Tuesday, September 25, 2018


While visiting with our sons in California this last summer we stayed with friends in route and they took us to Morrow Bay, on the Coast, for a marvelous seafood lunch. I had not been to Morro Bay in decades so, photographically it felt fresh—like I was seeing it for the first time. After lunch I suggested we drive out to Morro Rock so we could do a walk. I wanted to get out of the town and into the natural environment there at the coast; my camera beckoned me!

Parked near Morro Rock I knew that the huge landmark was not going to be a subject for me—it’s too big! Even being a hundred yards away it’s like a towering skyscraper dominating the landscape.  So, I put my 70-200mm lens on my camera and prepared to do what I do best (as I teach my students) and look for interesting slices of nature within the huge costal landscape.

While walking around Morro Rock looking back to the town the three huge stacks of the old Morro Bay Power Plant certainly dominated that landscape. That was not what I had in mind for a natural composition at the coast!

However, in the foreground this was what I saw happening in the ocean….

f10.0 @ 1/800 sec., ISO 400; Lens @ 102mm

This great scene was not just there waiting for me to show up—I hand to wait for it to develop. When I first walked up and put the viewfinder to my eye with my lens zoomed to its widest at 70mm this was the whole scene…

The Whole Ugly Scene; but look at that foreground!
Ten minutes later before the tour boat came into the bay the water was pretty smooth and the reflections of the smoke stacks were too literal a presentation for me. But, I loved that floating seaweed an the sea otter having his lunch was great as well.

So, I waited a bit and when I saw that boat approaching I thought that a boat that size should create a wake that would help me with this scene and the vision I had in my head.

That small wait really paid off.  Not only did I get some terrific ripples in the water, created by the boat’s wake, but the sea otter floated deeper into my frame and a bird landed in the water as well!

I just waited a few more seconds for that bird to paddle in-between the stacks before I started with the zoomed in image cropping out he top half of the whole scene.

I got what I wanted—a symbolic blending of nature and the abstract reflection of an abandoned man-made blight on the environment.

’Til next week…

Author: Jerry W. Venz, PPA Master Photographer, Craftsman
Training site: http://www.LightAtTheEdge.com
Client site: http://www.TheStorytellersUsa.com

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