Canopied path at Torrey Pines State Reserve

Canopied path at Torrey Pines. Landscape photography by Steve RossmanThere’s a path at Torrey Pines State Reserve, just below Red Butte off the Razor Point trail, that’s one of my favorite spots in San Diego.  I love the place  for its intense quiet beauty.  I’ll bet I’ve shot it a hundred times, and have never gotten a bad image.  Well, maybe one or two.

I’ve written a few times about scanning old black & white negatives at very high rez, then printing them digitally to good effect.  I liked working with scanned film so much that, a few years ago, I purchased an old Hasselblad 500cm (essentially, the camera they took to the moon in the 60’s and 70’s), loaded it up with b&w film, and dragged it over to Torrey Pines. When I say dragged, I mean it.  It feels like it weighs 20 lbs. when you’ve been on a trail for a while.

This was my first shot ever with the Hassie.  I brought the roll of film in to be developed by a photo lab (sacrilege!!), then scanned the negs as computer files.

The shot was hand-held, on an overcast day, on a naturally dark trail, which accounts for the softness.  I’ve accentuated the dark areas a little, in PhotoShop, for dramatic effect.  Otherwise, it’s pretty much straight out of the camera.

Torrey Pines State Reserve is on the coast, between La Jolla and Del Mar.  The topography of the place is gorgeous.  Amazing sandstone wind erosion.  It looks like it belongs in Utah, not San Diego, but the ocean views are breathtaking.  Razor Point and the Guy Flemming Trail (especially when the wildflowers are in bloom in the spring) are well worth seeing.

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