Thursday, March 1, 2012

Monterey Bay: The California Coast at it's best!

Last Friday, after being on the road for a couple of weeks straight, it was time to spend a nice day with the family and we decided to visit the amazing Monterey Bay along the coast of Northern California. We are so spoiled to live so close to this beautiful scenery and really do not go there often enough.

I was shooting images with my 5D Mark II, my son was shooting video with my backup 5D Mark II, and my wife and daughter were shooting with their iPhones. Hey - the family that shoots together stays together, right? So off we went along the coastline on a beautiful sunny afternoon.


As you can see from this image, we had great weather for our day trip. Can you imaging living along this coastline and seeing this view from your (very expensive) home everyday?


I saw this seagull hanging out on the top of this rock and moved into a position so that the different colored flowers would make a nice foreground, framing the gull. (Photographer's note: I shot this at f5 with the focus point on the gull, so that the gull would be the only object in focus, drawing the viewer's eyes to the bird and not the flowers.)


After shooting the image with the gull, I then focused on the flowers to get some nice shots of the foliage. On this particular shot, I got lucky (yep I admit it) and captured the flowers and the bee in perfect focus. If you look at the image below, which is a closer crop from the same photo, you can see the sharpness of the insect and the flowers.


(Photographer's note: The great thing about shooting images at 21 megapixels, is that I can crop in on an image like this and still have enough resolution to print an 8x10 of this shot. Since hard drives and memory cards are cheap, and since you can reuse your memory cards, I encourage you to shoot as high resolution as you can.)


I shot this image of the coastline because I was drawn to the different shades of the rocks, with the dark blue water in the background. Mother nature really is amazing.


And further down the coastline we came across this outcropping of rocks and the sea crashing against them. Like the image above, the varying colors (this time of the water) caught my attention. 


The power of the Pacific Ocean!


There is a ton of wildlife along the Monterey coast. Here is a cute Sea Otter snacking on some crab for lunch.


We drove along 17 Mile Drive, which goes from Monterey to Carmel, CA, and made yet another stop to see more coastline. I shot this image using a wide lens (Canon 24-105mm) and then noticed that there were some seals sunning themselves on the rocks below. I went back to the car and switched to my Canon 100-400mm lens so that I could get a little closer to these guys.


After switching lenses and zooming in much further, I noticed the baby seal trying to make his way up the rocks to join the others. I think he was waving at me in this shot. :)


Too cute!


After much work, the little guy made it up onto the rocks and joined the others.


Taken from 17 mile drive, this is the famous landmark in the area, called the Lone Cypress. You used to be able to walk out to the cypress tree until some nutcase decided to try and light it on fire. Now you can only view the tree from a viewing point just off the roadside. This is located very close to the famous Pebble Beach Golf Course.


Towards the end of the day we decided to walk along the beach in Carmel. From the image above, you might think that it was night time, but it was still very light out. I saw the sun peeking through this tree and decided to shoot this manually to darken the image and silhouette the tree and the people. I took numerous shots from this point but liked this one the best since it shows the couple walking out to the beach hand-in-hand. (Photographer's note: I shot this image at f16 with a shutter speed of 1/1600 sec at ISO 320. I then made minor tweaks to the exposure in Photoshop and cloned out a couple of other people who were in the background and distracted from the couple.)


Just before leaving, I thought that it would be nice to take a family portrait. Since none of us was dressed for the occasion, I decided that our shadows would tell a better story. So...here we are, Annette, myself, Ali and Connor enjoying the last hour of sunlight in Monterey County. :)

1 comment:

glenda said...

loved seeing them all.