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Forest, Morning Light | by G Dan Mitchell
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Forest, Morning Light

Forest, Morning Light. Point Lobos State Reserve, California. March 29, 2012. © Copyright 2012 G Dan Mitchell - all rights reserved.


Morning light shines into forest at the top of bluffs above the Pacific Ocean, Point Lobos State Reserve.


These forests at Point Lobos are often very appealing places to be, but I find them to be difficult to photograph! They are full of light in the right conditions - while the trees can grow somewhat close together, they tend to form a relatively open canopy that lets the light in. There is often moss hanging down from branches. Various plants grow along the ground - though watch out for the poison oak! And, of course, when you are actually there the constant sound of the surf is never far away, the air is cool, and there is often at least some breeze.


But some of these same attractive features are the source of (for me, anyway) the challenges of photographing these forests. The light, as beautiful as it is, can be very tricky. Because of the thin canopy of the trees, the direct sunlight often makes it down into the lower reaches of the forest and hits trunks and branches, creating spots of very bright light that are hard to manage. I could photograph (and have done so) in overcast or foggy conditions... but there goes that light. And the dense growth makes it difficult to find compositions that show the larger forest itself rather than just isolated elements of it. But on this visit high, thin clouds came to the rescue. While they were thin enough to allow directional sun light into the forest, they were just opaque enough to take the harsh edge off of the light.


G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer whose subjects include the Pacific coast, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, the Sierra Nevada, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography, and more.

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Text, photographs, and other media are © Copyright G Dan Mitchell (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.

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Taken on March 29, 2012