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Sycamore Canyon Views – Mt. Allen (Sandstone Peak)

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Sycamore Canyon Views - Mt. Allen (Sandstone Peak)

Lisa and I watched a YouTube presentation given by a landscape photographer, Erin Babnik, Friday night. If you don't know of Erin, her work is amazing and I encourage you to take a look. The presentation was about the exploration behind landscape photography and was loaded with very useful information. If for not watching this, I probably would have ended up on the couch Saturday but instead we were inspired to get out and discover something unknown to us. Using Google Earth I hunted around Boney Mountain in the Santa Monica mountains and found a hike to the highest peak in the range, Mt Allen or Sandstone Peak. I'm still getting into shape for my upcoming photography excursion into the Utah desert in less than two weeks from now so I took my full pack of camera gear on the 1000 foot gain in elevation.

The weather was perfect. This hike would be brutal and potentially dangerous in the heat, we had a good breeze and 60s. I have not been on the east side of Boney before so the views were new and wonderful. The last 100 feet was a hand over feet scramble up the last pitch to the summit. We hung out there for a while and though it was too windy to set up the 4x5, I did find a perch for the tripod and the GFX on the edge of the razor ridge with a steep cliff on the backside and worked on a composition looking towards the ocean along the ridge tops. The view was extraordinary. After a selfie and a picture of the summit plaque we headed down a 150 feet where I set up to make the black and white panorama of the backside of Boney.

On the way down I found the picture of ivy growing off the trail. I love the graceful shape of the ivy and the other shapes created by the branches in the composition. There are so many pictures composed for our enjoyment just inviting our appreciation.

The last photo, as the sun dropped below the ridge line, was of a scene that I wasn't able to fully capture the beauty of the light that was happening as there was just too much sun getting to my lens overwhelming the subtlety of the light. I only have one grad filter that is a .9 3 stop, perhaps a stronger filter would have done the trick. I will keep it as a reminder of the extraordinary beauty of the scene.

There is never regret when I make the effort to get out into nature. Listening to the birds and the wind, gazing on such an amazing creation soothes my spirit.

After I have a chance to print the summit photo, Ivy and the panorama, if all goes well, I will make prints available.

Click here to view full res images of the four photos not taken with my iPhone.

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