It was seeing the work of Galen Rowell and reading his columns that got me wanting to photograph nature. Naturally I tried to shoot like Galen with many wide-angle near/far compositions, using ND grads to bring in brightly lit areas and hold the shadows. Unlike Galen, I didn’t have a lot of opportunities to shoot in the mountains. However, some Pacific Ocean beaches were as close to me as a half-hour drive, and many more distant ones could still be reached for a shoot. So, I took a lot of sunrise and sunset seascape images.
At some point I was finished. It wasn’t a realization, but rather the answer to a question posed by a photographer friend, Why don’t I shoot some more seascapes? What came out of my mouth was, I felt I’ve accomplished what I wanted to with the beaches near to me. I still feel that way, and I’ve had no desire to shoot any seascapes since. There were certain near/far problems that I was trying to solve, and I feel that I’ve solved them to my satisfaction. Recently I tried shooting again at Muir Beach just to see if I could get excited again, and came home empty-handed. If I should find myself at a new and different location, say Salt Point or some other interesting beach, who knows how I’ll feel.
This photo is one of the last images I took at Muir Beach and is probably my favorite of all my seascapes.
Now I mainly photograph trees and occasionally mountains. I’m still endlessly fascinated with trying to capture certain trees. With many of them exhibiting new spring leaves, I’m on the lookout for something fresh.
I do fear that I’ll just continue to repeat myself, and end up taking the same photograph over and over. I have no idea if I’m doing that. Only time will tell.