Two seagulls posed for me, near the base of Morro Rock. A long lens meant that, even with a small f/stop, focus was very shallow.
These filter feeding crustaceans spend their lives firmly attached to the rocks in the tide pools at Corallina Cove, in Montana de Oro State Park. A clutch of mussels seem to be included in the colony of barnacles.
I've almost never missed viewing otters when I visit Morro Bay and Montana de Oro. This trip was no exception. However, I'm rarely close enough to make a good portrait of an otter. This time, our photography group was close enough, but the otter seemed far more interested in a boat race in the bay, so we rarely saw its face. Patience - and a reasonably long lens - paid off.
I did make one mistake, with my choice of aperture. I should have closed down the lens one or two stops, for both better depth of field and because my 400mm lens creates the sharpest images around f/8 to f/11.
We spotted this otter near the base of Morro Rock.
Spooner Ranch Watercolor
The Spooner Ranch House, the first portion built in 1892, is today the headquarters of Montana de Oro State Park. I'm always on the lookout for reflections, and I spotted this one in Islay Creek, where its waters pooled before entering the sea at Spooner's Cove. As I crouched low, next to the pool, the reflected house was upside down and backwards from the way the "real" house looked when I glanced up at it, sitting on a bluff above me. Here, I've flipped the photograph and reversed it right to left. I think the ripples in the pond have given the scene more the look of a painting than a photograph.
Red Light, Great Blue
After spending a liberal amount of time, well after sunset, photographing the warm light over Morro Bay, our photo group climbed into our cars and began the 20 minute drive to Montana de Oro State Park, where we were spending the night. As we drove past a little beach near the natural history museum in Morro Bay, my assistant decided to roll down her tinted window and take a better look at the last light over the bay. Suddenly our little caravan braked to a stop, because we could see that the water and the sky were bathed in spectacular color. As the light continued to drop, it appeared that the intense color had faded. However, the camera had no problem picking up the vibrant hues, even though to my eyes the darkenss was almost complete. I didn't notice the great blue heron perched at the back of the nearer boat until I looked at the photo on my computer. Lesson: Don't put the camera away until it's really dark.
Sunset Over Morro Bay
After a long day of photography that began at the tide pools at Montana de Oro State Park, our photography group found ourselves at sunset at Morro Bay. For a photographer, sunset can come in too much of a rush, or the location is wrong, or it's the wrong time of year and the sun drops below the horizon too far to the north or south. But not this night. The sun made a lazy descent into the fog bank beyond the sand spit that forms the western edge of the bay, and we were ready with our cameras. I made many photographs, and I tried a variety of exposures, mostly by pointing my camera at different areas in the scene, locking in the exposure each time. For this photo, I pointed the camera at the sun and underexposed by 2/3 of a stop. Lesson: don't put the camera away until it's dark.