California’s Sonoma Coast

California’s Sonoma Coast

Sunset Sonoma Coast wildflowers, California's Sonoma CoastSunset, Sonoma Coast California  #60392  Purchase

California’s Sonoma Coast stretches roughly from Bodega Bay in the south to Mendocino County line in the north. In this post I will feature areas of Sonoma Coast State Park, a highly scenic and popular area to the north of Bodega bay. This was my second visit to the area, and the first in which I was able to take time to appreciate and photograph the scenery. Visiting in the spring I wanted to take advantage of plentiful wildflowers along the coastal bluffs, and the greenery of surrounding hills. Although visiting during spring I avoided persistent coastal fog there were constant winds instead.

Sonoma Coast wildflowers, CaliforniaSonoma Coast California  #60377  Purchase

Iconic California Highway 1 runs the entire length, with numerous places to pull off for enjoying the view. The most dramatic view can be had just north of the state park. Here the highway switchbacks high up a headland. The entire coast all the way to Point Reyes is visible from this point. Sonoma Coast State Park is comprised of several scenic sand beaches and rugged headlands. Being a close drive to San Francisco the park sees a large number of visitors from the metropolitan area. Bodega Bay, being the hub for all the activities, also has the claim to fame for having Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds filmed there. I couldn’t identify any of the set locations on my visit though. I was too preoccupied with delicious Oyster Po Boy sandwiches from Fisherman’s Cove a local seafood venue.

California Highway 1 Sonoma CoastHighway 1 along the Sonoma Coast #60421  Purchase

Aside from the beaches and wonderful restaurants Sonoma Coast is a great location for watching migrating whales. While admiring the view from a bluff a local man pointed out to me a group making their way north. They were a fair distance off and hard to see even with binoculars. I had never seen whales, despite living many years in proximity to the coast, so this was pretty exciting. Goat Rock to the north has some of the most dramatic scenery, and is a bit of an oddity. This headland was quarried back in the 1920’s to provide building material for burgeoning San Francisco. As a result Goat Rock in its present state looks more like a detached sea stack.

Sonoma Coast sunset CaliforniaSunset, Sonoma Coast California  #60303  Purchase

If you decide to visit this wonderful area I have a couple of essential tips. Make sure you book accommodations well in advance. I arrived on a weekday in the shoulder season and was only able to gain the last campsite by arriving early in the morning. Make sure you have enough time for leisurely exploring the area. At least three days, and preferably a week, would be best to see and photograph the sites. Lodging and food can be fairly pricey if, like me, your are from outside the area. State Park campsites all along the California coast start at $30 and can be as high as $50. For these prices there also is no guarantee of full facilities in good working order. Private campgrounds of course will cost more but may be better maintained.

Point Reyes Beach Point Reyes National SeashorePoint Reyes Beach, just south of Sonoma Coast #60262  Purchase

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Burney Falls and Sonoma Valley California

Burney Falls and Sonoma Valley California

Burney Falls and Sonoma Valley CaliforniaBurney Falls #60182 Purchase

Last April I visited Burney Falls and Sonoma Valley California as part of a Spring photography tour. This tour encompassed hood River Oregon the northern California coast and finally back to eastern Oregon. On the way to the California coast I took the opportunity to make my first visit to these iconic locations.

Burney Falls, California Burney Falls and Sonoma Valley CaliforniaBurney Falls #60183 Purchase

McArthur Burney Falls State Park is the second oldest state park in California. Located  in the Cascade Mountains northeast of Redding the falls are the centerpiece of the park. Created by both Burney creek and springs issuing from layers of volcanic rock, the falls are an imposing site. Like many large waterfalls Burney falls can be difficult to photograph due to constant mist created by the thundering water. Visiting at this time of the year there isn’t much colorful foliage around the falls so I decided to focus on details. Using a medium telephoto lens and long exposures, I found numerous compositions on the far side of the falls. The rest of the park is mainly forested with several hiking trails and a very large and pleasant campground. Unfortunately since I was anxious to get to the coast I stayed only long enough to photograph the falls.

Sonoma Valley Vineyards Burney Falls and Sonoma Valley CaliforniaSonoma Valley Vineyard #60208  Purchase

My next brief stop on the way to the coast were the famous vineyards of the Sonoma Valley. Considered the birthplace of the California wine industry Sonoma Valley is home to some of the oldest vineyards and wineries in the state. Alexander Valley in the north was where I was able to leisurely drive along backroads to photograph the lovely scenery.

Along the way I had to stop at Soda Rock Winery. Not only were there some nice vineyards to photograph, there was also the imposing and whimsical Lord Snort guarding the entrance to the winery.  Showcased at the 2016 Burning Man Festival, Lord Snort is a metal sculpture by Bryan Tedrick. Visiting the tasting room, I felt very much out of my league among the lavish furnishings. Trying a white wine, I don’t remember what kind, the nice woman behind the bar talked up the complexity of notes, which of course just flew over my head. If this had been a distillery in Scotland it would’ve been a much different story!

Sonoma Valley Vineyards Burney Falls and Sonoma Valley CaliforniaSonoma Valley Vineyard #60221  Purchase

Lord SnortLord Snort Soda Rock Winery

Sonoma Valley Vineyards Burney Falls and Sonoma Valley CaliforniaSonoma Valley Vineyard  #60213  Purchase

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Sonoma Coast California

Sonoma Coast California

Sonoma Coast CaliforniaSonoma Coast Sunset

I’m back in the office today after five weeks on the road in Oregon and Northern California. Tons of work to catch up on plus a huge editing/processing project to begin.

Since while on the road I only posted a few quick iPhone pics I felt I should select and share one of the highlights from the main group of files. This photo is from the Sonoma Coast California, just north of Bodega Bay. I’ll add more as they come available, and of course I’ll be working on a trip summary to post soon. Stay tuned!

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Oregon Northern California Spring Photography

Oregon Northern California Spring Photography
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Hells Canyon Recreation Area Oregon Northern California Spring PhotographyHells Canyon Recreation Area, Oregon  #45010
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This week I will be leaving for an extended Spring trip to photograph landscape nature and travel imagery throughout Oregon and Northern California. During this excursion I’ll be photographing some new locations and subject matter, along with adding depth to places I’ve previously covered. Check out some of the exciting areas on the itinerary below.
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Oregon: Hood River Valley Orchards, Southern Coast, Owyhee River and Canyon, Wallowa Valley Hells Canyon Area.
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California: Redwoods National Park, Mount Shasta, Mendocino Coast, Point Reyes, Sonoma Valley Vineyards.
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Shore Acres State Park Oregon, Oregon Northern California Spring PhotographyShore Acres State Park, Oregon  #48705
 Red Barn Wallowa Valley Oregon, Oregon Northern California Spring Photography
Wallowa Valley, Oregon  #44829
 Jedidiah Smith Redwoods State Park, California, Oregon Northern California Spring Photography
California Redwoods  #44497

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New Southwest Images

New Southwest Images

White Sands National Monument New Mexico New Southwest ImagesWhite Sands National Monument New Mexico #57137b

All of the new images from my recent Southwest trip are now online and ready for viewing and downloading. A selection of 100 images from a total of over 1000 have been added to my New Images Portfolio. To view even more  from any of the locations listed below you can use our Search feature or contact us for a custom portfolio.

  • States:  California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, Utah
  • National Parks and Monuments: Carrizo Plains National Monument CA, Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument NM, White Sands National Monument NM, Carlsbad Caverns National Park NM, Guadalupe National Park TX, Chaco Culture National Historical Park NM, Aztec Ruins National Monument NM, Canyon de Chelly National Monument AZ, Hovenweep National Monument UT, Mesa Verde National Park CO, Canyonlands National Park UT, Arches National Park UT
  • State Parks, Recreation Areas, Wilderness Areas: Anza-Borrego Desert State Park CA, Kofa Mountains Wildlife Refuge AZ, Lost Dutchman State Park/Superstition Mountains AZ, Angel Peak Scenic Area NM, Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness NM, Valley Of The Gods Utah

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park wildflowers New Southwest ImagesWildflowers, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, California #56856

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Southwest Trip Spring Wildflowers

Southwest Trip Spring Wildflowers

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument Southwest Trip Spring WildflowersOrgan Pipe Cactus National Monument Arizona #35416

I’m very excited to announce that on Monday, March 7 I will be leaving for an extended trip to the Southwest. As usual for spring trips, the main subject matter will be centered around desert wildflowers. This tour will encompass many new locations, as well as several others that I have visited in the past. Listed below are the main areas and subjects I will be photographing. It’s a long list, and I’m hoping that 4-5 weeks on the road will enable me to cover everything. However, weather and time constraints force me to forego some subjects.

California:

Carrizo Plain National Monument / Antelope Valley

San Gregorio Pass Wind Farm

Anza Borrego State Park

Algodones Dunes Wilderness

Arizona:

Kofa Mountains

Superstition Mountains

Saguaro National Park

Canyon De Chelly National Monument

New Mexico:

White Sands National Monument

Bisti Badlands

Colorado:

Mesa Verde National Park

Utah:

Cedar Mesa Anasazi ruins sites

Arches National Park

Canyonlands National Park

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