April 23, 2010

Old Cypress at Point Lobos

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

I fell in love with Point Lobos when I was just a little camera-snapper, and today my love affair with, as Robert Lewis Stevenson expressed it; "the greatest meeting of land and water on earth", is just as strong as ever.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

But I certainly don't get down here to Point Lobos as often as I used to. I grew up in Pacific Grove, only a few miles away, so when I was a kid I had the opportunity to visit Point Lobos often. These days I live about 140 miles away and my visits to Point Lobos are rather special because they are so infrequent.

I made an early morning trip down to Point Lobos in order to meet up with my photographer buddy, Jan Bell, a resident of Ohio but out here shooting in the West for a month. He loves Point Lobos too and of course we had fun chatting about our cameras and Photoshop and all that good stuff. I normally prefer to go out shooting alone, but I've known Jan for years now and he is a fount of information about photography -- he's taught me a lot about the craft.

CLICK for a photo of Jan standing in front of the old Cypress trunk -- it will give you a sense of scale.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Early on I found out about one of the world's most famous photographers -- Edward Weston -- and I found a strong gravitational pull towards his work since he also did a lot of photography at Point Lobos in the '30's and '40's.

A subject like this weathered Cypress (above) would be one Weston would have photographed with his huge 8x10 view camera. The result I have here is only a pale approximation.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

It's a great year for wildflowers at Point Lobos. They are at their peak right now. And while these wildflowers resemble Indian Paintbrush, they aren't. That's about all I can tell you. Maybe someone knows and can help me out.

UPDATE:   Adam Paul came to the rescue with the name -- it's Monterey Coast Paintbrush (C. latifolia).

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Anonymous said...

Love the texture in the 3rd photo. Point Lobos is one of my favorite places too, so much so that my wife & I got married in Carmel with the point right behind us.

AFAIUI Paintbrush doesn't refer to a specific Castilleja species, but quite a few of them (darned non-specific common flower names).

The Jepson Manual lists 82 flowers in the Castilleja genus in California alone, including variants & subspecies.

Hard to say with much certainty, since many Castilleja sp. look quite similar, but yours is probably Monterey Coast Paintbrush (C. latifolia). See http://tinyurl.com/2g8tqa5

AphotoAday said...

THANKS ADAM -- "Monterey Coast Paintbrush" it is.
And yup, everybody I've met seems to have had these most wonderful experiences at Point Lobos.

Lew said...

I learned of the beauty of California at an early age through the lens of Weston and Adams. I have seen some of it on visits over the years on business and family visits. I stop by your blog every week or so to see where you have been pointing your camera. I like the shot of the cypress. And your aquarium shots are fabulous.

AphotoAday said...

THANKS AS ALWAYS, LEW, I remember you from way back...

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