Point Reyes Field Seminars

I’ll be giving two workshops in 2008 under the auspices of the Point Reyes National Seashore Association. Please consider joining me on Saturday, June 14 for a one day intensive seminar in digital landscape photography (on-line course registration). The weekend of September 12-14 will see us rocking to the music of the stars in a great location for night photography (on-line course registration). You’ll find course descriptions below my photo of the Point Reyes Lighthouse at night.

Night at Point Reyes Lighthouse

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Digital Landscape Photography

Saturday, June 14 • 1:30 PM – 8:30 PM
$95 ($90 members)
On-line course registration

Point Reyes provides one of the most spectacular and varied landscapes in the world. Bring your digital camera to this workshop and expand your creative horizons by engaging in a photographic conversation with a master of digital landscape photography.

Harold will present and discuss some of his own work, and explain concepts of light and exposure in the context of your personal creative goals. The special challenges and rewards of the Point Reyes landscape will be covered before heading out into the nearby fields for a guided photo shoot. We will then regroup to discuss our work in the light of our individual goals in landscape photography.

Night Photography

Sept. 12-14 • 7 PM Fri – 4 PM Sun
$230 ($220 members)
On-line course registration

Night covers the globe half the time and—surprising to many— photographic opportunities with digital equipment are as exciting at night as they are during the day. Night photography has always been an area for creative experimentation, but with the advent of digital photography, and its expanded dynamic range and light sensitivity beyond the visible spectrum, the time has never been better to experience the freedom of the night.

Harold will cover techniques, equipment, and night safety issues during an orientation session before moving outdoors, where we will create night-time captures. In the morning, we will regroup to demystify digital post-processing of night captures in Photoshop and to evaluate our work in the context of personal creative goals. A second night shoot gives participants the opportunity to put into practice the night skills they have learned.

We will learn to make beautiful images of the landscape after sunset, and take advantage of the extraordinary night environment and absence of light pollution within Pt. Reyes. You’ll go home with great images and skills to capture night photos while the rest of the world sleeps. Accommodations included at the Education Center.

Posted in Photography, Point Reyes

Proofing in Bed

I know that many things are done in bed, but I think it is kind of unusual to review the proofs for a book in that location. But Phyllis is pregnant and on bed rest, so we had no choice but to spread the proofs out where she was.

You can’t really tell that Phyllis is gravid in this photo, but you can see both imposition and color proofs for my 100 Views of the Golden Gate.

Proofing in Bed

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Related links: 100 Views of the Golden Gate; Book Imposition; Press Proofs.

Posted in Photography

Green Dragonfly

By popular request, here’s a predominantly green version of the third dragonfly photogram.

Related images: Dragonfly; Dragonfly Variation; The Third Dragonfly.

Posted in Photograms, Photography

View North from Muir Beach Overlook

The sun had just set and the wind was blowing in on the Muir Beach overlook. You can see the wind whistling over the ocean straight towards the camera, and the lights of a few cars along coastal Highway California 1.

[27mm in 35mm equivalent terms, 1.3 seconds at f/5.6 and ISO 100.]

Posted in Landscape, Photography, San Francisco Area

Castle Cake

Phyllis made this castle cake for Julian’s tenth birthday party using a mold she got from King Arthur Flour. The cake is in a grand tradition that includes Faulty Towers Cake, Herbie-the-Love-Bug cake, and (unpictured) dragon cakes, dinosaur cakes, fantasy cakes, Thomas cakes, and much more.

Related stories: Blowing out the Candles, Nicky and the Chocolate Sandwich, Peering at the Golden Gate, Flowr Pie.

Posted in Bemusements, Kids, Photography

No Time to Be Lost

I’m reading the wonderful Aubrey-Maturin series of sea stories aloud to my oldest son, Julian. If you stick around “lucky” Captain Jack Aubrey, you’ll surely come to recognize his motto, “There’s no time to be lost!” Funny, but I don’t often think of landscape photography as something where rushing is important. But the theme of three recent photo sessions, all involving tripod mounted photography, has indeed been that there is no time to lose.

In this photo of the channels in Drakes Estero at low tide, the beautiful glow of reflected sunset clouds vanished seconds after my exposure ended:

Estero at Low Tide

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In this photo of the moon rising behind the Golden Gate Bridge, shortly after my exposure the moon cleared the clouds and the dramatic lighting was lost:

Golden Gate Moonrise

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In this photo of the Golden Gate in the incoming fog, after I made the thirty second capture, clouds overwhelmed the bridge and the delicate blues went black:

Golden Gate Bridge from Fort Baker

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As a side note, I’m photographing the Golden Gate more than usual these days because my book, 100 Views of the Golden Gate, is reaching completion. With a March, 2008 pub date I only have a couple more months in which my photos can be included. So there’s no time to be lost.

And speaking of no time to be lost, in landscape photography some other sayings apply. Fortune does indeed favor the prepared mind. If you know what lens and other equipment you are likely to use in advance, you won’t fumble and miss a photo. And, she who hesitates is truly lost. If I dither with indecision, I usually don’t get the photo. The correct mode is clear, calm, deliberate: realizing, of course, that there is no time to be lost.

Posted in Photography

Yosemite Valley from Half Dome

This is a 9 1/2 minute exposure taken from the top of Half Dome a little after midnight in mid-June. The camera was pointing west towards Yosemite Valley. You can see the moon setting, along with the time-exposure trails of stars.

It amazes me, as you can see from this photo, that so many lights are on in Yosemite Valley at midnight. I’m also surprised at the ambient light cast by the valley tents and hotels up the rocks walls that line the valley. I also would not have expected to clearly see the night lights of the cities of the California valley, like Merced, from Half Dome.

I’m surprised at the vibrant red of lichen on the rock fin that is part of Half Dome. This color is far brighter by moon-and-star light than in daylight.

As the night deepened and got colder, the air got clearer and the stars like diamonds towards the wilderness in the High Sierra. Back towards civilization (as in this photo) there were more lights. Perhaps it is not surprising that Yosemite Valley is in the direction of civilization.

For more of the story of how and why I made this image, see Moon Shadow of Half Dome, Snakes and Ladders, Half Dome by Starlight, and Midnight Rambles.

Posted in Digital Night, Landscape, Photography, Yosemite