Monthly Archives: February 2014

Novato, California

A nice early spring blossoming of the plum trees here in Novato, CA. Its a very magical time of the year that lasts about a week when the numerous plum and cherry plum trees are filled with beautiful white and pinkish blossoms.

Today was the perfect day to get some shots of these spring time blossoms with a light cloud cover adding in some drama to the sky. Took this one in my back yard with my trusty (and heavy) manual AiS lens.

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Novato, California

Spring seems to be upon us here in Marin County despite the forecast for a nasty storm coming this week! I took the opportunity to capture the plum blossoms out in the back yard before they blanket the ground and are gone for another year.

I decided this was a prime opportunity to use my old 35-70mm f/3.5 AiS manual focus lens as the minimum focus distance is extreemly short, 0.35 meters to be exact! The result is a nice sharp foreground and a background that is just bursting with color and that nice out-of-focus bokeh.

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Novato, Califirnia

After getting some shots of the lower falls I made the first climb up to the top of the middle falls. I was hoping to get to the base of the middle falls, but found that the side of the hill I was climbing just didn’t provide access easy enough. Instead though, I managed to get into position in the middle of the creek for a shot looking down over the middle falls and into the valley below.

The creek here is quite narrow and the water flow wasn’t at its peak, wich worked out perfectly for this shot. The vantage point here is is somethere around 75 feet above the base of the lower falls, certainly not a drop I’d like to make myself. The upper falls are another quarter mile up the valley behind me.

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Novato, California

The lower cascade of Fairway Falls is known by another name, Arroyo de San Jose. While this is the proper name for this waterfall, most will just refer to it as the more common Fairway Falls due to the trailhead being at the end of Fairway Drive and near the Ignacio golf course.

I got a bit closer for this shot to really emphasize the ferns and moss growing on the rock face of the small waterfall. You can see how the moss directs the water and creates many drip spouts and the whole scene just explodes with vibrant green color. Certainly not what comes to mind when I typically think of Novato.

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Davenport, California

The long stretch of coastline south of Davenport is a popular destination on warm sunny days where the various beaches are dotted with people from all over the bay area. On the not so warm days however, many of these beaches are empty save for the waves and wildlife.

Panther Beach is one such beach. With access to the beach limited by the tide, and a moderate climb down the cliffs, many beachgoers will pass up the rare opportunity to have the beach to themselves. Jenn and I decided to do just that for some fun shooting on a rather cloudy day.

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Novato, California

Quite a ways up from the lower and middle falls is a third cascade under heavy tree cover. The climb up to this area is steep, and once you reach the falls you are left with the decision to climb down or view through the trees from the top. Of course, for getting a picture the only choice is to climb down from above. There is no trail, only the side of the canyon to clammer down.

Thanks to an abundance of trees, rocks, and roots; I was able to reach the mid-point of the falls and find a good position that wasn’t obstructed by tree branches. The falls flow right over a large crack in the rock face and continue to fall another 10 feet deep into the canyon below. Reaching the bottom, while possible, is not advised as the rocks are covered in moss and extremely slippery.

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Novato, California

Did a bit of climbing out at Fairway Falls earlier today. While the lower falls are quite litterally a walk in the park to get to, the middle and upper falls require some scrambling and steep climbing. The soft wet ground didn’t really help much, but some well placed tree roots sure made the climb up easier.

The middle cascade actually sits right above the lower falls, in fact for this shot my back was right at the edge of the drop that makes up the lower falls! I’m really glad nobody else came wandering up the trail making sudden loud noises. I took this one later in the trip, just before heading back to the car.

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Novato, California

We finally got some rain last week and over the weekend! Gosh it seems like forever since that has happened here in Northern California. I mean a real, decent downpour and not a half day of heavy mist. I decided to take an early morning trip to local Fairway Falls that I had not visited in maybe 10 years.

At the end of Fairway Drive in Novato is a trail access that leads up into Indian Valley and a series of small waterfalls. The falls are mainly seasonal, and have been pretty dry for the past couple years due to the lack of rain. I’ve had this trip planned for almost that long just waiting for the right time to go, and can finally check it off my list. Pictured here is the lower falls, and the easiest to access.

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Novato, California

A neighbor was going through a bunch of his mom’s old stuff when he stumbled on an old Nikon camera lens. He brought it over to me asking if I could sell it for him. I decided instead to just buy it off him and keep it. It’s a Nikon Nikkor 35-70mm f/3.5 AiS, one of the ones made in Japan and has a good solid feel to it.

I went out into the back yard for some testing and snapped this shot of a decorative rusty garden spike. The lens has great depth of field and bokeh, and the minimum focus distance is VERY close, even at 70mm.

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Kauai, Hawaii

A beautiful fall day on the island of Kauai. Light rain in the morning with the clouds giving way to the sun and blue skies by the early afternoon. One of the best things that I liked about Kauai was the ability to just drive to another part of the island if it was raining somewhere. Rarely could I not find some sun.

This image was taken during a zip-line adventure that Jenn and I took on our second day on the island. The tour was based in the northern part of the island and was great fun with stunning views and a great group of people.

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