Sandstone Sentinels

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I was hiking Sea Ranch’s bluff trail a week or so ago at the north end of the Ranch between Gualala Point and Whale Watch Point.  An interesting rock grouping projecting slightly above the bluff top caught my eye as it looked like a series of rounded sandstone figures carved into the cliff face, kind of like Mt. Rushmore.  Without too much trouble I was able to get down to the ocean side of the cliff face and was confronted with these rather imposing “Sentinels” facing the ocean.  I could see them kind of looking at me off to my right as I descended the bluff, as shown in the first image.  These ‘fellows’ were sitting atop a broad inclined sandstone shelf, as seen in the second image. I had to come back to this scene a few times in order to fully capture the essence of this place.  The last image is a close-up of the most striking cliff “Face”, which also involved dragging out my speedlights to throw some shadows and add some depth to the ‘face’s’ contours.   This was a great find and a fun place to shoot, although a little rough when hauling a tripod and flashes down the bluff face.  Anyway, I hope you find these sandstone sentinels as compelling as I did. 

 

Equipment:  Nikon D3s, Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8 lens, Oben Tripod and Nikon SB 800 and 910 speedlights.

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One Response to Sandstone Sentinels

  1. Deidre says:

    Totally fascinated by these images, Phil. The face morphs in each shot. The last one, the close up, it looks like its mouth and nose are made of contorted wood that got embedded in the stone.
    To me it looks like a Tiki.
    Love the lighting and shadows.
    Good eye, Phil.

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