Another day of monster waves in La Jolla today. TV crews everywhere (at least 5 stations by my count) covering not only the monster waves but the fact there have been multiple Great White Shark sightings in the last 7 days and the surf is cluttered with more surfers then ever. They had the breakwater closed as we watched 10 foot waves slam and the project upwards another 15 feet above the breakwater. An amazing and drama filled day at La Jolla’s Children’s pool.
When I heard about the big storm in New Zealand that was pushing monster waves towards the California coastline, I knew that there might some good photo opportunities coming up. While the biggest waves hadn’t come around – they wont until Friday – I grabbed my camera and headed down to the cove to watch some waves bat up against the rocks. While the waves were not as big as I expected I did find a place just south of Children’s pool where the water geysered up every time a big wave hit the rocks.
This was my last photo of the afternoon. As I snapped the picture, I realized I was too close to the edge and the wave came tumbling down on me and the camera. Now the D700’s are built rock solid with good proofing however I think I may have inflicted some long term damage on it. It remains to be seen. In any case, I got an ok photo of it. And if the camera does go kaput, I am looking for any excuse to upgrade to the D3.
I read an interesting article about a photographer that used flashlights instead of on flashes to lighten up subjects. The basic concept was that he would put his camera on a tripod, turn the shutter speed very low and then move the flashlight around to lighten up those areas that he wanted to expose.
I took my camera, tripod a a huge flashlight (25mm candle power) to Scripps Pier in La Jolla (after sunset) and begin to try out the idea. In about 30 minutes I had some pretty good shots that I was really happy with. I basically set my shutter speed to around 20 seconds, ISO to 200 and then did long exposures right down the pier into the water. There was a double benefit to the slow shutter speed. Not only was I able to smooth out the water (so it looks really calm), but I was able to light up pretty much the whole pier so that it appeared to be glowing gold.