Photographing – SoFoBoMo 2011

As I am writing this, I am now in my second week of SoFoBoMo 2011. For the first week, my game plan called for the collection of images. And collect images I did.

My first day of SoFoBoMo I went to Scott\’s Creek State beach – north of Santa Cruz. It is on Highway 1 between mileposts 31.8 and 31.9. This beach is very popular with surfers, and has free parking on either side of the highway. GPS Co-Ordinates: 37.0418°N 122.227°W

I pulled in about 7.30PM – sunset was supposed be at 8.30PM. It is very disconcerting, and exhilarating d to pull in and park when everyone else is leaving the beach. It\’s almost like the sunset is just for you.

So, I pull in and park on the side of the road. For the first time I take a look at what the signs say: Parking allowed from 8.00AM to sunset only. So what is a photographer who wants to photograph after sunset do? I decided to park a little away where there was no board. And try to shoot while keeping an eye out on my car. Luckily this beach allows a view of the parked car from all over.

Since sunset was 8.30PM, I had a bit of time to wander around. I was pretty uninspired until I went to the far north of the beach where Scott\’s creek was joining the ocean. I took a deep breath, got out of my hiking shoes and crossed the creek – cold cold water. ON the other side of this creek, there were some rocky shelves, undisturbed sand and a whole lot of inspiration. Suffice to say, my first day of shooting was very successful indeed.

After that, during the week, I got out of work and drove to San Gregorio Beach – just south of Half Moon Bay. This excursion was the least productive – I arrived there at 8.15 – just before sunset. And I didn\’t make any photos I liked from this excursion. Next stop, again on a weekday night was the awesome Pescadero State Beach. This beach was so awesome, that I had to go back and shoot there again the next Sunday (officially Week 2 of SoFoBoMo).

So how did I do overall on Week 1? Pretty good. I got 23 decent images from one week of shooting – three visits to the beaches. The good ones were picked and processed as well. Including this Sunday\’s excursion, I now have 35 photos selected for the book. They have all been processed and kind of sequenced.

Some aspects of teh project changed during this week. I had originally wanted to shoot using the digital Holga and Peleng lens – instead I am using my trusty trio of the 50mm f1.8, the 17-40mm L and the 10-22mm EF-S lenses. One other change – I had initially thought of shooting those beaches where a creek flows into the ocean at sunset or sunrise. Now I just shoot in beaches around sunset. This is what other SoFoBoMo-ers mentioned – be open to the nature of the project changing. I also seem to be shooting mostly at sunset. So the \”sunrise” might disappear from the options soon.

The challenges I faced this week\”
1. Shooting along at twilight and being spooked by my overactive imagination (crazy guy with a machete chasing me…)
2. Parking outside these beaches when no other cars are parked and being a little worried about my car being broken into (so good so far)
3. Watching out for park officials who want to chase me out of the beaches (so far none!)

What next? Though I have 35 photos, I know that some of them can be better. So I plan to go out and shoot one more time – this time to maybe Four Mile Beach or Davenport beach or Waddell beach… Also it is time to dig into desktop publishing software and the challenges of PDF creation. More about that in my next post.

I will leave you with a photo I am most pleased with from my excursion to Scott\’s Creek beach. It might even be the cover image of the book! What do I like about it? Everything. The reflections, the light and shadow, the palette, the awesome opportunity to actually spot the fancy light work while I was shooting… everything!

Scott\
Scott\’s Creek, by Suprada on Flickr.

Scott\’s Creek Beach, North of Davenport, Highway 1

Technical Details:
Camera: Canon EOS 50D
Exposure: 1/8s at f/13
Focal Length: 11mm
Lens: Canon 50mm
ISO: 100
WB: Auto
Date: July 07, 2011

Other SoFoBoMo posts:
Post1: http://www.suprada.com/photoblog/archives/1712

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