Mt Tamalpais, California, USA by David Safanda

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Picture Story

Northern California's Mt.Tamalpais is not far from busy San Francisco and yet it feels like another world. This coastal mountain defines Marin County and offers an amazing landscape at all times of the year. However, the summer months can be especially magical due to mesmerizing coastal fog. The cold ocean water off the coast of California spawns fog that flows beautifully over and through forest covered hills. This phenomenon is difficult to predict and never exactly the same. It's the ethereal nature of these conditions that makes it so interesting to photograph.

A long lens is often your best option for picking out slices of this rolling landscape. The photography is not terribly difficult but the changing conditions will keep you on your toes and you need to be prepared to change plans at a moments notice. You can choose what you think might be the ideal location but the fog can come in too low or too high or simply disappear altogether. It is this dynamic landscape that keeps myself and many other Bay Area photographers returning again and again. When conditions are at their best there's no place I'd rather be. This particular evening was one of those times. The fog streamed in from the coast, hugging the contours of golden hills and flowing in between trees as the sun slipped in to the Pacific Ocean. I shot with a 70-200 zoom at f11. I used a 6 stop neutral density filter which allowed me to increase shutter speed and convey a sense of motion.

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