Location: Garrapata State Park, Monterey, California, Map
The relentless forces of nature beat down on these two very famous and often photographed sea stacks of the Garrapata coastline. The stacks were once part of the coastline that once existed several miles into the ocean but has been gradually claimed by the sea. The best way to witness these natural forces in action is to see it in person and hear the thundering roar of crashing waves first hand.
These two sea stacks make for a very good composition. It is not unusual to find a photographer or two at this spot anytime you visit. I made this image at sunrise on a February morning when the sun directly lit the stacks against background fog. I have been to this spot several times since then but always felt that I would never be able to able to replicate this image... sometimes you only get one chance to make an image and I was glad to have clicked at the right time.
Tech Info and Tip:
Lens: Canon EF 24-70 f/2.8L @70mm
Camera: Canon 30D
Exposure: 1sec at f/8.0 and ISO 100
Filters: Solid Hoya ND filter with 8 stops of light reduction to allow 1sec long exposure.
This image is the result of so-called continuous shooting. I realized that it was terribly difficult to press the shutter button right at the moment when a wave would hit the stacks. Fortunately today's SLR's have continuous shooting mode where a burst of images can be shot allowing for one of them to have all the right elements in place.
Garrapata state park is one of the most photographed locations on the California coast. People are drawn to this spot due to the rugged coastline and its famous sea stacks. Just south of Monterey, California it is one of the best places to see waves crashing against the rugged coastline.
Location: Natural Bridges State Beach, Santa Cruz, California.
This is the last natural bridge standing along the shores of Natural Bridges State Beach in Santa Cruz. I have been photographing at this spot for years and what I found most difficult was to get a good combination of evening light and radiating clouds that would complement this natural wonder. On this particular day the clouds were spectacular. I further emphasized the mood of the scene using slightly long exposure to capture motion of the receding waves.
Lens: Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L @ 17mm
Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mk II
Exposure: 1sec at f/13 and ISO 100
Filters: LEE ND Grads 0.9 and 0.6 soft edge
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!
Location: Pier 7 at Embarcadero, San Francisco, California.
Seafront area on Embarcadero has fine seafood restaurants, local bookshops, bakeries and coffee shops. Many of these places have fantastic ocean views and the ambiance is very lively. During summer months it is a perfect escape from the heat of the bay area since city is foggy and cool most of the days. A walk on pier 7 offers fantastic views of the ocean but what I like even more is the view looking towards the city.
Lens: Canon 17-40mm f/4L @31mm
Camera: Canon 5D Mk II
Exposure: 70sec at f/16 and ISO 50
Filters: No filters