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Fog and Blue Sky, Drakes Bay | by G Dan Mitchell
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Fog and Blue Sky, Drakes Bay

Fog and Blue Sky, Drakes Bay. Point Reyes National Seashore, California. August 18, 2012. © Copyright 2012 G Dan Mitchell - all rights reserved.


Fog intrudes on blue sky over Drakes Bay, Point Reyes National Seashore.


One more "minimal seascape" from my mid-August visit to Point Reyes National Seashore - a short visit of mostly an afternoon, on which I headed to Limantour looking for sun along the coast. That's not quite what I found - but you can never be sure what the weather will do along this section of the Pacific coastline. Descending on the final bit of road to the beach, it was apparent that I was going to be dealing with fog. This photograph is looking more or less southwest, but straight to the west and to the northwest things were already completely socked in. After making this photograph I finished the drive to Limantour and then took a walk out toward some of the nearby estuaries - and that entire walk was under fog and in cold wind.


I have been doing a series of minimal seascape photographs for some time now, making a few more images of this type whenever I happen to be near the coast and conditions are right. These photographs are a bit trickier than they might appear. It almost looks like I could just point that camera out toward the ocean and make them - and, in fact, when I started this it almost seemed like it might be that easy. Before long I figured out that if I worked that way I would end up with... photos that looked like I just pointed the camera out toward the ocean. So I look for scenes, usually involving some sort of clouds, fog, or mist and often some interesting lighting that seem to create, for the most part, nice stable images that may have a bit more going on in them if you have time to look closely, and which also usually might evoke some sense of the calm and stability of the sea. Here I was mostly interested in the clouds, but I decided to anchor the sky to just a thin strip of water, darker blue but also partly obscured by the lower edge of the fog bank. I aimed toward a boundary area between the blue sky and the thicker fog, and captured an area of transition where both sky and fog are in play. Believe it or not, there was a fair amount of work to be done in post, including getting the right amounts of contrast and pushing the brightest parts of the clouds just far enough to create a feeling of light, but not so far as to look fake.


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 August 18, 2012