The coast line around Crescent City, California provides stunning images for photographers. The rough, rocky areas not only have great breaking surf but as the tide rolls out, many tide pools form. Add to this the picturesque Battery Point lighthouse and a photographer can spend hours capturing images.


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In February a few years back, we traveled to the far northwest part of California. We were scouting for a photo workshop we were leading that coming summer.  February was picked more for convenience than the possibility of great shooting. Although right in the middle of the rainy season, the days were sunny and mild. We stopped at several of the State Parks, and of course Redwoods National Park, to check out photo opportunities. Crescent City provided opportunities to photograph the lighthouse and tide pools.

The Redwood Parks complex in far Northern California is made up of three State Parks (Prairie Creek, Del Norte and Jedediah Smith) plus Redwoods National Park. They encompass nearly half of the old growth redwood trees remaining today. All of these parks are between Eureka and the Oregon border. These old growth coastal redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) are found in many groves within the parks. A lot of the groves have great trails that wind through allowing photographers to get up close and personal with the trees as well as to get a perspective of the true size. The coastal redwood grows quickly in the early part of its life, nearly 30 feet per year. As it reaches the forest canopy, over 300 feet above the floor, growth changes from height to girth, with trees reaching 15 feet in diameter by their 700th year!

The groves are not just redwood trees but a mini ecosystem with ferns, other conifers, hemlock, tanoak and rhododendrons, as well as many other shrubs. Many small (and not so small) animals also call this home.

North Coast of California

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