Ka'anapali beach, Maui by Sagar Mukala

Ka'anapali coastal retreat

Ka'anapali coastal retreat

Last month, I got a chance to visit one of the islands in Hawaii, Maui. I was looking to get away from the busy bay area life for a week and relax/recharge, and Maui did precisely that. It has a very laid back environment and offered great food and wine. If you're into playing golf, some of the golf courses right by the beach are fantastic. In the picture you'll see the Hyatt Regency right by the Ka'anapali beach. You can also see corals underneath the clear ocean water in the picture too! The coast line is pretty busy with great resorts located side by side. A one mile walk on the coast towards north of the island would take you to a shopping mall right by the beach.

Mahalo,
Sagar 

Denali National Park (Part 2), Alaska by Sagar Mukala

Grizzly bear

Grizzly bear

A trip to Denali National Park is incomplete without taking the shuttle to Kantishna. I got to see wildlife up close on this ride, and I could never forget my first encounter with a grizzly bear. It was incredible. The bus driver stopped all of a sudden and made a gesture to take a peek towards the left. I rolled down my window and put my zoom lens to good use. After few minutes, the grizzly approached the bus and heard the sound of my shutter and started walking towards my side of the bus. I had to roll down my window and get back to being silent. Did you spot any grizzly bears before? If yes, let me know when and where in the comments below?

With love,

Sagar

Talkeetna, Alaska by Sagar Mukala

Talkeetna Air Taxi

Talkeetna Air Taxi

Driving north from Anchorage to Denali, I stumbled across a small town called Talkeetna. We stayed the night there, to get some amazing pizza and beer and had a great time. But the highlight of my Alaska trip was definetly flying the Talkeetna Air Taxi. Here's a click through my window using my wide angle lens. Hope you like it!

Till next time,
Sagar

Denali National Park, Alaska by Sagar Mukala

Caribou spotted on the road to Kantishna

Caribou spotted on the road to Kantishna

I took the long road to Kantishna at Denali Natinonal Park - The Kantishna Experience tour which included a 12 hour bus trip to Kantishna, but it was well worth it. The bus driver is your tour guide and I happened to see some extremely passionate guys of nature who drive these busses. My tour guide was very knowledgable and he got us to some good vantage points. I happened to spot a caribou crossing the road and put my lens to work. Hope you like it!

With love,
Sagar

The Alaskan Range by Sagar Mukala

Cloudy morning in the Alaskan Range

Cloudy morning in the Alaskan Range

The Alaskan range is best viewed from an aircraft, but it's a challenge scheduling an air taxi around here as the weather varies pretty rapidly. On this particular morning, the weather gods were kind on me and I was able to take off for an incredible experience. I got to see lots of glaciers and gigantic mountains up close. Sharing a couple of snaps from my air taxi. Hope you like it!

Snow covered peak

Snow covered peak

Till next time,
Sagar

The Elusive Milky Way! by Sagar Mukala

Milky way over San Francisco

Milky way over San Francisco

Summer time is the best time of the year to view Milky way in the Northern hemisphere. However it's impossible to spot the Galactic core (towards the right in the picture) after August. With days running out and last weekend being a new moon weekend, I decided to go on a chase for the elusive Milky way. I drove couple of hours up north to Mount Tam and was able to get a decent shot. Towards the left you can see the light pollution coming from San Francisco bay. For best results, you definitely need to be away from the city to avoid light pollution. Hope you like it!

Till next time,
Sagar

Hatcher Pass, Alaska by Sagar Mukala

Little Susitna River

Little Susitna River

The Matanushka glacier is surrounded by two mountain ranges, the Talkeetna mountain range to the north and the Chugach mountain range to the south. After exploring the Chugach mountain range during the early parts of my trip, I decided to drive towards the Talkeetna mountains. While driving on the Glenn highway, I found signs on the road that guided me to Hatcher pass. It's kind of a detour but I'm glad I took it. I managed to arrive at a spot where I could experience the force of Little Susitna river up close. Hope you like it!

Till next time,
Sagar

Glacier adventures, Alaska by Sagar Mukala

Alaska presents some really great opportunities to experience glaciers. While taking a glacier cruise seems to be a popular option, I tried some other exciting things. Hiking up Matanushka glacier was really cool. I encountered a climber on my way and put my zoom lens to good use.

Matanushka Glacier, Sutton

Matanushka Glacier, Sutton

The next adventure involved kayaking 7 miles in Aialik bay. It rained a lot and the closer you got to the glacier the colder it got. I managed to throw in my wide angle lens into the dry bag and tied it to my kayak. When the Aialik glacier made it's appearance, I didn't miss the opportunity to click. It was absolutely serene. Witnessing glacier calving up close was unreal!
 

Aialik Glacier, Kenai Fjords National Park

Aialik Glacier, Kenai Fjords National Park

After taking a glacier cruise in Whittier to Prince William Sound, I figured I shouldn't leave the place without a hike to the Portage glacier. Once again weather gods weren't too kind on me that day as it was raining heavily. It was a pretty steep 2 mile hike up the hill to get to see the glacier but was well worth the effort. Below is Portage glacier on a rainy evening!

Portage Glacier, Kenai Peninsula

Portage Glacier, Kenai Peninsula

With love,
Sagar

Denali, Alaska by Sagar Mukala

I got an opportunity to visit Alaska this week, and I really lucked out on the weather. The weather in Anchorage, Denali can vary very quickly. It can be sunny one moment, and rainy the next. If the clouds are out, there's nothing you can do about seeing the peak of Denali but to wait for days for them to clear. It rained the first couple of days I spent in Anchorage, but as soon as I drove to Denali the clouds cleared. It was as if nature opened itself for couple of days for me to capture it's beauty in full glory. It never gets dark around here in summer. To see absoulte darkness, you'll have to wait until August 17th. Here's a shot of the 4:30am rising sun over Denali Cabins. Hope you like it!

With love,

Sagar

Bowery Road, New York by Sagar Mukala

I was in New York city last weekend and I stumbled across a local gem, Bowery Road. Chef Ron Rosselli made a strong impression on my first visit. So I couldn't resist going back again. My favorite here is the Amish Beer Can Chicken, with Manhattan. Don't forget to order the Almond Joy cake for dessert. You'll definitely thank me.

Till next time,

Sagar

Disneyland, Anaheim by Sagar Mukala

In this week's edition, I present to you Disneyland. I drove down south to Orange County this weekend. If you've never been to disneyland, I highly recommend to check it out. They created a fantasy paradise down there and the best part of my visit was saved to the last, "Remember...dreams come true" fireworks show! I set up my gear couple hours before the fireworks, right behind the Partners with a great vantage point of the Partners and the Castle. They gave us a scare that fireworks might be cancelled because of high winds, but I still went ahead and waited with my gear as I'd do if they did have the fireworks on. My gamble paid off and they decided to go with it after a 10 minute delay. Hope you like 'em!

With loads of love,

Sagar

Grace Cathedral, San Francisco by Sagar Mukala


Founded in 1849 during the Gold rush, the Grace Cathedral of San Francisco is one of the holy spots in the city that gives you Parisian feel. It's an Episcopal church, meaning it's governed by the bishops. I walked in on a weekday to escape the weekend crowd, and the place was serene. I found peace when I setup my gear and fired the shot away!

With love,
Sagar

Avaya Stadium, San Jose by Sagar Mukala

If you're a soccer fan living in the Bay area, you definitely got to check out the Avaya Stadium, the home of San Jose Earthquakes. Two weeks ago, I got invited to checkout the San Jose Earthquakes playing at home to FC Dallas. I must admit, I was in awe with the facility they got there (although it's MLS, yah I know you Brit smugs won't appreciate it)! The BMW club seats are one of the best seats at the stadium. We are thankful to the person who invited us, as the experience of watching a pro soccer game that close was incredible.



Goooooo QUAKES!
Sagar

Gibson Beach, Carmel by Sagar Mukala

In this week's edition, I take you to one of the secluded beaches in California, The Gibson Beach. After a mile and a half hike from Point Lobos, you can get to the spot to enjoy the beauty of nature created just for you. I made a 4K video of this place using my drone. Be sure to check it out in 4K!

Till next time,

Sagar

Carmel-by-the-Sea, Monterey by Sagar Mukala

Located on the scenic Pacific Coast Highway 1, Carmel-by-the-Sea is a gem filled with quaint shops, restaurants & cottages. We were there to celebrate a special occassion and this place made it extra special. Everything seemed to be pulled out of a Vincent Van Gogh painting.

With love,

Sagar 

Hawk hill, Marin Headlands by Sagar Mukala


I went to Hawk hill yesterday and got real lucky. It tends to get very foggy around there, but it was clear this time. I didn't miss the chance to put my telephoto lens to test. I composed a tried and tested composition of the Golden gate bridge, with Bay bridge in the background and added a sail boat in the picture to give a perspective of the magintude of the landscape. I also ended up stitching a 14 picture panorama (below). The panorama captures Alcatraz island, Bay Bridge, the City, and Twin peaks in the background. I managed to include people towards the bottom left of the frame to provide a perspective. Try zooming your webpage while viewing to get a closer look at things in the picture. Although it was super cold and windy, the place was truly breathtaking!


With loads of love,
Sagar 

Cowell Ranch Beach, Half Moon Bay by Sagar Mukala

This week, I wanted to capture an interesting seascape located at the Martins Beach. I looked up the tide charts and went prepared to create my idea. Unfortunately, the road towards Martin's beach was blocked. I was surprised to a see a No Trespassing sign on the final road that gets you to the beach. I immediately researched about it and figured out that one of the Tech Billionares, Vinod Khosla bought the piece of land that gets you to the beach and put a no trespassing sign there. It's very strange because the Martin's beach is a publicly accessible beach, but he is blocking people from entering the beach through his property. It looks like the only way one can get to Martin's beach is to swim there from another beach. This left me with no option but to find another vantage point before the sun sets. I quickly drove to cowell ranch beach access and setup my gear to get this shot. Hope you like it. I strongly advice my fellow photographers not to break the law while creating their art. 

With love,
Sagar 

Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco by Sagar Mukala

Ghirardelli Square is a landmark public square in the Fisherman's Wharf area of San Francisco. A portion of the area was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. It rained a little before I got there, giving the place beautiful glossy shine when I captured it. Be sure to checkout the Original Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop, where you can view chocolate manufacturing equipment, indulge in Hot Fudge Sundaes and all sorts of chocolates next time you're visiting San Francisco!

Till next time,

Sagar