March Week 3 – Morning is for Walking


Sunrise from Crissy Field - SF

Morning is my favorite time for photographing because much of the world is still sleeping or running through rituals that prepare people to head off to their daily routines.  Morning is also a wonderful time for walking.  You experience the world differently then.  Already an hour after the sun has risen most city-scapes return to their concrete medium grey dull tonalities.

It is difficult to stick to a plan for a brisk walk when so many image possibilities surround you, but to that end I usually leave my “big” camera bag  at home.  Instead I will clip a Canon PowerShot S95 to my belt determined to only “draw it” when something is absolutely stunning.  Well, isn’t everything stunning?

KOI circle in Tea Garden

The captures I am sharing from last week were taken on my morning walks when the sun was pretty determined not to rise from behind its morning cloud coverage.  Along the walk from Crissy field to Fort Point I noticed it was low tide and more of the beach was accessible.  As the sun began to rise it shone through a sliver of clearing between the distant East Bay Hills and the cloud coverage.  The small aperture, and wide angle provided maximum depth of field and the “staring” effect of the sun.  From a low angle you could see the sun’s orange rays reflected on the wet beach.

The KOI image was taken at the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park on a rainy dreary day.  The tea garden opens at 9 AM and if you are lucky you might even get in a little earlier when the gardener opens the door and invites you in.  Right now everything is so meditatively beautiful with cherry blossoms and emerald green grasses and deep purple Iris blooming.

Sausalito Pilings at Sunrise

It was so dark I thought about keeping that PowerShot in its case.  But you can make creative choices with that kind of dim light.  Seeing the koi in the pond I choose to set the camera at ISO 100 and the smallest aperture opening.  This gave me a slow shutter spend which would definitely make every image blurry.  So I rotated the camera while photographing the koi and a tree reflection in the pond.

The Japanese are revered for breeding beautiful varieties of koi fish. The Japanese Koi is a symbol of strength and the “Nishikigoi” is the most decorative and sought after for individual and park ponds. All carp are said to be offspring of the Japanese black carp known as “Magoi.”

The history of the koi goes back to  20 million year old fossils found in China and perhaps originating in the Caspian Sea. “Koi” comes from the Latin name Cyprinus Carpio meaning Carp

These walks and the images they bring remind me of Cat Steves (Yousuf) from decades ago singing “Morning has Broken.”  The lyrics  are by Eleanor Farjeon

Morning has broken, like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for the springing fresh from the word

Sweet the rain’s new fall, sunlit from heaven
Like the first dewfall, on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where his feet pass

Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning
Born of the one light, Eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise every morning
God’s recreation of the new day

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