Glacier Point-Yosemite National Park

The more time you spend in Yosemite, the more you think it's an artificial world. An enormous movies set with perfect views around every corner. Send a chimp into Yosemite with a camera, and he'll come out with cool pictures. On this last visit, we spent the better part of a day hiking up to Glacier Point. And my only regret is that we didn't camp up there. It would have been all ours. This time of year the road is closed, so the only way up is to hike. Which cuts out the majority of tourists. Next time I guess? Either way, it was an awesome hike. All of the images below were made on the fly. Just snapping while Emily was hiking. Nothing staged. I got some cool stuff, but looking through them makes me want to go back and actually set up a few shots. Maybe even with some strobes. Although the light in Yosemite is pretty hard to beat. See for yourself....

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Rob Hammer




Niagra Falls

On New Years Day, I was driving through upstate New York on my way back to San Diego. And found myself close enough to Niagra Falls that I shouldn't pass it up. Why not? Had never been there before, and figured it was a good time to cross it off the list? My expectations weren't that high, as I sort of expected it just to be a tourist trap. And it was definitely that, but it also couldn't have been more impressive. I had heard that the place to see it is from the Canada side, which I did. The power was amazing. As you walk in, you're eye level with the huge river of water that takes the turn into the falls. Then you keep walking, and you're right at the end of the falls where everything drops. And it's almost impossible to wrap your head around how big it is and how much water is flowing over the falls as any given moment. A very cool thing to see.  If you ever find yourself in that area, put in the extra effort to stop in. Depending on the time and day of the week, crossing the border is not bad at all. Well worth it. 

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Rob Hammer


Hoops

Back in my hometown now, after a cross-country road trip. Photographically it wasn't the most productive. I got some cool stuff, but not as much as I was hoping for. The main focus was BASKETBALL HOOPS, which is something I've been shooting all over the country for the past year and a half. It's a lot of fun and brings me to some amazing small towns that are completely off the grid. The longer I do it, the harder it gets to find unique hoops. That all part of the treasure hunt though. 

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Rob Hammer

Dubrovnik, Croatia

I'm not going to say Dubrovnik is the best place I've ever been, but it's pretty damn solid. A lot of you nerds might recognize it as a filming location for Game of Thrones. I've personally never watched it, nor do I see that happening anytime in the near future. Anyway, Dubrovnik. Loved it. Out of all the towns we visited in Europe last month, this has to be at least tied with the tops. Had we been there a few months earlier, it probably would have been crawling with tourists?  So mid October was a great choice. Our apartment was actually inside the walls of "Old Town", which made the experience that much better. Old Town was built some time in the 15th century, which you can probably tell from the pictures. It's an extremely unique town. Plenty to do, or not. Walking on top of the walls gives you a great view. And exploring the many alleys gives you a more intimate feel for how the city operates. There are no cars allowed inside the walls, so all the residents and business owners have to hump everything in. That includes any kind of construction materials or food supplies for restaurants. Speaking of, the meals were fantastic. Being on the Adriatic, you expect the seafood to be good. Well it was better then good. Never in my life have I eaten a better piece of swordfish. Don't think I even had to chew it.There really isn't much not to like about Dubrovnik. Very authentic, which is all you can ask for. 

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Rob Hammer

Venice, Italy

When a local in Rovinj, Croatia told us we were only a 2.5 hour car ride from Venice, we had no choice but to go. You just don't turn down that opportunity. So we woke up early one morning and did it. Crossing the border couldn't be easier. And from Rovinj, you actually go through the country of Slovenia as well. Which in all honesty, I didn't even know existed. Anyway, if you stay off the highway, the drive takes you right through Italian wine country. So yeah, you'll never forget the ride. The kind of country where you see old houses completely covered in vines. Postcard kind of thing. Then you park and take a boat out to Venice, and have no choice but be impressed. The city is made up of 118 islands, that are seperated by canals, and linked by bridges. Just thinking about how the place was built, blows my mind. Seeing all this beauty comes at a price though. And that's dealing with boat loads of tourists, literally. There were 5 cruise ships in the Venice harbor when we pulled in. 5 cruise ships! That many idiots packed into one place sorta takes away from all the romance that is Venice. Deal with it for a few hours though, they all get back on the boat, and Venice becomes a different city. Much more intimate. There are so many layers, that keep un-peeling the more you explore. And in my opinion, everything gets better the farther you get away from the Grand Canal. Which in itself is undeniably impressive, but there is so much more to offer elsewhere. I probably don't need to bother saying that you'll find tons of good food and wine in Venice? My only regret is not having more time here. Guess we'll just have to go back. 

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Rob Hammer