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Pictures on your Day Off

I took these photos while working for an architect who specializes in exotic coastal homes in the Carmel / Big Sur, California area. They were not part of the assignment, but the area is so beautiful that it was hard to resist taking photographs on my one day off. I vividly remembered an area that I had photographed many years before while studying with the legendary Ansel Adams.

Douglas Carver Tip4

To the surprise of others, I continued to pack my photo gear despite the heavy fog and light rain. I knew that the tonal range of the white sea-foam and the dark water-saturated rock was hard to capture (that’s one reason why Ansel invented the Zone system).

As good luck would have it, the drizzle stopped and the fog pulled back, leaving a soft even canopy of cloud light – the perfect illuminant for capturing a long tonal range. I chose a diagonal composition that would add energy to the frame and captured the costal rock photograph.

Douglas Carver Tip4b

When the sun finally broke through the cloud cover, I rushed the back to a scene I had noticed earlier. At first viewing the light had been too flat and the scene was lifeless, but the potential was there.  Now the scene was bathed in a soft raking light. I balanced the path on the left with highlighted rock on the right edge of the frame and captured the photograph.


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