I went out today to photograph a seasonal waterfall in one of the lesser known and traveled canyons of the Santa Cruz Mountains.  I had discovered this waterfall in the dry early autumn while leading a workshop through that very canyon.  A ravine termineated at this rcocky drop off and it seemed at the time that if there was enough water flowing in that ravine, a nice waterfall could develop.  So after a couple of weeks of pretty consistent rainfall here in the San Francisco Bay Area, I decided to go out and try my luck with that waterfall.

Well I was right on the money with that terminated ravine becoming a waterfall, although only a small ribbon of a falls, not enough rain yet.  As I set up the camera and prepared to focus it, I realized that I had forgotten to bring my focusing loupe!!!  I was using it in my studio this past week to critically check tranperancies for focus on my light table.  And so it was near impossible to focus the large format camera.  I did my best and then stopped down the aperture to f/90!  This required an exposure time of — 8 minutes!

So for the rest of the afternoon, I was an observer.  Unable to record the light that I saw accurately, I let my eyes, mind and heart record the glorious light that filtered into the canyon and danced with the green ferns, tall redwoods and bare red alders.  And later as I drove along the coast, watching the sun play hide and seek between the clouds with rainbows appearing periodically as cloud bursts occured all along the coast.  The sea was tumultuous with small breakers peppering the surface of the Pacific for as far as the eye could see and it glowed with a luminance that was nearly indescribable.  A truly memorable day that has sparked a longing to return very soon to capture that light forever.