Laura Macky Photography

Journey of a body on this earth


Tomales Point Trail

Why is it every time I type Tomales Point Trail it types Tamales!  lol   Silly auto correct.

The other day we went to Tomales Point Trail which goes through the Tule Elk Preserve at Point Reyes National Seashore.  I’d never been to this spot before usually opting for the more famous area of Point Reyes, the Lighthouse.   I’ve included a map so you can see the trail and where we hiked.

I couldn’t carry anything heavy like a zoom lens or even my Nikon because it’s a long hike out there for me, so I opted for my Sony A7 mirrorless with the cheap lens it came with, the 28-70.  As a side note, there is a HUGE HUGE difference between that cheap-o lens and my 16-35mm.  Just a confirmation that glass makes a huge difference!   But honestly, I didn’t really even care because my main excitement was to see the elk and accomplish the hike.  To some, the hike might not seem that much but for me it’s like climbing Mt. Everest given the health issues I have.  I’m paying for it two days later as it sort of wore me down but it was so worth it because…..

We saw two groups of elk!  The first one we came upon contained about 30 elk.  They were too far away for my lens but there were docents there with spotting scopes for people to see them up close.  Naturally we checked them out through the scope.  With our naked eye we could see them clearly though….bulls with huge racks on them on the ridge looking down at us, and activity up and down the hill.  The second grouping came much further along the hike….a pond just off the right side of the trail with maybe 10-15 elk sitting there relaxing.  The docent told us the old bulls come here and just chill and eat the grass around them.  They were spectacular to see so close!   Still couldn’t get a close picture with my lens but I was so thrilled to see them and have included a cropped photo here for you to see.

One thing that was amazing to me is that we could see Bodega Bay from the farthest point we were on the trail.  Also along the walk we saw red fox hunting, an occasional coyote (one crossed the trail right in front of us about 30′ away) and of course a variety of birds flying around.  The trail is 4.3 miles to the point and 4.3 miles back.  We didn’t go the whole way, it was probably another .5 miles out to the point which would’ve added another mile to the hike and it’s a hilly hike so we opted to turn around after seeing the elk.  I was a bit worried about being able to get back but having seen the second herd of elk, I felt so accomplished that it pushed me to succeed in my return.  I guess I wasn’t the only one who felt challenged out there because we saw an emergency ATV at one point on its way to rescue someone.

The wild feeling of Point Reyes is so incredible.  I guess I would describe it as a wild abandon feeling.  There is such freedom there.  What can I say…I love our California Coast!






One Photo Focus Anniversary! – January 2016

Can you believe it?  It’s been a year for this very fun challenge.  I’ve got to start off by thanking Stacy for coordinating this challenge every month.  It’s not easy to do when receiving images and links from everyone and I really appreciate all her hard work, so please check out her blog and the entire challenge here.

This challenge is about everyone editing the same image and today I’m honored that it’s my image everyone will be editing.  I’m surprised how well the original jpeg did with all the editing.  Normally I take RAW photos but when my camera came back from repair I didn’t realize they had reset my settings so I ended up with a jpeg for this challenge.

This abandoned boat is in Tomales Bay on the north side of the SF Bay Area near Pt. Reyes.  I’ve taken this boat before when I first started getting into photography, so I thought I’d take it again and make it part of this challenge.  You can find the before and after below.

Here’s the general process:

  • Cropped and adjusted clarity, whites, blacks, etc. in LR and then opened in PS.
  • Found royalty-free moon and starry sky images on web and uploaded into PS and masked out the image to include the sky and moon.
  • Adjusted the moon layer with a layer style color overlay and added a glow.
  • Put a moon reflection in the water.
  • Added a gradient for the red horizon glow
  • Added a color overlay layer for entire image.
  • Used a color balance layer to tweak the overall highlights, shadows and midtones.
  • Isolated the grass with color selection and added vibrance and color.
  • Added a color lookup layer for a nighttime effect and used a mask to adjust opacity in various areas of the image.
  • Added 3 layers consisting of clouds on a transparency background and used a layer style to add a color overlay and blend mode.
  • Added some ND gradients around the edges.


January One Photo Focus

January One Photo Focus

Should you wish to purchase the above image, please click here.

January One Photo Focus

Original by Laura Macky


Tomales Bay Ship Wreck

Wow, it’s been awhile since my last post mainly due to a nasty case of bronchitis.  Thankfully I’ve finally recovered and am back behind the lens!

Yesterday we took a drive Point Reyes, California for the day with the Point Reyes Lighthouse as our destination.  One stop we made along the way was a famous “abandoned boat” in Tomales Bay.   There are several shipwrecks in the area, yet this one seemed to merely be an abandoned boat with not much history other than it is popular with photographers.   You can see from the map that Tomales Bay is north of San Francisco and East of Point Reyes.  (As a side note, Bodega Bay to the north was where Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” was filmed.)


Below is the abandoned boat in all its glory.  This boat has been photographed many times, and I tried to put my own spin on it.  Within the next few days, I’ll have more pictures of incredible Point Reyes and the lighthouse there.