This region is known worldwide for its ancient Redwood forest, but it also has a dramatic coastline with lots of cliffs, lagoons, rocky islands and sandy beaches. It could keep a photographer busy for a lifetime!
As this sunset reached its climax, the colors became more intense. I usually wait to go for the long exposure once it is too dark for my shorter ones, but I have my new 10-stop filter so I have to give it a go. This exposure started about 5 minutes before sunset. The lower layer of cloud was moving one way while the higher clouds were moving another way. I had no idea it would turn out like this.
I like the long streaks from a long exposure, but here, a streak would begin and then get erased by another cloud moving in to block it. The higher layer had all the colors, so the lower clouds would stop the streaks of colors. I’m going to experiment with crossing cloud layers more, now that I see what they do.
I can’t say I’ve really seen the sky like this. Usually when I get home and process the images, I can remember what it looked like and make sure the picture looks that way, but here I knew that I would not remember. So after each shot, I’d look at the viewfinder and then at the sky, to compare the two. The viewfinder looked very similar to the scene before me.
I noticed how much I liked the occasional wave strike on the rock, so I moved over to have the rock be right in front of the background island for extra contrast. Then I took several shots as the waves would strike until finally I got one with the sand in a good reflective state.
Grandmother Rock bears witness to yet another impressive sunset at Trinidad Beach, just north of Eureka, California.
I headed out onto the beach in the driving rain with my umbrella hoping for the best. I could see hints of light appearing in the fast-moving clouds so I ran across the beach as fast as I could, looking down to avoid the waves. When I got to my spot, the rain was ending and I looked up and I was literally shocked at what I saw in the sky. Brooding mammatus clouds, multiple cloud decks, you name it. I have never seen anything like this in my life!
I could not believe my eyes as the light reflected off the bottom layer of clouds and up into underside of the top layer. And then light came through the ‘eye’ of this cyclonic thing. I felt like I was wintessing an historical event rather than just a nice sunset. The colors remained rather subdued but the drama was incredible.
I made sure to get the sand at it’s most reflective moment. It was high tide so it dried up in just a few seconds. Timing was everything. So I had to keep running around and planting the tripod in the wettest sand just after a wave would hit a particular spot. I’m glad nobody was watching because they would probably think; “This guy just can’t seem to make up his mind!”
From certain angles, this rock does look like a camel down on it’s knees. On this evening, the light was warm and soft. The low tide allowed the sand textures and ripples to be seen on the reflective surface of the sand.
Trinidad reflections – Trinidad, California
At sunrise, a very low tide allowed the sand and water to become glossy and very reflective. So I waited for the sun to come up and light up the clouds with the first warm rays of light.
I could hear the waves in the distance and I was hoping that they would not move in too close and disturb this moment. Fortunately for me they cooperated!
At sunrise after a big storm, a stream cut through the sand and entered the sea. This was not there the night before. This shows the effects of erosion in a very short period of time.
It is incredible how a beach can change so much in so little time. I waited until the first light of dawn illuminated the small rocky island to the right.