April Week 4

When the April winds are gusty along the California coast it is very difficult to capture all those beautiful wild flowers.  So one must consider very solid or stable nature subjects like rocks.  Fortunately the rocks I choose surfaced at low tide teaming with a variety of life clinging to them.

The Ochre Star is a wonderful subject at low tide and you will often see them near mussel beds since it is one of their sources of food.  I prefer mine steamed, thank you!  They can be orange or purple or brown. When the tide goes out, their skin and arms become stiff and hard, for protection from predators. Occasionally they will get stranded on the sand and then they can be easily moved into your “frame.” without hurting them.

Usually for low tide photography, as mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I like to carry as little equipment as possible so I don’t’ accidentally knock it into the water.  Often you need some sort of diffusion for tide pools to eliminate some of the reflections and glare on the water.

But if you arrive in the morning when the sun is still relatively low you might be able to get a good angle on a shallow tide pool. (As you see here).  Use your polarizing filter to reduce as much reflection as possible.  Look for shallow tide, perhaps where the sea star is not fully immersed.  The sun also gives the giant anemones their neon green look.  You get this angle best at being pretty low to the ground/water, so a gardening kneeler is helpful for your knees or tushie.

The giant green anemone is one of the most spectacular animals you can find in the tide pools along the Pacific coast. Giant green anemones live on the rocks of tide pools and in deep channels on exposed rocky shores. They can also be found on concrete pilings in open bays and harbors. From Alaska to Panama, these anemones flourish in the intertidal and sub tidal zones. These large anemones like to eat detached mussels, crabs, sea urchins and small fishes. Their predators include sea snails and sea spiders.

I also returned to a patch of Calla Lilies in Golden Gate Park.  Arriving at 6:45 AM it was still pretty calm, but by 7:30 they were really dancing in the breeze.  I wanted to keep my shot a Monochrome image so I just chose that setting on my camera.  Sometimes I de-saturate a colored image to get a black and white.  But this method is quick and you immediately see if it is working as a black and white.

With this image I wanted the edges to look as crisp as possible so in post possessing I applied the artistic filter “accentuate the edges.”

With all my images I ask, “Would I make this a print?”  I am not sure about this monochrome calla lily detail, so I will have to give it a try.


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