Fancy Feathers

Past the Golden Gate Bridge, Black Sands Beach lies along the straits between Point Diablo and Point Bonita. The beach faces the open Pacific towards the southwest. On a sullen, cloudy, windswept day I hiked down to the beach. My camera and tripod were on my back. It was bright, but drizzling slightly.

The dark beach was empty of people, and it was hard to believe that a great metropolitan area was hard by. A great flock of seagulls huddled togather at the western end of the beach.

Hard by where the trail ended on the beach there were great piles of bird feathers, caught and held by the wind. These were no fancy feathers. I placed my tripod legs in the mud, and began to photograph with my macro lens stopped all the way down.

Many Feathers

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Initially, I was most attracted to the contrast in textures between the feathers and the green grass (above). As I spent more time looking at the feathers, I became interested in the filagree and transparency of the feathers up close (below).

As I took these photos, the waves crashed on the dark beach and the spray mingled with the moisture in the wind. I hovered, protecting my camera as best I could, and wiping it dry from time-to-time with my shirt.


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[105mm f/2.8 macro, 157.5mm equivalent focal length if 35mm, 1/6 of a second (top exposure), 1/5 of a second (bottom), both at f/36 and ISO 100, tripod mounted.]

Related story: Feathers.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Since the first of these feather pictures inspired me to shoot a feather among the leaves in the backyard I put a link to this entry in my comment.

    There is a marvelous world right at our doorstep when we really learn how to look and see what we are looking at.

    Thanks for sharing the pictures and the how to stuff, it continually inspires me to new journeys with the camera.


    have also enjoyed the pictures of the boys. Handsome young men. Sometime soon I will post some pictures of my grandsons.

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