THE LAGUNA BEACH COLLECTION
My photography journey is not just about taking pictures, it goes much deeper than that. It's about the joy and freedom of self expression. It's about doing my best to interpret and convey the feelings of the scene before me whether the main subject be an animal, person or part of the environment. It's about exploring new places and learning new things. It's also about the creative time when the batteries are back in the charger and the camera is in the bag. For me, post is almost as important as everything that leads up to releasing the shutter. I take pride in my post process and use it to reinforce the message I am trying to communicate with each image I publish.
I also very much enjoy other creative aspects of my photography, like writing and updating this Blog or what this article is really about - introducing you to another way I enjoy sharing my photographs - Slide Shows. I really enjoy creating slide shows. It's fun and exciting to see the project come together.
Note To Self: Write a Blog about how I create slide shows.
Anyway, I have been spending a lot of time photographing along the southern California coast lately and have accumulated many images I feel are worth sharing. Below are a few samples with a little commentary about each. At the bottom of this article you will find a link to my latest slide show titled "The Laguna Beach Collection - Volume 1" which is posted on my You Tube channel along with other slide shows I have posted in the past.
Laguna Beach - Hypnotic Hour
I arrived at 445AM and quickly exited my vehicle full of excitement. I've been looking forward to doing another early morning shoot here for several weeks and finally was able to pull it off.
The sky was clear and still dark enough for the lights to stand out and pop nicely. A breeze cold enough to require a fleece jacket blew onshore from the blackness that still concealed the vast ocean to my right. Working by head-lamp, pausing occasionally to sip hot coffee from my Yeti mug (thanks Tom) while savoring the peacefulness that this time of morning offers (to those of us up at this hour.) Methodically; I created several compositions which I will share over time.
Looking back at town from the bluffs above the beach. I love this time of day!
Early morning somewhere along the Laguna coast in southern California. Abundant cloud coverage added some beautiful detail to the often boring blue skies of southern California. The clouds were also dense enough to soften the light creating a more subdued and relaxing look and feel to what was progressing into a very appealing morning.
This is a good example of having fun and working with what you got. A different perspective of Bird Rock in Laguna Beach, California. Using a one-toothed alien as my model I was able to position him so that Bird Rock was framed nicely between both his left and right necks. I tone mapped this image in order to add additional texture. Makes me smile every time I see it.
The Dragons Right Foot
Leaving the "wet zone" behind in search of new perspectives and whatever other little surprises I might discover. I had just finished the short climb from the sandy beach below to the top of the cliff and pedestrian path that wiggles its way along the shore. After a few quick minutes of walking I stepped out of the relentless sun into the shade of an aging pine tree that overlooked the ocean below and was immediately greeted by the most welcome cool breeze. Pausing in the shade - relishing the soothing coolness that was blowing off of the ocean directly into my sun baked face I knew I would not be moving from this spot for at least several minutes. I can't remember the last time a breeze felt so wonderful. I guess that was one of those "little surprises" I just mentioned.
Savoring my reprieve from the noon day sun, but still wanting to create some additional photographs before heading home I began searching my immediate surroundings for something interesting (stubbornly not ready to relinquish "my" shade and breeze.) I created this image from basically right where I was standing in the shade of the pine tree. Switching to my 200mm and zooming in to create what I thought was an interesting composition and one that would work nicely as a long exposure with silky water. I created several different compositions from this vantage point before finally giving in and moving on. I came up with the title "The Dragons Right Foot" as I studied and processed the image in post. That's what working in the hot sun all day will do to you. It cooks your brain - then you start seeing things!
The Sea Rests
Low tide, calm seas and early morning light coupled with a long exposure helped create what I feel is a rather relaxing looking seascape. The sun had just crested the eastern ridge behind me and I was in position and waiting for the light to work its magic on the rocks that I framed up in order to provide some foreground interest for this composition.
I really like the peaceful relaxing feeling that this images communicates to me. More often than not, the ocean shows its opposite personality traits of power, anger, violence and destruction. I can't decide if I favor one personality over the other (I don't think that I do.) But, I do know that I truly feel a great deal of joy and emotion when photographing in and around the sea.
Looking out at Catalina Island on "just another December evening in Southern California."
I decided to take the coastal route home and ended up exploring Woods Cove searching for some new compositions. I have photographed here a few times before; at different times of year and at different times of day so I was excited to see what I might discover on this visit.
The warm spring air had me feeling a little lazy as I worked my way through the warm sand down to the water's edge. Turning south I walked just within reach of the chilly ocean water which grew a little deeper and crawled a little farther onto the sandy shore with every surging wave. As the cool water massaged my feet I could feel a subtle surge of unexpected energy run up my legs and throughout my entire body. Who needs energy drinks. Revitalized! - What a rush!
I created a few compositions at the southern most part of this cove, but none of them felt right. Something was missing and I couldn't figure it out, so I decided to take advantage of my surroundings and take a break.
I created this composition from where I was sitting and enjoying a lazy afternoon.
Visit my You Tube channel and watch my latest publication "The Laguna Beach Collection - Volume 1." A short 3:30 slide show of my latest work in Laguna Beach, California with music by Rhastafarian!
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