Monday, August 2, 2010

Family camping fun - Union Valley Reservoir, CA

It is a Summer tradition for the family to go camping up at Union Valley Reservoir (near Lake Tahoe). For the first time in many years, I was finally in this country, with no business trips, and at the right time to join the rest of my family for some of the fun.

This is my awesome wife ripping up the water on an old wood ski (which she still prefers). She has been water skiing since she could walk, and she rocks out there.

And here is my son, Connor on the wake board. Usually they complain when I bring my camera everywhere, but not when it comes to getting pictures of them on the water.

Here is my daughter, Ali, on one of her first tries at the wake board.

I think that the smile says it all. (And as she says, "cool - a good profile picture for Facebook")

This is no small group. This is a shot with just some of the people at the campsite. We had so many people that even the bears were scared of us! OK - not really, they were out and about every night roaming through the camp.

I love this shot with my nephew, Sean, on the wake board. Everything is totally parallel; the board, the rope, the water, and the horizon.

 Another nephew, Jake, showing off one of his "big air" jumps.

I asked my nephew, Shane, to give me a good look. So after a fairly long run, he let go of the rope and gave me the A OK gesture. He cracks me up.

More big air from Matt.

I have numerous wipe-out shots, but had to pick on Sean, since this was my favorite. He was trying the wake skate for the first time. Not easy!

And, of course, you have to teach the younger kids how to water ski.

One evening, I brought out the tripod and took some night shots of the kids around the fire.

An then I pointed the camera up into the sky and fired this 2 minute exposure (from the tripod). All of the light that you see on the trees is from the fire that you see in the previous shot. Pretty amazing!
 After taking a short walk around the other side of our cove, I had my brother-in-law, Matt, take two flashlights and slowly move his hands to form the shape of a heart. This was a 15 second exposure, enough to capture the night sky and the flashlights in Matt's hands.

Here is Shane walking on water. There were lots of rocks that were just below the surface of the water and I looked for anyone who wanted to pose for me for this shot. I can always count on Shane to be there!

Across the lake from our campground, was the "jumping rock". I took a kayak over to this point on the first day and thought "I have to come back here with a wide angle lens and shoot pictures of the kids jumping off of this thing." And so we went back on the last day and I shot these.

I was actually standing in 4 feet of water, under the rock, holding onto my 5D Mark II (with 24-105 lens and 580EX II flash) for dear life. One slip on the rocks and I would have been out $4000 of equipment. Hey - anything for the shot!

For this shot, I pre-focused the camera at the top of the rock and snapped the image at the perfect time to get his face in clear focus. Some times a photographer has to rely on luck to get his shot.

And...these last two images were shot along a nearby creek. I saw this creek from a bridge as I was driving into the campsite on the first day and made it back there in the early evening to capture some shots. I really liked the flow of the water, the color of the rocks and the green plants in just the right positions.


Las Vegas said...

Great pics. Looks like you are having yourself a great summer.

Julie said...

Wow. The whole family is surely having fun. I suddenly miss camping again. Camping is the best, right? It is fun and full of adventure. Although the preparation is a little bit tough, all the sweet will fade away seeing you love ones smiling.

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TommyGun62 said...

Hey Jeff,

I stumbled upon your blog while looking for more info on the lakes in Crystal Basin. Coincidentally I am a fellow Spartan alumnus. My family is planning a car camping trip to the area this summer (we are from SoCal) and trying to figure out which lake/campground would be best for us. We won't have a power boat but will likely bring a kayak or two and a canoe. We want something pretty and near the water, good swimming hole, easy day hikes, maybe will bring a couple of mountain bikes but nothing hardcore. Any recommendations?


dmsosm said...

Wonderful Pictures!!! I hope whole family have fun & I hope we all can go Malakoff-Diggins State Historical Park to have fun with your whole family.

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