Pigeon Point Lighthouse, Pescadero CA“Sentinel, an old friend. One of many shots I’ve taken of the Pigeon Point Lighthouse.”I was foiled again by weather as I scouted sights for sunset and astro photography sites. On this evening, the crescent moon would be set and the Milky Way galaxy would be lined up nicely behind the Pigeon Point lighthouse. Clouds and fog again made me choose a Plan B. The good news was that the tide was going out and that made for some good shots at Bean Hollow. (Note the GIF I shared a couple of days ago.) And then there’s the lighthouse. A subject I have captured many times, and never disappoints. In this case, the late afternoon was somewhat bland in color, but the shore on the north end was exposed and made a nice foreground. A long exposure gave the water and the clouds a soft creamy feel. And finally, I experimented with HDR in editing the final image. Makes me happy to create an image that makes my old friend look so good.
Fort Baker, Sausalito CAGolden Gate Bridge, fog and full moon 2. Moon setting at 4amAnother shot of the full moon above the Golden Gate Bridge. Here is where patience pays off. And the foggy patches came and wentI was able to - almost - capture the full moon through the mist. Adding to the challenge, the long exposure times. Though the moons definition is not clear, the shape is defined and bright. Truly a story of photographic lemons into lemonade.
Pescadero State Beach, Pescadero CACalifornia Brown Pelican in flight (BNW). Following the flock Another day for Plan B. I went to the coast to get some seascape/sunset shots. Clouds and fog made me rethink my plans. I stopped at Pescadero State Beach and waited. Just across the highway to the east, the marsh/wetlands of Butano Creek and west, of course, the shoreline of the Pacific Ocean. Flocks of pelicans were in the water of the tidal marsh. And as if they were taking shifts, some would fly in from the ocean and land, and the next shift would take off for the ocean. Plan B: change from landscape photography to wildlife photography. Here are a couple of images. One black and white, one in color. Which do you like best?
Linda Mar State Beach, Pacifica CALast rides of the day. Surfing at Linda Mar BeachCaptured this past winter, just as some of the covid restrictions were lifted. Even as the storm clouds thickened on the horizon, intrepid surfers returned to a favorite spot on the coast. Linda Mar Beach is a popular destination for surfers from nearby San Francisco as well as locals as they enjoy a quick ride during their day, or make a day of catching waves. And not a drop of light is taken for granted as they wait in the gray dusky light as a storm approaches. The light at sunset on this day was not as dramatic as I would want. So I switched this capture to black and white, and what do you know? The drama showed up.
Golden Gate Overlook, San Francisco CAPelicans at the Golden Gate at the Golden Hour. View from the Golden Gate Overlook.At sunset, the light is called the Golden Hour. At the Golden Gate, the Golden Hour is amazing. Here in this image from last year, the mist from the fog and the light give the Marin Headlands a magical glow. And at this time of day, the pelicans are flying. Wave after wave of pelicans in formation fly by. This image is from the Overlook on the south end of the bridge and just west.
Montara State Beach, Montara CAEnjoying the view. Sunset on the California coastHere’s another throwback image from 2019. Montara State Beach is a simple stretch of coastline north of Half Moon Bay. From the north parking area, you walk through a thick patch of low brush, wildflowers, iceplant, agapanthus and more. Stay still and you might see a small brush rabbit or two foraging for sweet greens. As you approach the sandstone cliff, look up and down the beach strand of about a quarter of a mile. To the north, the cliffs of Devil's slide, to the south rocks form a small bay where you will find surfers catching rides. And on an afternoon such as this, looking off into the horizon, the Pacific Ocean and perhaps the clouds of a passing storm make for a fantastic backdrop on a wonderful sunset. It may seem a simple beach, but look closer and enjoy the view.
Pescadero State Beach, Pescadero CA If you feel small and insignificant next to the power of the Pacific Ocean, take a look at these daredevils. I’ve often seen pelicans flying right across the top of breaking waves. Maybe a test of courage like their cousin Jonathan Livingston Seagull. I’m always inspired when I'm on the coast. This image really lent itself to black and white. Angry waves on a grey and overcast winter day. The stark contrast of the birds silhouettes before the white spray of the wave. I really like the way the waves definition is caught some of the water in motion and others suspended and sharp.
Sunset behind Golden Gate Bridge. Sun over Fort Point.Battery East, San Francisco CAGolden hour at the Golden Gate Bridge. What could be better? How about an image of the setting sun's rays above Fort Point. Getting that sunburst through the structure of the Golden Gate Bridge needed no special equipment, no special lens or filter. It is created by reducing the aperture of the lens to its smallest opening.That single archway structure saved the fort from demolition. At the time of construction Fort Point was a long closed military fortress built to protect the entry to the bay. As the bridge was being designed, the original plan was to demolish the fort, but Joseph Strauss, the bridges chief engineer, redesigned the southern portion of the bridge to preserve the fort for history. And it gives me a great subject for my photography.
Natural Sundial. Dandelion in the sidewalk.San Bruno Caltrain Station, San Bruno CAI know it's been a while since I posted on my Instagram and photography blog. What with the new job and catching up with my financial situation I'm now breathing a little easier. I seem to be able to look around a little bit better now and see even the simplest things as beautiful in my environment. Case in point this little dandelion through the cracks In the sidewalk, at the San Bruno caltrain station. It's flower stem seemingly a natural sundial. Since I was on my way to work and didn't have my camera, I used my phone to capture this image.
Birdhouse and a bed of daffodils. Scene from Filoli in Spring.Filoli, Woodside CAAnother scene from Filoli. This part of the garden devoted to a natural daffodil bed, fruit trees are just starting to blossom, and olive trees in the background. All highlighting the rustic birdhouse hanging from the leaf-dormant tree.
Surfer at sunset. Last ride inLinda Mar State Beach, Pacifica CAMy first outing with my camera after getting it back from repair. Sunset at Linda Mar beach, a very popular surfers beach. I just sat at the back of the beach and kept scanning from left to right, watching for action or capturing the sunset. This light was magic. It felt great to get out and play photographer.
Female Red-winged blackbird. Resting in the reeds in California’s central valley.Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area. El Macero CAThe males were just too fast for me to capture. This young female red-winged blackbird slowed just enough for me to capture her. Quite a difference in feathers, but typical in nature, the males are the glamorous ones. Still on my bucket list the elusive (to me, at least) the male red-winged blackbird.
Busy Bumble Bee. Springtime has these guys workin’ it among the flowers on the coast.Dunes Beach, Half Moon Bay CAAround this time all of nature is workin’ it! The wildflowers, the sun, the rain, the birds and the bees. Walking along the trail at Dunes Beach, all I had to do was look down every couple of feet to find the bumble bees in action.