Reflections on Dry Lagoon

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Dry Lagoon languishes between two large “wet” lagoons on the northcoast of California: Big Lagoon and Stone Lagoon (along Highway 101 north of Patrick’s Point). Dry Lagoon is aptly named in the dry time of the season (i.e., May through October). Not so much in the during the wettest times of the year (December through April). With the rains it becomes a wet lagoon of, admittedly, modest size. What draws me again and again to dry lagoon during its wet phase is that this is one of the best places to photograph the sunrise on a reflecting body of water. The same could be done at Big Lagoon and Stone Lagoon, yet those are rarely of the reflecting variety, and require a bit of hoofing to reach vistas including a winter sunrise. Even then, you won’t necessarily get as attractive shot, as the adjoining hills are either too high or all in the wrong place. Dry Lagoon is where the sunrise action is on the northcoast in the winter. The trouble is getting there when there’s a sunrise worth gaping at, let alone photographing. More often than not, one winds up with something like this:

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Or entirely cloudless skies. Occasionally, one has a bit of luck and gets something a bit more interesting:

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A few weeks ago, I seemed to get a pretty good sky, but no clean looks at the water. The edge of the water was surrounded by the tall grass that, marsh-like, surrounds the lagoon in the winter:

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Part of the problem here is that I’m shooting into the light, which makes it hard to get the detail in foreground. The camera’s sensor reads the scene differently from the human eye. Still, I think there’s a great shot to be had here if I could only get a more spectacular sunrise.

I’ve had better luck at other times of the day, like this afternoon shot:

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