In my previous throwback, I mentioned feeling a little bit fatigued with the routine but, looking at the photos from January 2013, I immediately felt like continuing with it — while allowing myself to opt out at any given time. :)
So here are a few “survivor” photos that match my current taste for photos. In the winter months, we can draw from so many photographic possibilities here in San Diego County: cool temperatures in the desert, lovely clouds and king tides at the coast, and greening of the inland areas and foothills.
In the desert, I went to see some slot canyons, but while my fascination with these places never ends, the photos that I have don’t excite me as much anymore, or perhaps just not at present. Instead, here is a landscape photo made at the end of day:
This is “Palm Benchmark”, which is on the Sierra Club’s 100 Peaks list for San Diego County. I hiked it a few years later in less than ideal conditions (cold, windy, raining) and it’s one of the list peaks that I would definitely hike again. Below the peak lies a maze of canyons that invite exploration — which is exactly what we did most recently, inspired by looking at this very photo. :)
January 2013 also was when I first met fellow photographer Joseph W. Smith in person, for a morning photo-hike at Hollenbeck Canyon. We had followed each other on Google+ already, pretty much since its inception (was that in summer 2012?), looked at each other’s photos and exchanged comments. I had hiked in the area of Hollenbeck Canyon before, but Joe showed me a wonderful riparian area with terrific oaks of which I wasn’t aware at all. Seeing something that resembles more or a real forest was a treat for my eyes.
A few more from that morning, all in black & white, are here: Hollenbeck Canyon Morning.
Then there was the coast, of course — I was curious about long exposure photography and wanted to know how a much longer exposure time than I’d usually aim for would look, and whether it would be worth pursuing that. This photo provided the answer:
And that answer is: no, it’s not really worth to make 16 minute long exposures. The same look with completely smooth water can be achieved with exposure times in the range of two to four minutes. :)
Towards the end of the month, I asked Joe to go on a desert hike, to repay him for showing me a new place, and obviously by showing him a new place. It was a really special day with beautiful clouds and over time, this photo has become one of my all-time favorites: