Posted by: danwellsphoto | March 27, 2013

Some new material – The Last Days of Winter

Summer days in Point Reyes long behind me, and a singularly uncreative autumn in Boston thankfully gone (I only seem to get ideas for images in relatively wild places), I’ve been out with a camera again. Most of these are from a project I’ve tentatively entitled “The Last Days of Winter”, where I’ve been documenting the relationship between ice and liquid water as the seasons change. There are also a few bonus landscapes from Acadia National Park.

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Posted by: danwellsphoto | October 19, 2012

Printing is going well

I’ve been back on the East Coast for about a month, and have spent most of that time working on the files from Point Reyes, getting them ready to print. In the last couple of weeks, I have actually been making the first real prints – what a difference between a low-quality Costco print (all I had while I was out there) and a fine print handmade on a really good inkjet printer (for the tech-heads, I’m using an Epson Stylus Pro 3880) and superb paper . I have been printing everything  from cards on up to 12×18 inch prints – I haven’t done any 16x24s yet, but will be very soon.

For my Kickstarter backers, cards will ship in the next three weeks or so, in plenty of time for the winter holidays – I’m just waiting for bulk quantities of cardstock to arrive – I’m using Moab Entrada Rag Natural, and it’s absolutely gorgeous. I am ready to start sending out prints as well over the next few weeks – let me know what you’d like (image title) and what size you’re getting,from the gallery of 59 images I have edited up and ready to print below – if you don’t see your favorite, write and ask. I will print your image on one of a selection of gorgeous Moab, Epson and Canson papers – I’ll match the paper to the image –  and send it out. I’ll be at the big PhotoPlus Expo in New York at the end of next week, and I may visit friends in the mid-Atlantic for some part of the following week, so I will get prints I hear about really soon out before I leave next Wednesday, and the rest when I return.

For anyone who missed out on Kickstarter (and for Kickstarter folks who want more (or larger) images), write me with what you want – I’m happy to take additional orders at any time. I’ll also be doing a show in the Boston area in early December – watch this space for more details



Posted by: danwellsphoto | September 6, 2012

A last grab-bag

As I prepare to leave Point Reyes in less than a week, I have been up to my ears in presentations, shows to hang and other things that don’t get me outside with a camera. Still, I’ve managed a bunch of new images in between, and here are some of them. I got out on several day trips, plus two overnights with different friends in the area.There is a wide range of images here, including some old favorite subjects, some new parts of the National Seashore, and some that you wouldn’t expect.

One of the oddest things in here is evidence of the 1995 Vision Fire – in the fog. You wouldn’t think that fog and fires go together, but they do here (although not at the same time). While this is one of the foggiest places around, many places receive little actual rain, and the rains are highly seasonal, making some parts of the landscape prime candidates for fire.

We also have some wonderfully odd landscapes (as though those are anything new at Point Reyes)… Sculptured Beach is an incredible testament to the power of the water over different periods of time – from days to millenia or more.


Posted by: danwellsphoto | August 19, 2012

Images from a slideshow I’m giving at Point Reyes on Tuesday

This gallery is a nice selection of the images I’m using in a slideshow for the senior management team at Point Reyes (I’ve taken out a couple that are inside jokes). Unfortunately, WordPress uploaded them a little out of order – the first image in the real show is the beautiful landscape that is now the second image, not Poison Oak (which belongs with the rest of the plants) -everything else is more or less in order! The titles and my narration are also missing, but you get the basic idea from these. This is also a bit of a “greatest hits” gallery with some of my strongest images from the summer.

Posted by: danwellsphoto | August 19, 2012

Print sale!

I’m getting a lot of successful images from my time in Point Reyes, many of which have been successful beyond my wildest dreams, and I’ve gotten several questions about ordering prints. I’ve decided to hold a print pre-order sale – prints will be delivered in late October or November, after folks who ordered through Kickstarter get theirs. If you missed my Kickstarter, or see additional images you want, this is an opportunity to get prints at a big discount. Prints ordered and paid before September 1 are eligible for these discounted prices, which are roughly 25% below what I’d usually sell a print for online, and 50% or more below what I’d have to charge in a gallery (where I’m dealing with a commission). I’ve also added two new (huge) sizes that weren’t on the  Kickstarter site – these take a big part of a wall to display, and not every image will work in these giant sizes – e-mail me if you have any questions.

*** Special deal for Kickstarter Backers*** – Take 20% off any additional images you order, or off upgrading the size of anything you’re already getting (if you choose to upgrade the size, just pay the difference).

Prices before September 1:

8.5×11″ paper (~7×10″ image)         $40

11×17″ paper (10×15″ image)            $60

13×19″ paper (12×18″ image)            $100

17×25″ paper (16×24″ image)            $160

24×36″ paper (~23×35″ image)         $325

Huge Sizes – new

36×48″ paper (30×45″ image)          $500

44×66″ paper (40×60″ image)          $650

These sizes may be expensive to mat and frame, and once you have a frame on the largest size, it will probably be close to 6 feet in the longer dimension! One option is to mount a big print to a backing, then secure glass in front of it with almost no frame.


5 favorite images (blog readers and Kickstarter backers will be able to vote once everything’s in). On the larger two sizes, choose any five images.

8.5×11″ paper (7×10″ images)          $125

13×19″ paper (12×18″images)           $250

17×25″ paper (16×24″ images)          $500

24×36″paper  (23×35″images)          $750

If you’re interested in a collection of huge prints (to use as wallpaper???), e-mail me and we can work it out!

If you’re interested, contact me by e-mail at

I can either take checks or Amazon Payments (which allows you to use a credit card).

You can choose an image now or later (after seeing everything). The only images on the blog that won’t be available as prints are those few with people in them (unless you’re the person in them).

Drake’s Beach is one of the most visited sites at Point Reyes, but, until this week, I didn’t have a single image from Drake’s that I was at all happy with. Sure, I had some basic interpretive images – if I’d needed one for something, I could come up with it, but everything was either at noon on a sunny day or else very gray. This past Tuesday, though, I was walking at Drake’s when fog started to pour over the famous white cliffs (which Sir Francis Drake thought resembled the white cliffs of Dover – having never been to England, I can’t say whether I think they do or not). Finally, some interesting light at Drake’s Beach – here are the results…

I have also included a few from the Olema Valley, another place where I’ve never been satisfied with the light. I’ve had much better luck with the light on the immediate coast than I have farther inland. Finally, walking back to Bear Valley from a hike on the Rift Zone Trail that produced few memorable images (a few macros, a couple nice ones of cattle ranching, but little else), I see a warm late afternoon light illuminating the hills of the Olema-Bolinas ridge, and I finally have some worthwhile light on the valley and the hills beyond…

Posted by: danwellsphoto | August 17, 2012

Of Elk, Fog and Many Things

I have been away from the blog for a little while, largely due to my father visiting Point Reyes for a few days – a lot of fun, but hardly conducive to updates… I have two updates for the next day or two, though. This first one includes Tule Elk, quite a bit of fog, and the ever-alluring McClure’s Beach in yet ANOTHER mood (it would be possible to do a photo book on that place alone, using only two or three compositions and letting the water do almost all of the work.)

These Tule Elk images come from a foggy day out on the Tomales Point Trail – look especially for  dominance battles between two younger males (I haven’t yet seen the big bulls get into a dominance struggle, although they certainly do). So far, the big boys just stay out of the fights and bugle from a distance, and no younger bull is dumb enough to challenge them. As of right now, these are testosterone-fueled adolescent idiot elk (if they were human, they’d be driving much too fast on curvy roads and jumping off cliffs into not enough water)… As the breeding season advances, the big bulls will also get involved in dominance struggles – there are more big prime bulls than potential harems, so they’ll eventually have to challenge each other. Another thing to look for with the elk is some positively paleolithic-appearing images. Humans’ relationship with the deer family goes well back into the Stone Age, and they figure prominently in everything from cave paintings to Medieval horn dances. I think that several of the foggier images, especially the ones of the elk up on the ridge, evoke this long relationship…

The other themes in here are a bit of a grab-bag, including a few of the lighthouse, including closeups of the Fresnel lens,, a few (as previously mentioned) from McClure’s, and a number of images that are as close at is possible to get to photographing the concept of fog… There are also several images from the historic Pierce Point Ranch, one of Point Reyes’ more interesting cultural sites. While the land is now elk reserve, and the buildings maintained by the National Park Service as a historic site, until fairly recently, this was a working ranch – the last ranch out on the end of Tomales Point, the ranch most isolated from towns and other services. There was even a small schoolhouse for the ranch hands’ kids, as Point Reyes and Inverness were simply too far to go.

Posted by: danwellsphoto | August 8, 2012

McClure’s Beach in a completely different mood

Last time I posted images from here, it was a week and a half ago, and the images were of a storm crashing in. We’ve had a few uncannily clear days lately, and I decided to return to McClure’s and see what I got on a clear, relatively calm night. The place is the same, many of the angles are similar, but the mood is entirely different. Instead of slightly frightening or foreboding, these images have an ethereal feel to them…What makes the difference? Is it the golden light washing over everything? The lesser height of the surf (which is still present)?  The presence of the sky as an active element in the images?  As usual with images containing moving water, I’ve posted a lot of them (there are many more that didn’t make the cut) – flip through and tell me what you like…

Posted by: danwellsphoto | August 7, 2012

Point Reyes’ many moods

In a month here, I’ve seen many different moods of the land and sea – I think the sea creates “moodier” landscapes that have a high propensity to change from day to day. Yesterday brought a new one – tropical, gentle and almost incredibly peaceful looking. As I looked out at rocky shores that are often close to 100% fogged in, and sometimes struck by enormous waves, I saw a landscape that reminded me of the tropical Pacific – the sea was incredibly calm, visibility was many miles and there were only a very few high clouds. I walked out Tomales Point (a nearly 10 mile round trip) to capture long views of the coast that aren’t possible on other days.

As I wandered (in both directions), I was greeted by some members of the local (and quite literal) Elks’ Club. Several of these elk must have been posing, hoping to be discovered by talent scouts for the insurance industry looking for new mascots (a hint to one especially majestic looking fellow – you’ll never land a role in an insurance commercial with a blade of grass hanging out of your mouth!). At this time of year, bull (male) elk are living in “bachelor herds” composed entirely of antlered bulls. They have already begun challenging each other for dominance, and the most dominant bulls will soon begin gathering harems of females. Since one bull can gather a harem of as many as 20 or more females (and the gender ratio is more or less even), most bulls don’t ever breed in their lifetimes, and only a very small percentage of bulls breed in any given year. In a nerdy bit of natural history trivia, elk (the second largest deer in North America, behind only the moose), like other deer, have antlers, not horns. The distinction is that horns are kept for the life of the animal, while antlers are shed every year. Elk grow these large antlers (sometimes weighing up to 20 lbs. apiece on an especially large bull) over the summer, only to shed them after the fall breeding season.

The elk we have at Point Reyes are Tule Elk, a California subspecies that are smaller than Rocky Mountain Elk or the Roosevelt Elk of the Pacific Northwest and Canada. Tule Elk are half the weight of Roosevelt Elk, but still large (a bull averages 500 lbs, but a big one in prime condition can reach 700 lbs).

Today’s photo gallery is a mixture of coastline on a ridiculously peaceful day and elk, with a family of black-tailed deer thrown in.

Posted by: danwellsphoto | August 4, 2012

A real grab-bag

We’ve been incredibly fogged in these last few days – you don’t have any idea how hard it is to photograph fog until  you try… Still, I think I’ve gotten a quite few that show the concept of fog with a certain eloquence. There are also a few critters in here – an elegant GCA (Great, Common, American) Egret – the naming committee of the American Ornithologists’ Union keeps changing the name (presently, Great Egret is correct), a repeat appearance of our local precision flying team, the Point Reyes Brown Pelicans, a few Canada Geese (these are presumably not Canadian  Geese, unless they have migrated from a long way north of here!), a largish mystery sandpiper and a Turkey Vulture eyeing me (disturbing, given that his favorite food is carrion). I’ve also thrown in a bit of Andy Goldsworthy, except that I didn’t arrange the rocks, shells, etc… The sea did that on its own, perhaps with some help from a passing gull. Finally, there’s a natural history mystery in here-several pictures of a really odd object – guess what it is, what it’s used for, and where it came from (Marlee, no fair – you already know about the incident that caused this). Probably not too hard for the FNs and others with long-term interests in natural history – specimens of this DO show up in museums. I’m going to be impressed with others who figure it out.

These images are from Abbott’s Lagoon, my favorite birding spot, and from Palomarin Beach on the extreme south end of the park, down towards Bolinas. The trail to Palomarin Beach jumps off the Coast Trail at the north end of the beach, and many of these are several miles down the beach from that point.  Down at the far southern end of the beach, there are driftwood shelters, some of them occupied by rather odd (and occasionally rude) characters – I got the first negative comment about my disability I’ve faced in a month out here from a guy in one of these driftwood huts…


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