First light at Pt. Reyes

First light

16mm. About 15 minutes before true dawn.
The day’s first light graces a Tule elk buck. 400mm
  1. Swapping lenses is fine at home, or even out of a car. Doing so while hiking is surprisingly exhausting, paranoia inducing (dirt and dust!), and distracting from the moment.
  2. Although 400mm is mighty powerful, it’s pretty obvious why teleconverters (+40% — +100%) are so popular. For the above shot, I was a few hundred feet away, and still the Elk were disturbed by my rather mundane presence.
  3. Sighting wildlife is not the same as finding a good composition. Although I’m happy with the above image, the rest of the herd was in the dark lee of the hill, with a noisy background. There were no good shots to be had there, showing the full size and interesting nature of the herd. There were young bucks play-fighting. Cows resting and bellowing. None of it would come out very well, at least not in my spur-of-the-moment approach.
Shot at 400mm
This photo is “meh”. Dawn light doesn’t magically fix every composition.

Camera/hiking setup

May not be obvious, but this log is surrounded by cow pies. Watch your step!
Shooting at 16mm means getting low and close! I love how cute the sony looks out in the field.

Wildlife — in the wild!

This crow perched in my favorite tree (see below) for half an hour, claiming the land with each caw.
The early robin gets the worm, and the early photographer gets the robin.
Is this artistic? I’m not sure. Maybe? I like it though.

Photography techniques

Focus stacking works! 16mm
Shot at 200mm. Calling these “widescapes”
These scrubby twigs look like mighty trees from the right angle. We’ve all got somebody to look up to.

PixelShift comparison

My favorite tree, captured with excellent detail via PixelShift. This was shot with the camera hugging the ground, as seen previously in this writing.
Left: PixelShift; Right: Normal photo

This one tree

Jan 2018. Another shot from this most recent hike.
May 2017 — Despite the apparent stillness, I remember the winds on this day being vicious and brutal.
July 2013
Feb 2011

Until next time…



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