California's Central Coast
Today we arose in San Simeon, and headed to see the seals at 6:30 AM. As a reward for waking up in the dark, it was completely overcast.
Elephant Seals, Piedras Blancas, California, 7:15 AM.
The reason we were lucky that it was overcast is because the soft light let us see inside the seal mouths. If it were sunny, I'd have no picture because there would be little to no pink visible in the seal mouths.
For the action shots of the seals, I set the lowest speed in Auto ISO to 1/125. I made a ton of snaps, especially enjoying the high speed 9 FPS "braaaap" of my D3 firing to catch action sequences. Unlike consumer cameras that choke above 5 or 6 FPS, the D3 enjoys running at 9-10 FPS all day. At that rate, it doesn't sound like a camera, it sounds more like the firing rate of an M16 rifle, whose firing rate is about the same, and the D3 won't overheat if shot at this rate all day long.
Pine Cone, San Simeon, California, 8:11 AM.
I snapped this from the stairs of our motel. The red inside the pine cone makes it look like it's hot. I dodged (lightened) this red area slightly.
Rockwell in the Window, Linn's, Cambria, California, 8:45 AM.
Actually, this is a mirror.
Rockwell by the Toilets, Linn's, Cambria, California, 9:53 AM.
Cambria, California, 10:06 AM.
The Central Coast is loaded with great signs, and it seems that Southpaw Sign Company is responsible for many of my favorites.
Duck Store, Cambria, California, 10:08 AM.
I straightened this with Photoshop's lens distortion filter. I had to point the camera down to see the ducks, so the lines converged. Roll your mouse over the image to see how it came from the camera. If I had pointed the camera square to the window, half the image would be looking at duck butts from below.
Harmony, California, 11:12 AM.
I dialed-in -0.3 stops of exposure compensation because it was a tad too light without it.
Foolish sign, Montaña de Oro, California, 12:45 PM.
City people are funny. Who else would try to put nature in a store, and then sell it? If you put nature in a store, it isn't nature any more. Some of the world's more beautiful nature is here, but it's not in the store.
Otters, Montaña de Oro, California, 1:49 PM.
Poppies, Montaña de Oro, California, 2:18 PM.
I cropped this from a larger image. Here's the full frame:
Sea and Surf, Corallina Cove, Montaña de Oro, California, 3:07 PM.
I made a lot of snaps as the water gushed in and flowed back out. I had to pay attention and keep on my toes so I didn't get drenched. I was a foot or two above the gravel.
Spraybow, Montaña de Oro, California, 3:45 PM.
The sea spray caught the light, and made these transient rainbows as the waves crashed ashore.
Poppies, Montaña de Oro, California, 3:55 PM.
I was too lazy to get on the ground and make this shot. Then I saw a smarter photographer, Christine Krieg, simply hold her camera under the poppy and fire. That's how I made this, without having to trouble myself. To get the sun behind the poppy, I looked at its shadow on my lens, and knew if the shadow went deep into the center of my lens, that the sun was behind the poppy.
I used -0.7 exposure compensation, otherwise the sun was too bright. I brought my camera to eye level to review images and set compensation; I don't use no stinking live view.
Tree Bridge, See Canyon, California, 6:11 PM.
I used +0.7 exposure compensation to make this look like this. I also dodged (lightened) the end of the road, and burned (darkened) the distractingly bright left side. I also removed two markers. To see how the image looked before burning and dodging, move your mouse over the image.
Joey's BBQ, San Simeon, California, 8:47 PM.
I used +0.7 exposure compensation, and lightened it further in Photoshop using a curves adjustment layer mask. I then painted gray on the mask so that the extra lightening didn't lighten the brighter parts as much, keeping them from blowing out.
This was a real BBQ, with everything smoked over Red Oak.
That's it for a long day of fun!