Davenport Bluffs, Dusk

Davenport Bluffs, Dusk - Dusk light on a series of bluffs marching south from Davenport, California
Dusk light on a series of bluffs marching south from Davenport, California

Davenport Bluffs, Dusk. Near Davenport, California. December 8, 2012. © Copyright 2012 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Dusk light on a series of bluffs marching south from Davenport, California

This photograph comes from early December, 2012, when I attempted to join a group of folks on a “photowalk” in the Santa Cruz, California area. I was originally supposed to meet up with them at Henry Cowell park (for photography of redwoods), but missed that mid-morning rendezvous due to my own scheduling issues. I knew they would be heading over to the area near Davenport, just up the coast from Santa Cruz, a bit later in the morning. So I headed over there… and ended up eating my lunch along in a restaurant about 100 yards north of the restaurant where they were all meeting! Then I somehow missed the next rendezvous almost directly across the street, and instead ended up on nearby coastal bluffs to do my photography.

This photograph was the last one I made that evening, well after the sun had set. It was quite dark by this point, so much so that after I finished and packed up it was becoming difficult to see the path back to my car. Exposures were getting quite long – this one was, I believe, about 30 seconds long, and I had been successively opening up my aperture in order to keep the exposure time down to a reasonable half-minute. Often some of the most interesting and evocative light can come after sunset, sometimes well after sunset. The light softens and diffuses, as it comes from large areas of the sky and not from the point source of the sun. The colors change, heading toward blue but also including other subtle tones such as the pinks seen in the clouds in this photograph. And the longer exposures allow me to create a sort of fantastical effect by letting surf and spray blur out over the long exposures. (For a night photographer like me, such images also raise interesting questions about where the boundaries between “night photography” and just plain photography lie.)

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.

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