Rat Rock Island, Hills. China Camp, California. January 6, 2013. © Copyright 2013 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.
Rat Rock Island and hills of the north San Francisco Bay
This remarkable little island sits just a short distance from the shoreline along the northern San Francisco Bay. Several things contribute to its visual appeal. It is unexpected, in that it is not exactly common to find such islands in this bay. It seems that what formed the island might have been a process similar to one found in coastal areas with much rougher seas, where rocky peninsulas are eventually cut off from the shoreline. The area is very quiet, in contrast to the busy north bay areas you typically might drive through to get here, and the main sounds are those of shore birds. The view beyond the island is expansive – the far side of the bay is distant enough that you the hills are little more than a think break along the horizon, and mostly you see sky and water. The shape of the island is almost but not quite symmetrical, and the little bonsai-like trees on the “summit” echo the curve of the island.
I used a nine-stop neutral density filter so that I could get a relatively long ten second exposure for this photograph. The idea was to let the slight motion of the water blur and create a smooth, glassy quality. (If the clouds had been moving faster, they might also have been blurred. Although it probably isn’t apparent in the photograph, this image is partially the result of quite a bit of work during the post-processing phase.
G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist whose subjects include the Pacific coast, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, the Sierra Nevada, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography, and more.
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Text, photographs, and other media are © Copyright G Dan Mitchell (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.