Creativity tip #1 – Shoot close to home

Turning orange and yellow at sunset, clouds are reflected in the still waters of the San Francisco Bay. The sky has been cleansed by a passing storm. Foster City, California.

Don’t wait for the weekend or vacations to get out the camera. Take one along with you as you go about your every day life. You never know when you might have an opportunity to capture something unexpected.

Even when I don’t have my camera with me (which isn’t TOO often!), I’m constantly on the lookout for interesting ideas for photographs. I get especially excited when I see opportunities for shots that are outside of the subject I normally shoot (nature, landscape, wildlife, etc). This helps keep my creativity going, especially when I’m stuck close to home for long stretches of time.

The moon rises over the San Francisco Bay at sunset.

While working one afternoon last week I could see out my window that there were some pretty interesting looking clouds lining up over the bay after a particularly wet winter storm had passed through. I quickly checked my tide chart and saw that it would be low tide right around sunset. It was a quick 5 minute drive out to the edge of the bay, and only 30-40 minutes out of my day. By being on the lookout for something that caught my eye during my day-to-day life, I was able to capture some beautiful colors in the heart of an urban environment of over six million people.

Purisima Creek Redwood Sunset (Photo of the week)

The sun sets over the Pacific Ocean beyond green hills, Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve
The sun sets over the Pacific Ocean beyond green hills, Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve

While one of the main draws is its old-growth and second-growth redwoods forests, Purisima Creek Redwoods just west of Redwood City also offers expansive views of the Pacific Ocean. I took this photo earlier this month, on a hike meant to capture some shots of the park’s redwoods and creek. However, if the weather was right, I thought it might be a nice opportunity for a good sunset.

I was toward the bottom of the park, trying to get some panoramas of redwood trunks shrouded in fog when I realized I only had 20 minutes to get back up the trail to the spot I had picked on the way down. I ran up the trail as fast as I could, climbing a good 700 feet in elevation, just in time to see the once-hidden sun peek out from beneath a thick cloud bank. I set up my tripod, threw the camera on, and started capturing images. This was one of my favorites due to the great blues reflecting off the bottom of the clouds which offset the warm tones of the sunset.