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Thread: Point Reyes Advice?

  1. #1

    Point Reyes Advice?

    Greetings all,

    Planning to take a trip to point Reyes in the next week or two and never been there before. Planning to take some Med/Small format gear for that as well as a 4x5 for landscape and maybe closeup... and maybe 8x10.

    - Any advice in general - things not to miss, gotchas, etc? (from nps.gov/pore - sounds like there is some fire damage and resulting closures, and the lighthouse is closed)
    - Favorite hikes?
    - Are there many locations close to the car? (my 8x10 is not what you would call portable...so thinking may skip and just bring 4x5 field unless there's a compelling reason)
    - Anything else while in the area? Probably only 2 days or so.
    - Despite handle, not currently planning to fish due to time.

    Thanks to all in advance,

    -AnalogAngler

  2. #2
    Eric Woodbury
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    1,567

    Re: Point Reyes Advice?

    Two days? Don't take so much gear. You'll spend your time figuring what to do, rather than doing it. Whichever camera you take, you'll have plenty to photograph.

    Have fun.

  3. #3
    Nicholas O. Lindan
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Cleveland, Ohio
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    330

    Re: Point Reyes Advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Woodbury View Post
    Two days? Don't take so much gear.
    Ditto. I walk around new places just taking snapshots. Then come back with the high-caliber gear.
    Darkroom Automation / Cleveland Engineering Design, LLC
    f-Stop Timers & Enlarging meters http://www.darkroomautomation.com/da-main.htm

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    California
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    Re: Point Reyes Advice?

    There is very good food culture in West Marin. Fresh Tomales Bay oysters at the Marshall Store are awesome if you like oysters. (https://themarshallstore.com) When I bring visitors we head to Limantour Beach (https://www.nps.gov/places/point-rey...tour-beach.htm). There's a lot to see both near and far from your vehicle, and you'll regret not bringing the 8x10.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    North Dakota
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    1,173

    Re: Point Reyes Advice?

    Pierce Point with Pacific on one side and Tomales Bay on the other. Tule Elk area. Great farmhouse and a pleasant drive as well.
    "My forumla for successful printing remains ordinary chemicals, an ordinary enlarger, music, a bottle of scotch - and stubbornness." W. Eugene Smith

  6. #6
    John Olsen
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Madison, WI
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    890

    Re: Point Reyes Advice?

    Get Austin Granger's photo book "Elegy from the Edge of a Continent." It'll give you inspiration and locations to explore. It's a good book too. Reading the book, I'd suggest sticking with gear that's easier to carry and leave the 4x5 at home for a first trip.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    klamath falls, oregon
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    1,560

    Re: Point Reyes Advice?

    Another vote for Austin's book. And after your trip, read it as well - the writing is as good as the photos!

  8. #8

    Re: Point Reyes Advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by cp_photo View Post
    There is very good food culture in West Marin. Fresh Tomales Bay oysters at the Marshall Store are awesome if you like oysters. (https://themarshallstore.com) When I bring visitors we head to Limantour Beach (https://www.nps.gov/places/point-rey...tour-beach.htm). There's a lot to see both near and far from your vehicle, and you'll regret not bringing the 8x10.
    Thanks for this - will check it out for sure!

  9. #9

    Re: Point Reyes Advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Olsen View Post
    Get Austin Granger's photo book "Elegy from the Edge of a Continent." It'll give you inspiration and locations to explore. It's a good book too. Reading the book, I'd suggest sticking with gear that's easier to carry and leave the 4x5 at home for a first trip.
    I saw this come up when I searched the forum for Point Reyes, and will keep an eye out for a copy - thanks.

  10. #10
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    SF Bay area, CA
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    16,656

    Re: Point Reyes Advice?

    I have been going out there once a week in summer for decades, often in winter too. Weather can be either calm and mild or stormy on any given day, this time of year. And there's been a fair amount of fog lately. Wildlife and birds will still be abundant. Where to go? Gosh, all kinds of places. After passing through Inverness near the end of Tomales Bay, the road forks. To the left it head out toward the Mt Vision and Drakes Estero trail soon, and further, past Drake's beach and the North and South Beach exits, it will finally fork left to the Chimney Rock trail and right toward the lighthouse.

    The right hand fork of the road after Inverness heads to Tomales Bay State Park, Abbots Lagoon (highly recommended easy hike), several beaches, and Tomales Point, where there are interesting old farm buildings. The actual hike clear out to the end of the Point is about a 7 mile round trip and stunning later in the wildflower season of May and June, but apt to be quite windy earlier.

    Behind the Visitor Center is the popular Bear Valley Trail and other options. About a mile past the Visitor Center is the Limantour Road with its own many interesting place. But I don't know if there are still road work delays on that or not. Check with the official Point Reyes website for current conditions, plus a map. I won't even try to mention all the great subsidiary trails. Large format will be rewarded, but near constant wind is a distinct possibility except in the woods, and your day pack should always have a raincoat and something like a sweater, because conditions can vary quite a bit during the course of a day.

    Lots of adjacent interesting places too along Hwy 1 and Marin County. DON'T try to see everything in two days. You can't in two years. Pick one or two spots to spend quality time instead, especially if you're brining a LF camera. Even if you can come back sometime, the light is seldom the same twice unless you're very familiar with the moods of the area. But you don't want to waste time fiddling around with too much stuff. The area rewards relaxing contemplation, and the local food will tempt you too. Bring a simple LF or MF kit you're already entirely comfortable with, and be happy with two or three really good shots. But it's an exceptional area, both for color and black and white film.

    You're biggest regret will be that you only allotted two days. And don't worry about fish getting away. There's an abundance of seals, sea lions, seabirds, rays, and sharks that will do that job for you, even otters in certain freshwater lagoons. Just don't get too "chummy" with the Great Whites.

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