Emerging nature and landscape photographer Mary D’Agostino is as homegrown as much of her work. A busy executive by day, Mary used to spend her vacations painting wildlife, but in recent years, she has developed a passion for photography. She put herself through a “school of photography” taking workshops and classes at The Image Flow and started working one-on-one with Stuart. “I was doing projects and shooting a lot, and I would routinely bring my work in for critique from Stuart.”
Mary has also sought critiques from experts in the field of nature photography, which have been met with increasing success. “I’m fearless when it comes to finding people in the field of photography to evaluate my photographs,” she says.
Photographer and filmmaker Gary Yost will present a series of short films at the O’Hanlon Center for the Arts including the premier of his new project, Mountains Made of Chalk, Fall into the Sea, Eventually The film features the work of artist Genna Panzarella, who paints a 10-foot-wide mural of Mt. Tamalpais as it was when it was whole—literally inside what used to be the mountaintop. The film will premier with Gary’s new series about Mill Valley at a special event at the O’Hanlon Center for the Arts on Thursday, April 2 at 7PM.
Time-lapse images of West Peak that show the contrasts between the beauty of the natural setting and the detritus of the old Air Force Station are just one aspect of the film I’m making. As I wrote in my first blog post, the overall point of this piece is to spearhead a fundraising campaign to restore the peak to its natural state. That means there will be historical material, interviews, reconstructions, and all of the things you’d expect from a storyteller such as Ken Burns.
One of the most important things I need to do is establish the location of the site so that everyone can clearly see where it is. The time-lapse material doesn’t do that very well, so I need to augment it with aerial images. I’m doing this with two kinds of aerial footage: images from a helicopter starting at the Golden Gate Bridge and working up to an orbit of the Peak, and images from a drone shot low and in the ruins themselves. I’ll be combining these with additional footage to establish the setting and emotional pace very early on in the film.
Landscape time-lapse video requires movement to be interesting. That’s usually accomplished by motion control and (more importantly) dramatic moving light in the form of clouds and shadows. In the Bay Area that means winter is our window to shoot time-lapse of any weather besides fog. (As I demonstrated in my Day in the Life of a Fire Lookout video<, fog can be a great subject but when you’re on top of a mountain and pointing the camera upwards it doesn’t help much.) I began shooting for the West Peak project in late December and by early January I had learned a lot about what I need to do to get the shots I want. The West Peak area I’m working in is between 2450 and 2530 feet in elevation and when the cloud ceiling is just around that height the scene becomes very dramatic. The sight of the clouds rolling across the landscape and breaking to reveal the Marin headlands provides strong visual cues that we are on the top of a mountain.