One of the unending challenges of photography is having too many options. A creative tool that I use, one common to many artists, is applying a pre-determined structure to a project. For example, the open-ended challenge to “write poetry” seems as daunting and impossible as “reach the horizon” or “touch the sky.” However, “write a sonnet” is the same task, focused to a more viable, reach point because it has mandatory structure.

Going into our visit to Hearst Castle, I knew that it might be “too much” since it’s supposed to be a grand mansion and a big property. I had no idea of what we were really in for. However, decided that I would shoot with the Ektachrome film recipe (so jpeg), and would use the 65:24 pano mode in a vertical orientation. Here’s the first image:

The view above was one of the first vistas we saw after exiting the bus from the tour center. With such an immense vista in front of me, I knew that I wanted to get a “detail” shot and a more intimate portrait of the place. One inset sculpture prompted me to take a photo capturing the stone rail, the greenery and the statue. I’m not totally happy with this one, but part of shooting photography is committing. I think because the subject is in shadow, the image doesn’t have the warm, sunny vibes that I was feeling that day at Hearst Castle. Nevertheless, here it is:

And finally, the main entrance to “Casa Grande” beckoned with it’s decorative door, white stone face, and imposing towers. I felt that a peekaboo shot through the leaves of the oak tree helped the bell tower feel more intimate, framing the sunny face in the shadow of the boughs.

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