Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I've gone to the birds

White-tailed Kite
Red-tailed Hawk
Barn Owl
My photography seems to have taken on a 'bird' theme recently. I find it to be very challenging to get the shots I 'see' in my mind. This is good for the most part (challenge stretches our minds - right?) but it is also frustrating at times. I miss far more shots than I get. Birds in flight are especially difficult. Many, many times the bird is not in focus and sometimes when I am panning with a bird in flight I don't even manage to keep it in the frame of the photo. When I do get an acceptable shot, I feel elated. Now add the element of low light. I have gone out in the evening multiple times attempting to photograph Barn Owls. In the Owl shot I am sharing here I got lucky. The last rays of the sun provided just enough beautiful golden light to make the shot possible. But much more often the Owls don't appear until after the sun has set. So now I am working on learning on how to use my flash. I'll just have to keep on working at it until I have some mastery. Of course, going out to sit in Nature at the end of the day is no hardship. It is a very zen experience. Something I would take pleasure in even if there weren't Owls.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Point San Luis Lighthouse

I made my first trip out to the Point San Luis Lighthouse last week. It was a rich experience I shared with a group of fellow photographers. The lighthouse has been lovingly restored and is a delight to see. Construction began on it in 1889 and was completed the next year. The light was first officially lit on June 30, 1890. The beam of light from the beautiful Fresnel lens was visible 17 nautical miles out to sea.  The original kerosene lamp in the tower was replaced with an electric light in 1933 and the Fresnel lens was retired in 1969 and replaced by an automated electric light. In 1974 the lighthouse was closed by the Coast Guard. It was not until 1995 that the Point San Luis Lighthouse Keepers - a non-profit corporation - was formed to take on the responsibility of restoring the lighthouse to its former glory. Today that restoration is largely completed and visitors get a glimpse into the past when they visit this historic site. I plan to go back soon and take one of the interpretive tours with a docent to learn more about this treasure on the Central Coast.