The following are two images from my summer workshop with Ralph Nordstrom - a wonderful human being and outstanding landscape photographer. I am not one who likes to sit in front of a computer working on producing my images. However, I did learn the value of understanding the post processing tools in bringing out the best perspective in what my camera captures. I also learned the value of patience and perseverance and not giving up too soon.... It was the end of our 3rd day. Gray. Chilly. Been up since dawn, looking for the light. McWay Falls is in a spectacular cove tucked under the bluffs in the Pfeiffer Big Sur area along the famed California central coast. There were several photographers, all set up with tripods and such, waiting to see if the sun would give us illuminating rays to brighten up the falls and rock faces before its final dip below the horizon. My bet was we would get 'skunked' again, like we had the other day. Fog too thick on the horizon. No real breaks that seemed to stay and let some fabulous light through. Too tired. Too chilly. Too hungry. Let's just go find a warm cafe someplace. Our workshop leader wouldn't hear of it. Wait and see. Be patient. Be ready! Because when it decides to shine, it will be quick. I didn't bring my tripod. That sure I was that there wouldn't be any interesting light to shoot even though the scenery was breath-taking.
I was wrong.
This photo is looking northwest-ish. The water begins to glow from the 'golden hour' sunset. The seaweed sparkles like taupey-gold baubles on the water. Parts of the shoreline are streaked with soft light.
After I snap the shot, I see people running, literally running, to the other side as the rays reach behind us....
This is what I see:
Two, three minutes at best. My first shot was blurry. I quickly reset my camera settings to compensate for my lack of a steady surface and take several more quick shots. Got it!
Summer lessons learned:
- Until the sun has completely dipped below the horizon for several minutes, never give up on the possibility of a great show
- Always bring a tripod with you
- Pay attention
- Get up before the sun
- Be comfortable with waiting for the right moment
- Be ready
- Pay attention
- Wait for the light