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Edge of Fog Bank

Posted by
Don Smith (California, United States) on 17 July 2010 in Landscape & Rural.

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Edges in nature present wonderful opportunities for dynamic images. Nature's edges can be really termed as any meeting of two opposing elements: shadow/highlight, forest/meadow, ocean/land, lake/shore, clouds/sky - well you get the point. Finding and capturing nature's edges has always served me well and was a lesson taught by the late Galen Rowell in many of his writings.

As the crow flys, I live about 20 miles east of the Monterey Bay Bay area in a coastal Valley (Santa Clara). Our Mediterranean climate is very comfortable as our nights are cooled by the fog rolling in off the nearby Pacific Ocean. In the summer months we call this our natural air conditioner.

For most of the year this fog bank stops near the eastern Diablo Mountain Range. In the mornings, my home can be under a grey sky, but within 15 minutes, I can be under the edge of the fog bank and that is where the fun - photographically speaking - begins! It is an almost magical experience to be at the edge of this wispy mist as it dances and darts and then eventually evaporates.

On this particular winter morning in 2005, I drove along Lone Tree Road in search of the edge and was stopped dead in my tracks when I came across this scene. As you can see, the sun was already up and providing a warm backlight and this beautiful oak stood like a lone sentinel in this meadow. In my original composition, I included a barbed-wire fence, but in this version, I cropped most of it out, then cloned out the remaining portion. In retrospect, I believe it makes for a stronger and more natural looking composition.

I encourage all of you to seek out nature's edges and incorporate them into your compositions. I believe you will find that they will serve to make your compositions more interesting and dynamic. If you are interested in learning more about nature's edges, please read my book On the Edge. Clicking this link will provide you with a preview of the first 15 pages.

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II 1/60 second F/22.0 ISO 100 28 mm

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