Friday, January 23, 2009

The landscape under your feet

It's always a problem for me.. what to do during the middle part of the day? The sky is blue, not a cloud in the sky.. most would say: "It's a beautiful day", but photographers say: "this sucks!" I often drive the better part of a day to get somewhere interesting to work and then have to deal with that mid part of the day when the light is harsh and the colors are all washed out, so I normally use that time to drive around and familiarize myself with the location and scout out where I want to be early and late in the day.
Sometimes you get lucky and there's some interesting weather, or some nice clouds to filter the light, but one other alternative is to concentrate on smaller subjects right under your feet. Not necessarily macro shots (which you can do anytime), but close-ups and abstracts where you can look for textures and colors that are less affected by the quality of light that might not work for a larger scenic.
In this case, I was at Point Lobos, a nature reserve just south of Carmel in central California, and facing the "mid-day dilemma", so I spent a few hours just shooting the many interesting rock formations at Weston Beach. The formations in this tidal area are so colorful and varied, that they are mini landscapes all by themselves. This kind of image is really fun to work with when you get back to the studio... you can experiment with cropping, burning, dodging and saturation; working it like a painting with no particular goal in mind other than to make it into a pleasing composition of shape and texture.

"Rock Flow"-Point Lobos


Gregorio said...

As I am a painter I really enjoy the texture of this photo.Fantastic.

Ashrays said...

A good point very well made if I may say so. I'd call it using an artists eye.

This reminds me of a shot I took a couple of years ago under the same circumstances. I might just look it out and post it with a link to your good article of course.

storybeader said...

reminds me of picture jasper stones - some have beautiful landscapes within the stone. I love to use them for pendants.

Mark Alan Meader said...

Gregorio: I thought some painters might appreciate this.. thanks for looking, and for your kind comment on my "Narrows" post further down the page.

Hi Mook: I'll keep an eye out on your blog for that. Always interesting to see what others come up with using the same thought process. Thanks.

roentare said...

So ambient and beautiful. Love your work as always.


Unknown said...

Very nice one Mark and i'm happy to see that a landscape photography day looks very similar in France and in California :)

Congrats for you new Etsy Shop.

RWS said...

Nice shots

RWS Photo Blog

Mark Alan Meader said...

Hi roentarre.. always appreciate your input.

Patrick: Yes, very similar and not just the weather. I am amazed at how some of your seascapes look like they could have been taken just a few miles from where I live. I guess the coasts and climate are much the same.

Unknown said...


Thank's for your recent comments on my B&W images.
I don't know anything about california excepted those i've seen in films or read in books so i don't really know.
About Provence, i think it's a really smaller place and the second difference i imagine is that the Mediterranean sea is just a sea and the Pacific is a huge ocean.