I had a feeling that the skies last week would we worth a trip to the coast and I threw my camera gear into my trunk just in case. Sure enough, James called Willie on Wednesday afternoon and asked if we wanted to leave work early and head to Santa Cruz. I had to wear business attire to work that morning and forgot to bring a change of clothes with me so I forced to head out with suit slacks and a button down shirt on. Once we got to Santa Cruz we decided we'd head to Panther Beach. We arrived and scouted for a while but I quickly realized that most of the good compositions would be under water before the sun set. I decided to head through the hole in the rock and start scouting "Hole in the Wall Beach".
A little over a year ago Willie and I went down to Hole in the Wall Beach, crossed through the hole and had a very boring sunset. What I didn't realize was that the tide had come in and when we went to go back through the hole to return to our car I mistimed things, got swept in a wave, taken partially out to sea, thrown against the rocks, and then finally managed to swim back to the beach and get out. While my camera bag stayed mostly dry I lost a D80, a 50mm f/1.8, my iPhone, and my work blackberry (thankfully Apple replaced my iPhone for free!)
Fast forward to Wednesday and again, the tide was low when we arrived and coming into a 3ft high tide. James, Willie, and I crossed the hole and scouted out some locations. I decided to stay close to the hole and shoot some of the rock outcroppings. Lukas Wenger passed us as we scouted around and later Jim Patterson and Kendra walked by and I managed a quick "Hi!" before they continued on to the south part of the beach (personally, I found) it pretty neat to run into a famous photographer like Jim!)
Wearing tall rain boots ended up being a true blessing. As the tide came in the spot where I had setup my tripod quickly filled with incoming waves; the boots kept me dry while I was able to take photographs as water came in and then retreated. I tried to find some movement of the water around the rocks. As the sun continued to set the sky filled up with more and more color. Turned out to be quite a nice sunset!
Nikon D700 w/Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8 ED-IF AF-S:
17mm, f/11, 0.6 sec, ISO 125
HiTech 0.9 Reverse ND Grad