December 9, 2020 — Pacific Grove, California
I’m slowly emerging from my cave…
A few days ago, the Muse and I headed south on a journey in search of Monarch butterflies and the manifestation of a high surf advisory — and for an Ambrosia Burger and glass of Santa Lucia pinot noir on the deck of Nepenthe 30 miles further down the Big Sur coast. We got there just a few days before sitting on the deck at Nepenthe would be curtailed for at least four weeks. Lucky us. But first:
No monarchs were to be found, which saddened us as photographers but even more as citizens of this planet. The rapidly dwindling Monarch population is an indicator, not unlike a canary in a coal mine, of worsening ecological conditions that are coming about as a result of climate change. Our neighborhood is planting milkweed to try to help the population regrow. If milkweed will grow in your area, please join us. Plant it where pets and small children can’t come in contact with it — it’s toxic — but please plant it.
The high surf advisory was accurate, however, and it afforded us a satisfying — I might even say thrilling at times — opportunity to capture some majestic waves. The trick is to find a low vantage point to emphasize the height of the waves without putting oneself in a position of becoming consumed by the wave, which puts a damper on the expedition and sort of defeats the whole purpose.
This is doubly important because it’s hard to enjoy an Ambrosia Burger on the deck of the Nepenthe when you have become part of the view.
P.S. The DeepPRIME noise reduction on DxO PhotoLab 4 has to be seen to be believed. This was shot at ISO 100, so didn’t need noise reduction — but when it is needed, it does wonders on shots even as high as ISO 25,600. No kidding.
(Nikon D500, Tamron 100–400mm f/4.5–6.3 Di VC USD. RAW processing in DxO PhotoLab 4.1; Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)