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Entries in point reyes (5)


Elephant Seal outlook - Point Reyes day trip

Last weekend, our plan was to go see the super bloom of flowers that is moving north over the California hillsides. This thing was so huge it was visible from space, per reports from the missus!

We went on a day trip with the cousins to do multiple things.. Have a trip with family after a long time, go see the elephant seals at Point Reyes and catch the flowers on the hillsides. We did all three..  

The view from the elephant seal lookout trail was amazing. You could see the seals nursing pups and the visibility was great. 

you can see the seals basking in the bottom of the picture.. thousands of them! 

Here is a slideshow of the views from the trail in HDR..

There was a fourth thing that was on the cards.. Take a picture of San in the fields of flowers.. Call it the DDLJ Kajol shot if you will.. I had to work with winds that could knock you over (my cap flew off in the wind and had to be retrieved!) and it was difficult to hold the camera steady. It was bright and sunny, but you want to understand the concept of wind chill, you should visit Point Reyes! 

The photos in a sea of flowers with the sea in the background were not a roaring success, but it got a "satisfactory" grade! 

A slide show of the seals and the seal colony.

And a few videos .. some timelapse of the waves at the lookout and others of the seals and their noises!

Strongly recommend this for a day trip in early May! 

Next time I should go with a nice jacket!


Mt. Tamalpais - a day trip

We took a trip through the Mt. Tamalpais preserve in San Francisco two weeks ago with San's uncle.

From there we visited Point Reyes for the third time in ten years. This time it was a thursday and could take a lot of stitch shots, thanks to it being just me and San's uncle at the lighthouse.

First we went to the vista point on Mt. Tamalpais where you can see stinson beach and the entire lagoon! (we lucked out because the visibility was really good)

Then we went down back on route 1 to the Point Reyes Seashore preserve and after driving for another 45 minutes we got to the lighthouse. For the first time, tried a composite box stitch shot. Came out okay. Will have to learn and perfect this. (note that you have to eyeball where your last shot was on the Rebel XT! The old powershots will actually split the screen and show you the first shot to align the second one)

You line them up..

Hit Merge on Photostitch ..

and abracadabra..

From the lighthouse we went to Drakes beach, one of the most beautiful places we have ever been to!

Although Chitappa was in two consecutive shots, it stitched him in one piece! Lucky shot..(there are 14 images from which this one was made)

This sweep is from 17 images..

The rock side goes all the way to the ocean

and juts out like some dinosaur leg. Reminds you of Great Ocean drive in Australia.

We also saw a lot of birds and animals we do not see usually when we go on these trips. They were probably out because it was a weekday and there was no traffic.

We saw foxes, hawks, eagles, elk, deer, woodpeckers, cows!

These are not the greatest photos, but because there was this one lane road with no stopping, we had to rush it.

Happy cows come from California. Truly believe it now. If I got to graze on a hillside with such scenery in the background, I would be a happy cow too..

All said and done, a day well spent. Strongly recommended for a one day outing if you live in the bay area!



Sundar's Redemption

Sundar was here...

So was Thayir Saadam!

Took the day off and went to Point Reyes with San's uncle, who is visiting us from abroad. It was fun. A much needed calm before going into overdrive for what is left of the year.

ps. If you have not seen Shawshank Redemption, you won't get the captions. Also for those non Tamizh speaking folk, Thayir Saadam is "curd rice"!



Point Reyes Lighthouse

If there was a place that captures "Are we there yet?", it is the Point Reyes Lighthouse.

You start seeing signs for the lighthouse a good 21 miles away and the adults and kids start asking "are we there yet?" and after driving and driving and more driving, you finally get to the "ledge".

Then of course there is the climb down to one of the most amazing lighthouses we have seen! How they built this thing on the mountain face is just beyond me.

The coastline is just spectacular from the top of Point Reyes.

Here are the stitch shots.

The lessons here... when aiming to complete the grid with a shot of the sky, the focus went hunting.. should keep it to manual focus as well going forward.

Please note, these are not taken with a camera with "stitch mode" where you get to see a side by side screen split on your LCD! (the old S30 used to do that and stitching was so easy). These pictures are being taken with a Canon EOS 400D and I have to remember where the previous shot ends and the next one begins. Just using the old software to glue them together! Now that all the technicalities are out of the way... here!

Here is the vertical stitch that missed the sky because of focus hunting (there were 12 photos.. 3 vertical sets of 4.. but!!!!! incomplete.. someday when I compile all these composite shots, there will be a "best known method" that works consistantly)

The magnificent California coastline...

and finally, the girls on a bench on top, enjoying the breeze!

A memorable trip. Should go there again in nine more years and see what the experience is like!



Nine years later....

Sundar and San go to one of the first places they visited as a newly married couple. A place which forever holds great memories...

We had a great time. Well behaved kids, nice drive, perfect day!

There will be more pictures (stitch ones). Current laptop memory seems to be the limitation. Also the whole lighthouse climb and back was enough exercise!

Was worried that the little one might make me carry her all the way back.. But she did 260 of the 300 steps back on her own and made daddy very proud!

As we were going there, we told the Jr. and the little one about how this was a special place for us.

Jr. : We were not there when you came here before?
Me : No. It was only me and mommy. We were just married.
Jr. : We were not there when you got married!
Me : That is right
Jr. : (continues to extend the first statement with a corollary).. if we were there, then you would not have gotten married , right?
San : probably NOT!

that was Rolling on my seat, laughing out loud while driving on windy roads on route one!

Kids, sure change your life, almost always for the better.