
Recently, while researching trips on The Outbound Collective, I stumbled on another article by Garmin titled, "25 Badass Backpacking Trips." I thought this would be an excellent way to get some new trip ideas, and it was! It had trips from all over the world. However, what was most surprising was finding out that trip number one was none other than my very own Mt. Whitney trip. Kind of cool, and I'm glad that others will have an excellent resource to use when planning that trip. For more info on the article and other badass trips, click the image below. Oh, and if you haven't already signed up for The Outbound Collective, you should! That way you can save all sorts of great adventures to your profile for easy viewing. It even has a mobile app you can use with GPS to help find adventures nearby.
January 8, 2017
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
Hello everyone and happy belated New Year. I know it's been a long delay between posts. I was taking some time off to celebrate the holidays with family and friends and also getting over a nasty cold. Of course, there was also some skiing, hiking, and exploring mixed in.
Did anyone make a New Year's Resolution involving photography or the outdoors? If so share them in the comments section below. I know I did. I vowed to go back and re-hike the North Lake to South Lake Loop in Kings Canyon National Park. I completed that loop during the summer of 2015, three days after summiting Mt. Whitney, but unfortunately encountered very thick smoke and horrible conditions for most of the trip. It made some days just plain miserable and also it was terrible for photography conditions. What few photos I could salvage I'll be posting throughout this year leading up to my hike. I'll be making reservations in the upcoming months and will have a specific trip date to plan for very soon.
The North Lake to South Lake Loop is a quintessential High Sierra Hike that embodies everything that is great about the Sierra Nevada Range. It has been a bucket list item for years and even though I crossed it off two summers ago, I feel it wasn't experienced the way it was meant to be. It's been nagging at me every time I start to edit photos from that trip and know what it could have been, so I'm going back for redemption.
Speaking of bucket lists, Garmin GPS Devices recently published an article on The Outbound Collective titled "The Ultimate Backpacking Bucket List for California" and four of my hikes were featured on that list!!! As you know, I've been publishing my "Destinations" on The Outbound Collective and it was an honor for Garmin to feature them in their article. Click any of the links above for more info or click on the photos below to read them here on Fro's World.
Stay tuned for more photos from last summer's adventures!!!
*** In full disclosure, I receive compensation in exchange for advertising for some of my favorite gear. However, I only comment and advertise for products that I have used extensively, believe in, and continue to use. The opinions expressed here about my favorite gear are my own and have been determined through my own personal experiences with the product.