Chasing the Sun

On the first day of summer I decided, late in the day, that I would attempt to chase the sun in order to get some sunset images.  Not wanting to leave my Wife fending for herself with two boys 4 and 6, I decided to stay and help with the evening tasks.  Sunset being at 8:39pm I had a tight window of opportunity.  The location I chose was Bodega Head on the Sonoma Coast here in California.  Located approximately 45 minutes from my house, it would be a challenge.  I left the house at 7:10 and arrived at the coast a little after 8pm.  A short hike and I found my spot.  The light was wonderful.

Sonoma, California Coast.  Bodega Head on 6-20-16, first day of summer.

I always take some time to look around for spontaneous images.  The light on the coastline was fantastic.  

Sonoma, California Coast.  Bodega Head on 6-20-16, first day of summer.

I had to wait for the light to be just right for the sunset images.  When the sun finally set the show began.

Sonoma, California Coast.  Bodega Head on 6-20-16, first day of summer.

After that I just went with it and just kept hitting the shutter release.  The images jumped out at me one by one.  The light getting better and better as time went on.

Sonoma, California Coast.  Bodega Head on 6-20-16, first day of summer.

Sonoma, California Coast.  Bodega Head on 6-20-16, first day of summer.

Sonoma, California Coast.  Bodega Head on 6-20-16, first day of summer.

Sonoma, California Coast.  Bodega Head on 6-20-16, first day of summer.

As i've said in the past, I love spur of the moment photo adventures.  I don't like to over plan a shoot like this.  I had brought my tripod but when I arrived the wind was howling at 30 mph.  I wasn't going to be able to switch lenses so I took the only zoom I had, the 18-55.  Curious what the 16-55 2.8 would have been able to do but that's $1000 away, maybe next year.  I'm incredibly happy with the images I made and i'm looking forward to the next adventure.

Chasing a Clearing Storm

It rained, here in Sonoma County, yesterday.  Having some free time I decided that I wanted to run down to the Golden Gate Bridge and make some images of the clearing storm.  I took my Fuji XT1, a few lenses, my GoPro "Hero" and a tripod.  This being a spur of the moment decision, the ability for planning was limited.  I did check the Golden Gate Bridge webcam to see if conditions might be favorable for some images.  There was heavy cloud cover but it wasn't raining and the weatherman said that it would clear up by the early afternoon.  So I jumped in my car and headed South.  Hitting some traffic on my way.  I made it to the Marin Headlands in about an hour and a half.  The clouds were clearing nicely but the fog was my biggest concern.  The Headlands are the hills just North of the Golden Gate and afford some of the most beautiful views of this amazing structure.  I usually avoid shooting here in the middle of the day, even when conditions are perfect, due to the huge number of tourists in the area.  The fog was very erratic, at times blocking the view of the bridge completely.  I got lucky and was able to make a few images.

South Tower of the Golden Gate Bridge, taken from the Marin Headlands. June, 2016

I set up my tripod to hold my GoPro "Hero" and started the timelapse mode.  As I set it up the fog cleared and I saw this shot below.

View of San Francisco looking through the Golden Gate Bridge, taken from the Marin Headlands.  June, 2016

One of the challenges of being a photographer and standing in a location such as this is that you are asked to take image after image of tourists.  I don't mind this at all, but it tends to get in the way of my purpose, which is to create images.  It got to the point where people were crowding me and my tripod so I had to abandon ship.  Before I left I was able to make this timelapse.

As I was getting ready to pack up I looked down and noticed a lock attached to the cable of the fence at the viewpoint.  The lock had a heart engraved on its' face.  It gave me an idea for a couple of images.

Lock attached to fence cable, located at a viewpoint above the Golden Gate Bridge, Marin Headlands, June 2016

Lock attached to fence cable, located at a viewpoint above the Golden Gate Bridge, Marin Headlands, June 2016

I love photography adventures.  I have found that I do my best work on spur of the moment trips.  Lately these adventures have been inspired by weather events.  I love the look of the sky as the clouds start to clear.  A clear blue sky can be a beautiful background but I tend to prefer a little something going on in the way of clouds.  

Dreaming of the next storm.......