It was another beautiful January day and another day with promising clouds. In the early afternoon James texted me if I was thinking about coastal shooting. Checking the weather maps and webcams the conditions looked auspicious. The trip down to Santa Cruz ended up being three of us: James, Aaron, and myself. On our way down he contemplated which beach to hit up. With high tide of decent max height today there were several possibilities but we ended up choosing Panther Beach/Hole-in-the-Wall Beach.
These two adjacent beaches have limitless compositions and the rocky shorelines surely make for some great shots. James and Aaron ended up choosing to shoot Hole-in-the-Wall while I stayed put at Panther Beach. Although a spectacular Hole-in-the-Wall beach shot has still eluded me I decided to shoot Panther Beach for the very first time. I stuck around the rocky outcrop on the north side of the beach. At first I spotted this nice rocky outcrop formation. However this spot was rather tricky to shoot with large incoming waves putting this spot constantly underwater. On top of that the best cloud action seemed to be facing the southwest direction. Hence I grabbed my gear and headed to the nearby channel for a composition pointed towards the southwest, where the best cloud action lay.
As the sun set the wave action seemed to increase in force. Waves reinforced each other and some even flowed all the way up the channel. I positioned myself near the channel entrance and waited for retreating waves to fire off my action shots. I looked for waves that seemed to retreat in layers adding texture to my slow shutter wave action. The sky lit up as my rush of enthusiasm clicked the shutter time after time.
Canon 5D Mark II
EF 17-40mm f/4L
Singh-Ray 0.9 reverse ND grad filter