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

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



The Story



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.


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Taken on April 16, 2011