Dear Mother Nature,

comments 19
California / Impressionism / Photo Log / Photography / Seascapes


I want to propose something. Here’s the background:

Last week, as I was driving home from an appointment, I crested the pass above Fremont and got a view across the bay and beyond the Santa Cruz Mountains toward the west. It looked promising for some dramatic horizon seascapes. Because I always have my pocket camera with me, I drove straight to the coast. My expectations mounted during the nearly an hour-and-a-half drive, but when I arrived, I was disappointed.

I wanted drama. You gave me monotone.

Now, we both know that I often work in subtle monotone, but on this particular occasion I didn’t want you to be a subtle seductress. I wanted you to be a drama queen. That’s what I expect in December.

So here’s my proposal: Later this month I’ll be on the coast for a while. If you give me the drama I seek, I’ll chill on my efforts to outdo you with post-processing drama.


(Canon G5X II. RAW processing in DxO PhotoLab 3.1; Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

(Tech note: No filters were used here; only local adjustments in tone, contrast, microcontrast, and vibrancy.)

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Happy Hunting Harrier Sequel: 6 Departure and Epilogue

comments 24
California / Nature / Photo Log / Photography / Wildlife


She flew off to try her luck further down the levee. We tracked her as far as we could see — far out of camera range — till she dove behind the next levee and disappeared.

For a few minutes.

Then she took off from the far side, rose over high the levee, kited, and dropped like a stone. A moment later she rose again, this time with her prey.

That was her Thanksgiving dinner.

And we went home to prepare ours.

(Nikon D500, Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR zoom. RAW processing in DxO PhotoLab 3.0; Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

Happy Hunting Harrier Sequel: 1 Approach

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California / Photo Log / Photography / Wildlife


November 28, 2019 — Baylands, Sunnyvale, California

On Thanksgiving morning — a year ago — she and I took a walk on the levees to see what we could see. I had The Beast (Nikon D500 with 200-500mm lens — all eight pounds of it) in case we saw birds. And we did. I posted it on my brand new blog.

The past Thanksgiving we took the same walk with the same camera. And again, there was a northern harrier looking for a meal. Over the next few days, you’ll see what we saw.

(Nikon D500, Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR zoom. RAW processing in DxO PhotoLab 3.0; Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

The Solitary Search, With an Object Lesson

comments 19
California / Photo Log / Photography / Seascapes


November 27, 2019 — San Mateo County Coast

It was a dark and stormy day; the rain fell in torrents — except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the bluffs (for it is on the San Mateo County coast that our scene lies), attempting to remove his hat, but barely agitating the stubborn photographer who hand-held against all odds…

Days later, through one of the obscurest quarters of his archive drive, and among outtakes little loved in the first cut, the photographer, evidently scraping the bottom, was wending his solitary way.

He stopped twice or thrice at different RAW files of a description correspondent with the appearance of the image he sought, and tended inquiry for some photo or another which did not seem easily to be met with. All the answers he received were couched in the negative; and as he turned from each frame he muttered to himself, in no very elegant phraseology, his disappointment and discontent.

When all seemed lost and the final oath was spat from his lips, he came across an artifact that had been overlooked, assumed meager, but on fourth look became a prize.

With patient development he brought forth the view you see here, not presented as a painting — as with an earlier image — but still with drama suiting the moment of acquisition, it is humbly offered, a testament that treasures can be buried deep.

Yr. obt. svt.,


(Nikon D850, Tamron SP 24–70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2. RAW processing in DxO PhotoLab 3.0; Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

Curtain Call

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California / Impressionism / Inspiration / Photo Log / Photography


November 27, 2019 — San Mateo County Coast

The storm was on its way out, heading east to make headlines. This was its last hurrah; clear sky was visible through the last squall.

I’ve mentioned that many (most?) of my influences worked in paint, not pixels. Chief among them is JMW Turner. To me, his later work changed the world of art definitively — to me, he is the father of Impressionism.

Toward the end of August, my wife and I wandered the Turner galleries at the Tate in London. It was like swimming in Turner. I basked. I marveled. I studied from across the room and from inches away. I came out drenched.

A few days later, we were in St. Paul’s Cathedral. As I stood among the tombs, I thought that Turner must be buried nearby. I looked down in deep thought, and what did I see beneath my feet? JMW Turner.

This image unabashedly shows some of Turner’s influence. I used a post-processing technique I developed several years ago, but haven’t used so explicitly for quite a while. It just seemed right for this image.

(Nikon D850, Tamron SP 24–70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2. RAW processing in DxO PhotoLab 3.0; Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

Thankful Thursday

comments 26
California / Impressionism / Inspiration / Monochrome / Photo Log / Photography / Seascapes


May 8, 2015. Devil’s Slide, near Pacifica, California / November 27, 2019. Silicon Valley. Devil’s Slide revisited. Again. I sat at the computer today, looking forward by looking back. The image whispered, “noir” and I went under its spell. I’d have been a fool not to.

A strange image for Thanksgiving, but it it’s from a favorite shoot — for which I am thankful.

And I am thankful to all who visit, follow, read, view, and comment.

Happy Thanksgiving.

(Nikon D750; Nikon 28-300 f/3.5-5.6G Zoom. RAW processing in DxO Pro; Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

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