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Rays of Light at Berry Creek Falls

There are always these wonderful chance occurrences in photography. Often they will produce a great picture if I can retain my composure and make the exposure or in this case exposures.

I rode my photo bike down the trail to the falls for all of the 9.8 miles at a sedate pace. It was a nice trail that wound through the coastal redwood forest starting at Big Basin Beach.

I walked the last 1/4 miles to the falls where there was a small knot of folks commenting on how little water there was this year. I climbed down into the ravine and started observing the falls, found a camera position, set up and made a test exposure.

It was obvious just from looking that the scene had an extreme contrast range. The ravine exposure was 1s at f22 and the top daylight exposure was 1/15 at f22 with a circular polarizer.

As I had already determined the ravine exposure empirically I had that part of the equation and I knew the daylight exposure based on the basic daylight exposure rule.

I was able to produce the requisite set of exposures for a HDR image quickly when I looked up to see this ray of light punch through the scene. The effect lasted for only a few minutes, based on the date stamps on my photos it was 3 minutes of sunny goodness during which I made several sets of exposures.

Sometimes you just get there on time and get the shot, usually if you miss it you just never know what you missed.

This is a 10 megapixel image from a Nikon D200.

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Web Site by Cooksey-Talbott Studio

Fine art photography of California by master nature photographer Cooksey-Talbott. Hundreds of beautiful photographs are displayed for sale online as raw or ready to hang images.

Cooksey-Talbott Gallery is an online gallery of nature photographs. The collection includes pictures of the High Sierra, Ansel Adams Wilderness, Yosemite, Trinity Alps, Sonora Pass, Santa Barbara Hills, East Bay Hills and Garin Park as well as hundreds of different waterfalls. Legacy images are from medium and large format film taken with the Mamiya RB-67 and a variety of 4x5 view cameras. Some of the more recent work is shot with a Nikon D200, Canon 5D Mark II and the Sony A7r.

We offer archival quality prints in a wide range of sizes and media. We print on a heavy art papers and canvas using a Canon iPF8300 44 inch 12 color printer with pigmented inks. Our images are first party prints made directly by the artist. Prints are signed and numbered and include a Certificate of Authenticity.

Ralph Cooksey-Talbott Thomas has been working as a photographer since 1972 when he moved to California from Michigan. During the 1970’s he studied under Ansel Adams in Yosemite. Ansel published one of his photographs in the portfolio section of his book "Polaroid Land Photography" Ansel and Orah Moore, another of Ansel’s students, suggested that he shorten his name to Cooksey-Talbott, and that is the name he has worked under since. Cooksey also studied at the San Francisco Art Institute and the San Francisco Academy of Art. He has lectured in photography at the U.C. Berkeley Extension, Studio One in Oakland and Santa Barbara City College. Cooksey is currently working as a photographer and facilitating which is a monthly photo walk that meets up in Niles California.