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Weston Beach, Point Lobos

Posted by
Don Smith (California, United States) on 1 September 2009 in Landscape & Rural.


Arches/Canyonlands Photo Workshop November 4-8, 2009 (2 spots available)
Spring Big Sur Photo Workshop - March 29 - April 1, 2010 (9 spots available)
Northern Arizona: Grand Canyon, Upper Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, and Sedona Photo Workshop - May 3-7, 2010 (space available)
Redwoods and Mendocino Coast Photo Workshop - June 15-18, 2010 (space available)
Kauai, Hawaii Photo Workshop - July 12-16, 2010 (8 spots available)
Big Sur Photo Workshop Summer August, 2010 (Exciting details TBA soon)!

Simply put, fog is nature's soft box, providing even, soft lighting, and allowing for minute details and rich colors to be brought forth in a scene. Perhaps nowhere better on the Monterey Peninsula does this type of light serve a photographer than at the Point Lobos State Reserve south of Carmel, California.

On my recently completed Summer Big Sur workshop, I took my participants to the ever-popular Weston Beach (called Pebbly Beach by the locals and where the ashes of famed Carmel photographer, Ed Weston were scattered) where a miniature world of excitement awaits to excite the careful photographer's eye.

I tried to time our visit to low tide to allow for even more exploration of the tide pools. I have to say, image review was a treat as many different images of this area were shown.

My exploration led to this small section hidden behind some larger rocks where I discovered my own world of miniature color and form. After trying various compositions, I felt the scene needed a visual anchor. Further exploration led me to this tiny piece of broken hydrocoral which in reality was no bigger than my thumb. Using my 100mm macro, I carefully placed my tripod to allow my camera a view from directly atop the scene. I used an aperture of f/16 and turned my polarizer to allow for maximum saturation of the pebbles. A one-second shutter speed was required for correct exposure but nothing was moving in the frame.

The breadth of images from the group ranged from macros to wide views and everything in between. Many participants went back to this location on their own time and after the workshop had concluded but unfortunately were met with harsh sunny conditions. Hopefully part of the lesson learned by my group was to work with the light present. Soft light is a green-light condition for photography. Once one understands what it can do for an image in terms of contrast control and color saturation, it will be something a photographer will seek with more enthusiasm in future field excursions.

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III 1 second F/16.0 ISO 100 100 mm

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