California is blessed with two species of redwoods, the Giant Sequoia (Sequoia giganteum) of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Coastal Redwoods (Sequoia semperverins) along the California coast from the Oregon border to 150 miles south of San Francisco. These awe-inspiring trees are both a joy and a challenge to photograph. I recently spent a week in Crescent City in Northern California photographing the Coastal Redwoods and leading a photography workshop there. I’d like to pass along some of the techniques we employed to capture photographs that do these majestic trees justice in breathtaking but often very difficult light.
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I was fortunate to be in Big Sur last week photographing that magnificent coast with the members of our workshop. Ansel Adams made some beautiful photographs here as did, of course, Edward Weston. An increasingly common technique used by photographers is to employ a neutral density filter to get very long exposures that turn the ocean into a sea of ethereal mist. Many of these photographs are incredibly beautiful. Personally, I connect with the power and energy of the ocean, something these beautiful photographs do not capture.
Adams’ technique was to stop the motion in of the surf as in this photograph titled “Rock and Surf.” Freezing the water was essential to the effectiveness of the composition.
Rock and Surf (1951)
Continue reading “Ansel Adams – The Making of 40 Photographs: Rock and Surf” »
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