Steinbeck Country 2011 by DaveWyman
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Under the Fountain at the Carmel Mission
It's one thing to stand back and photograph a lovely fountain. It's another to come up with a new way to see a fountain. My way, for my past couple of visits to the mission, has meant trying to create a compelling image by looking up at the underside of the mission's fountains.
Oak Tree
Another take on the oak tree in the Santa Lucia Mountains.
Kens Lesson
An oak tree high in the Lucia Mountains served as our subject as Ken Rockwell explained how to create the star effect with small f/stops.
, Fishermans Wharf, Monterey
A few of our group wandered over Fisherman's Wharf, and found some steps that led down to a lower level that gave us a close look at the underside of the pier.
Carml River
We journeyed high into the Santa Lucia Mountains, and made our way to the little community of Cachagua, near the headwaters of the Carmel River. We ate lunch and explored the colorful reflections we found in water. As I do with lots of my photographs of reflections, I didn't bother to show the "real" scene above the reflection.
At the Carmel Mission
The march of pillars lead us into the photograph; their thickness, and the arranged greenery, denotes a sense of serene security.
Fence, Spreckels, California
The row of fence tops lead the viewer into the picture, and the dark background makes the fence itself stand out.
Mail Boxes, Spreckels, California
The vintage mail boxes, with their combination locks, caught my eye. They made a line that pulled me into the scene.
Books at the Steinbeck Center
Using diagonal lines - repeating lines (a patter) are even better - can help draw us into a photograph.
A Family Crypt in the Garden of Memories Cemetery, Salinas
The Gesture
Ken Rockwell, in his excellent presentation on our first evening together, discussed the concept of "gesture" in photographs. I think this photograph demonstrates that concept, with it's offset flowerpot and the rightward lean of the faded, silk flower.
Headstone, Garden of Memories Cemetery, Salinas
I made a tight crop and chose to convert the color image black and white.
Downtown Salinas
Sea Anemone Tentacles
On our last, gray morning, our group explored the headlands at Pacific Grove. I spent most of my time bent over a sea anemone with my little point and shoot camera, which sports a surprisingly excellent macro capability. I managed to keep out most of the reflection of the sky by standing directly over my subject (a polarizing filter would have done the same thing).
Jelly Fish
With the help a relatively large f/stop (and the hindrance of a relatively slow useable ISO, which is inherent with all digicams), I was able to freeze the motion of the jellyfish at the Monterey Aquarium.
Pelican Feet on the Commercial Pier in Monterey
I've never focused on just the feet of a pelican before. On this overcast day, that seemed like a good choice; some of the color in the pelican's webbed feet seemed to match the red of the wood rail on which the pelican perched.
Pelican on the Monterey Commercial Dock
The colors of the pelican matched up nicely with the colors on the Commercial Pier in Monterey. A long lens let me nicely blur out the background and exclude the big, yellow boxes that made the yellow reflection behind the pelican.
Sea Lions Sleep Next to the Monterey Pier
A pod of sea lions has taken over what was once a boat dock alongside the the Fisherman's Wharf pier. I aimed my telephoto lens directly into the mass of seals, excluding the wooden remains of the dock (which didn't add anything to the composition).
Sea Lion Yawn - Near San Simeon, California
The sea lion may have been bored, but I wasn't, as I zoomed in on my subject with a telephoto lens.
Shadow Portrait Shoot-Out
Thomas Fenady and I shoot it out next to an old barn in the Salinas Valley.
Calendar Art in the office of the El Castell Motel
Best Stache
The mustache belonged to the gardener at the Garden of Memories cemetery, in Salinas, where John Steinbeck is buried.
After the Party on Cannery Row, Monterey
It's not easy to photograph people well, particularly when there isn't much time to create a rapport. In this case, my fellow photographer, Susan Manley, and I simply commented on how lovely our potential subject looked, as she stepped out of a swanky party along Cannery Row. She obviously was lovely and she just as obviously didn't mind having us make her portrait.
Abuelita - Downtown Salinas
I've photographed this woman on each of my last three visits to Salinas. Blind, she sat on a chair on the sidewalk, selling knit hats and scarves. A few years ago, when we met, she carried bags of aluminum cans, and when I returned the next year
to to show her the portrait I'd made of her, on my iPhone's screen, she said, "Yo soy ciego" - "I'm blind."
James Dean Poster - Downtown Salinas
Dean starred in the film adaption of Steinbeck's East of Eden; a good portion of the book takes place in Salinas, and that's where I found Dean's somewhat ghostly image, residing on poster inside a building on Central Avenue.
At the Sang Cafe - Salinas
"John Steinbeck ate here." So says the sign at the entrance of the Sang Cafe. Mr. Sang posed for our group with two of his waitresses. "Do you have many groups of photographers ask to make your portrait, Mr. Sang?" I asked. "Never," he answered.
The Old House At the Grapes of Wrath Vineyards
We stopped to photograph a ruined house in the Grapes of Wrath vineyards, along the west side of the Salinas Valley. Several of us picked up on the shadow people, who were using the vineyard to mask part of an ugly fence that runs around the house.
Wet Field Hand
A worker wanders through an irrigated field in the Salina Valley. Did he raise his hands in spontaneous joy, or was he performing for our group of photographers? There's no way to know.
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