Hi, I'm Michael Hurder!

My sight lives here

Jenner by the Sea
The River's End Restaurant and Inn is nestled beside the mouth of the Russian River in Jenner by the Sea, California. There is no place on earth that I love more, and I love Livermore, New England, Ireland, Britain, Vietnam and Thailand.
2020
Nikon D850 DSLR
Tamron SP 15-30mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2, SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2, SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2, SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2
Pacific Coast Highway 2019
By March of 2019 I was learning the trade. I made several trips along the PCH. I can never get enough of this ocean. There is so much to see here.
2019
Nikon D850 DSLR
AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
Hayward Shoreline 2019
This was my first visit to Hayward Shoreline. Since I'd become obsessed with birds at DelValle and Shadow Cliffs, I decided to branch out. I'd heard there was a variety of shorebirds at Hayward Shoreline, so I headed over there one fine morning. The variety of birds was astonishing. From Canada Geese, to Red-winged Blackbirds, Avocets, Stilts, Dowitchers, Mallard and Shoveler Ducks, Caspian Terns and a Snowy Egret, I was busy capturing them all. Our friend the Grey Squirrel was there too. The San Mateo-Hayward Bridge is quite a sight also.
2019
Nikon D850 DSLR
Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2
Hayward Shoreline 2020
This is another great place for water birds. It is on the shore of the San Francisco Bay, right off the San Mateo Bridge (pictured in this collection). The sun was harsh. I didn't get there early enough. So, I had a lot of glare issues. There weren't as many birds as I expected, so some must be seasonal or don't show until later in the day??? In this collection there are Sand Pipers, Sage Sparrows (or song sparrows), Gulls, Avocets and Stilts. I expected to see A ton of terns and some Godwits too. The Stilt and Gull images didn't come out...shooting into the sun. In the middle of this set there are some images of a raptor in flight. I believe it was a Marsh Hawk but it would be way north of it's usual habitat if it is one. Regardless, the Avocets were having no part of his company. They shot right up to chase it off.
2020
Nikon D850 DSLR
Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 w/1.4 X Teleconverter
Jenner by the Sea
This collection will come in six parts. I'll release them as I complete each of the four days we were at the River's End Restaurant and Inn. Today's release is pretty short. The next two releases will be fairly long. The last one will also be short. I'll spend a good part of today prepping tomorrow's release. I shot 50 images on day one, 480 images on day two, 515 images on day three, and another 100 images on day four before we headed home. Not all are printable, but there are still a lot of images to process. I simply can't say enough about this place. From the atmosphere, to the lodging, the restaurant, and the views, there just is no comparison. We will return here time and time again. And I dare say we'll never tire of being there. Regardless the weather or conditions, the only bad part of visiting there is leaving there. Visit www.ilovesunsets.com, and see for yourself.
2020
Nikon D850 DSLR
Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2 / SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2
Devil's Slide and Half Moon Bay
This was a great road trip Donna and I took at an interesting time of year as far the sea is concerned. It was winter so the sea was very active. Some of the crashing waves reached 100 feet or more in the air after piling up against the rocky shoreline. I was thrilled...so much so that I didn't fully check my camera settings. The day itself was a constant contest of lighting between the sun, the clouds and the fog. The sun generally provided a bit of an orange glow as it fought its was through the fog. I was, and still am, enchanted by the mist that blows off the top of the waves. A lesson for the day: The discerning eye will notice a graininess to these images, some more than others. That's actually "High ISO Noise". Explanation: the shoot prior to this one was at night and I had to have the ISO high in order to get the right exposure for my night shots. This is okay for night shots, your expect to see some noise then and you can filter most of it out within the camera and in post processing. During daylight hours, I normally have my ISO set as low as possible to capture as much detail as possible. With high ISO in daytime you get the result these images are showing - graininess, the shots look pixelated. This would occur with any setting above say 400 during daylight hours. At 3200 my shots were doomed. I completely forget to check that setting and it is one that doesn't get checked or changed when using a shooting menu, like I do. You must check and set this parameter manually. I didn't and I didn't realize it until I got home and started to process the images. :-( Again, you CAN filter out some noise in post processing, but you'll never get it all out without making your images look like paintings instead. You'll see this phenomenon in some of the images in this set, the ones that look a bit surreal. So, ALWAYS CHECK YOUR ISO SETTING. Had I set the ISO to "auto" I may have escaped this problem, but I had it set it to a constant 3200. Even when you use a shooting menu, there are settings that those menus wont touch for good reason. ISO is one of those settings. I paid the price with less than optimal results. I did, however, learn my lesson. NOTE: This is a rehash of an earlier set I published. I wasn't happy with the tone (too warm) and I hadn't cataloged them properly either.
2019
Nikon D850 DSLR
Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2
Point Reyes and the Galactic Core
I traveled out here to shoot the Galactic Core. I had high hopes that I could at least partly eliminate the ambient light from the bay area. Finding a "dark sky" anywhere in California is a real challenge. I picked a moonless night too. Alas, "true dark" was not to be. SF alone cast a heavy enough glow to make capture difficult and post-processing rather extreme. The Shots of the core are with extensive post-processing to highlight the core and eliminate what ambient light I could so that the core showed through. You can see that I used two themes in post-processing, one cool and one a bit warmer. I arrived here in late afternoon so I got some daylight shots in. This turned out to be a challenge too as the sun settled and until it got below the sparse cloud cover. It was casting some strange colors on my sensors. White balance and glare was a real bother. Again post-processing played a major roll in cleaning up those images. Image making isn't just a point and shoot project. On a not so perfect image making day, so much depends on how well you can manipulate the data your camera collects. Everything is there in the original image. You have to tweak it here and there to highlight the good and eliminate the bad as much as possible. This capacity to manipulate the data in post-processing is probably the most impactful property of digital photography. A couple of years later and my skills in Photoshop are greatly improved. This time through I have what I think are far superior images than when I first processed them back in 2018
2018
Nikon D850 DSLR
Tamron: SP 15-30mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2 | SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2 | SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2
Point Reyes to Jenner by the Sea
This was one of those road trips I live for lately. It started out with high hopes but this was at the end of the fire season in 2018 and the smoke was horrific. Combine that with California's harsh midday sun and I had nothing but glare and haze. No matter what I did I couldn't make sense of the histogram and nothing looked good. By the end of the day though, the sunset was turning everything rosy and hope was restored. By the time I got to the River's End in Jenner, the images were looking magical. Once I got home and applied some Photoshop magic, I was able to recover almost 50 images to printable form.
2018
Nikon D850 DSLR
AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
Santa Cruz
Waves, seabirds, surfing...Santa Cruz has it all.
2018
Nikon D850 DSLR
AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2
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