waves

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Being a photographer, I’ve learned a lot of really random things. For example, did you know that the Washington Monument in Washington DC was built to sway with the wind? Yea, that’s just in case we get a really windy day and the tallest structure in our Nation’s Capitol won’t snap in half. Isn’t that crazy?

Well, staying in San Diego for two weeks was no different. I learned so much about the environment I was in. For example, tides. Living in Virginia, I’ve never had to be concerned with how high or low the water is but in California, this information is so crucial. After the first one or two sunsets, I found myself looking at tide charts and figuring out how all of this stuff works. To generalize, I found that low tide occurs around sunset. I don’t know if that’s true all year around, but it was true in January. So I planned all my photo ops knowing that if I wanted to capture full strength waves, it had to be at sunrise.

This image was captured right at sunset. The tide was low but there was still a whole bunch of water still on the beach from earlier in the day. It made for the perfect beach reflections. My favorite part of this image is the tallest palm tree on the right hand side. The top of the tree looks like it’s standing on a toothpick. It’s crazy because when I came here the next day at sunrise, the water was all the way up to the wall. There would have been no way I could have walked on the beach unless I had plans of getting wet in the water.

My settings for this image is F11 at 0.3 seconds at ISO 125 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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Out of the 7 days that we’ve been in San Diego, 6 of them have been foggy. It’s not foggy all day and it mostly comes around sunrise or sunset, the best times for taking pictures. I love the fog and everything but I thought I was coming to California for some sunshine.

But I am not letting any of the weather stop me from shooting. If I can’t photograph the skies, then I will try my best to photograph other things. This particular morning was not foggy but it was extremely cloudy. I found myself on the Ocean Beach pier just watching the waves go by. As the sun was rising higher in the sky, I noticed how beautiful it made the water look. I positioned myself on the pier so that I’d be shooting towards the shore and watching the back side of the wave roll by me.

My favorite part of this entire image is that little bit of light of aqua color on top of the wave. That was the color and light I was looking for while I was shooting this image. I don’t know but there’s something so fascinating about watching the waves roll by from up above. I love watching the patterns and repetition. Next time I need to bring the drone!

The surfer in the image was just an added bonus. I didn’t even realize he was there until I looked at these images on the computer. It’s pretty cool to see him in context to the wave. He looks so tiny compared to it.

My camera settings for this image is F9 at 1/50th of a second and ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens. I didn’t not shoot this with a tripod but was using the pier ledge to stabilize my camera.

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This image was taken a couple years ago at Natural Bridges State Beach in Santa Cruz, California. If you know me at all, you know I love California. I love how laid back everything is, how healthy it is, and it’s just overall so beautiful. It’s always one of my favorite places to visit.

But I think next on my travel list would be Aruba! So random I know. Considering I’ve been to quite a few places in the Caribbean already and growing up you were always scared about the Aruba triangle. But I want to go and stay at the Renaissance Resort and Casino. Why so specific? Because this is the only place that I have seen that has wild FLAMINGOS on their property! Like you could be chillin on the beach and there would be a flamingo walking right past you. I’ve never seen them fly before either, so I think that’d be really cool to see. I don’t know recently I’ve had this obsession with wanting to see a flamingo in real life.

Look at this picture. This could be ME! Except I wouldn’t be laying down so casually. I’d probably be trying to feed or pet one of them. And then sticking a camera in their face. LOL.

If you’ve ever seen a flamingo in real life, let me know! What was it like? Where were you? Did you get to pet it? They seem delicate, are they? OR if you’ve ever stayed at the Renaissance Resort and Casino in Aruba, how’d you like it? I need to know!

For the Natural Bridges State Park image, my camera settings were 1.6 seconds at F/20 and ISO 100. This was probably taken around 2013 so I was still shooting with my Canon 5D mark II and I was using my 17-40mm wide angle lens.

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Do you have Amazon Prime? If you do, you definietly have to check out Shorebreak: The Clark Little Story. It was so inspiring.

First of all, I didn’t even know Clark Little had a amazon prime movie out so I was surprised to see it being suggested. Second of all, I’ve never heard Clark Little talk before. It was so fun to hear his Hawaiian accent. And then I had no idea what he was saying when he was talking to other locals in the film. HAHA so cool!

Last but not least, man those shorebreaks are REDONKULOUS! Yes, I’ve been following his work for years but seeing on video of what he has to go through to capture those images takes it to a whole new level. I remember when I first saw his photography, I was so blown away that I couldn’t stop looking at his work all night. I googled everything I could about Clark Little and was just so impressed from the very beginning. If you remember this youtube video I created, I mentioned how he inspired me. But seeing it from his point of view or even seeing it from above with all the drone footage, man I don’t even know. The whole movie was just so inspiring and beautiful. Even if you don’t like photography that much and you have an appreciate for just nature or anything beautiful, you have to watch it. Watch it, then come back to this blog post and tell me how much you loved it because I know you will!

So this image is not of the north shore where Clark takes his photos. It’s in Kauai. When we visited Oahu a couple of years ago, we were there during a surf competition. We tried to go but the beach was so packed and hardly any parking so we skipped it. But after watching that amazon prime movie, it makes me want to go back. Like now.

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Be sure to hit the “purchase print” button when you hover over the image. Check out the sky and you see’ll all these little dots. At first I thought they were dust spots (knowing me and my camera) but upon further inspection, they’re all birds!!! How crazy is that! I attempted to try to get rid of them, but eventually I realized there were just way too many of them. Also, I thought it was pretty cool how you can barely see them but if you look deeper, you’ll realize the insane amount of birds that were circling these rocks. For someone who has a slight fear of birds, this whole situation was a little terrifying. Not only were there millions of birds who could have swooped down, lifted you up from off the ground and flown away with you, BUT these waves were extremely huge. I was trying my best to capture just how big they were with the person as scale, but it was pretty difficult. I think you have to be there to really see what I mean. It was like being on another planet with the the beautiful sea stacks, humongous waves and black sand beach.  This image makes me want to go back!

The settings for this image is F6.3 at 1/80th of a second at ISO 80. My main intention was to capture the large waves, but it was also to capture movement. The movement of the water in the foreground and the waves crashing but also the woman who unknowingly became my model. It was funny to watch her because she kept on walking towards the water but would run as fast as she could as soon as the wave crashed down. Its as if she was playing a game of chicken with the cold water.