• He was concentrating a lot. Hardly any movement for 2 minutes! Who is this?
  • This is the 'hole' in the wall. A sea arch that lets you get to the rest of the beach on the right. But high tide can cut you off so be careful.
  • I moved around to get the photographer silhouetted against the reflected moonlight. The sun lit him from behind.
  • The only way back to the beach is by climbing down the rock away from my camera and dodging the waves. There is no escape route to towards me and to the left!
  • This is an excellent beach that you must see if you are ever in the area. This is the way in and out.
  • There are some nice rock formations to the right of here. No exit this way.
  • There is no way out over here!
  • Beachgoers?
    Yes Jim, they were partying for hours. The high tide was almost reaching them. - Jim Patterson Photography
  • This is a good way to exit... from this life that is! hehe...
  • No exit up here either unless you have rope and petons!
  • No easy exit up here either.
  • Nope, not me! - Joshua Cripps

Night Shooter - Hole in the Wall Beach, Santa Cruz, California

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Last Saturday evening a lone photographer at Hole in the Wall Beach, near Santa Cruz, California braved high tide on this ledge of rock waiting for the moonrise as the sun set behind and to the right of the frame. He was also patient enough to stay put for this 2-minute exposure! It is probably someone on flickr. Any ideas? No HDR.

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

Late update:
MYSTERY SOLVED! This is David Shield.
See his shot here. I hear that he likes moonlight swims in the sea!


See the photographer battling the elements in this 1800 pixel version!!


Canon 5D mark II
Canon 24-105L @ 45 with some cropped of the edges
Live preview
2-minute exposure @F11
ISO 100
1 Lee soft grad filter (4x6 inch, 100x150mm, 0.9, 3-stop)
No polarizer.
RAW file processed with Capture One by Phase One
TIFF file processed with Photoshop cs4
Small Slik Sprint mini II tripod
Manfrotto 322RC2 pistol-grip ball head

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The Story
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So, there I was doing a small group workshop on the top of a cliff. The sunset was red, but I kept watching the moonlight on the ocean as the almost full-moon rose opposite to the sun. As it got darker, the moonlight got relatively brighter. Eventually the light between the moon and the sun became even. These short moments near the full-moon can produce unusual lighting effects. I have another one from near Carmel that I'll show later with huge waves lit by a rising sun while the setting moon lit up the foreground water. You should try this sometime!

Sometimes people get upset when photographers get in 'their shot.' But I say, "okay, hold still now!"

The map shows the exact location.

Other stuff

My pictures are featured on the front page of the
state Government. of California website
and the new Governor, Jerry Brown's website too. Have a look! It is Flash with my pics cut into layers for a 3-d slideshow. If you are into building apps, the State has opened up lots of data to the public, so check it out!


A great weather mashup map of the world with local temperatures, weather and nice popups. See where it is hot and not!

Google Earth

Simply the best way to scout out locations that there is. You can see sun angles and pre-visualize light under lots of different conditions. Sometimes you can actually pre-compose your shots! This has saved me many thousands of vertical feet of climbing by avoiding spots with blocked views etc.

Satellite imagery (choose 'National' for a local US region or use your fave website)

Tide charting and preditions: (chose your area in US, other countries have similar websites)

Wave Heights (I choose 'North Pacific from Global')
Or Here:

Photos of every inch of the California coastline from a small plane. Excellent for close in detailed views.


JGo9, 冰牛奶, Olly Plumstead, and 507 other people added this photo to their favorites.

View 20 more comments

  1. RoryMM 46 months ago | reply

    What an amazing shot!

  2. Le Kim [deleted] 46 months ago | reply

    Great shot

  3. madarchie0 - thanks for 1.8 million views!! 46 months ago | reply

    Amazing image Patrick - master of light and composition!!

  4. Qba from Poland 46 months ago | reply

    wow ! this shot is so cool ! awesome composition and exposure !

  5. skawalker 46 months ago | reply

    Another fantastic shot. Really great with the link to the photo being taken by David Shield.

  6. afer92 (very busy) 46 months ago | reply

    Awesome composition and light.

  7. Moniza* 46 months ago | reply

    What a beautiful shot !!!

  8. CrispyFotos (zPRIME) 45 months ago | reply

    Wow. The colors are just insane! I have to say .. I'm impressed to like the nth degree! Thanks for sharing!

  9. jmb_germany 43 months ago | reply

    I saw this in the 200+ Faves group and Faved it.

  10. dmuphotography 42 months ago | reply

    Great shot Patrick, I am headed out for moon rise tonight.

  11. Joanna1076 41 months ago | reply

    beautiful shot! lovely colours!

  12. Tootsiekat / kathy 38 months ago | reply

    Somehow I missed this first time around. What a shot...lighting is awesome...a jewel of a shot (as it is very pearlescent which might not be a word).

  13. Diana Weir 12 months ago | reply

    This is THAT shot then! Love it! Met DS the other night just south of this...yes, I did notice that he is very patient for those long exposure shots!

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