Light Path

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

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July 13, 2018. San Gregorio Bluffs, San Mateo County, California.

The bluffs over San Gregorio Beach are a favorite spot for me. They provide a high enough vantage point for me to see far out to sea with an oblique perspective for light play on the surface, and they get me far enough above the water to prevent having too much detail on the water. Sometimes detail is a distraction.

I’ve long been drawn to horizons. Horizontal lines tend to be soothing; vertical lines are jarring. I go for soothing. The horizon, reassuringly lateral and far away helps create a feeling of stability and space. And it’s good to have a feeling of stability and space. Especially in today’s world.

And especially when it’s a dark and moody early evening.

(Canon G7X II. RAW processing in DxO PhotoLab 2.3; Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

The Author

California based fine-art photographer featuring abstract, impressionist, and minimalist seascapes — near and distant — and floral-based images. Fine-art photography can be seen at All original images on this blog are copyright 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 Michael Scandling. All rights reserved. No images on this site may be copied, duplicated, reused, published, or re-purposed in any way without express permission from the copyright owner, Michael Scandling.


  1. I’m all for some light shining into the darkness.

    I’d never thought about your assertion that “Horizontal lines tend to be soothing; vertical lines are jarring.” It’s true (at least on a planet, as opposed to outer space) that gravity causes liquids to settle into a mass with a horizontal (actually very slightly curved) surface. Vertical lines could conjure up the path of something falling, and therefore not being stable.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I especially like the diagonal line created by the three patches of light on the water. It’s an element that adds interest to the strongly horizontal feel of the image.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. So much better this way [layout].
    Floating over this rippled dark sea, letting the currents take me toward the light or the darker horizon. This is such a breath of tranquility with a taste of unease. Thank you, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Really beautiful, Michael. I’m glad shoreacres mentioned three patches. I could only see two until I looked at the blow-up. Love the so-subtle color differences in this and others of your photographs. You certainly know what you’re doing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I like the mystery in this. The spots of light seem to be coming from unseen spotlights. I cannot remember the show or personality, but this reminds me of a program’s introduction where the host walked through darkness revealing himself just in the few spotlights as he progressed toward the viewer. I wonder if we will be in the next spotlight. I like how the three lights get brighter as they approach. This is such a pleasing image, Mike.

    Liked by 1 person

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