New Years Day at the Pt. Reyes National Seashore

It's become somewhat of a tradition to take a New Years Day hike out to the tip of Point Reyes; starting the year with fresh air, exercise and photography. Last year it was Portra 400 in the Nikon FM2n. This year, black and white Tmax 100 in my Pentax Spotmatic SP. I've been shooting with the splendid 55mm f/2 Super Takumar recently, a lens I like a lot. This camera body was recently serviced by Eric Hendrickson.

 Pentax Spotmatic SP with 55mm f/2 Super Takumar

Pentax Spotmatic SP with 55mm f/2 Super Takumar

I've done this hike in all kinds of weather, so I'm usually layered up for warmth with a water-proof outer shell. New Years Day 2017 was deceptively mild and sunny when I left the house, so it surprised me when I arrived at Pierce Point Ranch to find a fierce and biting cold wind blowing in off the Pacific. A half hour down the Tomales Point trail and the ocean blow was biting right through my North Face jacket. This wasn't fun at all. I decided to turn around and try and get some shots at the more wind-protected ranch and perhaps down at McClure's Beach; a short but steep hike from the ranch site. The trail was muddy and I found the beach full of big tide pools.

 McClure's Beach at Pierce Point Ranch, Pt. Reyes National Seashore

McClure's Beach at Pierce Point Ranch, Pt. Reyes National Seashore

Conditions weren't much better ocean side. The wind mixed with the salt spray at the beach. It was cold! I only spent a few minutes there before heading back up the trail to the ranch. 

The house and most of the out buildings at Pierce Point Ranch were built in the 1870s. They are maintained by the Park Service and a Ranger lives on site. The ranch buildings are situated between several bluffs which form a very effective wind break. Making images around the ranch, while still cold that day, was far more comfortable than the trail to the point or the beach.

 The ranch house at Pierce Point. 

The ranch house at Pierce Point. 

I've said before that I could wander around the Point Reyes National Seashore with a camera and film for the rest of my days and be quite content. It's a beautiful and inspiring place, even when you're freezing your butt off!

Quite unexpectedly, I am really loving these old Spotmatics and Takumar lenses. Simple cameras and great optics. Stop-down metering is the only hassle with these cameras, so I have a Spotmatic F in Eric Hendrickson's shop now for CLA. The F allows full aperture metering and should be an even more pleasant Spotmatic to shoot.