-- Ansel Adams
After watching a video on Ansel Adams last night, I was inspired to get out of the house to engage the wilderness with my camera. Before retiring for the night, I packed my Patagonia MiniMass messenger bag with my Nikon FM2 (loaded with Ilford XP2 Super 400 film), lens filters, tripod, water bottle, and granola bars. Rising with the sun, I had a quick breakfast of cereal and coffee, and headed to the Sunol Regional Park, just thirty minutes away. I planned on starting my photographic journey at the bridge that heads toward Little Yosemite, however, the old, wooden bridge was replaced with a more industrial-looking metal bridge. The new bridge lacked the character of the original wooden structure, so I turned around and headed back toward the park headquarters.
I began my hike near the park headquarters, crossed the bridge over the creek, followed the trail to the east, and climbed gently up the Indian Joe Nature Trail. After a short walk, I reached the Canyon View Trail junction. While I've hiked at the Sunol Regional Park a number of times over the years, I don't recall the Canyon View Trail. Since my focus today was photography, something told me to take the trail. How can one pass up a trail named Canyon View?
Hiking alone today provided a few hours of solitude, and allowed me to focus my mind and eyes on the wonderful light illuminating the beautiful, green, East Bay hills. While hiking down the McCorkle Trail, I came across the tree in the photo above. I considered a few framing options, but none of them excited me, so I kept looking for "it." I've found over the years that if the composition in the viewfinder doesn't excite me, the resulting photo usually ends up being garbage. Finally, I climbed a few steps up the hill to the left of the trail and found the composition I was looking for. I liked the lone oak tree on the hill, with the long shadow cutting diagonally across the frame, and the interesting cloud filling the empty sky on the right side of the frame. Since I was shooting B&W film, I used a yellow filter to add contrast to the blue sky and added a circular polarizing filter to further enhance the cloud in the sky. I felt a level of excitement after seeing and taking the shot, and as it turns out, it was my favorite frame on the roll of film. The beauty of film is the excitement and anticipation of seeing the final print.
Here are a few more photos from this roll of film.
A Break in the Fence
Along the Canyon View Trail
The Trail Back
Sunol Regional Park
Here are a few miscellaneous photos from the roll.
No Parking - a photo from my bike ride through Livermore.
The Girls - a photo at the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco.