One of the things I always tell other photographers to avoid is naming the things they are photographing. “Oooh! That looks like a dragon!” (or a teddy bear! or Abraham Lincoln!, etc.) I find if they want to photograph that cloud because it looks like a puppy, they tend to be thinking of only that and forget about composition. The result is usually a poor photograph.

So here I am, breaking my own rule. This image is simply a rock formation on the California coast which is part of a stratified composite of layers that were tilted as the result of tectonic forces. Earth tones coupled with green algae and other growing things nurtured by the ebb and flow of the tides prompted me to liken it to something else.

It immediately reminded me of beautiful Chinese landscape paintings from the 19th century. Can you see the mountain ranges? The high peaks? The dense forests? The deep canyons? The amazing ochre sky? There’s even a cascading waterfall! Maybe you can see them. Maybe you can’t. Maybe you’ll like it or maybe you won’t. All I can hope for, after not following my own advice, is that you might agree that some rules were made to be broken.

All Photographs © 2021 John Grusd Photography. All Rights Reserved.

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