The Dawn Report from China Camp

While I tend to shoot every day, I also try to get out on a more intensive photo shoot every so often. These shoots are either by myself (more rare actually) or with some friend or a group. On Saturday March 9th, I attended a Dawn at China Camp photo shoot with the West County Photo Group. Over the past year I’ve attended a number of events with this group and it’s always interesting to meet some new folks and also to see what a group of photographers do with the same subject opportunities. For this meet up there were nine of us. The plan was to meet at the parking lot just on the edge of China Camp State Park near San Rafael, California at 6am. If you don’t know this spot, I suggest you visit it. It’s historical significance is quite interesting and while it’s a low key spot, it’s good for picnics and local hiking.

Upon arrival, we were first presented with this scene:

A thin crescent moon was hanging over the dawn sky. While San Pablo Bay wasn’t perfectly calm, it was close enough. I wanted to get a shot of first light on a little island just to the west of the park called Rat Island so I headed off to a viewing spot about 100 yards from the island and got a number of images including these:

Rat Island Sunrise

Time exposure of Rat Island

One of the principal features at the Park is this fishing pier. Early morning sun provided some very nice back illumination.

As the gate to the pier was locked, we were only able to get some shots looking down it. I liked this one in high contrast black and white.

Just for fun I got out my fisheye lens and with the camera down on the sand got this fisheye view of the dock at sunrise.

I have a love of old rusty things and this place offers a number of photo worthy rusty objects. Here are a few.
Rusty Rails


We were done about 8:30am and took off for some coffee and breakfast. Fun morning shoot.

I will return here from time to time in different light. Some fog would have been an awesome element to this, but…sometimes as a photographer, you make do with what’s available.

2 thoughts on “The Dawn Report from China Camp”

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog and viewing your photos. I realize I’m no critic, but I must say I found several of your works totally breath-taking. I also like the look of your blog itself, particularly the format of clicking to read more about a post. I will see if I can do that with blogger (which is what I use)

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