Southern California Portfolio

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Raindrops on Nasturtium Leaves, Westminster, CA
Under PCH, Malibu, CA
Into the Fog, Lake Forest, CA
Trees in Fog, Idylwild, CA
Birds in Trees, Lake Hodges, CA
Trees in Fog, Lake Forest, CA
Reeds in Lake Fulmer, Idylwild, CA
Reflections, Lake Hodges, CA
Abstract in Rock Torrey Pines State Park CA
Lagoon, Malibu CA
Peeling Paint, Perris Trolley Musem, CA
Torrey Pines State Park, CA
Southern California

I live in Southern California, in a town aptly (for me) named Lake Forest. Of course there were no lakes or forests here before the railroad company decided to grow Eucalyptus trees to use as railroad ties here. But the trees did not grow straight enough to use as ties, so they left the forest alone until home developers came and decided they could put their houses into the forest, make a couple of lakes and call the town Lake Forest. The city is a great place to live, with one of the lowest crime rates and a great school system. But, it was the trees and the lakes that brought me here.
My wife and I have lived in Lake Forest since 1987, and I have probably photographed every tree here. In the spring we get many foggy mornings, and this is perfect for photographing the Eucalyptus trees, as the fog isolates the trees and simplifies the image. The Eucalyptus trees have very soft and photographic barks that look like papyrus.
The image "Tree in Fog" shows the forest out my back door. I had just moved in to my home and was waiting for a good fog. On a Sunday morning in 1988 I finally got the perfect fog. Too much fog and you can’t see the trees, too little and it doesn’t show enough separation in the trees. The two trees in the foreground separate from the trees in the background perfectly.
A few years later, during another foggy morning,  I went to a park nearby my home, Serrano Creek Park, and took two fine examples of the trees in Lake Forest (Image "Into the Forest").
A man-made lake, Lake Hodges, near San Diego, is a desert lake I have photographed several times. On one rather cold winter day I was at the lake at earliest light to catch the mist over the water before it burnt away. The image made earliest in the morning ("Birds in Trees") has a thick fog and birds in the dead branches, making for a mysterious composition. The image of the tree branches in Lake Hodges ("Reflections"), with the reflections and rising mist, is one of my favorite images.