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Crashing Waves

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.

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From California: Garrapata State Park