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Moody Morning at the Coast

In late July, I visited the coast to photograph the setting full moon. But fog and clouds covered the coast, dashing my hopes and leaving me, once again, disappointed.

So I drove past my primary location and headed south. I didn’t expect to see the moonset there either—the fog and clouds were just as thick further down the coast—but I thought I might have a better chance of finding a likely alternate subject near Big Sur.

At Bixby Creek Bridge, a favorite location, I found the moody photo you see here.

After framing a few additional photos, I continued up the coast and found the two photos below. Just as the light changed and the water became more contrasty, I noticed some movement behind the lighter rocks in the former of the two. At first I thought it might simply be waves concealing some smaller rocks as they rushed to shore. But then I saw the spouts from several whales at once.It made my morning, but the whales vanished as quickly as they arrived.

Coastal Fogs and Clouds Darken the Pacific Coast. Carmel, California.

The tree hanging on the side of the hillside brought me to the second of the two photos. Trees seem able to take root in the most precarious of locations. In this case, I liked the patterns in the eroding soil around it and the various shades of green and blue below and behind.

Shades of Green and Blue on a Coastal Hillside. Carmel, California.

Undaunted by my disappointment with the Full Moon, I spent last week in the Eastern Sierras. This time, I journeyed to the high country hoping to take advantage of a New Moon and find a few good locations for Milky Way photos. I’ll share the results of that trip with you in coming weeks.