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Cyclone of Light - Trinidad, California | by PatrickSmithPhotography
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Cyclone of Light - Trinidad, California

The spacecraft hovered over the... erm... I mean..A swirling vortex of clouds moved in and was off the right side of the frame in about 5 minutes! When I saw this in my RAW editor, it just didn't seem possible. So in order to process it accurately, I had to look at it in the back of my camera. No HDR!


Free wallpaper for over 100 of my images in 6 different screen sizes is now available!


See the 1200 pixel version!


Also, 2009/06/03: The photo below is a winner in the 2009 Nature's Best Ocean Views competition.



Settings etc.:



Canon 5D Mark II

Canon 17-40L @ 17

1.4-second exposure @F11

LEE soft ND grad (100x150mm) 0.9 + 0.6

Lee foundation kit filter holder with Lee 77mm adapter ring

ISO 50

RAW file processed with Capture One by Phase One

TIFF file processed with Photoshop

Bare feet (soft sand)


See my first upload of the series for the trials and tribulations of getting to this spot at this time.


Just before my last upload, I could not believe my eyes as the light reflected off the bottom layer of clouds and up into underside of the top layer. And then light came through the 'eye' of this cyclonic thing. I felt like I was wintessing an historical event rather than just a nice sunset. The colors remained rather subdued but the drama was incredible.


I made sure to get the sand at it's most reflective moment. It was high tide so it dried up in just a few seconds. Timing was everything. So I had to keep running around and planting the tripod in the wettest sand just after a wave would hit a particular spot. I'm glad nobody was watching because they would probably think; "This guy just can't seem to make up his mind!"


The map shows exactly where this is.


See my profile for a link to my website where I have limited edition prints and less expensive open edition prints.



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Taken on May 1, 2009