Monochrome abstractions in Point Reyes

On a previous post, “Land abstractions in color” I wrote about how I sometimes try to produce abstractions in color. In this post I show a few examples of abstractions in monochrome.

I have been going to Point Reyes National Seashore for many years, both for photography and hiking, and I have one previous blog post on it. There are several options of trails inland and along the coast, with sweeping vistas of the Pacific Ocean and plenty of wildlife year-round. What I really like about Point Reyes when it comes to black and white photography, is the foggy, gloomy landscape in the mornings, particularly in the summer. The resulting photographs in these conditions are often low contrast and can be made into mysterious landscapes. 

Abstractions are not limited to landscape, you can give your wildlife or botanical photographs a dreamy, mysterious, delicate or dramatic look to make them more personal.

Sometimes I feel weird talking about photography or digital art on my blog. I am an unknown photographer, a nobody in the arts. A “lady with a camera”. Not sure if I have anything to add. But I didn’t think about this when I started this blog. I didn’t think about my lack of credentials or qualifications. And now I’m here.

Drakes Beach, 2021

Location: Point Reyes National Seashore, California, USA;

Equipment: Nikon D750, AF-S NIKKOR 70-200 mm F2.8G, tripod;

Photography tips: I took the featured photo handheld, the landscape photograph on a tripod. This type of photos require a partly cloudy day with diffused light. The photo of the sea lion was taken with a lee blue filter and in post-processing I overexposed it a bit and smoothed out the corners using Photoshop’s gaussian blur filter. The landscape photograph was modified in post also with the gaussian blur filter and the dodge and burn tools.

Published by Alessandra Chaves

Photographer with a preference for nature photography in black and white and other abstractions.

20 thoughts on “Monochrome abstractions in Point Reyes

  1. If you like Point Reyes, you’re probably familiar with Marty Knapp, a black & white photographer that lives there. Look him up (or maybe not, depending on whether you might be easily influenced by looking at others work… I certainly am!). Coincidentally, he just posted something on his blog about photographing in the gloomy and foggy conditions you mentioned. 🙂

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  2. Being unknown doesn’t make you any less fantastic. It just means that millions haven’t discovered your gift yet. I guess that makes your readers the lucky ones!

    We come to see your work because of all the billions on the planet you’re the only one here that can make your photos 🙂 I look forward to your posts. Like this one.

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  3. I think that you have a lot to add! I’ve truly learnt so many interesting things about photography through reading your posts. That picture of Drakes Beach looked dreamy and mistifying – beautiful. I’ve learnt a little about monochrome through my graphic design studies. It’s interesting how much graphic design and photography overlap.

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    1. Lol, they had bad cameras, it was easier for them! I explain a bit in the end how I do it “ The landscape photograph was modified in post also with the gaussian blur filter and the dodge and burn tools.” The basics is, degrade a perfectly sharp file! You can also try lensbaby or plastic lenses like Holga pinhole etc to get a slightly blurred, here and there over/ underexposed file…

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      1. So bad cameras have their good points. Now that you mention Holga, I remember it from decades ago. I’d read your sentence at the end about Gaussian blur but my brain somehow misread it as a gradient rather than a blur. Strange.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. You have credentials by the simple fact of posting things that other people, people like me, like and react to. In any other stronger sense, I don’t have any credentials either :).

        Liked by 1 person

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