July week 3

I often find that making or reviewing images, especially of nature subjects, provides me with a visual prayer invoking the healing spirit of the Divine.  At this moment I am mindful of the healing needed for the recent tragic killings in Norway and the starving children in Somalia.  May these images be a visual chant:

  • ”I will be gentle with myself,
  • I will heal myself,
  • I am a child of the universe,
  • held in love each day.”

Circle of Song, Complied by Kate Marks.  Page 201.

A trip to the Sonoma coast provided me some opportunities to go wide.  Using a Canon full frame sensor DSLR and a 17mm lens I took advantage of the maximum hyper-focal distance.   Depth of field is everything in focus from one point to another in your scene/image.  The hyper-focal distance is the point of focus where everything from half a given distance to infinity is in focus.

By using or memorizing a hyper-focal chart you will know how much depth of field you can get with any given focal length lens at any particular f/stop.  I have committed a few hyper-focal distances such as setting my 17mm lens at 1.6 feet at f/22.  This means everything from halfway between 1.6 feet and infinity will be in focus.  For this image I just moved into my subject until I was about 10 inches away and then composed and captured the picture (ten inches from the sensor plane).

Spring is the best time for seascapes with dynamic foreground because the wildflowers are plentiful.  But there is some summer color and blooms available right now like this succulent.  There are many picturesque pullovers along Highway 1 from Bodega to Jenner (and beyond, of course).  You often want to captures the coastline in late afternoon sun, near the golden light of sunset.  But a wide angle shot sometimes works very well around noon.  You won’t have to worry about getting your own shadow or the shadow of your lens in your image.

White pelicans can be found in large coast lagoons and bays like the ones at Larkspur Landing Marsh Bird Refuge.  Usually arriving in this location in August there is about twenty there now.  They often swim together herding schools of fish into one area and then dipping their beaks into the water to scoop up their dinner.

These two White Pelicans had broken off from the larger group and fished together.  This is early evening, about an hour and a half before sunset and the light began to be more intense which pumped up the colors in the scene. The low light was behind me and hitting directly on my subject. This direction of the light produces a nice catch light in the eyes of the birds.

We are connected to all that is….children of the universe!

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