Monthly Archives: February 2018

“Sierra de la Laguna and Estuary” – San Jose del Cabo

“Sierra de la Laguna and Estuary” - San Jose del Cabo

“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity” 
― John Muir

I realized, as I was posting this image, that the same scene is the background for a previous post. But, that’s how I create many of my compositions. Several images from the same vantage point, as I take in my surroundings and observe the various elements that make up the broader scene.

What resonates with me in this image is the stark contrasts between the lush vegetation of the estuary in the foreground and the stark mountains of the Sierra de la Laguna in the background. By the way, all the green you see on the slopes of the mountain are various varieties of cactus and other brittle and spiky desert plants.

This image was made close to mid-day and a fine veil of mist hangs above lush palms like a halo, creating a slight haze across the lower mountains.

The Sierra create what I often term a ‘spine’ down the centre of the Baja Peninsula. Though rugged and mostly arid, I have noticed a few places which are green and inviting. These places will need to be explored on future visits to this region which beckons my back.

Nikon D800
Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G I AF-S VR Zoom @ 300mm
1/400 sec, f/10.0 ISO 400

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“Voice of the Pacific”

“Voice of the Pacific”

“I spent uncounted hours sitting at the bow looking at the water and the sky, studying each wave, different from the last, seeing how it caught the light, the air, the wind; watching patterns, the sweep of it all, and letting it take me.
The sea.” 
― Gary Paulsen

As in the quote I selected, I spent a lot of time sitting on the shore, filling my lungs with the wonderful smell of the ocean, watching the waves as they thundered to shore, and listening to the complex sounds of the waves as they crashed, churned, and receeeded . The sound is the inspiration for the title of this image. The words “Voice of the Pacific” resonated through me, as I sat entranced the marvel and sheer power of this mighty ocean.

I was trying to do it justice through many shots of waves captured at different speeds and different times of day and then felt inspired to use the same technique I use for my abstract tree images and tried a horizontal pan. It took many shots to get what I was after but I am pleased with the result.

The image above captures many of the elements which I found myself observing from the shore: the roll and foam of the waves as they crashed and collided with the shore and each other, the subtle shades of green and aqua within the waves, the movement of the water, and the vast expanse of water on the distant horizon. From this vantage point, looking due south, there is only ocean for thousands of kilometers, till the ocean meets the far distant shores of Antarctica. it’s quite overwhelming.

As I look at the image, It brings back very clear memories of this time I had with the sea, mere weeks ago now. I still here the voice of the Pacific becoming my return and I will return to hear what more it has to offer me.

Nikon D800
Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G I AF-S VR Zoom @ 116mm
1/4 sec, f/36.0 ISO 100

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Travel Oddities”

“Travel Oddities”

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” 
― Marcel Proust

It’s pretty amazing the things we see when travelling. I’m not talking about the tourist traps or grand vistas, for me, it’s about the mundane and pondering what something is and how it got to be there.

On a recent trip to Baja, I came across several stacks of wood along the beach. They were out-of-place and were not there last year. In fact, this stretch of beach has a significant absence of driftwood. Last year this wide swath of beach separated the San Jose  del Cabo estuary for the Sea of Cortez. The estuary, is the outflow of fresh water that has accumulated via sand streams (a slow percolation of groundwater from inland) and is separated from the ocean by a strip of land. In this case, a beach, about 50 meters wide.

The estuary is rich with plant and bird life as opposed to the rest of this mountainous, desert peninsula, dominated by rock sand and cactus

I wondered who had stacked these pieces of wood in this fashion and automatically assumed it was the surf fishermen or surfers who frequent this strip of beach. The who remains unknown but how the wood got here became clear on talking to people who were in the area after hurricane Lydia came through the area last fall.

The heavy winds and rainfall overwhelmed the estuary causing the whole structure to shift several hundred meters east. The wood came for trees uprooted in the estuary and deposited in the ocean, which eventually pushed the wood ashore. Apparently, it was quite unpleasant after the storm as not only trees and garbage, but also wildlife and people squatting within the estuary lands were also washed out to sea.

So, this simple odd composition has a story to tell, if you but ask.

Nikon D800
Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G I AF-S VR Zoom @ 116mm
1/250 sec, f/8.0 ISO 100

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
or my website (images are available for purchase)

“Over the Estuary” – San Jose del Cabo, Mexico

“Over the Estuary” - San Jose del Cabo, Mexico

“Because there’s nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it’s sent away.” 
― Sarah Kay

After a sustained hiatus, I’m going to start back into my blogging with an image that is an escape from the cold, slow filled winter we have experienced this year. Mostly because this winter has offered me little material that I have felt inspired by and I have not done much indoor floral photography, which was my go to activity last winter.

Today, I’m sharing one of my favourite views, the southern tip of the Baja peninsula as viewed across the estuary at San Jose del Cabo.

The whole scene evokes fond memories for me in the combination of sand, sea, and southern mountains. The shot itself captures these elements in nice layers, transitioning from grasses and freshwater, to the sandy beach, ocean, and distant coastal mountain.

The estuary itself has existed for many years, even being referenced in the logs of early european sailors, who made it a regular stop to refresh steps of drinking water. I will go into more detail about this fascinating feature in upcoming posts. For now, enjoy a simple composition from warmer climes.

Nikon D800
Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G I AF-S VR Zoom @ 300mm
1/400sec, f/10.0 ISO 400