Vintage Looks with Laura Tipon

Model Laura Tipon asked me to shoot her around the old homes of Nevada City to help compliment her already vintage look. I am really happy with the results.

Taken in Nevada City with the Fuifilm XT-3 and a 28 inch Glow EZ deep parabolic softbox. Godox AD400 strobe.

Taken in Nevada City with the Fuifilm XT-3 and a 28 inch Glow EZ deep parabolic softbox. Godox AD400 strobe.

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This one was shot using natural light as the sun was going down.

This one was shot using natural light as the sun was going down.


Camping with Alex

I had the idea of doing a camp-girl photoshoot at the Inn Town Campground in Nevada City and Alex Jade did an amazing job as the model.

We started the shoot in a RetroRV. Shooting with the Fujifilm X-T3 and natural light.

We started the shoot in a RetroRV. Shooting with the Fujifilm X-T3 and natural light.

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We then moved into the Airstream to take a few pictures inside and outside.

We then moved into the Airstream to take a few pictures inside and outside.

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Then we moved onto Glamping Tent #3 for a few final shots.

Then we moved onto Glamping Tent #3 for a few final shots.

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Portraits with Becca

I worked with bay area model Becca on some really special portraits over the weekend in Nevada City.

This image of Becca at the  Tulip Gardens  is now one of my favorite portraits that I have captured. Everything about it is special, just works and tells a story. This is the type of portraits i would love to create all day long.

This image of Becca at the Tulip Gardens is now one of my favorite portraits that I have captured. Everything about it is special, just works and tells a story. This is the type of portraits i would love to create all day long.

Both images shot with the Fujifilm X-T3 and 16-55mm f2.8 lens

Both images shot with the Fujifilm X-T3 and 16-55mm f2.8 lens

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After taking photos at the tulip garden, we headed down to the cemetery outside downtown Nevada City for some moody and emotional portraits.

After taking photos at the tulip garden, we headed down to the cemetery outside downtown Nevada City for some moody and emotional portraits.

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More with Annaliese Nobile

Teen model, Annaliese asked me to do a photoshoot with her in Nevada City this week. The 3 hour shoot included a visit to the Holbrooke Hotel in Grass Valley before it was closed for renovation. We probably had the very last photoshoot in that hotel before the furniture was sold and the wallpaper removed.

We used natural light in the hotel, so that we would not bother the people running around the hallways purchasing every lamp, chair and bed in the building.

We used natural light in the hotel, so that we would not bother the people running around the hallways purchasing every lamp, chair and bed in the building.

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Shot through a coffee shop window in Nevada City

Shot through a coffee shop window in Nevada City

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Roadside Nevada County

Nevada county has a few roadside attractions that are unique and fun to visit:

Grass Valley robot

Grass Valley robot

This Tin Man and Tin Woman in Nevada City play Wizard of Oz music when you push his bellybutton. 

This Tin Man and Tin Woman in Nevada City play Wizard of Oz music when you push his bellybutton. 

Rough and Ready has an entire mini town dedicated to Gold Mining history. 

Rough and Ready has an entire mini town dedicated to Gold Mining history. 

More from Rough and Ready

More from Rough and Ready

Clark's in Nevada City

Clark's in Nevada City

Old Shell station in Penn Valley (Bridgeport)

Old Shell station in Penn Valley (Bridgeport)

Nevada City Dark Tourism

I always find cemetery shooting to be a challenge. I don't always know what compositions will work best to bring out the details of the old headstones and statues. This week I decided to try shooting with the Fujifilm 80mm macro lens and I think it was a perfect choice.  I think this will probably be my goto lens for future cemetery visits.  A few samples are below.

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Tulip Gardens in Nevada City

For one month a year (in April), you can visit the Crystal Hermitage gardens in Nevada City. These impressive gardens feature around 17,000 tulips and flowering trees in a beautiful hillside location, about 25 minutes from downtown Nevada City. 

Fujifilm 16mm lens. The building in the background is a small church. 

Fujifilm 16mm lens. The building in the background is a small church. 

The gardens are visited by 1000's of people and it seems like everyone is taking pictures with either cell phones or full size DSLR cameras.  With all of the colors and different types of flowers, you can imagine why it is so popular.  

Fujifilm 16mm lens

Fujifilm 16mm lens

Fujifilm 16mm lens. Only about 60% of the tulips are flowering when this image was taken. 

Fujifilm 16mm lens. Only about 60% of the tulips are flowering when this image was taken. 

Fuifilm 16mm

Fuifilm 16mm

If you are a Macro shooter, these gardens are a great opportunity to get close to some flowers and maybe a few bugs. 

Fujifilm 80mm f2.8 Maco lens

Fujifilm 80mm f2.8 Maco lens

Fujifilm 80mm f2.8 Maco lens

Fujifilm 80mm f2.8 Maco lens

Fujifilm 80mm f2.8 Maco lens.  In addition to flowers, you will find status and water features. 

Fujifilm 80mm f2.8 Maco lens.  In addition to flowers, you will find status and water features. 

Inn Town Campground

When you think about Nevada City, you have to think about the outdoors and the unique camping experience offered by the Inn Town Campground.  Located only 5 minutes from downtown Nevada City, the campsite offers you an outdoor experience that includes glamping, RV camping or you can just pitch a tent for a few days. 

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The office and front desk, complete with gift shop.  Inside you will also find a common area with couches, a fireplace and a full kitchen. You will also find a new swimming pool to stay cool. 

The office and front desk, complete with gift shop.  Inside you will also find a common area with couches, a fireplace and a full kitchen. You will also find a new swimming pool to stay cool. 

When you get into the campground, you will immediately see a collection of buildings and tents that you can call home for a weekend. 

Across from the tents are bathroom and shower facilities. 

Across from the tents are bathroom and shower facilities. 

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Once you go inside a glamping tent, you will be impressed with the care and detail put into each unique overnight visit. You can't get closer to a hotel experience while still enjoying the fresh air of being in a forest. 

Open the back flap and you can relax on a private balcony with a view. 

Open the back flap and you can relax on a private balcony with a view. 

Each tent has a unique custom headboard, lights, power and fan to keep you cool on hot nights. Don't forget the comfy bed. 

Each tent has a unique custom headboard, lights, power and fan to keep you cool on hot nights. Don't forget the comfy bed. 

The Inn Town Campground offers 17 different glamping tents with different decorations and features that will make you want to try them all.  Different bed configurations are available for the entire family. 

A lot of detail has been put into each room, from the wood floors to the chairs. 

A lot of detail has been put into each room, from the wood floors to the chairs. 

You will be impressed with how clean and new the tents feel. 

You will be impressed with how clean and new the tents feel. 

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The campground offers a place for your own RV or you can bring the family and spend time in a Retro RV with beds and its own bathroom. 

The new retro RV available for the entire family. 

The new retro RV available for the entire family. 

Near the Airstream (used as a campground business office), you will find the remains of a historic Chinese Cemetery from the gold mining era.  Don't worry, the ghosts are long gone. 

Near the Airstream (used as a campground business office), you will find the remains of a historic Chinese Cemetery from the gold mining era.  Don't worry, the ghosts are long gone. 

Next to the campground is the Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum, which is a great place to visit with the family. 

Next to the campground is the Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum, which is a great place to visit with the family. 

Cabin in the Woods

If you like old shacks and cabins, then check out the Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park in Nevada City, California.  The park is the location of an 1800's gold mining town and what is left is a mini ghost town. 

My first trip to this park was last year in the middle of summer. When I decided to make my 2nd trip to the Malakoff Diggins park, I didn't realize it would be 1 to 2 feet deep in snow, but that really made for some interesting images. 

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If you visit the park, you will find an old cemetery, historic church, lake, hiking locations and you can take guided tours of some old general stores. 

Winter in the Foothills

It took a really long time for winter to finally happen in Northern California. Between storms and bad driving conditions, I managed to find time for a few photos before the rain returned to melt the snow. These are my favorites. 

The biggest challenge about winter in Nevada City is how fast the snow melts. I want to shoot the snow in 3 or 4 different locations, but I seem to run out of time before the snow is gone. 

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Broad Street, Nevada City

Broad Street, Nevada City

Broad Street, Nevada City

Broad Street, Nevada City

Deer Creek in Nevada City

Deer Creek in Nevada City

Nevada City

Nevada City

Empire Mine State Park, Grass Valley

Empire Mine State Park, Grass Valley

Empire Mine State Park, Grass Valley

Empire Mine State Park, Grass Valley

The National Hotel

The National Hotel in Nevada City is the oldest continuously operating hotel in California.  It was recently purchased with a plan for total renovation. When you see the pictures below, you will understand why it will cost upwards of $2 million to re-open the hotel.

The hotel offers some of the best views in Nevada City and the public balcony is a great feature.

The hotel offers some of the best views in Nevada City and the public balcony is a great feature.

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The hallways remind you of The Shining.

The hallways remind you of The Shining.

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These rooms were available for rent only a few weeks ago, and the bedding looks about 20 years old.

These rooms were available for rent only a few weeks ago, and the bedding looks about 20 years old.

Everything in the hotel rooms is currently for sale, $25 for the bed

Everything in the hotel rooms is currently for sale, $25 for the bed

I always like a sink next to my head.

I always like a sink next to my head.

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One of the bigger rooms.

One of the bigger rooms.

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Deer Creek Tribute Trail

In Nevada City, you can find a unique suspension bridge that hangs over Deer Creek. It's a pretty easy and short walk from downtown Nevada City.

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The creek that runs under the bridge is always changing, and today seemed like a good day to get some updated long exposures.  Because of fallen trees and giant rocks, it is a little tricky reaching the ideal shooting spot, but I did manage a location I am happy with. 

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Independence Trail

After moving to Grass Valley in 2016, I soon discovered a really special hiking trail about 10 minutes outside of downtown Nevada City called Independence trail.  This happens to be the nation’s first identified handicapped-accessible wilderness trail. The trail is broken down into two different trails, East and West

This boardwalk is found in the East trail (Go Left from main entrance). If you walk far enough, you will reach the South Yuba River.

This boardwalk is found in the East trail (Go Left from main entrance). If you walk far enough, you will reach the South Yuba River.

The trails are a combination of wooden boardwalks like the one above and dirt trails. All of the trails are mostly flat, although they can get muddy during the winter.  The trail also has an ok sized parking lot and bathrooms. I have heard of cars being broken into, so hide your stuff. 

This tunnel under a giant rock can be found along the east trail. 

This tunnel under a giant rock can be found along the east trail. 

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If you go West (right turn from entrance), you can walk just over a mile to one of the coolest boardwalks I have crossed.

A waterfall runs under this section of boardwalk

A waterfall runs under this section of boardwalk

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The real prize on this hike is the not just the handful of small waterfalls, but the impressive switchback ramp designed to allow wheelchairs to reach the water below.  Unfortunately age has damaged the ramps and it is closed.  The current plan is to get an engineering study completed and make major repairs. The restoration costs are around $750,000.

At the far side of the ramp is a really cool looking waterfall that I have been unable to visit because of the closure. 

At the far side of the ramp is a really cool looking waterfall that I have been unable to visit because of the closure. 

A unique closed sign. Probably true, although I have seen people cross into the closed area. 

A unique closed sign. Probably true, although I have seen people cross into the closed area.