Today is the birthday of Ansel Adams
I’m hoping that all the photographers reading this know who Ansel Adams is. If not, see Wikipedia.
When I was about 12 and living with my wise old grandmother in Kingsville, Texas, she had a big book on her coffee table (do people still have coffee tables?). It was titled “These We Inherit: The Parklands of America,” and it was by Ansel Adams. I thought it contained the most beautiful pictures in the world.
Adams probably is most famous for his beautiful landscape pictures and I thought that I would post my most beautiful landscape picture today in his honor. Guess what? I have about five landscape pictures, none of them particularly good! Scratch that idea.
I thought about what type of photography I would like to be known for. I couldn’t answer that question. What do I like to take pictures of the most? Ah-ha! Maybe we’re getting somewhere. My favorite photography subject is trains but the trains and the tracks are not as accessible here in San Diego as they were back in my native Texas.
Then it came to me….
A couple of years ago, Liz Flint, a real estate agent in Tomball, Texas (northwest of Houston), sent me a train calendar. As I was looking through the calendar, I saw this:
I recognized that spot because I’ve driven over that bridge many times, and walked that beach many more times. It’s my favorite beach in San Diego — Torrey Pines State Beach. Here it is on a Google map:
The railroad tracks are still used, so shortly after receiving the calendar, I went out one Saturday determined to recreate the scene, albeit without a smoking steam locomotive. I got several pictures during the course of several hours; trains don’t run frequently on Saturday. The best picture I got was with Amtrak’s Surfliner:
There are about 50 years between the two pictures. If you look at the trees on the top of the hill in the background, you can see that the silhouette is still very much the same:
The trees on the top of the hills are Torrey pines. San Diego is one of only two places in the world where the Torrey pine grows. The other is an island off the Southern California coast.
Pictures taken by Russel Ray using a Canon 550D.