This post is by Om Malik from On my Om


If you live in San Francisco, you are often reminded of the gift that is Ocean Beach. It is one of my favorite places for a walk, where I contemplate and sometimes I take photographs.

On one of my many visits to Ocean Beach, I came across an enormous swarm of Snowy Plovers who were busy enjoying breakfast. A portion of Ocean Beach is designated as a Snowy Plover Protection Area. Snowy Plover is a small bird that needs vast swaths of open beaches to feed on kelp flies. They have been severely under threat for a while, but their numbers have recently rebounded.

I just loved the way the swarm of cute little critters looked. I had a 24-90 lens attached to my Leica SL, and I was far enough away to use the 90mm focal length to capture this photograph. Since it was very early in the morning, I captured this image with the lens wide-open at f4 and 1/160th of a second at ISO 50.

This image has sat in my “to edit” folder since December 2019. In a moment of inspiration, I decided to go “monochrome” and keep the high-key look of the original color negative. The lack of color allowed me to obscure the waves and the distant Marin headlands into subtle outlines.

I like the final result enough to share with you, and I hope you like it as much as I do.

Happy Weekend!

February 11, 2023. San Francisco