Tafoni #9

Tafoni #9, San Mateo Coast, California / September 2018

This picture is the ninth addition to my [on-going] Tafoni series. It was made last September at one of my favorite locations along Northern California’s San Mateo Coast. I visit these parts quite often – too often some might say – and yet new images are hard to come by. That hasn’t deterred me from returning. I have become so attached to the place that these days I tend to go there without a camera, just to spend some time. Sitting right next to the ocean, listening to the crashing waves and studying the effect of light on those bizarre rock formations is a therapeutic experience – one that I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world.

The square presentation is a vertical panorama created by stitching together three horizontal images.

Canon 5DsR, 24-70mm @ 65mm, f/22, 0.6 sec, ISO 100 / Photoshop CC

Thanks for looking. Please leave a comment if you would like to share your thoughts or feelings about this image.

You may only download this image to demonstrate post-processing techniques.

I like this quite a bit. The light play and the leading lines all work well to my eye. Of course, the detail is excellent, considering how you made the image!


This is wonderful! I especially love the colors and the contrast between very soft and subtle blue-ish shadows against the warmth of the light on the tafoni. A wonderful addition to your series.

Good for you for continuing to visit your favorite places. One should never get tired of what you enjoy. Thanks for sharing with us.


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A beautiful image, I like it a lot. The v- and x-shaped lines in the image, the contrast between warm and cool colors.
I fully understand that you return often to this place. In my own neighbourhood, there are places that are hard to photograph, but invaluable when it comes to finding my balance. No need to bring a camera. Just enjoy and relax.

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Excellent rock abstract, Anil. You have a wonderful array of lines, textures and warm tones. Processing looks good to me.

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Sounds like a wonderful experience, Anil Your love of the area shows through in the images you have created with all the wonderful textures, colors and shapes of the rock formations.

Anil, this is a nice addition to your series. The warm colors and angle of light bring out the textures nicely. I cannot see any merges in it. I can understand why you keep going back. This particular one is pretty cool because of the relief, almost looks like somebody’s pottery project gone awry :laughing:
I knew they looked familiar, so not knowing what tafoni were I found the reference on Wikipedia to be an interesting read. And it became clear that this process was so closely related to those many similar features in southern Utah I have seen and photographed, particularly those in Capitol Gorge. Thanks for sharing.

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I really don’t have much to add other than to say that I like this. The lines are great as is the warm/cool colour combination.

Checked out your Tafoni series on your website. Such varying textures and designs. No wonder you’ve found this to be a peaceful retreat. In each state/province that I’ve lived there is a special spot that I go often to discover new images provided by the constantly changing light or weather. They never disappoint.

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These features are so precise, which works well with your very thorough treatment. I’m amazed how many different and unique compositions you have come up with in this area. This has the richness of a medium format image in color and tonality. Such beautiful light. There is a movement to the ulc but the intricate tafoni keep bringing you back. Interesting composition. There’s nothing cliche about it, that’s for sure.

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Anil, on revisiting this the significance of your title suddenly dawned on me! :rofl:

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Love the composition and the way the light falls on the rocks. While I like the warm cool contrasts, which I think absolutely makes the scene, the tonal balance of the blues seems off to me, tending to aquamarine especially towards the top of the frame.

Anil: I have always appreciated your vision and eye for composition and light. This is marvelous. I especially like the color palette and the textures. Superbly crafted image.>=))>

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Beautiful, Anil, love the contrast of the bluish rocks and gold rocks and the difference in texture of the rocks, well done. I’ve spent some little time on that section of the coast, the Tafoni is gorgeous but I have a difficult time coming away with an image I like…just have to keep going back. :slightly_smiling_face:

I’m really enjoying this Anil. There’s a fine sense of movement as my eyes follow the rocks from big to small. Seeing the grains of sand so clearly in the larger view lets me “feel” the roughness. The Tafoni makes great contrast both in color and in texture.

This seems more complex than some of your images from this place both in terms of the amount of rock included in the frame and the light. My only thought is that maybe the blues could go a bit darker. Right now they’re almost as light or lighter than the sunlit orange rocks. It’s an interesting effect, but maybe a bit unreal. However, for an abstract, it’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility.


Appreciate your thoughts on this image Tony. I understand your concern about the blues. However, what you see here is quite close to how I believe the scene looked like. Perhaps it’s due to the rock being light grey (almost white) in color.