It was overcast and damp today. Rachel was taking care of the kids, and Phyllis and I had some precious time alone. We decided to do stuff, go for a hike in the wind and weather, rather than sticking ourselves inside a movie.

We hiked down to Black Sands Beach on the north, and outer, side of the Golden Gate channel. It was wet and blowing. At the bottom of the stairs onto the beach, a natural wind trap had formed. These seagull feathers were gathered in the trap. I photographed them low to the ground in bright, overcast, and moist conditions.

My first thought was to use a fast enough shutter speed to stop the motion of the feathers in the wind. But some of the feathers were wet and pinned down: these feathers were not moving. In the end, I went for greater depth-of-field, and figured that a slight blur on the feathers that were in motion added to the ethereal ambience.

We were the only people on the beach for a while, and after I finished photographing the feather we walked it end-to-end. Then we headed back to the car, drove into San Francisco, and saw the Martin Munkacsi exhibition at SFMOMA.

[105mm f/2.8 macro, 157.5mm equivalent focal length if 35mm, 1/5 of a second at f/36 and ISO 100, tripod mounted.]

Related stories: Blue Feather, Rose Moon Rising (the time before this we had a sitter).

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. You were right to go for depth of field over shutter speed. It does have a kind of ethereal feel to image.

  2. What a great photo. It is fascinating what we can see if we really stop and look.

    I wonder how many people stepped over and around these feathers without seeing them.

    I am working on a group of photos from the backyard and up and down the nearby creek- it will be called Bug(rather than mug) Shots. great fun.


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