Bright Winter Day at Kehoe Beach

CALIFORNIA, Marin County, Pacific, beach, clouds, foam, kehoe beach, ocean, photograph, point reyes, point reyes seashore, reflections, storm break, sun, surf

Bright Winter Day, Kehoe Beach

The days between winter storms at Point Reyes bring some of the most incredibly gorgeous light. I treasure these intervals and keep an eye on the sky as I work in my studio. On Tuesday morning I awoke to the sound of rain lightly falling on our roof. In the southeast sky, however, patches of blue promised the chance for some clearing. It wasn’t certain that it would be a good day to go to the beach, but I kept the possibility in mind. Around 11 AM, the western sky started opening. The wind was brisk and clouds racing above intermittently blocked and freed the sunlight. I started looking away from the screen of my laptop to the world outside my window.

I felt fortunate.  No appointments, no commitments – I got up, gathered my camera, tripod and a windbreaker. As Jean quickly gathered her things, preparing to join me, Lily dogged her heals in excited anticipation of doggy heaven – a visit to the beach!

The half-mile walk through the marshes between the road and Kehoe Beach were slick from the last week of almost continuous El Nino storms. At one point, the trail was puddled so deep we had to take a detour up a hill and around to rejoin the main trail. I was reminded of the time, many years ago, when I had walked alone to this beach after an afternoon squall had chased everyone else back to their cars. On that day I had slipped on the trail, ending on my side in the mud, got up to continue, and found exciting light. I then made photos that captured my raw emotions in that brilliant, post-storm atmosphere.  I hoped my current walk would bring similar new surprises.

The ocean was turbulent and brilliant. Above, the blue skies had opened from the storm break. The wind and waves had scoured the beach. Jean and Lily wandered to the north, leaving me to my thoughts about what I was seeing. There is a profound and deep happiness that enters me on days, in light, like this. I feel almost like sitting down and just looking. No words to express this. Instead, I walked slowly, looking, looking this way, then that. Letting the light lead me, from time to time I pointed my camera. I released the shutter as each moment spoke.

Driftwood & Creek, Kehoe Beach

Driftwood and Creek, Kehoe Beach

Sea Foam and Clouds, Kehoe Beach

Seagulls & Winter Creek, Kehoe Beach

Seagulls & Winter Creek, Kehoe Beach

Seabirds in Flight, Kehoe Beach

Seabirds in Flight, Kehoe Beach

Foam, Surf & Clouds, Kehoe Beach

Foam, Surf & Clouds, Kehoe Beach


11 comments on “Bright Winter Day at Kehoe Beach

  1. Brilliant photos of a beautiful day. Marty, I especially like your monochrome conversions. Too often, photographers plug an image into Silver Efex Pro and really pump up the contrast to the point of harshness. What you have done here is far more subtle and in keeping with the mood of the day. Thanks for showing us by example!

    • Frank, it’s easy to go overboard with contrast whether using a plug-in or simply the tools available in Lightroom (which is what I use to convert.) However, the photos of Kehoe are all taken of the infrared light, with my infrared-sensitive sensor on the Sony Nex-7. I did very little adjustment to them after importing them into Lightroom. Some addition of black and clarity was needed. The renderings strike me as emotionally close to the way I felt about the light that afternoon.

  2. Awesome as always, Marty! I think since your work with the macro lens you have gained a more nuanced eye for detail and angle. I especially love the sea foam mirroring the almost identical clouds, and the bits of foam in the water. The birds all facing one direction are a surprise, but I suppose they are heading into the wind? Kehoe has always been my favorite beach around here, and your photos do not disappoint… want to be there!

    • Kehoe has surplanted McClures as my favorite beach in Point Reyes. That’s a good thing because the walk uphill from McClures seems to be getting longer these days! All kidding aside, the variety I find ot Kehoe is more interesting with potentially a more varied view. Thanks for writing. Not sure if my macro work has affected the way I see the larger world, but it’s something to think about!

    • Dianne,
      Thanks for looking and letting me know your favorite. The beach and the light were gorgeous on Monday!

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