Pacific Ocean, Clearing Storm

Posted on 03 March 2013

Pacific Ocean, Clearing Storm

Pacific Ocean, Clearing Storm

Pacific Ocean, Clearing Storm. Central California Coast. February 18, 2013. © Copyright 2013 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Sun breaks through clouds as a storm clears above the Pacific Ocean along the California coast.

On this mid-February day, we did a long looping drive down from the San Francisco Bay Area to the lower end of Big Sur coast and back up along the Coast Highway. It seems that for a good part of the past month or two, my photographic trips have been excellent predictors of awful weather, usually of the gray, flat, and cloudy type. (Fortunately, I’ve seen enough great days that I feel like this is a matter of balance in the universe, and I know that I’ll get my good light days again soon enough.) Although I proclaimed that by going south we would escape the northern California fog that was around that day, by the time we got out to the coast near Piedras Blancas… it was raining! And rain wasn’t even in the weather forecast.

When I encounter such weather or other impediments to photography, I have a series of ways to cope with the situation. I tell myself that I’m “scouting” locations that I’ll come back to in better conditions – and, frankly, this often turns out to be true. Sometimes I might just decide not to focus on photography so much and perhaps try other things. But most often I keep looking, and sometimes I start seeing small things that sort of sneak up on me and are then gone. Looking at this photograph you might imagine a day of glorious light passing through broken clouds to light the ocean. In reality, it was moments of such light, with many moments of gray in between. But when this light does shine though a cloud deck that is thinning and produces reflecting patterns stretching to the horizon, such a moment may make a long day’s drive worth it.

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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