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The Light behind the Scripps Pier

For 20 seconds, the light appeared, then it was gone!


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Settings etc.:



1.3-second exposure @F22

2 LEE soft ND grad 0.9's angled from 10am-4pm

Cokin z-pro fil

Canon 5D (mark

Canon 17-40L @ 22

ISO 50

RAW file processed with Capture One by Phase One

TIFF file processed with Photoshop


The Scripps Pier in La Jolla, California is used by oceanographers to do studies on the ocean and its effects on the rest of the planet. Before making this image, I waited for the light rays to arrange themselves between the pilings. I also waited for the waves to pull back leaving foam on the sand. I didn’t have to wait too long because the wind was howling and the clouds were moving quickly. The sea spray and rain made the shafts of light easily visible. The rain also added depth to the image by having the background disappear into the mist. I liked how the light brought out the colors in the foam on the sand. Good atmosphere often produces subtle effects that you don’t see on a clear day.


Two minutes before I took the shot, I was holding the tripod over my head in chest-deep water with my back against the sea-wall behind me! Notice the wet rocks? I wanted to get in close to capture the foam in front when it formed during the pullback of the water.


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Taken on December 27, 2006