A Full Deck

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Abstract / California / Horizon / Impressionism / Landscape / Photo Log / Photography

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October 5, 2020 — San Francisco Bay, California

The fog deck hung fully over the bay. Nothing more to say except that this could have been taken at 900 feet — which it was — or 30,000 feet. It would’ve looked the same either way.

(Nikon D500, Tamron 100–400mm f/4.5–6.3 Di VC USD. RAW processing in DxO PhotoLab 3.3; Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

PS — I’m getting disentangled from other activities and I shall return to regular blogging and to reading blogs soon.

AQI 10

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

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October 13, 2020 — San Francisco Bay, California

The smoke had finally cleared and what was obscuring the view was not smoke but fog, which is the way it’s supposed to be. Boaters were once again out on the bay. Boats passing in the mist.

During the worst of the weeks of smoke from the Glass Fire in Napa and Sonoma counties, we were seeing AQI numbers over 300 for days in a row.

AQI stands for Air Quality Index. The scale runs from 0, which is perfect, to 500, where the air can almost be cut with a knife. 301 to 500 is classified as hazardous. Breathing is pretty much the same as smoking, except what’s in the air is even worse than tobacco smoke. Think of what was burned. That’s in the smoke. During this time, “air quality” was an oxygen moron: anyone who thought there was oxygen in the air was a moron.

Of course, if breathing the smoke was bad for us, think of those who lost everything — including in some cases, their lives.

The climate is changing. There’s no doubt about it. And with climate change comes changes in local and regional weather patterns. For us it means heat and drought.

But we still have our fog, and that is reassuring.

(Nikon D500, Tamron 100–400mm f/4.5–6.3 Di VC USD. RAW processing in DxO PhotoLab 3.3; Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

PS — I’ve been deeply enmeshed in other activities, but I shall return to regular blogging and to reading blogs soon.

Scrape – A Fresh Look

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

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Jan 18, 2019, Point Reyes National Seashore; October 5, 2020, My Office.

I’ve been absent from BlogLand™ for a while, working on a project. You might see the fruits of that after a while. Part of it is reworking some old favorites in a new way.

This is one of those old favorites, a bit closer to what it looked like in the original shot — but not at all like what I’ve been working on.

Collateral benefit, I guess you could call it.

(Nikon D850; Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6 ED VR zoom. RAW processing in DxO PhotoLab 3.3, Further editing in Photoshop CC 2020)

Realization Re-realized

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Abstract / California / Impressionism / Inspiration / Photo Log / Photography

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January 1, 2020 — Sonoma County Coast. October 1, 2020 — My Office.

Sometimes you move back to express the essence.

Sometimes you move in.

And sometimes, months later, you re-crop even tighter.

Because with all the smoke and heat here in Northern California, I wanted something cool and cleansing.

(Nikon D500, Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR zoom. RAW processing in DxO PhotoLab 3.1; Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

Rip Saw

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California / Impressionism / Photo Log / Photography / Seascapes

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August 14, 2020 — Sonoma County Coast, California

Hiding in the archives. Right out in the open, waiting to be found. Latest in the Wave Cave series. A little less tranquil than recent posts.

Fairly small crop of a 600mm shot (400mm on a 1.5 crop sensor). ISO 100, f/7.1, 1/600 sec.

(Nikon D500, Tamron 100–400mm f/4.5–6.3 Di VC USD. RAW processing in DxO PhotoLab 3.3; Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

A Dream

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Abstract / California / ICM / Impressionism / Inspiration / Landscape / Photo Log / Photography

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July 12, 2020 — Marin County Headlands, California; September 24, 2020 — My Office

…realized.

I woke up at 4 a.m. with a different treatment of an ICM image from a previous shoot in mind. I went back to sleep with a smile in my face.

A few hours later, not even halfway through my first cup of coffee, there it was. And here it is.

Despite what it says below, this was all done in DxO. Photoshop was only used for resizing and export.

(Nikon D850, Nikon 24-120mm f/4G VR. RAW processing and initial editing in DxO PhotoLab 3.3; Final editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

PS — I’m way behind in catching up with the posts of those of you I’m following. But I’ll make it.

Not What I Was Served…

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

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December 29, 2019 — Sonoma County Coast, California; September 21, 2020 — My Office

…but what I had ordered.

Mother nature didn’t see what I’d had in mind, so I had to help her. Better late than never.

Proof that Rothko made his mark on me.

(Nikon D850, Nikon 24-120mm f/4G VR. RAW processing and initial editing in DxO PhotoLab 3.3; Final editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

A Line

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

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July 25, 2020 — San Mateo County Coast, California; September 20, 2020 — My Office

Revisiting the same shot that was featured in the September 12 post. Same shot; different crop.

Looking at this while absorbing the current scene led me to make the following observation:

On either side of the line can be an infinity of nuance. But the line itself? Sharp. No ambiguity. That’s one reason why these views of the horizon bring a feeling of calm and stability.

But the real world isn’t so simple. In the real world there are no absolutes. In the real world, there is complexity. There are more than 7.8 billion people on this small planet. 7.8 billion points of complexity. But that’s just the beginning because there is infinite interaction among us.

That leads to a lot of complexity. There is no one-size-fits-all.

There are no absolutes. There are no perfect solutions. But there can be solutions that take more of the important survival points for 7.8 billion into consideration and there can be solutions that do not take as many common survival points into consideration.

As noted by the commentator in Firesign Theatre’s I Think We’re All Bozos on this Bus, “Yes, living in today’s complex world of the future is a little like having bees live in your head. But, there they are.”

If your head gets too full of bees while thinking about all of this, it can be calming to look out at the horizon to get out of your head and get some space.

(Nikon D850, Nikon 24-120mm f/4G VR. RAW processing and initial editing in DxO PhotoLab 3.3; Final editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

Breakout

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

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August 14, 2020 — Sonoma County Coast, California; September 17, 2020 — My Office

This was another “nothing” photoshoot. I was playing with Intentional Camera Motion while waiting for the sun to go down and the Belt of Venus to appear for the shot I had in mind. That shot met expectations.

The ICMs — not so much. Not on first look. Or second. Or third.

Today I wondered if there was anything there after all. Turned out there was — if I rotated one frame about 45 degrees counterclockwise and cropped to the lower right-hand corner. And dropped the exposure two and a half stops. And shifted the color balance. And selectively sharpened and blurred it a bit. Suddenly I’m in a maelstrom with Turner.

This past week has been a breakout for me creatively. This picture symbolizes it. More to come. I may even catch up on my blog reading too.

I want to direct your attention to an inspirational e-zine on ICM, appropriately called ICM Photography Magazine. This has been a bit of what’s behind the breakout, but most of the liberation has come from just changing my mind and deciding I don’t have to be so damned careful.

(Nikon D850, Nikon 24-120mm f/4G VR. RAW processing and initial editing in DxO PhotoLab 3.3; Final editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

Something > Nothing > Something

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

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December 29, 2019 — Sonoma County Coast, California; September 17, 2020 — My Office

This was a throw-away in December, January, February. The sea was too rough. It was a regular shot; not long exposure. Colors were interesting but the sea was too rough. Too bad. So sad. Resurrected today. Deconstructed. Reconstructed.

(Nikon D850, Nikon 24-120mm f/4G VR. RAW processing and initial editing in DxO PhotoLab 3.3; Final editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

Reynisfjara Blues

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

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January 26, 2020 — Reynisfjara Viewpoint, Iceland; Yesterday, My Office, California

Not exactly what was happening at the time, but what I saw in the first split instant that I saw it. It took a while to bring it into being. Split instants are like that.

(Nikon D850, Nikon 24-120mm f/4G VR. RAW processing and initial editing in DxO PhotoLab 3.3; Final editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

Fog Below, Smoke Above

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California / Horizon / Landscapes / Photo Log / Photography

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September 9, 2020 — Oakland/Berkeley Hills, California

If you’re an Instagram user, check out my September 9 posts. @amagaphoto

If you’re not, go to Instagram.com/amagaphoto.

This morning at 8:40 a.m. the sky was a dim red-orange. Sunlight was filtered by fire smoke from a 350,000 acre group of fires in Mendocino county, more than 100 miles to the north. The red-orange light was then diffused through thick fog. Apocalyptic. It was so dark that we had lights on in the house all day.

I wondered what it looked like at the top of the hill. Would it still be immersed in fog or would the road rise above it and look down on the fog deck?

A few miles to the south, it was the latter.

I stood by the side of the road, mask on not just for Covid, but to prevent breathing fallout particles 1–2 mm in diameter. White specks were all over my camera. And me. Many clicks occurred. But for an occasional car driving by, it was dead silent.

I said to a guy standing next to me, “This would be beautiful if it were not so ugly because of the conditions responsible for it.” He agreed.

Another guy, an off-duty fire fighter, said, “So this is the future.”

But I went to photograph it, and that’s what I did. With profoundly mixed emotions.

(Nikon D850, Nikon 24-120mm f/4G VR. RAW processing and initial editing in DxO PhotoLab 3.3; Final editing in Adobe Photoshop.)