Landscape Study 43

I love hiking on foggy days particularly at the moment when the fog begins to lift and the clouds slowly part to make way for the sun to appear. A sort of dance happens with the light. It intensifies then fades again. Sometimes it happens gradually. Other times it happens in a flash. When it appears at just the right spot along the trail, the landscape transforms into something quite magical. It's subtle but beautiful.

Lafayette Reservoir. Lafayette, CA./ ©Stella Kalaw

Lafayette Reservoir. Lafayette, CA./©Stella Kalaw

Landscape Study 42

The heat wave lingered in the Bay Area for several days before the temperatures cooled off this past weekend.On Sunday morning, the clouds appeared as the sun washed the landscape at Lafayette Ridge.We've hiked here several times since spring and it was the first time I've seen it this beautiful.

Lafayette Ridge Trail. Lafayette, CA./ ©Stella Kalaw

Lafayette Ridge Trail. Lafayette, CA./©Stella Kalaw

Lafayette Ridge Trail. Lafayette, CA./ ©Stella Kalaw

Lafayette Ridge Trail. Lafayette, CA./©Stella Kalaw

Landscape Study 41

I lived in Santa Barbara for four years and never once explored the outdoors. I was too focused on school and wasn't in the space of appreciating nature. When I visited my good friend JZ this past weekend, she suggested that we do a morning hike and she took me to Romero Canyon Trail. What a beautiful hike it was especially through the oak trees that lined the creek side. Early morning fog shrouded the trail and the light was incredibly soft and delicate.

Romero Canyon Trail. Santa Barbara, CA/©Stella Kalaw

Romero Canyon Trail. Santa Barbara, CA/©Stella Kalaw

Landscape Study 40

I make it a point to revisit my pictures after some time has passed. I tend to judge them too quickly just soon after I take them. For example, I didn't think much about these two images back when I photographed them in October. But,by being removed from the experience and seeing them again with fresh eyes several months later, I have found a renewed interest in them.

Wildcat Canyon Alvarado Regional Park. Richmond, CA/ ©Stella Kalaw

Wildcat Canyon Alvarado Regional Park. Richmond, CA/ ©Stella Kalaw

Wildcat Canyon Alvarado Regional Park. Richmond, CA/ ©Stella Kalaw

Wildcat Canyon Alvarado Regional Park. Richmond, CA/ ©Stella Kalaw

Landscape Study 39

So good to be hiking again! Took full advantage of the sunny forecast this weekend. Unfortunately, we made a wrong turn just after I shot this picture and we had to hike up a very steep incline on our way back to the trailhead. I was exhausted after the climb! I'm happy this photograph came out well and I feel like it was worth it. After not hiking for over a month, I'll need to build up my stamina again.

Buckeye Ranch Trail. Briones Regional Park. Lafayette, CA/ ©Stella Kalaw

Buckeye Ranch Trail. Briones Regional Park. Lafayette, CA/ ©Stella Kalaw

Landscape Study 37

I barely had time to compose these pictures. The morning sun swept the landscape like a passing beam from a lighthouse before the thick fog obscured it. It only happened a few more times. Very soon, the sun battled its way back and burned off the fog. Blue skies crept into the landscape pushing the gray clouds into the distance. The moment was gone.

Morgan Territory Regional Preserve. Livermore, CA./ ©Stella Kalaw

Morgan Territory Regional Preserve. Livermore, CA/ ©Stella Kalaw

Morgan Territory Regional Preserve. Livermore, CA./ ©Stella Kalaw

Morgan Territory Regional Preserve. Livermore, CA/ ©Stella Kalaw

Landscape Study 33

Lately, I've been going on long stretches without pulling my camera from my daypack. I realized as we've been hiking these past few months that every trail is different and the landscape alters depending on the weather. Today was an exception. All the elements seem to have come together and I felt that tug to capture these two images.

Havey Canyon Trail. Wildcat Canyon Regional Park./ ©Stella Kalaw

Havey Canyon Trail. Wildcat Canyon Regional Park. Richmond, CA/ ©Stella Kalaw

Havey Canyon Trail. Wildcat Canyon Regional Park./ ©Stella Kalaw

Havey Canyon Trail. Wildcat Canyon Regional Park. Richmond, CA/ ©Stella Kalaw

Landscape Study 31

I must say, I am truly enjoying the outdoors this summer. Why? We've been having great weather in the Bay Area. Also, we've been encountering fog along the trails which is a welcome change in scenery!

Mt. Burdell Open Space Preserve. Novato, CA/ ©Stella Kalaw

Mt. Burdell Open Space Preserve. Novato, CA/ ©Stella Kalaw

Wildcat Peak Trail. Tilden Park. Berkeley, CA/ ©Stella Kalaw

Wildcat Peak Trail. Tilden Park. Berkeley, CA/ ©Stella Kalaw

Landscape Study 29

I didn't have any expectations on this trail. We've done a hike back in October at the nearby park. It was hot that day with not a hint of a cloud in the sky. I wasn't able to produce any interesting images. This time around, the conditions were different. The weather was cooler and the landscape kept changing right before my eyes whenever the sun peeked through the rolling clouds. I had fun observing the light as it crept from one area to the next. I waited to click the shutter until the moment when it fell on the right places.

High Ridge Loop Trail. Dry Creek Pioneer Regional Park. Hayward, CA./ ©Stella Kalaw

High Ridge Loop Trail. Dry Creek Pioneer Regional Park. Hayward, CA./ ©Stella Kalaw

Landscape Study 28

We walked a few yards from the trailhead last Sunday and this magnificent scene appeared before us. I was in awe. What this Landscape Studies project has taught me so far is to appreciate where I am right now—to just be. I used to always plan and look to the future, forgetting to enjoy the present. A fleeting moment such as this serves as a strong reminder to stop, take a breath, and live in the now.

Jewel Lake Trail at Tilden Regional Park. Berkeley, CA./ ©Stella Kalaw

Jewel Lake Trail at Tilden Regional Park. Berkeley, CA/ ©Stella Kalaw

Landscape Study 27

This weekend was going to be a scorcher according to the Friday night news. So, we decided to arrive at the trailhead much earlier than we normally do. Not only was it cooler, I was pleasantly surprised at how beautiful the light was along the trail.

Dipsea Trail. Muir Woods, CA./ ©Stella Kalaw

Dipsea Trail. Muir Woods, CA/ ©Stella Kalaw

Dipsea Trail. Muir Woods, CA./ ©Stella Kalaw

Dipsea Trail. Muir Woods, CA/ ©Stella Kalaw