Finding the best photography locations on vacation

I’m lucky to be just back from a 10 day vacation in California, starting in San Francisco, a stop in the Napa Valley then on to Sacramento and Lake Tahoe. Tons of snow about still, which makes for attractive mountain shots and I’m now happily processing my “holiday snaps!”

Eagle Falls above Emerald Bay on Lake Tahoe

Eagle Falls above Emerald Bay on Lake Tahoe

I always do my research before I go, searching for best photography locations and I started using an iPad app called Pocket that allows you to keep a download of a web page on your iPad so you can check out the directions even if there is no WiFi signal nearby. One of those for Lake Tahoe was called Scott Shots – Great Places to Photograph Lake Tahoe and so on an evening scouting trip for sunset shots I went to Emerald Bay and started chatting to a fellow photographer standing and hoping the clouds would break to give us a decent sunset. It turned out that the photographer was Scott Thompson, the author of the post! It was great to compare thoughts about photography and the business and he told me about this location just down the road which was great at sunrise as the sun would light up the spray as the waterfall plunges into the valley. With the heavy snow everywhere, I thought the Eagle Falls were actually up a snow covered trail into the mountains (the upper falls are), and would totally have missed this location which was just off the road, with a short hop, skip and jump across one of the streams to get to the top of the waterfall itself. The key message here is that research is great, but a bit of local knowledge of current conditions makes a big difference!

I managed to get a side trip to Mono Lake (not for sunrise unfortunately as it was 2 hours drive away, but still some nice colorful shots of the Tufa in the green salty water. I’ve taken some timelapse and videos as well to feed my new habit of uploading stock videos in 4K!

Tufa at Mono Lake in California

Tufa at Mono Lake in California


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Hi Steve, funny coincidence! It was nice to meet you there. Great photos!

Next time you come this way, let me know.

Yes, I had forgotten you were in California!

Sacramento more precisely. How was the road to mono lake?

[…] I do like this one – taken last spring at Lake Tahoe in California. I wrote about finding this spot in an earlier post about how to get the best shots on a vacation – proved I was […]

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