Water and wind can be two of the most frustrating elements for a photographer yet at the same time they are two of the most creative tools in image making. I encountered both these elements this week at the same time. Although resigned to be blown home by the coastal gales, colors and patterns kept presenting themselves to my viewfinder.
Right now the wild Douglas Irises are peaking at Point Reyes in the pastures, along the roads and at the cliffsides. But they were hysterically dancing the zumba. (Zumba combines Latin and International music with a fun and effective workout system.)
The fog was low and dripping which made every thing wet. This low fog makes neat little dew drops which are impossible to photograph using a flash. (Even a diffused or fill flash get’s reflected in the water and droplets). So what to do?
I set a wide open aperture (2.8) on my macro lens. This captures a very shallow depth of field – a few of centimeters at most. I would rock back and forth with my subject until a small section of the image came into focus. Try high speed continuous shooting to guarantee that one of the blowing petal edges ends up in your field of focus. In the end my imaging in the Iris and Butter Cup patch was about color.
No spray bottle can reproduce the kind of balls and diamond shape dew that fog leaves behind, especially on Lupine leaves. A coastal patch of ground lupine growing among ice plant at Duncans Landing just north of Bodega Bay was full of fresh fog-created jewels. Here I wanted as many of the water drops and leaf edges to be in focus as possible.
I like to saturate the colors so the foggy day and underexposing the image helped deepen the greens and blacken the shadowed background. Just when the weather, again, seemed so uncooperative for wildflower photography its inclemency turned to creative possibilities.
The commentary this week may be more for photographers but the images are for everyone – enter their beauty and be blessed.
Point Reyes National Seashore turns 5o this year, and it continues to be one of the Bay Area’s most popular and significant parks with its diverse ecosystems, beaches and wildlife.