Landscapes

There are lots of tiny people in the desert ....

Do you ever have one of those travel destinations in your mind that is almost mythical?  It's like you've seen it a million times over the years in peoples pictures and have always wanted to go but it just always seems out of reach.  That has always been Death Valley for me.   Close enough to drive to but just far enough away that it takes some effort - combine the distance with the extreme weather and the window of opportunity to visit can seem kind of slim (unless you are the type that is into hiking in 105 degree weather)

Before I went I felt like I had seen a million pictures DV but now I feel like I haven't seen any pictures of it at the same time.  I've been pondering this for the last few months trying to figure out why that is.   I've concluded that it is because DV really looms so much larger than any photo could possible ever capture.   I was there for 2 days and left feeling disappointed because I felt as though none of my images really capture the magic of that place.  

Helynn_Ospina_Travel_Death_Valley_California_01605-5.jpg

I've been to the desert before (my last post was about the desert in Baja) but DV is a special place.  Even after visiting I still can't wrap my mind around the size of the land and how small I felt when I was there.    There were a lot of tiny people in Death Valley!

 

On the Road to Occidental

On the Road to Occidental A recent assignment sent me to Occidental, California .. what better time for a mini road trip! I love the area north of San Francisco. .. To me it conjures images of quintessential Northern California. I set out on my shooting adventure late morning to arrive at my destination by around lunch time. After a minor snafu at the car rental counter I persevered and off I went with my trusty Iphone plugged in and some great tunes I made my way towards Occidental, Bodega Bay and Petaluma... I was lucky enough to discover an awesome country road go from Occidental to Bodega Bay. I found some cute cows (and sheep but they stayed far away from me) .. who doesn't love a good cow photo?

Night

Night swimming

I've randomly been working on more fine art oriented surf images. I'm really interested in the relationship between surfers and their surroundings/landscape/seascape. The combination of the late evening light and the wetsuit covered surfer take on a very different quality. I feel there is a poetic elegance as well as another world feeling to some of the images I've captured.

Rome .....

Ocean_Beach-834 Today I attempted to paddle out at Ocean Beach.  Notice that I said attempted.  It wasn't a particularly gnarly day either but ultimately it is still Ocean Beach.  If you aren't familiar with Ocean Beach it is located on the west side of San Francisco.

The water at Ocean Beach is noteworthy for its strong currents and waves, which makes it popular among serious surfers. The water is cold, due in part to a process known as upwelling, in which frigid water from below the ocean surface rises to replace the surface water that moves away from the beach as a result of the Coriolis effect. The rapid rip currents and cold water make the ocean dangerous for casual swimmers and even those who simply want to set foot in it, and swimmers have been swept away and drowned.[1] Nevertheless, the beach is one of the Bay Area's top surfing spots." - From Wikipedia

So essentially it's a bitch to surf for anyone that isn't already great.  It isn't the place you want to try to learn to surf.  I've only been able to actually get to the outside a couple of times.  Most times I fail, but I try to go out in the hopes that I will get outside and maybe that I will even catch a wave.   I'm a big believer that surfing can teach you lots of little life lessons.  Today when I decided to throw in the towel I was annoyed that I didn't actually get to really surf.  I slogged my way back to the beach and sat down for a moment and watched enviously as plenty of other surfers made their way outside.   Then I was reminded that there was a time not too long ago that I wouldn't have even tried to paddle out at Ocean Beach.   Then I thought about how a goal always seems monumental when you see it from far away.  It's almost paralyzing to think about the effort required to achieve it.  However, Rome wasn't built in a day ... big progress is a collection of all the smaller moments of progress along the way; learning to pop-up, learning to stay out of peoples way, learning that there are traffic laws while surfing, learning to get tossed,  learning to get smacked by your board... each of these is a moment of progress no matter how it  sucks.

The same is true of creative work.  There is the place we want to be (out in the line up with the rest of the good surfers) and there is the place that we are (still struggling to find the channel to get to the outside). We know we have the skills, we know we have the basics down but it takes time and dedication to get better.   Paddle, Paddle,and Paddle some more and just when you think your done paddle a little bit more.  Do a little everyday and you will get closer to your goals.

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/85040589]

As Darkness Falls

Ocean_Beach-686 There is a creative voice inside every artist that guides us to create the work we do. I find that often I don't honor that voice and instead I worry about work that I "should be" making. This year I promise to listen to that voice, to that intuition and see where it leads me. I've been asking myself what inspires me, what do I love shooting? Nature is one of my favorite subject matters. Especially the sea with all her many moods and faces. I think of the seashore as a representation of what it means to be human. There are days when the waves pound the shore with so much force it feels as if the entire beach will be carried away in the turbulent waters. Then there are days when the ocean lazily washes her water onto land almost as an invitation to come and play. There are days the sunsets are filled with the colors of peaches and tangerines and days of steely blue skies filled with menace. I love these cold steely sunsets as much as the others. I find them beautiful for all their mystery. The blue hours are my favorite time of day. It's those moments when the world is shrouded in hues of blue. I feel they are a prelude to what is to come with the next sunrise.