Search Results for: stinson beach

Bolinas is the winner

The Bolinas team, shown here at the Bolinas July 4 parade in front of Smiley’s Saloon, is the winner in the 2013 annual tug of war contest with Stinson Beach, the gated resort community just across the channel to the Bolinas Lagoon. Party time and congratulations to Bolinas!

Bolinas Winning Tug of War Team

Bolinas Winning Tug of War Team © Harold Davis

Posted in Photography

Foundation of all those fables

Wandering on the slopes of Mount Tamalpais, high above Stinson Beach, the Bolinas lagoon, Duxbury Reef, and the open Pacific the seascape below was cloud-covered. As the sun began to set, thermals opened an area offshore and I was reminded of a quote from Thoreau of Walden fame: “Who has not seen in imagination, when looking into the sunset sky…the foundation of all those fables?”

Sunset from Bolinas Ridge by Harold Davis

Sunset from Bolinas Ridge © Harold Davis—Click to view larger

There’s magic in the sunset sky, yet we’re scared to succumb to such a simple infatuation. Beauty can make us grumpy, and put us in mind of postcards. Actor Dustin Hoffman cynically put it this way: “I envy people who can just look at a sunset. I wonder how you can shoot it. There is nothing more grotesque to me.”

Photography can be many things. I’m here to tell you it is okay to shoot sunsets. Personally, I cannot look at one without being moved, and recognizing  the foundation of fables as day turns to night.

Posted in HDR, Landscape, Photography

Solstice Sunset

Stinson Beach Sunset

Stinson Beach Sunset, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

A virtue of the short days of winter is that one doesn’t have to wait long for sunset. This photo—of a brief but spectacular sunset over Stinson Beach, California—was taken shortly before 5PM on December 21, the winter solstice and shortest day of the year.

Exposure data: Nikon D300, 18mm, circular polarizer, 1/50 of a second at f/9 and ISO 100, tripod mounted; multi-RAW processed using five versions of the original RAW capture.

Posted in Landscape, Photography

Wave Game

I played a game with the waves on Stinson Beach. I positioned my tripod below the tide line and tried to capture the movement of the waves. The waves tried to make me grab camera and tripod and run from the spot.

A great way to start thinking about vacation.

Related stories: Wave Toss, Surf.

Posted in Bemusements, Photography, San Francisco Area

Moon over Bolinas

Returning home after an afternoon hike in Steep Ravine followed by dinner and sunset photography on Stinson Beach, Mark and I stopped beside the road between Stinson Beach and Muir Beach. The crescent moon was headed down into a cloud bank, and I raced the descent of the moon as I assembled my camera and tripod in the dusk. The photograph shows the tip of the Bolinas peninsula and Duxbury Reef gleaming in the moonlight.

[200mm, 300mm in 35mm equivalent terms, 13 seconds at f/5.6 and ISO 100, tripod mounted.]

Posted in Landscape, Photography, San Francisco Area

Marin Coast Sunset

This is a thirty second time exposure with my lens wide open. I caught the last light of sunset. I was on an aerie, a grassy platform, high above Tennessee Beach looking north. You can see a little bit of Tennessee Beach in the lower right of the photo, the massive cliffs to the north of Tennessee Beach, then the lights of Muir Beach, followed off in the distance if you look hard by the lights of Stinson Beach. Here’s a fisheye photo taken from the same vertiginous spot in daytime.

Speaking of vertiginous, I’m not inclined to vertigo, but this is a pretty dramatic location with a long drop to the pounding surf. Once true night was upon me, I had to remind myself that I was well equipped with a headlamp and good hiking boots.

The path that goes up to the spot can’t exactly be called a trail, but at least it is a path. The path was lit by the crescent moon and bright starlight, although a little fog was wafting in. I knew that as long as I stayed on the path I’d be fine.

Still, things don’t look the same at night. It can be particularly difficult to accurately gauge distances.

There’s a natural physiological danger response (at least for me) in this kind of situation when I am alone at night high up a cliff above pounding surf. I willed myself to calmness.

As I started down, I glanced at a gully to my left. A pair of bright, luminous eyes were staring up at me. Probably a raccoon or bobcat. There was no way down the gully to investigate. Over the constant sound of the surf, I could hear the occasional toll of a warning buoy.

Back down on Tennessee Beach, I felt more relaxed. I meandered up the short, easy trail to the parking lot, dawdling on the way to capture the landscape by moon and starlight.

And, yes, more photos will follow.

Posted in Digital Night, Landscape, Photography

Pacific Golden-Plovers

After spending several hours with the Duxbury Reef tidepools, Mark and I were hungry for lunch. The only thing open for lunch in Bolinas seemed to be a bar, Smiley’s, where they served us hamburgers. These hamburgers may not have been much even as hamburgers go, but they hit the spot, and everyone at Smiley’s was friendly.

After our late lunch we walked out with our cameras onto the Bolinas beach. This beach is dramatically situated in the corner where the channel from the Bolinas Lagoon meets the open ocean (the Stinson Beach peninsula is a stone’s throw away across this channel).

The plovers in this photo were hopping around the beach, probably having their mid-afternoon “hamburgers” at the Plover equivalent of Smiley’s.

Posted in Bemusements, Photography, Point Reyes

Dream Sky

Coming out from the Steep Ravine trail it was almost night. The car was parked on a curve in the road down to Stinson Beach. I saw the final stages of sunset a couple of hundred feet down the road, walked down, put the camera on tripod and snapped these time exposures.

The unpredictable effects of long exposures at night on digital captures are amazing. In these I like the dreamy, watercolor effect in the night sky.

Related stories: Night for Day, Starry Night, Marin Headlands at Dusk, Winter Sea, my Night set on Flickr.

South Farallon Island

View this image larger.

Bolinas and Point Reyes

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Posted in Digital Night, Landscape, Photography

Steep Ravine

Late afternoon on Saturday we hiked up Steep Ravine, on the ocean side of Mount Tamalpais. This is a deep and lucious gorge, which flows exotically to the Pacific Ocean near Stinson Beach. Sunset was near, and the woods were getting dim. Pointing my camera straight down at the creek on my tripod, this time exposure solidified the rushing water.

Posted in Landscape, Photography