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Crescent  moon at sunset as lightbeams shoot across the evening sky at Morro Bay California
Crescent  moon at sunset as lightbeams shoot across the evening sky at Morro Bay California

The Vagaries Of Seeing ~ Photogaphy

I couldn't help but wonder whether this surfer was even aware of the sunset he likely sees so often.
I couldn't help but wonder whether this surfer was even aware of the sunset he likely sees so often.

As the sun turns out the lights on another day a in Morro Bay California a central coast surfer makes good use of the last bit of daylight to find the perfect wave to propel himself home. As he watched wave after wave to pick the ones he wanted I wondered if he was cognizant of the outstanding optical phenomena going on all around him. For the surfer it is probably just another sunset, for the visiting photographer it is panoply of subjects on parade in front of the lens.

I wanted to take pictures of the evening light reflection in the wet sand of low tide so I slung my 500mm outfit over my shoulder and set my short telephoto setup on the tripod and headed down the beach just shortly before sunset. I was constantly switching between the two. The 500 I would hand hold but I would use the arm on the tripod for a handy and quick support.

Beach cruisers, Morro Bay, couple, lovers, romance,
Beach cruisers, Morro Bay

I would shoot couples walking and riding bicycles down the beach, I’d shoot them wide then switch to the 500mm. I’d shoot the grand scenic wide then wait for the mobile silhouette to move into the proper place. No shortage of subject matter here this beautiful beach at sunset now that I could see the parade of photographic subjects with a visitors eye.

I moved to Yellowstone Region from California in 1987 because all the things I wanted to shoot were in the mountains and California's mountains were too crowded and although I spent much time living at the beach what I saw there no longer seemed special therefore became ignored by my photographers eye. I enjoyed the grand scene but the ebb and flow of fantastic photo fodder was lost on me, I no longer saw it as panoply of wonderful elements in a fantastic place.

It is amazing to me how even now I ignore what is right out my window in my beautiful Idaho mountain valley because something better is 100 miles down the road where the grass is always greener. The beautiful ubiquity around me shamefully I rarely see as a potential photograph.

Supercell at lake near my home
Supercell at lake near my home

Yes I get plenty of good stuff in my area but I do feel like a slacker when I look at what my visiting photograpeher buddies like Jeff Clow, Stephen Oachs, Jerry Patterson etc. produce in a short window of time on their visits to were I live. They as visitors with a limited window of time have to look closer and do a better job of “seeing” to make good use of their time. Consequently when I look at what they produce in my back yard it opens my eyes to some of what I have driven past but failed to see.

Seeing is a funny thing possibly because it is so entwined with the vagaries of our human mind. We often times don’t register beauty we see all the time, we pass it by for the rarer but no better beauty on the other side of the proverbial fence.

I wish I would see my home terrain and appreciate the nuance of the visitor’s eye or scrutinize with the urgency of the seasoned pro with a limited amount of time. I will have to work on that.

Swan Valley Idaho, I'm now more congnizant of the beauty around me. It still takes effort to look deeper into what you see every daly.


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