California: Natural Bridges State Beach - California Naturescapes
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"The Arch"
Location: Natural Bridges State Beach, Santa Cruz, California. [Map/GPS]

Here is my first picture of the Natural Bridges State Beach that was shot this year. I have made several images of this iconic arch and each of those has been challenging to pull off.

Today was no different. I setup my camera and waited for the good light but too many people were walking in front of the camera. After about 10 minutes of waiting I finally got a good view of the arch. The sunset was happening at the same time and colors were just perfect.

Tech Info:
Lens: Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L at 19mm
Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mk II
Exposure: 0, +1 and +2EV for a manual HDR image.
Filters: LEE ND Grads 0.6 (2-stop) and 0.9 (3-stop) soft edge filters rotated slightly to cover sky on the right side

Post Processing: Manual HDR is essentially manually blending multiple images to obtain desired tonality and dynamic range in an image. It is fairly easy to do in PhotoShop.

Naturally formed bridges along the coastline of California are truly works of art by the erosive forces of water and wind. One of the best natural bridge exists on the aptly named Natural Bridges State Beach at Santa Cruz. These bridges form because crashing waves converge at a point and slowly erode away the rock creating a passageway. The erosion eventually destroys the bridge but new ones keep forming over a geologic time span of hundreds and thousands of years. In that sense these are transients, and like everything else that is beautiful in nature, these exist only for a short time... Go see them today!

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