March, 2010

Mar 10

What Sharp Teeth You Have!

Photograph of a sea otter eating a clam at Moss Landing, CaliforniaAnother shot of a sea otter eating. I watched this otter repeatedly dive and bring up clams. It ate 16 clams as I watched. The sea bed was littered with hundreds of shells in the same area, all, I think, from this same otter.

Mar 10

Sea Otter Enjoys Lunch

Photograph of a sea otter eating a clam at Moss Landing, CaliforniaOne of the local sea otters that live in and around the Moss Landing Harbor on the central California coast. This one is enjoying a breakfast of what appears to be a clam or mussel. There are usually several otters around the harbor most days and sometimes rafts of 20 or more are common. This particular otter is often found by the walkway near the Sea Harvest Restaurant.

Mar 10

Daffodils in Winter

Photograph of a field of daffodils near Castroville, CaliforniaA row of Daffodils retreats into the distance. Five exposures blended together to create a High Dynamic Range image. Taken on Blackie Road above Castroville in North Monterey County, California.

Mar 10

Strawberry Fields Forever

Photograph of farm land near Castroville, CaliforniaThese rows leading off into the distance will be planted in Strawberries this Spring. The yellow mustard in the distance and the dramatic clouds caught my attention. Beyond the mustard, the hill drops away to the Pacific beyond Castroville.

Mar 10

Winter Country Road

Photograph of bare trees and dirt road near Castroville, CaliforniaThis is the original of the black and white and cropped image from my previous post, a side road leading into a farm near Castroville, California. The previous crop excluded the concrete block and made the trees the focus, rather than the road.

Mar 10

Winter Clouds in Castroville

Black and white photograph of trees, shadows and a country road near Castroville, CaliforniaPhotographers love unsettled weather. In Central Coast California, that is usually December through March when storms blow in from the Gulf of Alaska. Impending or clearing storms bring dramatic skies. I was driving along Blackie Road towards Castroville when I saw this side road leading up towards a farm. The bare trees and long shadows caught my attention. The scene was colorful with bright yellow mustard off to the right and shades of gray and purple in the clouds, but I was sure that black and white was the best choice. Converted to black and white with Nik Silver Efex Pro.

Mar 10

Tulips in a Window

Photograph of red tulips on a black backgroundThis is another experiment in lighting. The tulips were lighted by  light shining through a window. I held a diffuser panel between the window and the tulips to soften the light. The black background was a piece of black foam taped to the window. 1/2 second exposure at f / 5.6.

Mar 10

Pink Carnations

Photograph of 3 carnationsIt is a general principle of composition that three is a pleasing number. This image has either two or three or four elements. There are two carnations, but the bud leading off to the right adds a third element. The lower bud isn’t apparent at first glance.

This image was an exercise in lighting. I placed the carnations in a plastic storage tub turned on its side with a piece of black foam at the back. I used two shop lights placed to the left and right as the light source. The light was diffused by shining through the opaque plastic sides of the tub. Diffusing the light softened the harshness of the shop lights. F/5.6 at 55 mm, 1/6th second.

Mar 10

McWay Falls at Waterfall Cove

Photograph of McWay Falls on Big Sur CoastI have driven Highway 1 through Big Sur for many years but had never found McWay Falls. I was aware that the falls were somewhere near Julia Pffeifer Burns State Park but, somehow, never made the connection until an afternoon in late February. I was astonished by the setting. The conditions were challenging for this photo, harsh midday light, but I shot 5 exposures a stop apart and blended them together to bring out he detail in the shadows.

McWay Falls: highly recommended!

Mar 10

Another View of Bixby Creek Bridge

Photograph of Bixby Creek Bridge on California Big Sur CoastThe Bixby Creek ridge is 280 feet high and the main span measures 320 feet. This shot  was taken a short walk up the Old Coast road which rejoins Highway 1 at the bridge. Before the bridge was finished in 1932, travel to Big Sur from Monterey was an arduous journey over rough roads and many ridges and valleys. I’m grateful that it is so much easier today.