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Photographing Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

This Torrey Pine is channeling Monterrey's 'Lone Cypress'
This Torrey Pine is channeling Monterrey's 'Lone Cypress'

To my regular blog readers —all one of you— my sincerest apologies for the long gap since my last installment. I had this Torrey Pines blog ready to go for the July 4th Holiday, but my photos wouldn’t upload. It seems my publisher had changed image size requirements and didn’t bother to offer updated specifications.

Even more of a painful surprise was the new requirement that went from a maximum of 300 characters to a minimum of 1500 to publish... so, I shall have to pad this article to get it published. I'll be prepared for the next edition and it will be back to my usual superlative prose!

But, let us move along and I’ll suggest you head to Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve the next time you have a few hours alone with your camera! It is better, no doubt, to wait until after tourist season, but the clear, hot days we are experiencing now enhance the vistas.

I'm told there is another way into the park from the south, but I don't know it. So, get there early, park at the beach, and take the rather arduous hike up old Highway 101 to the Reserve. Leave all your superfluous gear and picnic supplies in the car and carry NOTHING but the essentials (water, suntan protection, a hat, your camera, and ALL of your lenses!)

Usually, I suggest taking the minimum number of lenses, but there are things to shoot with your telephoto (birds, planes, parasailers), with your wide angle (unbelievable vistas), and with your macro (tiny flowers). If you only can handle carrying one lens up the steep road, make it your widest range zoom… I took my 18-300 and it worked pretty well.

Don’t forget to stop at the Visitors’ Center when you reach the top and ask the rangers for advice on shooting. There are many trails, offering differing views, and they know them all. They can tell you if there is anything other than the magnificent vistas that merits a photograph... like Peregrine falcons hanging-out in a certain area.


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