- Lonely Planet's Guide to Travel Photography
- National Geographic Ultimate Field Guide to Travel Photography
- Travels to the Edge: A Photo Odyssey
- Travel Photography: Tread Your Own Path
- Top Travel Photo Tips: From Ten Pro Photographers
- Fearless Photographer: Travel
Point Reyes National Seashore
Point Reyes National Seashore is a living, vibrant vision of California dreamin’: a grand place where the land and the sea meet in natural splendor and light, water and air paint breathtaking images of estuaries, windswept beaches, coastal scrub grasslands, salt and freshwater marshes, coniferous forests, and the creatures that live there.
Any photographer, from beginner to advanced, will be inspired and forever changed by the experience of being here with his or her camera. With 100 square miles of one of nature’s greatest canvases and 80 unspoiled and undeveloped coastline, Point Reyes National Seashore offers the photographer a unique opportunity to develop the finer points of composition, exposure and tonal control, and the specialized techniques to photograph this sublime coastal landscape.
The spectacular, but subtle, sweep of the land and sea spread in front of you will immediately draw your attention. Be patient, however, and look for the patterns of nature. Drive through windswept Bishop pines, hike to Mt. Wittenberg under towering Douglas firs or walk along Bear Valley Trail through mixed woodlands to the exposed coastal scrub near the ocean.
Your objective is something more than the typical tourist snapshots. You want to fill your images with the dynamic spirit of Point Reyes and the Marin Coast and the emotions each time you release the shutter. You want to record a marriage of the light and air that has never occurred and will never occur again.
There is a primal drive in humans that draws them to the sea—the place where life began and emerged to occupy the land. Few locations on Earth present the sea in such dramatic terms as Point Reyes National Seashore. Seastacks and cliffs, wild beaches and headlands frame the environment without dominating it. Here, the photographer will be put to the test to combine creativity and technical skills to see the sea differently and capture the message it’s sending.
The Dance of Light and Fog
The randomness of climate serves the photographer well along Point Reyes and the Marin Coast, as an infinite palette of light, sun, clouds, fog and sea spray dance and swirl into atmospheric mixtures seen nowhere else.
Spring Wildflower Season
Wildflowers bloom at Point Reyes Seashore, February through August, creating glorious carpets of flowers in woodlands, scrublands, grasslands, coastal bluffs, beach, dunes, disturbed areas, salt marsh edges and the flanks of Mt. Tamalpais. The flowers bloom early in the season at Abbotts Lagoon, Chimney Rock and Tomales Point.
Abundant Wildlife of the Sea and Land
Point Reyes National Seashore is home to approximately 40 species of land mammals and at least a dozen species of marine mammals, including one of the largest populations of tule elk. Jutting 10 miles into the Pacific Ocean, Point Reyes offers one of the best spots to view the migrations of the California gray whale. Patience is the key to wildlife photography. You must find the right location, be there at the right time of day and silently wait for the wildlife to emerge. If you’re ready for that challenge, then Point Reyes could be a turning point in developing your photography skills.
Thriving Elephant Seals.
From December through March, a breeding colony of elephant seals can be observed from Elephant Seal Overlook near Chimney Rock, above beautiful Drakes Bay. From the Overlook you can witness and photograph the fascinating behavior of these animals, including male dominance contests, birthing of pups and the interactions of mothers and pups.
Birds at Point Reyes
Point Reyes National Seashore’s coastal location and its wealth of unspoiled habitats, estuaries, grasslands, coastal scrub and forest all attract many migrating and wintering birds. Nearly 490 avian species have been observed in the park and on adjacent waters. Areas to visit with your camera include Bear Valley, Limantour, Bolinas Lagoon, Five Brooks Pond, Abbotts Lagoon, Estero Trail and the Lighthouse Rocks and Cliff area.
Muir Woods National Monument
Within a short distance, you can turn your camera from the magnificent vistas of the sea at Point Reyes to the majestic and timeless redwood forest at Muir Woods National Monument. Here, the light, air and fog do a different dance among the great buttresses of this natural cathedral.
Mount Tamalpais State Park
When the wildflowers draw you to the slopes of Mount Tamalpais, continue to explore the park with your camera. From the 2,571-foot peak, the view of the Pacific is incredible as well as the Marin County hills, San Francisco and the bay, hills and cities of the East Bay and Mount Diablo.
Tomales Bay State Park
This California state park is another natural tapestry of sheltered coves, beaches, tidal marshes and forest of Bishop pines. One of the finest remaining virgin groves of Bishop pine in California is in the park's Jepson Memorial Grove. The area is known for its wildlife sightings of forest creatures—badgers, weasels, deer, bobcats and other animals—and a great diversity of birds—spotted owl, puffins, great blue heron, pelicans, meadowlarks and others.
Visionary Wild’s March 2012 Point Reyes/Marin Coast Photography Workshop
To maximize your experience, enjoyment and photographic results, you’re invited to be one of just 15 photographers to join two renown landscape/wildlife photographers for Visionary Wild’s March 2012 Point Reyes/Marin Coast Photography Workshop.
Jerry Dodrill and Justin Black will lead you through a series of workshops, March 26–30, 2012. You’ll learn composition, working with changing light, exposure control, essential gear and creative tools, fundamentals of digital workflow, an introduction to digital exposure blending and stitching and an intense schedule of photography in the field followed by constructive group critiques—and all in one of the most amazing natural environments and photographic laboratories on Earth.
For complete information, please visit http://visionarywild.com/workshops/point-reyes-and-marin-coast/