100 Million Year View: Walk-on-Beach


This was one of my final images of 2012, taken at Walk-on-Beach in Sea Ranch on December 31st.  This is another of what I call an  ‘intimate landscape’, as it was taken at 24mm with a 24-70mm lens, and shot at f20 and 1/20th sec.  I got low to the ground and used a monopod to add some stability while shooting.  I like getting close to the ground as it adds a more interesting point of view to the scene.  That close and low placement of the camera captures the predominant rock feature in the foreground, and the f20 aperture allows the distant scene to be brought into focus as well.  It was getting towards sunset and a storm had just passed, so the sky had great interest and really brought in some nice light to an otherwise pedestrian scene.

Beyond the visual interest of this scene is also an interesting snapshot of geological history.  The sandstone and shale forming the point in the distance (looking south on Walk-on-Beach) was deposited over 100 million years ago during the time of the dinosaurs (Cretaceous Period), while the sandstone formations at the north end (Picture foreground) are newer and were formed during the Paleocene Period after the dinosaurs perished.  The large sandstone and shale rock in the picture was probably formed later during the period when mammals arrived.  (Boy, I bet you could have gotten a good deal on Sea Ranch property back then.)

I realize that it seems counterintuitive to “Get Close” when shooting a wide-angle landscape scene, but if you do you will find many different opportunities to capture these little ‘intimate landscapes.’  Give it a shot!

Also, if you would like to learn more about the geology of this area, I highly recommend Ted Konigsmark’s “Geologic Trips – Sea Ranch“,  from which I garnered much of the geological information discussed above.

Equipment:  Nikon D3s, Lens – Nikkor 24-70 mm f2.8.

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