Bowling Ball Beach, Mendocino County, California
Third attempt... It came together.
Earlier in December I made the long sickening trip up California's famous highway 1 to get to this anomaly we here call Bowling Ball Beach. There are no signs marking this area, so you better do your research before heading out here. If the tide is too high (anything over +1) you will end up walking right past these water rounded sandstones. If the tide is too low (anything lower than -.75) then the water will be low.
I made the first trip with little to no expectations. Basically, I just wanted to find the beach, check the conditions of the tide, see how they related to these boulders, and if I was lucky, maybe make a few long exposures. Well..... The tide was too high, and I never got a chance to see the boulders. After that trip, I checked the tide tables to see when the lowest tide would coincide with the sunset..... (Thats how I ended up with the info to get my last Bay Bridge image). The low tide and sunset were a perfect match at the very end of the year, so I made a second trip..... Only to find that the tide was too low. So after some thoughts of maybe heading south on the first Saturday of the year, I decided to head back up north to try my luck a third time.
The sky was clearing from a few storms that passed over on New Years, and the coast was covered in fog for most of the trip, but just as I hit Iverson Point (this is where you first see the steep cliffs behind this beach) The fog had cleared and there were some very nice, thin clouds over head. Now all I needed was the perfect tide! Well, I parked, followed the unmarked trail down to the beach, and hiked out to this spot. The tide was a little lower than I would have liked, and the fog bank seen here killed most of the light I was hoping for, but I was still able to make a few long exposures before the tide was too low.
I am sure to head back to this beach, but I think for now I will be focusing (no pun intended) on other subjects.
Thanks for your views and comments!
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Canon 5D MarkII
Focal Length: 29 mm
ISO Speed: 50
B+W 10 stop solid ND (ND110)
Lee .6 & .9 hard edge ND grads