Gone to See America 2010. Big Sur Photography Workshop with Michael Mariant. Day 1: Morning.
The group attending the Big Sur Photography Workshop with Michael Mariant was scheduled to meet for breakfast in San Simeon. I walked down to the shore along the Pico Creek before breakfast to get some early morning images. The first is of the succulent sea fig (Carpobrotus chilensis) plant and its flower. It turns out that this is an invasive species. I then saw some tracks in the sand. I wondered if they were from a mountain lion, but since the nails were present — probably a dog. There was a lot of drift wood on the beach. Some to build a wind shelter. After breakfast, the group went to Piedras Blancas beach to view the Elephant Seals. The same place I was the previous evening. While Michael was beginning his workshop, I managed to catch a patrol of Brown Pelicans flying over in formation. Several more images of the Elephant Seals, including one with a Chipmunk on the sand. The final image includes the Piedras Blancas Rock and Lighthouse in the background (and a yawning Elephant Seal near the bottom right).
Gone to See America 2010. Big Sur Photography Workshop with Michael Mariant. Day 1: Afternoon/Evening.
For the Afternoon, we spent time at Redwood Gulch Falls. The light levels within the forest near the falls ranged from very bright to very dark — well beyond the capability of DSLR sensors. Here I used Singh-Ray filters (to smooth out the water flow) and HDR (took 5 images under and over exposed) which were then combined using Photomatix. Later on we traveled to Sand Dollar beach. Our first exercise was to use filters at the beach to give the waves a soft ethereal effect. As the sun set over the Pacific ocean, I used HDR again to adapt to the wide range of light.
Gone to See America 2010. Big Sur Photography Workshop with Michael Mariant. Day 0: Piedras Blancas Beach.
I arrived in San Simeon on the California coast the day before the Big Sur Workshop. After dinner, I drove 7 miles north to the Elephant Seal view-point on Piedras Blancas beach. There are hundreds of Elephant Seals just being lazy and making a lot of noise. The young males are mock fighting, but not doing much damage. This was an image rich environment.