Extraordinary Results

To achieve an extraordinary result you must choose what matters most and give it all the time it demands. - The One Thing

#beach, #beaches, #bluff,...
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To achieve an extraordinary result you must choose what matters most and give it all the time it demands. - The One Thing

#beach, #beaches, #bluff, #CabrilloBeach, #California, #CatalinaIsland, #cliff, #evening, #fog, #foggy, #landscape, #longexposure, #moist, #ocean, #oceanview, #overcast, #rocks, #SanPedro, #sand, #seascape, #sky, #SouthernCalifornia, tides, #water, #waves, #wet, #morning #earlymorning
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Behind The Lens

This photo was taken at Cabrillo Beach, San Pedro, California. San Pedro, a small port town, is located in a peninsula, which it shares with a more posh neighborhood Ranch Palos Verdes to the west. Due to its geographic anomaly, this is one of the few places in the world where one can enjoy the sunrise and sunset on any given day without much of traveling. To its east, the more well known city called Long Beach shares the port called Terminal Island. The Cabrillo Beach surrounds the bottom of the peninsula and its most well known landmark is Cabrillo Beach Pier and its breakwater, which sort of divides the beach into two areas. One has calm water with its gorgeous sand beach shoreline where people launch their kayaks and stand up paddleboards, and the other, like shown in the photo, is all rocky and the water is always choppy. When it's windy and there are high waves, you can find surfers early in the morning.
When I took this photo, I was out there to catch the sunrise, and of course, I was out of luck. San Pedro being a port town, there's always a chance that it would be completely immersed in the morning marine layers. Just like San Francisco Bay.
Like I noted above, I was out there hoping to catch the sunrise that morning, but it was not available. Of course, it was overcast at first, and the marine layer was quite thick, so it was quite flat in terms of lighting. However, I believe that when it's foggy, one must need to turn to the surroundings and realize that what kind of shades they see. What kind of contrast do objects, such as rocks, create against the flat, and maybe even boring backdrops? I focused on that. And I knew that the waves would produce such bright streaks against the dark body of water itself, so it was naturally included in the frame. Also, I knew that the sun was already up over the horizon, although obviously I couldn't see it because of the marine layer, however, I knew that the foggy air would deflect the lights shining behind, to degree for me to work with. With a bit of overexposure, I knew that it would definitely benefit me to have the contrast that I was hoping to achieve. And it worked out fine.
This was shot with Canon EOC 5D Mark III with a F/4 16-35mm lens and a Tiffen 70mm circular polarizer on. And my trusting Manfrotto 055 tripod with a ball head.
As I noted above, I was out there to catch the sunrise. But it was overcast and even misty, I was not lucky. However, I just didn't pack up my gear and go home. Just like any one would, I kind of watched the shoreline for a bit to see what else I could capture. And like I described above, this is the rocky part of the Cabrillo Beach, which actually provides many different layers of texture if one frames it right. Rocks in the water, rock beds, cliffs, and even old remnants of concrete structures, etc. And although it is always challenging when the marine layer literally swallows up everything that your naked eye can see, it is always important to see what's left to work with. And I wanted to capture the rough texture of the rocks against the the body of the water. Probably it is natural, but there's the third element, which was the dense fog itself. It can play a great role, depending on the contrast one can produce, I think.
When I shot this, which was very earlier this year, I was not really into HDR. So, my post-processing was all done in Adobe Lightroom. Of course, now I do in both Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.
In my camera bag
I don't have any separate camera gear to take with me on different trips that I make, as some photographers do. It is always the same, except for what kind of lens I would bring with me. So, if it a multi day backpacking trip in the backcountry, I only bring two lenses - Canon 16-35mm and Rokinon F/2.8 14mm for night shoots. Other than that, everything pretty much stays the same. Oh, except for the tripod. Once again, if it is a multi day trip, I leave my heavy duty Manfrotto at home and take MeFOTO RoadTrip tripod, which is close to 3.5 lb lighter, compared to the tripod setup mentioned above.
San Pedro is really known for either its foggy mornings with a lot of horns blowing when a marine layer is very thick or a very clear morning with gorgeous sunrise. Just like the Bay area, or even Santa Barbara, it is common to see marine layers in summer. In general though San Pedro offers seriously great opportunities for sunrise and sunset, whether close to the water or from the top of the Korean Bell of Friendship, which is the iconic structure, near Point Fermin Park. So, if that is what one is into, it is a perfect place to be when it's not foggy. However, in spite of the fact that the photo was taken in the earlier part of the year and yet I got the marine layers, it shows that one must be prepared for unexpected weather changes and conditions.

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