Let Nature Have Her Way

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California / Monochrome / Photo Log / Photography / Seascapes

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March 19, 2021, Sonoma County Coast

It is often my wont to have my way with nature. One of my favorite statements has been that what comes out of the camera is fodder for what happens later in the quiet of my office days, weeks, or years later.

But not always.

Sometimes it’s best to just stand aside and let Nature say it all.

Whoopie!

(Nikon D500, Tamron 100–400mm f/4.5–6.3 Di VC USD. RAW processing in DxO PhotoLab 4.2; Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

Tight Rope

comments 24
Abstract / California / ICM / Impressionism / Inspiration / Photo Log / Photography / Seascapes

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March 15, 2021 — Sonoma County Coast, California

While the house was in the hands of the realtor being prepped for sale, we took off for the coast for a few days. Early one afternoon, clouds cast shadows on the sea. Perfect for intentional camera motion. That shot — one of many, because ICM is a numbers game — formed the basis for the completed picture, which doesn’t look anything at all like what was actually out there. But is does look exactly the way it looks here.

There’s a delicate balance in abstract minimalism. Too much information and it’s close to representative and not very interesting to engage with. Too little and there’s nothing to engage with at all. That’s the balancing act.

(Nikon D850, Nikon AF-S 24-120mm f/4G VR. RAW processing and initial editing in DxO PhotoLab 4.2; Final editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

One Last Time

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California / Hummingbirds / Photo Log / Photography / Wildlife

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April 20, 2021, Silicon Valley

As of yesterday, our home for 24 years is now in the hands of its new owners. We spent the previous afternoon sitting on the back deck one last time, eating falafels and reminiscing. Emotions were felt. Many.

I brought a camera in hopes of getting one last shot at a hummingbird feasting on echium. It’s in full bloom, so it’s prime time. And sure enough.

But before that, the Muse looked up and said, “Bobcat.” And there she was. Roberta was behind a rosemary bush, moseying down a path and up to the open gate of the deck rail. She saw me, gave me a look, and opted not to come in. But I did get one last portrait of her before she sauntered away.

The new owners are very lucky to have such a beautiful natural paradise in their back yard. I hope they enjoy it as much as we did.

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(Nikon D500, Tamron 100–400mm f/4.5–6.3 Di VC USD. RAW processing in DxO PhotoLab 4.2; Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

Pause

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California / Horizon / Impressionism / Inspiration / Photography / Seascapes

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July 13, 2018 — San Mateo County Coast

I was asked to show the original shot from yesterday’s post. I thought I’d be able to update the post with a link to the original — but as it turns out there isn’t an original.

So here, for the fist time, is my 2018 treatment of this shot.

Discuss.

(Canon G7X. RAW processing in DxO PhotoLab 2.0; Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

Forward — Into the Past!

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California / Horizon / Impressionism / Inspiration / Photo Log / Photography / Seascapes

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July 13, 2018 — San Mateo County Coast; February 24, 2021 — My Office

In exploring the essence of the essence, I reimagined a few old favorites. This was shot in the late afternoon/early evening as sunrays found their way through low clouds/high fog on the coast. The subject, really, is contrast, texture, and glow. The philosophy is adding by taking away. What isn’t the picture? Remove it or reduce it. Distill.

(Canon G7X. RAW processing redone in DxO PhotoLab 4.3; Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

Where Have you Been, My Blue-Eyed Son?

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California / Horizon / ICM / Impressionism / Inspiration / Photo Log / Photography / Seascapes

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March 22, 2021 — Sonoma County Coast.

I’ve shot and I’ve processed a hundred new pictures

I’ve formed and I’ve weathered scores of opinions

I’ve kept and I’ve scrapped a thousand examples

I’ve spent time away in the course of my journeys

I’ve reflected so much and concluded the essence

And it’s a soft, it’s a soft, it’s a soft, and it’s a soft

It’s a soft rain of pictures gonna fall

 

Yes, I have been away. In the process I’ve moved from Silicon Valley to Berkeley…

I’ve packed and I’ve unpacked too many boxes…

And that has taken time too.

Now it’s time to catch up. We did travel the Sonoma coast in the midst of all this. Here’s something captured somewhere between camera and imagination.

Stay tuned…

(Nikon D850, Tamron SP 24–70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2. RAW processing in DxO PhotoLab 4.3; Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

Crystal Silence

comments 25
Abstract / California / Horizon / ICM / Impressionism / Inspiration / Photo Log / Photography / Positivity / Seascapes

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July 9, 2020 — San Mateo County, California. Feb 12, 2021 My Office.

On February 9, we lost Chick Corea. A phenomenal composer, pianist, arranger, and producer. A mentor. A marvelous human being.

Here’s an excerpt from his farewell message:

“It is my hope that those who have an inkling to play, write, perform or otherwise, do so. If not for yourself then for the rest of us. It’s not only that the world needs more artists, it’s also just a lot of fun.”

This is also for my friend, Diane, who departed on the same day. I’m sure she agreed with every word.

(Canon G5X II. RAW processing in DxO PhotoLab 4.1; Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

I’m Lookin’ at YOU, Flightless Biped!

comments 37
California / Photo Log / Photography / Point Reyes / Wildlife

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January 20, 2021 — Point Reyes National Seashore, California

It’s been a minute — maybe several — since I’ve posted wildlife. I’ve been concentrating on abstract and impressionistic seascapes. But that doesn’t mean I don’t love to shoot wildlife — photographically.

A couple weeks ago, The Muse and I went out to the Tomales Point trail for a long hike in celebration of significant click on my personal chronometer. It was a sunny day. Mild breeze. We brought cameras — we always bring cameras — but we expected the outing to be mostly exercise.

Then came the birds. (Not those birds. Those birds were a few miles north in Bodega Bay and more than a few years ago.) No, these birds were raptors. Up to ten at a time. Red-tailed hawks, kites, and falcons. Among them was this grand red-tailed hunter. We stopped and photographed them for more than two hours, only a mile or so from the trailhead. That’s as far as we got.

This one patrolled south to north along the ridge, went as far north as the Windy Gap and circled around to the south to repeat the pattern. One pattern every 20 minutes. On the fourth pass he kited directly over us for several minutes. We wondered if we were being considered for the lunch menu, but we were only one thing he looked at as he scrutinized the ground below. At one point we locked eyes.

And for that minute it was like High Noon. But I was beneath him. He was clearly superior.

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(Nikon D500, Tamron 100–400mm f/4.5–6.3 Di VC USD. RAW processing in DxO PhotoLab 4.1; Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

The Essence of the Essence

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Abstract / Impressionism / Inspiration / Photo Log / Photography / Seascapes

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July 10, 2010. San Gregorio Bluffs, San Mateo County, California. January 28, 2021, My Office

Here’s what I said in my August 3, 2020 post of the mother of today’s picture:

This is an impossibly small crop of a much larger frame — a starting point for an imaginary stroll on walkable water.

I was going to post this last night, but it wasn’t ready. This is a picture where every nuance counts. An adjustment of just one click plus or minus in vibrancy or color balance or layer blending made a visible difference. Everything balances on the head of a pin. Had to sleep on it. Glad I did. A few changes in the morning finally resulted in a smile for both me and the Muse.

Every word of the above is just as true in today’s image. This is the same shot, same crop, same everything except the final post processing in photoshop.

The evolution is due to a thought came to me the other day — almost a commandment:

Find the essence of your image or statement. Then find the essence of that.

When I had that thought, my mind immediately went to this image. I followed the first part of the commandment on August 3 when I made the small crop. Now here’s the rest of it. The path disappears, but the destination is writ large.

This does not diminish the original, which stands on its own. But for me, this finishes this picture’s journey. The destination is writ large.

(Canon G5X II. RAW processing and initial editing in DxO PhotoLab 3.3; Final editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

Relic: Revived

comments 18
California / Horizon / Impressionism / Inspiration / Photo Log / Photography / Point Reyes / Seascapes

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December 8, 2014 — Point Reyes National Seashore, California

I came across this while verifying my archives a few weeks ago. I marked it to remind me to come back to it and come back to it I did. The original shot was fodder for what you see here: not what the camera saw, but what I saw.

I was quite happy with it when I worked on it last night — but this morning I decided it needed a bit more finessing. Moral: sleep on it.

It got a good reaction on Instagram — @amagaphoto if you’re interested — and now we’ll see what you think.

(Canon 7D, Sigma 18-200 f/3.5-6.3 zoom. RAW processing in DxO PhotoLab 4.1; Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

In the Mist

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Abstract / California / Horizon / ICM / Impressionism / Inspiration / Photo Log / Photography / Seascapes

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Hard to believe this was shot in the same place and in the same hour as the one in the last post. But it was. Despite the stormy day, this shot is tranquil.

ICM does strange things — especially in a misty environment. The 25-foot waves were there. There are even some in this shot, but the mist and the intentional camera motion obscures them.

(Nikon D850, Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR zoom. RAW processing in DxO PhotoLab 4.1; Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

Theater

comments 14
California / Impressionism / Monochrome / Photo Log / Photography / Seascapes

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January 10, 2021 — San Francisco, California

Hard to believe this was shot in the city of San Francisco and not in the cold, cold North.

Also hard to believe I overlooked this on my first pass through the shots. (Well, not that hard to believe. There were almost 2,000 shots.) On the second pass though, it jumped out at me.

And I thought, “I’m looking at a theater.”

This is a hand-held long exposure shot. That’s why it looks more like a painting. All the streaking is very much intentional. Very little post-processing on this other than to emphasize or deemphasize some tones a little bit here and there. What you see is pretty much what I got. Yes, it’s a color picture.

This is for Gary Zweig.

(Nikon D850, Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR zoom. RAW processing in DxO PhotoLab 4.1; Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

Calm in Chaos

comments 22
Abstract / California / Horizon / ICM / Impressionism / Photo Log / Photography / Seascapes

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January 10, 2021 — San Francisco, California

More big surf at Ocean Beach. Weather Service said 20 to 25 feet and they were right.

I shot 1,946 frames with an eight-pound camera/lens in a little less than three hours. Good upper-body exercise. Some of those shots used fast shutter speed and some slow. Some with camera held steady and some with intentional camera motion. Interesting phenomenon: Some ICM shots of heavy insane surf end up looking very calm. That could possibly become the basis of a philosophy if one needed some intellectual exercise.

(Nikon D850, Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR zoom. RAW processing in DxO PhotoLab 4.1; Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

Avalanche

comments 44
California / Photo Log / Photography / Seascapes

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January 2, 2021 — San Francisco, California

I went to Ocean Beach in San Francisco to shoot waves in dense fog for abstract or impressionist pictures. I did get shots for some of those. But the fog cleared for maybe thirty seconds and I caught this handsome specimen as well.

I rarely discuss social issues here. This is a photography blog. I will simply say that now more than ever I hope, wish, pray for sanity for this nation and the world in the coming year.

(Nikon D500, Tamron 100–400mm f/4.5–6.3 Di VC USD. RAW processing in DxO PhotoLab 4.1; Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)