Saturday, December 31, 2011

Fruitful Exploration

We've been having unseasonably warm and clear weather here in Southern California the last few weeks... clear blue skies every day, no recent snow and therefore nothing much of interest to shoot up here in the mountains. My work comes to a complete stop between Christmas and New Year's anyway, so I opened the gallery for a few days during the week, but that got really slow also around mid week and I decided to take Thursday off and go exploring for some new shooting locations.
Using Google Earth (my favorite scouting tool), I noticed this area about 50 miles from where I live that I have never heard of before and it looked like a decent possibility to be the kind of place that I enjoy to shoot, so I decided to take little drive down to the flatlands and check it out. It was the one day of the whole week that I thought I saw a hint of some clouds in the sky, or honestly, I probably wouldn't have bothered to even take a camera with me.
I didn't really expect to do any serious work.. I would have been happy just to look around, take some reference shots and come back at a better time, but the light and sky actually came together nicely in the late afternoon, the place was almost totally deserted (of people, but LOTS of birds), the weather was a pleasant 80°(!) and being winter, there were no bugs, which I suspect are unbearable during the warmer season, seeing as this is a partly natural, partly man-made wetland area...
I ended up staying and working until well after sunset and to my surprise managed to produce some pretty  good stuff.  Definitely a worthwhile find.. if I was just passing by the area and didn't know about it beforehand, there is no way I would ever spot it from the main roads. Nice that there was a still a Fall-ish feel to the place this late in the season, I found quite a bit of color still in the trees as you can see. And, it's definitely a bird watcher's paradise. For those of you in the SoCal area, the San Jacinto Wildlife Area is just NW of Hemet, next to Lake Perris in the town of Lakeview.
BTW, Happy New Year to all the great people who stop by here throughout the year and especially those regulars who always take time to comment.


giorno26 ¸¸.•*¨*•. said...

Wow, fantastica foto come inizio anno !
Happy new days.
Happy new dreams.
Happy New Year 2012 :))

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Happy New Year!
What a charming place, the trees are like gold dust with the lighting so beautful just for your photograph captures. Do you not just love when it all comes together so beautifully! The water reflections, the warmth of the sky...a wonderful image shared, as always. Very wonderful knowing you in your part of the world to mine~

desertsandbeyond said...

Happy New Year to you, too! I always enjoy your outings! Beautiful reflections!

Carolyn Ford said...

what a great day you had, afterall! love the color here...i am a local and will hunt this place down, too! beautiful work! Happy New Year to you and yours!

Gaelyn said...

You really did luck out here. Great color and light along with the crisp reflections. Hope you'll share some more from this location.

Thanks for the idea of using Google Earth to check out possible photo ops.

Hope the New Year finds you in good health and happiness.

Mark Alan Meader said...

Hi Gaelyn: Thanks and Happy New Year to you too. Looking forward to more of your adventures in 2012!

Carolyn: If you're in the area, definitely check it out before it gets hot again... Happy New Year to you!

Cheryl Ann: Thanks and have a Happy New Year... stop by my gallery in Idyllwild some weekend when you're up this way and say hello!

Myriam: Grazie and Happy New Year to you in beautiful Italy!

Unknown said...

Happy new year Mark !
To you and all your familly.

Very beautiful image and i'm just surprised to see so many autumn leaves in this season !

Unknown said...

Sounds as though I would love it :) Great photo Alan, I love the reflections and Happy New Year to you

Ashrays said...

Nice one, always great when the unexpected happens makes any effort worthwhile... like the slight rippling on the water mirroring the cloud texture adds an extra something to the reflection of the clouds.