Listen To Your Inner Voice
Manzanita in the Mist
The title of my photograph is “Manzanita in the Mist.” It is my first great image. I captured and created it in 1991 with slide film on a wet April spring day in the Pinnacles National Monument.
The Pinnacles National Monument is a special place for me because my Dad hunted there in the 1940s, during WW II. He drove a motorcycle with his gun and scabbard attached to the Salinas Valley. Then, because of gas rationing, his hunting farmer friends gave him enough gas to return to San Francisco. Because of the agriculture industry, these farmers had extra gas rationed to them during WWII.
I took this image halfway up the high peaks trail on the west side or Soledad side of the Pinnacles National Monument. I saw this manzanita overhanging this deep ravine. I stopped and came back; at this point, the trail horseshoed, and I had to lean over the edge. After I left, taking one image, my subconscious nagged at me, and somehow I wasn’t satisfied with this one image, so I took more care to steady my hand a second time. In the foggy conditions, there wasn’t much light.
Good thing, too, that I went back because my first image wasn’t sharp. It was slightly blurry–so listen to your “ inner feelings,” and in this case, it really paid off for me.
My Dad was eventually forced out of the Pinnacles. He wanted a place of his own, so in December 1946, he bought some land across the Salinas Valley up the Arroyo Seco River Valley. This place is where I followed my Dad’s hunting footsteps as a boy and young man.
The Ramrod Ranch is where I grew to love nature and wildlife, became sensitive to life, and found out hunting wasn’t for me. At eighteen, I had to kill a black-tail buck up close and personal and watched his large shiny black eye go dull and opaque with death. From this moment on, I cherished life, leading me on my journey to become a wildlife photographer.
I hold photograph workshops there where visitors get to share in the natural wonder that continually unfolds daily. These bird blind workshops are where I help others create images like I do that “sing with beauty.”
Come to the Ramrod Ranch and discover the magic and let nature enter your soul and stir your heart. Follow me and my photography; see what fine art I have created from the spirit of wildlife.
Nature, Wildlife, and Bird Photographer
October 8, 2013