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.

The Sonoma Coast

Yesterday I decided that I would take some time for myself and head to the beach to make some images.  Living in Northern California I am spoiled by my beautiful surroundings.  The spot I chose was Goat Rock, located in the Sonoma Coast State Park.  It was a bit foggy, with a light breeze, but not cold.  I love shooting in foggy conditions as colors pop more with a gray sky.  Lately i've been shooting with my X100T.  I took my Nikon D7000 with me but it never left my bag.  More on that in a later blog.  All images were shot in RAW and then edited in Lightroom CC.  It's interesting, I have been uploading images to Instagram lately and have been using the WiFi feature of my Fuji to transfer images to my iPad.  Once there I have been using Snapseed to edit.  It was nice, for a change, to get back into Lightroom.  I have never been one to use Photoshop on my images.  The only time I use Photoshop is for creating graphics or when I have an issue that I need to resolve that Lightroom can't handle.  I love how my images look directly out of the camera with the X100T and usually only use a few features, in Lightroom, to do some fine tuning.

For this adventure I had no specific plan.  I just decided to let my heart guide me.  This is my favorite method.  I pick a location and let it show me the way.  I usually have a general idea of what I want to shoot but am open to whatever might come up.  This first shot was taken from an overlook along the road that leads to the beach.

Blind Beach, Sonoma Coast State Park, California

When I was five my family moved to the San Francisco Bay Area from Chicago.  I've always had a large body of water near where I live and I can't imagine it any other way.  Everywhere you go there are unique sights, smells and sounds and this is no exception.  I can't describe the feeling that I get when I go to the beach but it's something special.  I'm not a religious person but I am very spiritual.  I find that I am closer to whatever it is that makes this all happen, at the ocean and in the mountains.   I've split my adult life between the two but the ocean has been the winner over the last ten years.  

As I walked along the beach I found this pile of rocks.  I couldn't help myself, it was a picture that I had to take.

Rock Pile, Sonoma Coast State Park, California

I've been crazy busy lately.  It was nice to take a couple of hours away from home, by myself, in a place that brings me peace, doing something that I am passionate about.  I NEED to do more if this and I WILL do more of this.  Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, I hope these images help to take you to a place where you can hear the gulls and the sound of the waves and smell the sea air.  

Reeds, Sonoma Coast State Park, California