• One tripod leg just out of sight here.
  • Another tripod leg just behind here, the water between is about 4 feet down.
  • Dirty pants just out of sight here... - david.richter
  • Actually, it was a shoe. Just kidding.

Stormy Sunset - Santa Cruz, California

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Hoping against hope for a break in the clouds, I headed out for sunset after a very cloudy sunrise earlier in the day.

I've been having a good time blending images using some of my black and white filters from Alien Skin, so I figured I'd have another go at it. This is from a beach just south of Hole in the Wall beach, but north of Four Mile beach. There are some really cool rocks there that will guarantee I return for more shoots, possibly sunrises as well.

I hurried down the trail to explore the area as it was my first time here. In my haste, I forgot my filter holder in the car. I got my first opportunity to hand hold my neutral density filters. Normally, I think this would be quite easy, but today, I decided to try out my rain fly for my camera, and between avoiding waves, hand holding my filter, and trigger the remote, one could say my hands were full.

For this shot, I placed on leg of the tripod on the rock in the lower right and the other two on the shelf on the lower left. This image doesn't quite translate the difficulty in pulling this off. First, the rocks were covered in a very slick algae. Just ask Stephen Oachs about just how slick it is. Second, there is about a 4 foot drop between the shelf and the rock. One slip of me or my camera and the incoming waves would have had a field day. Luckily I avoided such a disaster...this time. A few seconds after this shot, the rain started to fall, and I packed it in for the day.

Nikon D300
Tokina 11-16mm @ 11mm
4 exposure blend @ f11
B+W Polarizer
Lee .6 Hard Stop ND Grad Filter
Two Black and White filters blended for best effect. Slight contrast bump for sky and water

Diego Tabango, PatrickSmithPhotography, and 91 other people added this photo to their favorites.

View 20 more comments

  1. Tim Donnelly (TimboDon) 75 months ago | reply

    My thats beautifully dramatic!! Very nicely composed indeed!

  2. Stellina.m ♪♪ (...illness) 75 months ago | reply

    Very powerful B&W,impressive!
    Stellina from AUS :D

  3. bowjenk 75 months ago | reply

    Excellent with black & white, very dramatic! Thumbs up!

  4. timo.frey 75 months ago | reply

    Awesome B&W !

  5. .Jes 75 months ago | reply

    Stunning imagery here. wow.

  6. Della Huff Photography 74 months ago | reply

    Gorgeous -- this works so well with high contrast.

  7. Penya_Pictures 71 months ago | reply

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Composition Masters, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

    Please join our group !!

    Excellent body of work !!

  8. f1design 71 months ago | reply

    Stunning work...I'm so glad I finally ordered that Tokina 11-16mm.

  9. Robert Richardson photography 52 months ago | reply

    this is actually beatiful <3 i love it xD

  10. erglis_m (Mick) 51 months ago | reply

    Grit and determanation allways pay off.... Good one.

  11. valentino * 45 months ago | reply

    bella fotografia

  12. artland 34 months ago | reply

    This is a wonderful shot!
    You are invited to post it to:


  13. samit4me 32 months ago | reply

    Man sure sounds like an trying day, far out, you would have never pick it from the image. Looks like it has paid off tho, the rocks and the water really drag your eyes out to the oncoming rain

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