Creative: NoCal Coast

I wasn’t sure where to post this. Adventure or Creative? Take your pick because it straddles both. I slept in my truck, built a fire and walked remote and wrinkled pieces of Earth, but I also made images, used my 50-140 f/2.8 for the first time and managed to lose my soft release in less than three minutes. I digress.

Damnit, I’m a nature photographer now. Just look at this masterful bird image. An instant classic. Prints are on sale starting at $10,000 for a 4×6. Please check my Instagram channel for all relevant information. On a serious note, as I mentioned above, this was my first chance to use my 50-140 f2.8. I hadn’t used a lens like this for YEARS, but I loved it. Not that I will make images with this that will hang on my wall but it’s fun for me to make pictures like this. I like to remember these moments. Nothing more. For you gearheads…it’s a great lens. Yes it’s large and bulky like all lenses of this nature, but it’s really fast, really sharp and the image stabilization works better than any IS lens I’ve ever had.

This situation/trip is what I’m aiming to do more of. I’ve attempted to consolidate my work week into M-Th so I can have three days to get out. This was my first trip to satisfy this desire. I have no photographic agenda other than to give myself a chance. Sunset, sunrise. Get up and do it even when it’s cold like it was on this trip.

Slept in the Tacoma. Four layers and my sleeping bag and I was warm. Had second bag in reserve. For those of you who don’t know, California, especially NoCal, is not only damn cold it’s also damn damp. The combo creates a cold that seeps in under the door. Within minutes of digging out my bag and unrolling it inside the truck it was covered in dew and we still had two ours of daylight left. Throw in the wind off the bay and this skinny boy was hunting for shelter.

I had a moment on this trip. Sitting alone staring into the fire. A moment where all else just disappeared and my entire life was a pinpoint of energy connected to the fire.(Cue chanting now.) What is important? How do I better understand the world? I don’t know for sure, nor was I awarded an answer of any kind, but my entire wardrobe now smells like smoke and that is a good beginning.

12 Comments on “Creative: NoCal Coast”

  1. NoCal camping, man. There’s some memories.

    It’s important, I think. In the end it’s just a simulation, but when you’re camping you’re really back to basics. It recreates that sensation of “survival” mode, where the only thing to do is the next thing you need to do. Move. Prepare food. Eat. Sleep. Move. Prepare food. Eat. Sleep.

    It’s a lot nicer doing this knowing that you can bug out any time, jump in the truck and go back to your apartment in town, but in the moment, your body gets a chance to remember those primal moves, that ancient rhythm.

    1. AM,
      Camping is pretty funny. A perfect way to quickly understand many of the things we take for granted. Water usage, bathroom usage, exposure to the animal kingdom and how quickly one gets dirty, REALLY dirty. I’m lucky. My brother and I used to see who could go the longest without a shower. This was Texas days when we were young. Rivers and lakes. Rivers and lakes. Those didn’t count, so it was DAYS and DAYS without a proper shower. And we loved it. Still do. Camping/hiking/trekking also, for me anyway, is a very quick way to remind myself how easy it would be to drop out of society and never look back.

  2. Beautiful, love the bird shots…..The top photo, I know they are gulls, but I can’t help but read them as vultures….maybe it’s the political climate we’re in….Great to see you back on a “project”.

    1. Michael,
      Probably going to be random work but I’ve got no choice at this point. Plus, I don’t really want this to be anything else.

  3. Glad to read you are getting a chance to ‘get out there’ and enjoy life..and the new lens. Sitting here this morning looking out at the mixed snow & rain and the steady breeze that is supposed to turn into wind by the time I start up my first tree. Another perfect day for camping, or working outdoors, in the PNW. A day where you might even dream you are somewhere warm, like, say, California.
    😉
    Hope you get to enjoy many more three day weekends!

    1. JT,
      I’d die up there. On my way to NM soon. It’s been REALLY warm all winter. Highs in the 50’s, which is way above normal. And no snow. So perfect for me. Terrible for the rest of humanity and the planet.

    1. Nick,
      Agreed. It is truly amazing what being outside with a fire will do. And it’s not like I was in some uber remote place. Not even close. Makes we want to go to a truly remote place. My luck I’d have a kidney stone.

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