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Lessons in Life and Photography

March 31, 2009
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A few weeks ago, a friend and I drove out to Marin Headlands to do some shooting. Both of us were thrilled to be out with another photography-minded person, as this meant there would be no one to be impatient to move on down the trail while we took 3 million close-ups of rocks. (Don’t rush a photographer.) Thank goodness my friend is a much more adventurous person than I, because we had a remarkable day. I drove a road that scared the pants off me (I strongly object to heights and steep drop-offs), and experienced a side of nature I’ve rarely seen before. While hiking a trail down to the beach, we came across (GROSS ALERT) the leg of a deer. Just the leg. Mostly picked clean. I didn’t take a picture. We didn’t find the rest of the animal, thank goodness, but it was obvious that this wasn’t a sanitized, manicured trail. We climbed down a steep, slippery, gravelly hillside (see above note about heights) to a completely deserted black sand beach. Except it wasn’t completely deserted. We had for company (SAD ALERT) an injured sea otter pup, and, we soon discovered, its mama. My friend is a former wildlife biologist, so on her advice we stayed a good 100 yards away from the pup, and its mother, who was fishing in the water, didn’t bother us. My first impulse was to scramble back up the hillside and speed to the visitor’s center to immediately alert any and all authorities to the little guy’s plight, but as my friend reminded me, most little critters don’t survive to adulthood, and that’s just how nature works; park rangers aren’t there to keep nature from doing its thing. It was a pretty sobering experience, though, and I felt too much like a rubber-necker on the highway to take a picture.

On a happier note, the beach was surrounded by beautiful, metallic-hued rocks, which made for interesting shooting. After we’d had our fill of the beach, we drove into Sausalito, were we found a really charming fountain to keep us busy for a while.

All in all, a very memorable day.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 31, 2009 11:17 am

    Seems like you had a pretty traumatic shooting day. I am glad you came back with some good work. Nature isn’t always pretty, but photographers always find beauty within it. Great job.

    • The Little Woman permalink
      March 31, 2009 11:23 am

      Thanks very much! I definitely learned some things that day.

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