The day dawned bright and sunny. Then lunchtime rolled around and it stayed bright and sunny. But by the end of the day it was bright and sunny. Yes, the resilient offshore pressure ridge that was funneling wet weather around the west coast in early 2014 was out in full effect on February 1st, giving us blue-as-a-bird skies and 70 degree temps for our Santa Cruz Photography Workshop. Not ideal for dramatic seascapes perhaps, but definitely lovely to be outside in learning more about coastal photography.
We began the day at one of our favorite spots, Four Mile Beach, which is named for its four-mile-tall seastack. At least, I think that’s where the name came from. In any case it’s a great beach to get started on seascape photography because of its beautiful features, accessible shelves, and crashing waves. And it was a great place for our group to develop their understanding of composition, shutter speed and aperture, wave timing, and lots of other seascape know-how. After a few hours a chilly wind picked up and we trucked off to our second beach, Hole in the Wall.
At HITW we had access to some extremely low tides and some rocks exposed by ocean-excavated sand. It gave our photographers the perfect opportunity to experiment with the concepts of getting close, getting low, and working with different focal lengths. As the sun set the tide continued to drop and some fascinating patterns emerged in the sand, creating the perfect opportunity to creatively use leading lines in our photos. The light levels dimmed as well and the sound of long exposures could be heard echoing off the cliffs. The shutters dragged longer and longer and the wave motion in our group’s photos got more and more dreamy. I love this, as for me it’s a perfect embodiment of how the camera can be used to see the world creatively. Darkness swept in not long after that and it was time to wrap up the workshop.
Of course we wouldn’t have had a workshop in the first place without our wonderful participants Denyse, Laurie, Dave, Praveen, Shea, Rodrigo, Sara, and Katie. On behalf of Jim and myself, thank you all so much. You can check out photos from the day in the gallery below. It was great to meet you all and we look forward to seeing you out on another ‘shop soon.
p.s. if this class sounds fun, consider joining us on our next Santa Cruz Photography Workshop.