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.
  • 2023-01-12T07:29:12Z

    Horsetail Fall 2023 Date & Time Predictions (Yosemite National Park)

    A few years ago I posted the times for the Horsetail Fire Fall 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 2023 times…

    Each year thousands of photographers visit Yosemite National Park in hopes of seeing the famous ”Fire Fall” event at Horsetail Fall. Horsetail Fall 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 Fall from 2016

    Everyone always asks me when the best time to view the Horsetail Fire Fall will be, and more importantly, when to photograph it. Each year I calculate when this will happen and here’s the breakdown for 2023.

    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 2023:

    Predicted date and times for Sunset Horsetail Fall, 2023

    Where to See/Photograph Horsetail Fall:

    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 Fall 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 2022. 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 Fall 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 Fall. 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 Fall 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 Fall and to hit this spot at a later week.

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

    Rules for 2023:

    New rules were installed for 2020 that are being used again in 2022:

    • The only location to witness Horsetail Fall 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.

    Additionally, reservations will be required for entry to Yosemite 24 hours per day on:

    • February 10–12, 2023
    • February 17–19, 2023
    • February 24–26, 2023 

    From the NPS:

    Due to the popularity of the event, various restrictions are in effect during mid- to late February each year daily. The dates for 2023 are February 10 through 27. In 2023, a reservation will be required to drive into Yosemite 24 hours per day on February 10–12, 17–19, and 24–26. Additionally, parking will be restricted in some areas.

    To view Horsetail Fall, park at Yosemite Fall parking (just west of Yosemite Valley Lodge) and walk 1.5 miles (each way) to the viewing area near El Capitan Picnic Area. If this parking is full, park at Yosemite Village or Curry Village and use the free shuttle (which stops at both) to get to Yosemite Fall parking/Yosemite Valley Lodge. In addition to the regular shuttle, an express shuttle will be operating between Yosemite Village and the Yosemite Fall parking/Yosemite Valley Lodge.

    Vault toilets, along with trash and recycling dumpsters, are available at the 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 Fall 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. On busy weekends, Northside Drive may close completely for about a half hour immediately after sunset.

    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 (including the river) will also be closed to all entry.


    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 fall 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 Fall:

    • 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 fall all lit up in the early ”Fire Fall” 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 fall on fire. The “Fire Fall” effect is created because the granite rocks face east/west and happens to reflect the February sunset. This reflection then backlights the waterfall. Too much water and it blocks the sunset from hitting the fall. 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 fall. 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 Fall!
    • 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:

    The post Horsetail Fall 2023 Date & Time Predictions (Yosemite National Park) appeared first on Aaron M Photography Blog.
  • 2023-01-05T21:55:05Z

    Morning Meetings
    Sunrise over Boronda Lake. Palo Alto, CaliforniaSunrise over Boronda Lake. Palo Alto, California

    Foothills Park in Palo Alto has, for many many years, been exclusive to residents of the city of Palo Alto. Visitors were only allowed if accompanied by a Palo Alto resident, or if a Palo Alto resident was having a party at the parks picnic grounds and put your name on “the list”. As such, I had been to the park 2 or 3 times but never really explored. Recently the city opened the park up to non-residents and Willie and I ventured here, to Boronda Lake to catch reflections in the sunrise.

    On our first visit 2 friends arrived just as we were packing up. They popped their trunks, got out some blankets, and then 2 coolers, some snacks, and coffees. They walked out onto the pier, put their blankets down 10 feet apart, and proceeded to have a wonderful morning picnic. I can imagine this is a peaceful place to enjoy the morning.

    Escaype was predicting a nice sunrise but Willie and I didn’t want to drive far, so we ventured here. We had hoped for a brighter sunrise but just enough of the clouds caught light that we were able to enjoy a nice sunrise. To the south (the left of the photo), the clouds caught more color but lacked texture. To the east, in this direction, the clouds were more interesting but didn’t quite glow pink and red and orange. None-the-less, it was still a quick and nice morning.

    Nikon D850 w/Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8:
    14mm, f/13, 1/3 sec, ISO 64

    Available for purchase at Aaron M Photography

    The post Morning Meetings appeared first on Aaron M Photography Blog.
  • 2023-01-05T18:48:17Z

    Sunrise over fishing village. Reine, Lofoten Islands, Norway

    I’m often asked why I take pictures? The answer is two-fold: for myself, to remember the places I’ve been, and for others, to inspire them to see the world. Every day for 6 years I would walk by a photo of this scene in the Lofoton Islands of Norway. SmugMug had a giant panorama print of Reine — it took over the whole wall — and it was hung in one of the main hallways. Every day I’d walk by it and say “one day I’m going to go there.”

    After 3 trips to Iceland, Rebecca finally said to me “damnit, we’re going to Norway. I’ll plan the trip. You can come along if you’d like.” So we booked flights, invited Andy along … and then promptly kicked Rebecca out of planning the trip. Andy and I did most of the planning and a 7 day photo trip turned into a 5 day trip with 2 days of backcountry skiing. I’ll cut to the chase and skip the long story about how we nearly didn’t make it here and just leave it at this: We stopped in Iceland on the way, photographed some ice-caves, beat the largest snowstorm in Reykjavik’s history and caught our flight with 5 minutes to spare. Everything was easy after that.

    This is probably the most photographed scene in all of the Lofoton Islands, with a similar photo from Hamnoy coming in a close second, but I don’t care. This inspired me to travel halfway across the world and see and do something different. So here’s my own take, taken at 6:30am on a cold morning, when the wind died down long enough for the unnamed mountain peak to reflect in the water. Reine (pronounced Ray-nuh), is a gorgeous fishing village, now turned into tourist attraction. We stayed in some of those red huts on the right. I find it interesting that the tallest peak here is, as far as I can tell, unnamed. All the other peaks are named except for the main peak. Strange.

    Nikon D800 w/Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8:
    38mm, f/11, 4 sec, ISO 400

    Available for purchase at Aaron M Photography

    The post Inspiration appeared first on Aaron M Photography Blog.
  • 2022-05-23T17:52:54Z

    Sunset over Sunflowers. Silicon Valley, California

    There’s something about these sunflower fields that make me imagine they’re all about to speak to us. I don’t quite know what they’d say, but it really looks like there’s faces on here, ready to sing their hearts out. Or maybe their seeds out? Nikon D800 w/Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8: 14mm, f/11, 1/3 sec, ISO 500

    Available for purchase at Aaron M Photography

    The post Chorus appeared first on Aaron M Photography Blog.
  • 2022-05-23T17:06:52Z

    Lightbeams and Redwoods in fog. Redwood National Park, CA

    Forests are a great place to photograph because there’s so many different ways to interpret the same scene. Before the sun creeps in you can photograph the peaceful forest at rest, with all the trees and leaves in their slumbering glory. In the spring, flowers bloom adding new elements to the scene. By summer they’re gone and you have just the leaves and the trees. In winter, the leaves are gone and snow can add a different element. Wait for the sun to creep in and light rays can transform the scene. Along the coast, fog can hide parts of the forest and focus on particular elements.

    We knew this area of the forest might get light rays so we kept close. Or maybe I’m making this up and we just happened to be in the area when the sun set low enough to start creating beams. We photographed several different views of the beams while the fog and the setting sun kept them in the forest.

    Although we started out much wider, trying to capture “gods rays” as we call them, beaming out in all directions around a tree, I was also transfixed by the way some of the side beams were lighting up the redwood trees and warming them up. I could imagine being one of these trees, loving the warmth of the sun shining in. As a peaceful observer it was hard not to feel warmer just looking at these.

    Nikon D850 w/Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8:
    86mm, f/11, 1/5 sec, ISO 200

    Available for purchase at Aaron M Photography

    The post Warming appeared first on Aaron M Photography Blog.
  • 2022-05-23T17:07:53Z

    Lucky Flower
    Sorrel and Ferns in Redwood Forest. Redwood National Park, CA

    Willie, David, Miles and I spent a long weekend exploring the Redwood National and State Parks while trying to avoid getting COVID. We weren’t sure if the trip would happen but it turned out things were looking better and we were able to escape our homes and safely play in nature (we took as many precautions as we could. Thankfully none of us contracted COVID during the trip).

    There’s one particular grove that photographers flock to due to the rhododendron blooms that happen in the forest. Willie and I scouted it in the afternoon and we returned a few times. On one particular morning I saw Willie searching for his typical abstract photo of ferns overlapping each other. So of course I had to copy him and look for something similar.

    I spotted this patch of sorrel (not 4-leaf clover) and liked how the ferns were popping out of them. It wasn’t until I got home that I realized there was a teeny flower that was making its way out of the sorrel. I just loved how it adds a splash of color to the scene.

    Nikon D850 w/Nikkor 24-70 f/2.8:
    29mm, f/16, 1.3 sec, ISO 200

    Available for purchase at Aaron M Photography

    The post Lucky Flower appeared first on Aaron M Photography Blog.
  • 2022-03-25T10:36:05Z

    Minty Snowcone Surprise
    Aurora over mountains and frozen ice. Lofoten Islands, NorwayAurora over mountains and frozen ice. Lofoten Islands, Norway

    Part of the reason for visiting the Lofoten Islands in Norway was to see the northern lights again. So when we saw the lights finally start to come out at the end of our trip, while eating dinner, we finished quickly and hopped in the car. Throughout the night we ended up nearly an hour and a half away, back near the town of Leknes. We were supposed to have our first day of backcountry skiing the next morning so we wanted to get some sleep and made our way back to the lodge.

    The aurora came out and went away throughout our hunting attempts. For a while it completely disappeared and we were content to go home and get some sleep. But at one point on the drive it came back out and I saw this mountain peak and screamed for Andy to find a spot to pull over. Once in a safe spot, he and Rebecca took a nap while I walked out to the shoreline and took some pictures.

    I was rather fortunate in that this was an unplanned, unspotted spot that turned out a nice surprise: frozen ice. There was a little rocky beach that gave me a place for unobstructed views and when I got out there, I saw the water had frozen into tons of cracked patterns. In the rush to capture the lights before they went away again, and to get back to bed, I forgot to take a photo focused on the foreground ice, so it ended up a bit blurry. It’ll have to suffice but I loved the little scene. The tall peak here is called “Svarttinden” and a beautiful long bridge connects it to the next set of islands.

    Nikon D800 w/Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8:
    24mm, f/2.8, 6 sec, ISO 1600

    Available for purchase at Aaron M Photography

    The post Minty Snowcone Surprise appeared first on Aaron M Photography Blog.
  • 2022-03-06T07:25:48Z

    Aurora Touring
    Aurora over mountains. Lofoton Islands, NorwayAurora over mountains. Lofoten Islands, Norway

    Prior to 2017, I had visited Iceland 3 times: once in the summer and twice in the winter. I wanted to go back again to explore more ice-caves and see more aurora but Rebecca convinced me that I should do Norway instead. We compromised: a stopover in Iceland on our way to Norway. We invited Andy along, partially because I wanted his help actually planning the trip, but also because we thought he’d enjoy the views and the photography. Turned out he had another, even better idea: skiing. Our 7 day Norway photography trip became a 5 day one, with 2 days of backcountry skiing tacked on.

    He found a ski lodge in the eastern part of the Lofotens. A beautiful lodge provided a home base while trained alpine guides took you out to mountains. We had never done backcountry skiing (also known as “ski touring”) before so it was a great way to get our feet “wet”. They had gear to rent to us, so we didn’t have to significantly increase our packed luggage.

    The ski lodge was in a quaint fishing village off the main road. As we turned off to arrive we came across this beautiful scene of mountain peaks (from left-to-right: Vågakallen, Kallebordet, Glomtinden (main peak), Nordfjellet, Nattmålskaret, Lyngværfjellet, Høgtinden). The fjord crossed this little bridge and would reflect the mountain peaks. So when the aurora started going off while we ate dinner, we raced back to this spot to capture the lights over the peaks. This was one of my favorite spots to sit and watch the aurora dance.

    Nikon D800 w/Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8:
    20mm, f/2.8, 6 sec, ISO 3200

    Available for purchase at Aaron M Photography

    The post Aurora Touring appeared first on Aaron M Photography Blog.
  • 2022-02-25T00:49:05Z

    Standing Tall Against the Incoming Monson
    Hoodoos at Sunset. Escalante National Monument, UT

    When Willie and I were preparing to visit Escalante National Monument in Utah we came across a photo of this scene by our friend Phil Monson. It was a beautiful picture and it inspired us to find and visit this spot. Inspiration is one of the things I love about photography. Some folks might call it “copying”, “composition stomping” or lack of creativity, but the optimist in me sees it as flattery. Someone liked what you made so much they wanted to see it with their own eyes.

    While I won’t take credit for the originality of this photo (thanks Phil!), it was beautiful to hang around here for an evening.

    Willie and I both loved the way that the setting sun reflected off the hoodoos and picked up that glow. A bit of clouds caught some color just after sunset for a final treat.

    Nikon D850 w/Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8:
    26mm, f/11, 1.6 sec, ISO 100

    Available for purchase at Aaron M Photography

    The post Standing Tall Against the Incoming Monson appeared first on Aaron M Photography Blog.
  • 2022-02-24T23:38:11Z

    A Few in 6,800
    NEOWISE Comet over Fog
Silicon Valley, CANEOWISE Comet over Fog Silicon Valley, CA

    It’s said that witnessing comet NEOWISE is a once in 6,800 year event, however, what does it mean if you can see it multiple times over the course of a month? Is it still “once in a…”???? Willie and I went out on multiple occasions to photograph the comet, both when it was visible at sunrise and when it was visible at sunset.

    The comet NEOWISE was first discovered on March 27, 2020 by the WISE space telescope. It consists of 2 tails, one of which is blue and made of of gas and ions (called the “ion tail”) and the second, which is made up of dust (the “dust tail”). Apparently a third tail was observed, which is a sodium tail. The first 2 tails (ion and dust) are visible here.

    We made a few sunset attempts to see the comet but we were flustered by smoky skies from a fire a few hours south. A few friends had taken some amazing photos from Marin and we decided we would shlep up there one evening…. but I had an idea that we might be able to see it from Windy Hill Open Space Preserve in Portola Valley, so the night before our Marin outing, we set off to see if we could skip driving 2 hours north. Sure enough we were in for a treat. At sunset the fog came in and created a beautiful foreground for witnessing the comet descend. The fog also blanketed the Bay Area, reducing some of the light pollution that would have washed out the comet. Instead we got a beautiful view of the sky. I strapped on a new 105mm f/1.4 lens so I could get the most amount of light in, and we were treated to this stunner.

    This is a combination of an ~85mm foreground photo with the 105mm sky photo. Yes, this is a composite (I’m not a lier or a hider of the truth).

    Nikon D850 w/Sigma 105mm f/1.4 and Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8:
    Foreground: 80mm, f/8, 30 sec, ISO 400
    Sky: 105mm, f/1.6, 3.0 sec, ISO 3200

    Available for purchase at Aaron M Photography.com

    The post A Few in 6,800 appeared first on Aaron M Photography Blog.
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