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User / Darvin Atkeson / Tags / pacific
Darvin Atkeson / 221 items

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Pigeon Point Lighthouse lights up the sky as tens of thousands of stars break through the last light of sunset, sparkling through the still glowing clouds. It always seems that my best photos of the Pigeon Point Lighthouse come when I have all but given up on for the night and am about to walk away. I had been running from one side the lighthouse to the other and when I figured it was all done, I decided to take a walk around the lighthouse grounds just to enjoy the scene from the small bridge that leads to a popular viewing area atop a narrow rock which overlooks the cliffs below.

The light was fading fast and I hurried to point the camera at the last bit of golden light form the setting sun which was still visible on the distant horizon thinking it was probably a throw away shot. I was wrong. As the first shot appears on the back of the camera I knew that I had a chance at something special but the high contrast between the lighthouse, setting sun and deep blue star filled sky along with the speed of the moving clouds presented some real problems that would not be easily overcome. To make sure I got as much light as possible without blowing the bright objects totally out, I manually bracketed 5 shots using a fairly high ISO in order to take shots as quickly as was possible. Even so, the clouds moved a considerable distance between shots even with high ISO noise reduction turned off.

Back at home, I painstakingly hand blended the best from 5 different images taken in sequence. The fast moving clouds made the use of any HDR software completely impossible and frankly I've never much cared for the harsh results you tend to get with HDR. This is exactly how I remember the scene where my eyes could make out just a bit of detail in the rocks below and the thousands of stars that filled the clear skies along the coastline following a very cold December storm. The brightest of the images make up the rocks and the Pacific Ocean while the darker shots compose the top of the lighthouse and brightest areas of the horizon.


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© Darvin Atkeson
LiquidMoonlight Studios
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Tags:   Pigeon Point Lighthouse Lighthouse California San Mateo Starlight Twilight Storm Illuminated Sunset Pacific Coast Beach Tallest Darv Darvin Atkeson Lynneal LiquidMoonlight.com

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Storm clouds blow over the Monterey Peninsula creating a beautiful sunset as a seagull glides along the coastline in a sublime sky. In the distance a rainstorm pours down on the ocean near Carmel. Monterey is known for epic sunsets and incredible scenery. I've never seen a Monterey sunset that wasn't awe inspiring. Granted many summer days there is no sunset at all due to fog but even the fog has its own beauty.

© Darvin Atkeson
Yosemite Landscapes
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Tags:   Sunset Monterey Pacific Grove Carmel Pebble Beach Point Pinos Pacific Ocean Surf Beach Coastline Seascape Landscape California Darv Darvin Lynneal Atkeson YosemiteLandscapes.com

B 4436 C 13 E Apr 25, 2014 F May 5, 2014
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Possibly one of the most beautiful and romantic locations is Lovers Point in Pacific Grove California. The park starts just west of Monterey Bay Aquarium and runs around the entire Monterey Peninsula out to Point Pinos. As you pass through Lovers Point Park you enter this lush area that almost seems overly burden with pink flowers in the springtime. They really contrast beautifully against the pristine green blue sea as waves roll gently in off the Pacific. As you travel further out the Monterey Peninsula the waves grow in size and frequency exploding skyward along the rocky shore. If you don't see all the wildlife here you just are not looking. From whales, otters, sea lions, elephant seals, birds of all kinds, even the beautiful monarch butterfly can all be seen in a single day in the springtime. It's easy to see how this little stretch of California Coast got its name. It one of my all time favorite places and you can't help feeling that everything is perfect as you walk along the gently winding path.

© Darvin Atkeson
LiquidMoonlight Studios
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Tags:   Lovers Point Monterey Pacific Grove Carmel Pacific Ocean Beach Wave Surf Storm Flowes Monterey Bay California Coastline Seascape Landscape Park Coastal Village Aquarium Color Darv Darvin Lynneal Atkeson LiquidMoonlight.com

B 2945 C 14 E Apr 25, 2014 F May 4, 2014
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Gone coast side for a spring storm.
Then the dark clouds a got me down.
Blue flowers were blooming all around.
But all I can do is look and frown.
I've got the Bixby Blues while my Nikon rusts.

I've got no time to lurk and stay.
So I take the shot just to get away.
That storms a blowin' in real fast.
This lights not gunna last.
I've got the Bixby Blues while my Nikon rusts.

The old tires start to slip and spin
Back down on Highway One
Headed North to get some sun
I've got the Bixby Blues while my Nikon rusts.

I've got no skill at writtin songs
But my pictures gunna be the one a singin this song.
Returned to Monterey
Where the sunset went and made my day.

I've got the Bixby Blues while my Nikon rusts.
But this day was not gunna be a bust.
I got the Bixby Blues here.

© Darvin Atkeson
LiquidMoonlight Studios
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Tags:   Bixby Bridge Monterey Carmel Big Sur California Highway One Pacific Ocean Storm Bridge Sea Seascape Landscape Blue Wildflowers Spring Scenic Vista Darv Darvin Atkeson LiquidMoonlight.com

B 4155 C 35 E Apr 25, 2014 F Apr 28, 2014
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It might come as some surprise that waking to a dreary day with heavy showers often means a good day for photography and this was one of those days that ends in an epic sunset that is a rare treasure of life. The vast majority of the day was spent driving in heavy rain along California’s scenic Highway One. But there wasn’t a lot of scenery to take in as the dark storm clouds sank down to near sea level. But having done photography for a while I have learned that these are days when the magic can and more often than not is exactly when nature takes hold and surprises you with remarkable beauty.

We finally landed in Pacific Grove near Monterey and were treated to one of the most incredible sunsets I can remember. But a sunset without the scenery to go with it is just another sunset. There is nothing more impressive than the rugged, jigsaw rocks that decorate the coastline around the Monterey Peninsula. The sea foam creates web like patterns atop the turbulent ocean wrapping in and around the light that reflects off the shimmering water creating sparkles of gold and blue. The clouds parted and the sunset exploded across the sky and for a time everything was simple perfection. Right up until it poured down rain and hail causing us to rush back to the car camera tucked quickly in to a large ziplock baggie I keep in the camera bag just in case. We were soaked to the core but it was well worth it.

This sunset is the combination of 13 images carefully stitched together to create one very large panorama which starts looking towards Carmel and then north to Santa Cruz. Due to the weather it was completely hand held while sitting on the cliffs in my soaking wet jeans. It sounds bad but it was the most fun I have had in a while. Hope you enjoy the image as much as I did capturing it.

© Darvin Atkeson
LiquidMoonlight Studios
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Tags:   Pacific Grove Monterey Bay Sunset Beach Ocean Pacific California Point Pinos Monterey Bay Sea Landscape Seascape Surf Seaside Color Panorama Massive Large Huge Darv Darvin Lynneal Atkeson LiquidMoonlight.com


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