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Springtime Shooting Stars in Carmel Valley

Posted by
Don Smith (California, United States) on 30 March 2010 in Landscape & Rural.


Spring Big Sur Photo Workshop - March 29 - April 1, 2010 (Concluded - Details for 2011 Spring Big Sur will be announced soon!)
Northern Arizona: Grand Canyon, Upper Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, and Sedona Photo Workshop - May 3-7, 2010 (Sold Out - Waiting List Only)
Redwoods and Mendocino Coast Photo Workshop - June 15-18, 2010 (space available)
Kauai, Hawaii Photo Workshop - July 12-16, 2010 (space available)
Summer Big Sur Photo Workshop - August, 17-20, 2010 JUST ADDED! (space available)
Arches/Canyonlands Photo Workshop - November 3-7, 2010 (space available)
Winter Big Sur Photo Workshop - Magic Light and The Pfeiffer Beach Arch - January 11-14, 2011 JUST ADDED (space available)
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Refined Vision: 50 Lessons Designed to Improve Your Digital Landscape Photography (e-book and printed versions - 160 pages)
The Photographer's Guide to the Big Sur Coast (e-book version - 102 pages)
On the Edge (printed version - softcover and hardcover - 120 pages)

In keeping with my springtime theme, I went for another drive along Carmel Valley Road that winds through the coastal hillsides east of Big Sur. This is where the movie stars reside: Clint Eastwood, Doris Day, Jennifer Aniston, Brad Pitt (to name a few) and who can blame them? This is John Steinbeck country!

The winding country road begins at the mouth of the Carmel Valley, and exits at the 101 freeway (some 45 miles away) near Greenfield in the Salinas Valley. What I love most about this scenic route are the moss-covered oaks that line the rolling hillsides. I began my trek approximately two hours prior to sunset and was treated to this scene near the Tassajara Hot Springs (about the half-way point of the drive).

Unfortunately these bright Foothill Shooting Stars were just starting to make an appearance and were few and far between. What I loved most about this scene was the play of light as the late-afternoon sun was dropping behind a nearby mountain peak. I used a 24-70 mmL lens at f/16 and focused just past the first band of flowers (hoping I was in the ballpark with hyperfocal distance).

I was able to get a boost to the color by using a Singh-Ray Color Combo Polarizer. This unique filter combines a warming polarizer and a color intensifier. I get the benefit of removing the annoying glare form these flowers, while warming and enhancing the color! I can already see that I am really going to like this polarizer.

I am in the middle of teaching my Spring Big Sur workshop and I am not sure if I will have time to answer all of you, but I will try.

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III 1/5 second F/16.0 ISO 200 63 mm

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