Aaron Meyers

Aaron Meyers is a landscape and wedding photographer living in Silicon Valley, CA. Though trained as an electrical engineer at the University of Michigan, Aaron is never happier than when in possession of a good camera and a great view. His love of the outdoors makes for frequent forays into the Californian wilds, where he delights in the stunning vistas of Yosemite National Park, Lake Tahoe, Big Sur, and the Pacific Coast - but it was in Vancouver, British Columbia that (with the help of a pod of orcas and his dad's old Canon AE-1) he first learned to combine his love of nature with a talent for snapping pictures ... He's been hooked ever since.

Though it was the enticing beauty of the natural world that first drew Aaron into photography, he has come to appreciate some of life's other treasures as well, and has since widened his aperture to include a passion for photographing events and weddings. No longer content to merely capture the beauty of a breaking wave or piercing sky, he strives also to capture the moment when lives are joined and joys bestowed; moments that can be cherished and remembered in their fullest and most perfect light. As a photographer of reunions, wedding rehearsals, ceremonies, and receptions, Aaron has earned the high esteem of his clients and is always eager for his next assignment.

Thanks again for visiting the site! Aaron hopes you enjoy his photos and encourages you to visit again soon to catch the shots from his latest travels. If you see a photo you particularly love, please know that all photos posted on this site are available for sale. Also, Aaron always takes many more pictures than are actually posted here, so if you're looking for something in particular please feel free to ask. You can also find him on Facebook, and Flickr.
  • 2021-10-28T12:21:01Z

    Pillows for a peaceful night
    Aurora over frozen lake and mountains. Lofoton Islands, Norway

    Rebecca, Andy and I spent 7 days in Norway in 2017, 5 of which was a photography trip and the remaining 2 was spent backcountry ski touring. We had hoped to see and photograph the northern lights during our 5 day photography portion but alas, Mother Nature had different plans. Either the lights didn’t come out, or they did but so did the clouds and blocked our view.

    The night before our skiing was to begin they finally came out in fury. We were just wrapping up dinner when we noticed them, so we quickly finished, paid and hopped in the car. We had scouted a spot along a bridge earlier in the day so we went there first and photographed the lights for a while. The bridge and road made a nice leading line into the photo.

    But I also wanted a photo without man-made objects, so I carefully picked my way down to the water. This part of the fjord was susceptible to tides and the tide was lower (but coming in), so I was able to get to the waters edge, where I Noticed the water had frozen into this beautiful ice-chunks. I used the ice as foreground elements while the mountain peaks towered above and the aurora danced in the night sky.

    Nikon D800 w/Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8:
    15mm, f/11, 4 sec, ISO 400

    Purchase at Aaron M Photography

  • 2021-10-24T13:00:52Z

    Winter hats
    Snow on the Merced River. Yosemite National Park, CASnow on the Merced River. Yosemite National Park, CA

    Willie and I arrived in Yosemite just as winter storm Leo was wrapping up dumping over a foot of snow into Yosemite Valley. It was still snowing when we arrived and we made sure to take advantage of the snow to look for something different for our portfolio. Previously we had photographed the clearing winter storms — Yosemite bathed in snow, but with skies turning blue and light entering the park. While we hoped the capture the clearing storm, we also wanted that shadowy, cold but peaceful look while it was still snowing.

    When you enter Yosemite Valley you’re put into a giant one-way loop. You enter the valley, get to the Yosemite Village, and then can head back out (or to a number of destinations). While doing a lap around the valley we found ourselves exploring the meadow outside of Yosemite Falls.

    The Merced River was mostly just a stream and the foot of snow had landed on top of the rocks, making little hats dotting the river. I think we spent nearly 45 minutes trying to figure out the best way to photograph the snowcats and this was one of my favorite of the scenes. The river, following by beautifully snowy trees, with a mountainous backdrop to remind us we were in the mountains.

    Nikon D800 w/Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8:
    38mm, f/13, 1/100 sec, ISO 100

    Available for purchase at Aaron M Photography

  • 2021-10-12T11:54:34Z

    Sunburnt
    Mud Cracks after Storm. Painted Hills, Arizona

    After exploring some spots that Willie and I were familiar with, we set off for a new location in search of badlands and canyons. While driving along the road we saw some hills that looked like they could be interesting and we pulled over at an opening in the fence. While walking out to the hills, we stumbled upon something else…

    Willie and David promptly stopped in the middle of their tracks and explained “daaayyyum”. These amazing mud cracks were peeling themselves away all around us. A winter stream that had dried up left beautiful cracked mud in its place.

    The sun was still quite high and made for some harsh lighting, so I was a little confused what David and Willie were seeing at first. But once I looked towards some of the shadows and the parts that weren’t catching the blinding light, it was impossible not to ignore the beautiful shapes these peeling mud cracks were creating. This one reminded me of skin peeling off a sunburnt face.

    Nikon D800 w/Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8:
    36mm, f/7.1, 1/80 sec, ISO 200

    Available for purchase at Aaron M Photography

  • 2021-06-01T09:32:30Z

    Damn that Path
    Afternoon glow in the Redwood forest
    Redwood National Park, CA

    I’ve lived in the same home for over a decade but with so many beautiful hikes nearby, I’ve never really explored the neighborhood around me, other than to get groceries or eat at a restaurant. When COVID hit and the parks closed, I was forced to walk the neighborhood and I was shocked to find how many cute areas were within blocks of me. More surprising, was how there were Redwood trees all over my neighborhood, in peoples front and back yards. It definitely helped with feeling stuck at home while sheltering in place. But that itch to get out still persevered.

    When things started to improve at the end of May, Willie, David and I made a COVID-safe dash up to the Redwood National and State Parks in Northern California. Willie and I arrived first and explored a particular Redwood grove that we had hoped was filled with rhododendrons blooming. From the road it looked like the rhodies blooming all over, so we parked at a pull-out and followed a trail into the forest.

    Redwood photos look even more stunning when fog sets in, removing some of the distracting elements of a crowded forest. We had noticed fog as we drove in, but it was hugging the coast, so we followed the trail hoping it would take us back to the foggy areas. The trail led to no-where and we decided to turn back. Sometimes the best scenes are behind you, because on our walk back we realized we had walked right by this scene. I loved the way the bit of trail draws the eye into the forest, and some nice soft spot-lighting crept in through the trees.

    Nikon D850 w/Nikkor 24-70mm:
    24mm, f/11, 1/40 sec, ISO 320

    Available for purchase at Aaron M Photography

  • 2021-03-27T13:28:35Z

    Before the storm
    Before the Storm. Sunset over hills with shadowsSunset over hills. Silicon Valley, CA

    I mentioned to Willie that I wanted to photograph more of the Bay Area hills and he was kind enough to invite me out to go shoot on a stormy evening. Actually, I think he just wanted me to drive him there (which is fine by me. Chauffeur Meyers at your service).

    When we arrived it started to drizzle. I was a little worried that the rain wouldn’t play nice with the drones, but the rain stopped and we thought it was safe to launch. We spent about 25 minutes exploring the area before bringing the drones back. Just as we went to launch the second battery, the rain came back, so we took a little break and waited for the sun to dip lower in the sky.

    We had been waiting for a gap — low clouds blocked the light, then the clouds gave way, before the sun dipped below the mountains. When the sun did finally hit the sweet spot, we had the drones in the air to capture the way it illuminated patterns onto the hills. The sky caught a bunch of the glow as well. Later on the sky turned pink and purple, before pouring and hailing on me while I drove home.

    DJI Mavic 2 Pro:
    10.26mm, f/4, 1/120 sec, ISO 100

    Available for purchase from Aaron M Photography

  • 2021-03-09T12:02:44Z

    Eggs Benedict
    The moon shines over a salt flat in Death Valley National Park, CaliforniaThe moon shines over a salt flat in Death Valley National Park, California

    I’m not quite sure why the name “Eggs Benedict” stuck out in my mind. Perhaps it’s because these salt flats reminded me of the shape of eggs, and you’ve got the white/yellow (ok, in this case reddish brown) contrast. Or maybe it was just because I was ready for breakfast when I took this prior to 6am.

    Willie and I had scouted this area on a previous trip but the salt wasn’t quite good looking at the time. That’s Death Valley for you… some years the salt flats are beautiful and others they’re not. It all depends on the rain and how frequently there was last water in the area.

    It was March and we decided it was cool enough to camp (hah, yes, “cool” enough since it can be 120°F in the summer). We set out early in the morning and got out to the location while the moon was still up. I loved the way it made the scene glow. And oddly enough, that night it rained on us. It’s the one time I’ve been camping in the rain, and it happened at Death Valley of all places!

    Nikon D850 w/Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8:
    14mm, f/11, 1.0 sec, ISO 100

    Available for purchase at Aaron M Photography

  • 2021-02-20T17:35:58Z

    Follow the Pink Fog Road
    Foggy Sunrise over San Francisco, CA

    All of us that live in the Bay Area have grown accustomed to the fog. Although we don’t get much rain, we do get fog. It’s our version of “weather”, and if you live in SF, it’s the thing you check on a daily basis in the summer. No fog and there will be a beautiful warm day. But on the days when the fog rolls in, San Francisco can be 20-30 degrees colder than the rest of the area.

    The forecast had called for low fog on this particular morning, so naturally there were a bazillion photographers on Hawk Hill when I arrived with Zack. I had been to the same spot the morning previous with Willie for another morning of beautiful fog.

    The fog height was higher than we wanted for the Golden Gate Bridge, so I focused my attention on the way the fog was enveloping San Francisco. I used a longer telephoto lens to get into the city. In this capture, I Loved how the rising sun was glowing off the top of the fog, making what looks like a road into the city.

    Nikon D850 w/Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8:
    135mm, f/11, 0.6 sec, ISO 80

    Available for purchase at Aaron M Photography

  • 2021-02-15T14:27:21Z

    Taking a break
    Sunset at Secret Beach. Billings, Oregon.

    One thing I’ve noticed when taking pictures is that if you stare at a scene too much, you end up taking the same photos over and over again. So it was nice to get away from the Redwood forests and rhododendron blooms and see something different for this sunset.

    Miles had wanted to photograph some of the Oregon coast and since it was only 30 minutes away, we decided to hop on up. He knew of a few beaches and we stopped at 3 or 4 before deciding to head to Secret Beach. We arrived after a mile hike, in which we were very careful not to step on Poison Oak, which filled the sides of the trails at every step (and of course when we arrived, I set my camera down in a clearing surrounded by more Poison Oak). Thankfully none of us ended up touching the Poison Oak.

    The seastacks along the Oregon coast are known for there bulbous shapes that dot the coastline. Secret Beach is no different and was a beautiful place to watch sunset. At one point David walked out onto these rocks for a selfie, and he was a perfect model in my composition. I ended up loving having the human element in this photo. It reminded me of the break we were taking from life, from COVID, from the Redwoods and Rhodes … and even the break David was taking from photographing to just BE IN THE MOMENT.

    Nikon D850 w/Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8:
    18mm, f/22, 1.3 sec, ISO 31

    Viewed best nice and large

    Find me on My Website | Facebook

  • 2021-02-21T15:11:03Z

    Horsetail Falls 2021 Date & Time Predictions (Yosemite National Park)

    (Update Feb 1, 2021) Yosemite has implemented a “day-use reservation system”. You MUST have a reservation to enter the park during daylight hours (5am to 11pm), which can be reserved at recreation.gov. If you have a campsite or hotel reservation inside the park, you already have a reservation. You CANNOT view the Fire Falls without a day-use reservation. Reservations are $2 if you have an annual park pass, or $35, which includes the normal park entry.

    A few years ago I posted the times for the Horsetail Fire Falls event and discovered hundreds of people had found my blog and printed out the times! Thank you all for finding my post and taking advantage! I’ll continue to post them for each year.

    Scroll down for the 2021 times…

    Each year thousands of photographers visit Yosemite National Park in hopes of seeing the famous ”Fire Falls” event at Horsetail Falls. Horsetail Falls is a seasonal waterfall that only flows after rain or as the snow melts above El Capitan. It’s located on the east side of El Capitan and can be viewed from a number of locations. This event occurs when the sun is in just the right spot to reflect off the granite behind the waterfall and cause it to light up. The sun also needs to be close to the horizon to give off its orange light and thus turn the waterfall orange. It’s amazing how much like fire and lava the water becomes! The event starts around Valentines Day each year and continues for about 2 weeks.

    Horsetail Fire Falls from 2016
    Horsetail Fire Falls from 2016

    Everyone always asks me when the best time to view the Horsetail Fire Falls will be, and more importantly, when to photograph it. Each year I calculate when this will happen and here’s the breakdown for 2021.

    As a reminder:

    • There needs to be water in the waterfall.
    • There needs to be a clear night where the clouds to the west won’t block the sun from hitting the waterfall.
    • Arrive early as there will be many people in the park and parking spots are limited.

    Sunset for 2021:

    Predicted date and times for Sunset Horsetail Falls, 2021Predicted date and times for Sunset Horsetail Falls, 2021

    Where to See/Photograph Horsetail Falls:

    Horsetail width =

    There are 3 popular locations (click the link for Google Maps and GPS coordinates) that can be easily accessed to view and photograph Horsetail Falls on fire.

    However, in 2020 Yosemite closed all Southside Drive locations. Photographers are not allowed between the river and the road due to negative impacts to the environment. These same procedures are being used again in 2021. As a result, I will only talk about the 1 location.

    Also note: The park service no longer allows parking near the photograph locations. You will need to park at Yosemite Falls parking area, or on Northside Drive along El Capitan Straight.

    1. El Capitan picnic area (on Northside Drive). This is the most popular (click to see Michael Chang’s photo) and most crowded view of Horsetail Falls. This is where Galen Rowell took his famous ”Natural Firefall” photo. This location provides the closest view, but it’s further east and a harsher angle and is better in late February (perhaps the last week of the Fire Falls as the sunset moves east). You can get some great photos from here but it is recommended to go further east during the early week of the Fire Falls and to hit this spot at a later week.

    GPS Coordinates: 37° 43’ 41.82”, -119° 37’ 13.62”

    Rules for 2021:

    New rules were installed for 2020 that are being used again in 2021:

    • The only location to witness Horsetail Falls will be along Northside drive, near the El Capitan Picnic Grounds
    • You cannot park, stop, or unload passengers on Southside Drive
    • Viewers cannot stand near the river on Southside Drive. You must view from Northside drive.

    From the NPS:

    Due to the popularity of the event, restrictions will be in effect from February 14 through 27, 2020 daily from noon to 7 pm. To view Horsetail Fall, park at Yosemite Falls parking (just west of Yosemite Valley Lodge) and walk 1.5 miles (each way) to the viewing area near El Capitan Picnic Area. Northside Drive will have one lane closed to vehicles so pedestrians can walk on the road between the viewing area and Yosemite Falls parking. Bring warm clothes and a headlamp or flashlight. Parking, stopping, or unloading passengers will be prohibited between Camp 4 and El Capitan Crossover. Vehicles displaying a disability placard will be allowed to drive to El Capitan Picnic Area and park in turnouts on the north side of Northside Drive.

    Southside Drive will be open to vehicles, but parking, stopping, and unloading passengers will be prohibited between El Capitan Crossover to Swinging Bridge Picnic Area. Pedestrians will also be prohibited from traveling on or adjacent to the road in this area. From Cathedral Beach Picnic Area to Sentinel Beach Picnic Area, the area between the road and the Merced River will also be closed to all entry.

    El Capitan Crossover (the road connecting Northside and Southside Drives near El Capitan) will be open to vehicles, but parking, stopping, and unloading passengers will be prohibited.

    No permit or reservation is required to view Horsetail Fall.

    https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/horsetailfall.htm

    What to Bring:

    • Your camera (obviously), preferably an SLR, but a point-and-shoot with a longer zoom will work too.
    • A telephoto lens (100-200mm lens is enough. Full Frame cameras may want a 300mm lens).
    • A sturdy tripod (I used a crappy tripod and had some small shake from the heavy lens).
    • Cable release/remote control shutter (to avoid camera shake).
    • Warm clothes (layers, gloves, hat, sweatshirt, jacket, etc).
    • Flashlight (for after sunset).
    • Lawn chair (to sit on while you wait for sunset).
    • Snacks/Food/Water.

    Recommended Settings:

    • Mode: Aperture Priority (you have a tripod to allow for slow shutter speeds and you want to make sure you have a good depth of field).
    • Aperture: Use the sharpest aperture for your lens (typically around f/8). Once you have a couple good shots you can start to play around with other apertures.
    • Focal Length: A focal length of about 100-150 should be enough (150-225mm on a full frame dSLR).
    • ISO: Lowest ”standard” ISO, to ensure the least amount of noise.
    • White Balance: Auto White-Balance. You’ll probably warm it up in post-processing.
    • Focus: Manual focus with Live-View (if available). Many photographers had trouble getting clear shots because autofocus couldn’t be obtained or it focused on the mist and not on the rocks. Turn on manual focus and image stabilization (vibration reduction on Nikon), zoom as far in as you can on live view, and manually adjust the focus until it is sharpest then turn-off image stabilization and LiveView.
    • Shutter: use a remote shutter release. It will decrease the chance of motion blur.
    • Mirror-Lockup: If you need to, use mirror-lockup to reduce motion blur. I had a crappy tripod and this was needed to get better shots.
    • Exposure Compensation: Under expose your photo. The falls are really bright and can cause a slightly overexposed photo if shooting in Matrix Metering. I found a darker image with dark granite looked best and you’ll also get a faster shutter speed and thus sharper photo.
    • Use 14-bit RAW images if you have the option. Don’t shoot in JPEG.

    Tips for Shooting Horsetail Falls:

    • Scope out the locations before hand and choose your favorite spot.
    • The sunset starts out on the west side of the rocks during early February and progressively moves east (from left to right in the photos). If you want to see the falls all lit up in the early ”Fire Falls” season, go further east. As the sunset moves east you can move east (towards picnic grounds) to get good shots. See Steve Thuman’s shot for an example of going too early in February.
    • You need to shoot this at an angle to get the falls on fire. The “Fire Falls” effect is created because the granite rocks face east/west and happens to reflect the February sunset. This reflection then backlights the waterfalls. Too much water and it blocks the sunset from hitting the falls. Too far west and you aren’t at an angle to see the sunset reflecting off the rocks onto the water.
    • Get there early! People started showing up at the picnic grounds by 2pm and at the Southside Dr location by 2:30. Parking is limited and you can get a $300 ticket for parking on the street!
    • Don’t get stressed if you do not see much water on the falls. The mist will light up beautifully. In fact, from the picnic grounds we couldn’t see any water but they still got a great Fire Falls!
    • Re-adjust your focus a couple minutes before sunset is supposed to start. The dropping temperatures will change your focus.
    • A really sturdy tripod is recommended. Add some weight under the center column if you can. Shutter speeds will be less than a 10th of a second and even the slightest movement can ruin your shots.
    • An L bracket on your tripod can be handy for stabilization when shooting in portrait orientation. Some lenses have a slip ring that can rotate 90º to allow you to do this without an L bracket (for example both Canon/Nikon’s 70-200mm f/2.8 lenses do this).
    • You do not need a polarizer. The light is soft and the polarizer didn’t do anything to enhance the photo.
    • Take a couple practice shots before hand so you can figure out your settings and make sure everything is super sharp.
    • The snow/ice that you’re standing on can be really slippery when the sun sets. There are lot of dried pine-needles on the ground so take a bunch and put it on the ground below you to provide some extra traction.
    • Be patient! You’ll be sitting outside for a while so make friends with the other photographers, ask em for tips, and just have fun!

    View my Photos from Here:

  • 2020-09-04T12:11:32Z

    Lady Bird Morning
    Sunrise in the Redwood Forests
    Redwood National Park, CA

    Willie, David, and I had planned on doing a Redwood National Park trip well before COVID hit, and we weren’t sure if our plans would be ruined. Actually, we were pretty sure they would be. But things started looking better by early May and the hotels and parks opened up enough for us to decide it was safe to do the trip. We took as many precautions as we could, including quarantining, wearing masks, using hand sanitizer at all times, socially distancing, and using separate vehicles. At the last second, Miles Morgan decided he needed to get the heck out of the house, and he joined us too.

    It’s a long drive up North — about 7 hours. We spent a few days photographing various Redwood groves, searching for rhododendron blossoms. On our last morning we decided to drive an hour south, to Lady Bird Johnson Grove, as it would reduce the long haul back to the Bay by an hour. The grove was super hard to photograph in but we made a few images that worked.

    In this particular scene I loved the combination of the old Spanish moss on the tree, combined with the rhode next to it. The light was filtering in through the trees and created a spotlight effect. It was too juicy to pass up.

    Nikon D850 w/Nikkor 24-70 f/2.8:
    40mm, f/11, 0.5 sec, ISO 320

    Available for purchase at Aaron M Photography

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