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Reflections of Spring - Shell Ridge Mt. Diablo State Park | by Darvin Atkeson
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Reflections of Spring - Shell Ridge Mt. Diablo State Park

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Some say California doesn't have seasons. Granted we don't get blizzards

but we do often get snow on Mt. Diablo and with that spring amongst the oak

trees of the Shell Ridge Open Area about 30 miles east of San Francisco. I

think the thing I love most about this area is the vast variety of landscape

photography available within a short distance. The plan for the day was to

head to the coast but upon seeing that there was little cloud cover to the

west I quickly turned my attention to my own backyard and headed up to Mt.

Diablo. It's spring here and as I type I can hear the patter of rain on

the windows. Spring storms this year have been plentiful and as a result

we have a lush green carpet of grass on the coastal foothills. I had seen

Shell Ridge on Flickr and with the clouds hovering over Mt. Diablo decided

it was a good day to visit. With some help of some locals out walking their

dog I found the park entrance and with just a short hike up the hill

discovered one of the many watering ponds on the hills. The hills are

pasture land for cattle and as a result have multiple trails crisscrossing

all along the park so you can walk just about anywhere along the cattle

trails or stick to the main fire roads. The grass was waist high in most

areas due to the vast rainfall we received this year so I stuck to the main

fire trails till I came to the pond. There was a slight breeze so to

capture the reflections better I added an ND filter and stopped the aperture

all the way down on the camera thus increasing my exposure time. Of course

this meant that the heavy aluminum tripod I was toting came in real handy

and I was able to get a crisp shot even with the long exposure. It pays to

have a good solid tripod. I could see from the back of my camera I was

getting many good shots of the reflections of the bright blue sky with the

green oaks and the intense green grassy hills. The clouds just over the

ridge just added icing to the cake. I will definitely be back to

photograph this place again, perhaps in the summer when the grass turns a

bright golden hue.




© Darvin Atkeson

LiquidMoonlight Photography

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Taken on April 3, 2010