Return to Steinbeck Country by DaveWyman
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Jellyfish Mini-Me
Jellyfish
The jellyfish exhibition at the Monterey Aquarium offers up an incredibly array of colorful subjects. They aren't that easy to photograph, though, because the jellyfish are constantly moving, swimming to and fro under low light conditions. High ISOs on today's digital cameras help. And I replaced my beloved 18-200mm lens with a faster 35mm f/2 lens.
Awake with the Fishes - Diver at the Monterey Aquarium
The diver had to be a good 30 feet from where I sat in front of the massive kelp forrest tank at the aquarium. The glass behind which she swims wasn't designed with photography specifically in mind. The light was low, the diver and her friends were in constant movement. Technical details as below; to illuminate the diver's face, I employed the dodge tool with Aperture, the program from Apple I use most often use when tweaking my photographs.
Non-Double Exposure Double Exposure
Yes, yes - those pesky reflections. How to keep them out of our photographs when we don't want them.

Well, there are ways. But why always fight it? The photograph surely tells a story, perhaps one more interesting, than a straight shot of an otter could communicate to the viewer.
Live Otter Fur!
In the wild, I've come close - or close enough - to otters. Never this close, a chance afforded me by the thick plastic separating me from three otters at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

The fur of the sea otter is the most dense of any animal in the world. Its fur can contain up to almost one million strands per inch. The fur is made up of longer waterproof guard hairs and a shorter underfur. The longer hairs keep the dense underfur dry. That combination keeps cold sea water away from the skin of an otter.
Ready for her Close-up
Closer than Close
Over the years I've been to the Monterey Bay Aquarium several times. While I've come close to the otters in the aquarium, I've never come closer than this, and this time the light was even and the window almost clear of water droplets (I cloned out a few). The otter even opened it eyes for me, just long enough for one photograph; in an eye blink, the lid was down again and it stayed down.
Wet Pelican
Pelican, Monterey
The morning was wet and drizzly, the pelican not especially cooperative - not to me, anyway. It was simply time to turn the negatives into plusses, or at least stop fretting over what I could not change. Thus I concentrated on the non-standard shape of the bird, and made my photograph from a non-standard point of view. Then, after the photograph was in my computer, I drained the color from the image,
Taking Flight
Inspired by participant Bruce Bisenz.
Seagull, Monterey, California
Garden of Memories Cemetery, Salinas
Looking down at this little headstone, or even photographing it at eye level would have meant including a fair amount of distracting details. Looking up at the market allowed me to remove most of the clutter. I cloned out a few tree branches, replacing them with the sky.
Along the Backroads of the Salinas Valley
Pier Pilings, Sea Star
Pilings and Reflections, Monterey
While my camera was set for vivid jpegs, I made no color manipulation with my computer, once the photograph was out of my camera. The colors, intense colors, were there for those who made an effort to look for them. A 300mm lens helped pull the colors within reach.
Beneath the Pier, Monterey, California
The colors were there, although they were fainter to my eye than they are on my computer monitor - I pumped up the colors via Aperture, the program I generally use to tweak my photographs.
On the Central Coast
The Carmel River
A 6th of a second gives a bit of a blur to the fast-moving water.
Carmel River Reflections
Reflections in the Carmel River
Fountain, Carmel
Vase and Flowers, Garden of Memories Cemetery, Salinas
Bird of Paradise, Carmel
Flowers in the Garden of Memories Cemetery, Salinas
Rose After the Rain, Carmel, California
Cypress in Salinas, California
Late Light Over Bixby Bridge
Glowing Bridge
The railing of the Bixby Bridge is all of one, homogenous component. Yet the weak sunlight on the interior of the bridge exhibits a warm color, while the light from the blue sky gives a markedly different cast.
Bixby Bridge 2
Bixby Bridge, North End of the Big Sur Coast
Spreckles Market Wall
Awning over the Market, Spreckles, California
Turn Around!
Some of us were intent with photographing sunset east of Eden, over the agriculture fields and the Gabilan Mountains; luckily someone suggested we look behind us, where hell-fire lit the sky.
Mauve Sunset Over the Gabilan Mountains, from the Salinas Valley
Irrigation Pipes at Sunset, Salinas Valley
Irrigation in the Salinas Valley
New Life in the Community of Spreckles, in the Salinas Valley
Although the vegetation is on the sparse side, the leading lines are not. I cut out the horizon line - whatever was there would have interferred with my purpose of leading the viewer into the field, not out of it.
The Fields - Salinas Valley
Reflections of Salinas, National Steinbeck Center
132 Central Avenue @ f/2- The Steinbeck Family Home in Reflection
This is another example showing that reflections can be anywhere. Bruce's dusty 200mm f/2 lens reflects the home where
John Steinbeck lived as a child and young man.
The House That Was Never a Home
A grand home moved from the city of Salinas to a winery some miles out of town, the old house has stood for years, unused.
Forgotten Truck in an Abandoned Barn
Abandoned Barn, Salinas Valley
Sometimes it pays to wait around. The early spring evening in the Salnas Valley was without directly light, until the sun dropped below cloud deck blowing in from the coast. We had a few glorious minutes of light to make our photographs.
In the Bosom of the Santa Lucia Mountains
This is a photograph stitched together from two separate photographs, using the software embedded within Photoshop. The view looks east, with the still invisible Salinas Valley beyond.
Carmel Valley, California
In the Santa Lucia Mountains
Helping Hand, Carmel Mission
While I'm not particularly religious, I can appreciate the desire to understand why we are here, and how we should act. Some of that is embodied in the simple gesture of this little statue.
Looking for a Ride Under Magic Hour Light
A fog bank obscured the sun, dampening our hopes for continued light over the Bixby Bridge. Just before the sun dropped into the sea, it sent a few, dim shafts of light earthward. The angle of the hitting Highway 1 reflected a golden glow to those of us who happened to be looking away from the bridge, and outlined our "model" Eric, who suddenly, of his own volition, became a slightly menacing figure.
Photographing the Landscape from the Santa Lucia Mountains
There are reflections everywhere - we just have to look for them. This clouds in this reflection lined up nicely with the clouds behind the photographer.
Woman in Salinas
I almost always ask permission to make someone's photograph. Almost always.
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