June – week 3

What is it that draws the human soul to the water’s edge, to the place where the powers of the sea attack and retreat, constantly reshaping the land underfoot?  Whether you come for contemplation, to allow the ocean’s roar to drown out the noise of a stressful life, to commune with the strange creatures of the tide pools, or do recreational surfing, there is something about the coastline that beckons to us and always satisfies.  Ask any photographer – it’s the creative possibilities along the coast that draw us there!

Watch for the incoming waves and then use them to your advantage.  Sea Weeds perched on protruding rocks will become partially submerged when the foam and edge of a wave rolls over them giving you opportunities for stunning images.  By using a polarizer or neutral density filter you can achieve a slow shutter spend in bright sunlight (1/20 – ¼ of a second).  As the water washes over and around them you will record its movement as beautiful streaks of white flowing water.

San Mateo Coastline is graced with a wonderful phenomenon called tafoni.  Italian for cavern or hollow, tafoni are the honeycombs, labyrinths and patterns of holes, ridges and hollows that are etched into sandstone.  Although they are found in a number of locations around the world, including in deserts, it is the coastal areas that make tafoni a natural artistic expression. A unique combination of coastal fog, cold ocean currents, tectonic upthrust and sandstone cliffs provide the right ingredients for this astonishing display.

Bean Hollow and Pebble beach have a large concentration of tafoni, and, in addition, small pebbles are washed up on these beaches and strewn by the tides into the various hollows of the rocks.  These multi-colored pebbles lie in the rocks as if they were honeybees resting in the comb.

Wet pebbles remain stuck on small wet sandstone ledges as the tide recedes from the coast.  If you divide your viewfinder like a tic-tac-toe board, the intersecting lines will guide you to the most interesting places to position your subject. A diffuser can be used to keep the harsh sun from making the highlights too bright, then add a gold reflector to bounce light back onto your scene.

REMEMBER to scroll down to read my recent Morocco entries if you haven’t already done so.

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