Digital Outback Photo
- Photography using Digital SLRs

"Point Lobos State Reserve"

<c> Jeff Cohen

Recently I visited Point Lobos State Reserve, on the California coast just south of Carmel and north of Big Sur. It offers an incredible variety of scenery. Everywhere you turn, there's another view fit for a post card. An excellent place to try out my new wide-angle zoom lens. On this particular day, the theme was fog. It simply refused to burn off.


This bizarre landscape is just off the Sea Lion Point Trail. The ocean may look far away, but during rough seas the waves can come crashing this far ashore, eroding the sedimentary rocks into these strange forms. Closer to the water are tidal pools, easy to reach on a good day like this (and suicidal on a bad day).


The south shore is full of rocky formations like this. When the tides and waves are just right, waves crashing against the shore can send water spraying up high.



The Old Veteran Cypress, possibly the oldest Monterey cypress alive. Point Lobos was originally acquired to protect these trees, which grow only here and at Cypress Point in Carmel.



These three pictures were taken on the Cypress Grove Trail.


I only had the wide-angle lens, but that didn't stop me from shooting some wildlife. This fellow was very cooperative, hardly minding a camera shoved in his face. Of course, this was taken in a picnic area, so the locals are used to people (and what they leave behind).


No, I couldn't get this close to the deer. This is a 1:1 crop from the original, whereas the other pictures were reduced to about 1/4 their original size. This is the only time I really wished I had a telephoto lens with me.

Still, switching lenses in this environment is a bad idea. The UV filter gathered salt deposits frightfully fast, even when I was nowhere near the shore. Best to leave the camera body sealed.


Technical Details

Nikon D1, Nikkor 17-35 AF-S f/2.8 with UV/Haze filter. NEF raw format converted with QImage 9.0, then using Photoshop they were auto-leveled (most of them), reduced or cropped, and converted to JPG. Most pictures required +2/3 exposure compensation to prevent under-exposure (and the resulting shadow noise). Perhaps it was all the bright fog.


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