California Coast South of Monterey with my New Nikon D5

One of the greatest pleasures of driving along Highway 101 around Big Sur is not just visual as you might think. The sights are truly spectacular but for me the greatest pleasure comes from smelling the eucalyptus trees along the highway. Pulling over at one of the overlooks and inhaling deeply while taking in the view has to be one of the most soothing experiences on earth. I did notice on this trip that inhaling too deeply in certain locations might lead to some surprising smells. The very public use of weed on beaches surprised me on this trip, even though I am very used to walking through Washington Square Park in New York City and experiencing the same atmosphere.

Bixby Creek Bridge, Pacific Coast Highway, California

I’ve really enjoyed testing out my new camera, the Nikon D5, since the fine folks at Roberts Camera shipped it to me in Kanab, Utah. I have been alternating taking landscapes and wave action shots with the Nikon D5, my old Nikon D4s and the D810. I have been primarily using the D810 as my landscape camera and the D4s for everything else. Now I have been rotating in the Nikon D5 on landscapes and have been very pleased with the results. The touchscreen on the back LCD screen is extremely useful for checking focus and zooming in. I love the high ISO and have been photographing birds at 1/4000s and varying the f-stops given the amount of ISO I have to work with. I love the new position of the ISO button. Since I always shot in Manual mode having the ISO button instead of the Mode button on top makes more sense. I love the ease of recording notes, location and shooting condition information with each file in the field. The fast frame rate (12 frames per second) has been working great on wave and bird shots. I find the 3D focus tracking is working even better than the focusing on my old reliable Nikon D4s. The D4s has been my workhorse camera and I have owned two. (One met its unfortunate end in the 30 mile per hour winds in Iceland last February as I was setting up a night shot at the Black Church at Budir. Oh well, lessons learned.) The 200 frame buffer means that I get the shot I want (and a lot of others as well). I have only shot one timelapse video on the Nikon D5 but it came out great. The 4K video capability will be something I use when doing video production. The Nikon D5 sensor is astonishingly accurate. Exposures are excellent and the quality is unlike any of my other cameras.

Gull in flight along Monterey coast

Flock of Whimbrels in flight in Monterey, California

Wildflowers along the Pacific Coast Highway

It was so nice to see so many wildflowers all along the coast. It made adding foreground interest a little easier on landscapes.

California poppies

View of Bixby Creek Bridge from Pacific Coast Highway, California

Pacific Grove is one of my favorite places on the Monterey Peninsula. The place was bursting with color and wildflowers.

Pacific Grove, California

Pacific Grove, California

Seal Rock, Monterey

I like to drive all the way to Piedras Blancas, California near San Simeon to see the Elephant Seals on the shore. There are hundreds of them sleeping on the beach in the late afternoon. I have been here when it was raining and I got nice shots. The light in the afternoon can be harsh but I still like photographing the seals on the beach. They are protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act and are making a comeback though they were once almost hunted to extinction. These Elephant seals come ashore and form colonies only a few months of each year so it’s always great to see them on shore.

Elephant Seals sleeping at Piedras Blancas, California

A face only a mother could love, Elephant Seal at Piedras Blancas, California

Elephant Seals at Piedras Blancas, California

Elephant Seal couple at Piedras Blancas, California

Elephant Seals at Piedras Blancas, California

Sunset on Asilomar Beach, California

Waves splashing on rocks along 17-Mile Drive, Monterey Peninsula

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2 Responses to California Coast South of Monterey with my New Nikon D5

  1. Bob Bennett says:

    Diana – They could not be more magnificent and warming to my heart. I have to get one of them cameras so I can take swell photos like these. What kind of film did you use?

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