Picture perfect

How to take great travel photos ― featuring Point Reyes National Seashore

Challenges: Rapidly changing weather and light conditions.

Tip: Don't stop shooting when the fog sweeps in―play with detail shots, silhouettes, and angles.

Best time: Late afternoon to sunset.

Finding the right light

Drakes Bay by dusk

"Light is our god, and weather is its handmaiden," Arbabi says―a poetic way to say good light is important to any photograph. As he pulls into an overlook near the lighthouse, the beach below looks fairly ordinary in the noon sun. He decides to return near sunset.

Later, with late-afternoon light daubing the sand, Arbabi sets up the tripod and hunches into his jacket as the wind picks up. Still, he waits. "Here, the difference between the right light and the almost-right light is so dramatic that any wait is worthwhile," he says.

Challenge: Even dramatic landforms like cliffs can look flat and dull in midday light.

Tip: Wait for warm, amber light on the sand and cliffs―it makes the picture. If the weather doesn't cooperate, use a golden or amber filter to warm up the scene.

Best time: Just before sunset.

Lora J. Finnegan


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