Rocky Beach

Drizzly rain returned to this region, which I’m sorely disappointed about. We were promised El Nino weather: heavy rains in fall (which we got), and then a dry winter. Well, to be fair, it’s been dry in comparison to this fall…we got 12 inches of rain in November versus about an inch in January. But I thought it’d mean we’d have sunny days.

I’m not writing this blog entry to whine about the weather. Really. All this is leading up to, as the blog title suggests, yet another beach picture. After a week of solid gray, we had a break in the weather over the weekend. It was a lovely, gorgeous, warm Saturday, and Apollo was feeling frisky. We took a long eight-mile stroll down to that distant hill I’m always photographing (here, here and here).

beach rocky jetty cliff ocean black and white bw
Zombie Photography

My trusty sidekick, Apollo, and I scrambled over the black volcanic rocks (most of the hills here are in fact ancient dormant volcanoes!), worn smooth from centuries of waves, to the narrow beach in between the outcroppings. We gadded merrily about for about thirty minutes; Apollo searched for starfish, which he finds fascinating for some bizarre reason, and shallow puddles to lay in, and I, for something interesting to photograph. Then I realized the tide was coming in. Very quickly. I imagined being trapped on the rocks, or worse, towed out to the sea and called Apollo to me. We made a careful, mad dash toward safer grounds. The rocks were covered in slippery algae and tiny, treacherously sharp mussel shells that had seemed charming only moments before.

Needless to say we made it over the outcroppings safely. And just in time. When I looked back over my shoulder, the shallow, narrow strip of beach was under inches of surging water. I have seen the waves go halfway up the cliffs at peak high tide. Being bashed against rocks is not my idea of a fun time.

Because I’m not an avid landscape photographer, I showed these to a few people to make sure they weren’t utter rubbish. Interestingly, people seem to favor the B&W one (above) over the second, which I favor. I rather like this shot, and have been debating on cropping the sky out to make the hill seem even more imposing. I only wish the people were a bit more to the right so they’d stand out more against the background. Ah well!

beach rocky jetty cliff ocean trees mountain hill
Zombie Photography

I’m still tinkering with the editing for this shot. In the original raw file, it’s a couple stops brighter, but the faint crepuscular rays aren’t as evident. In the above results, the rays are a bit more visible, but the overall scene is darker now. I’m hoping to figure out an edit that balances the both.

A few people were dubious about this “perpetual haze” I’ve written about and even went as far as to subtly hint that it might be my photography skills or the camera itself. Pah! The following shot is indeed utter rubbish, but should put these doubts away for once and all.

treetops god's fingers mountain haze
Zombie Photography

Nyah nyah!

If you’re confused about why I’m nyah-nyah’ing: crepuscular rays only appear when it’s misty/foggy or very dusty and the light is just right. This is basically my proof that it’s definitely the humid haze.



  1. People are doubting haze? On the coast of California?

    If you crop out the sky in the second picture, would the hill become unidentifiable? I like the placement of the people, actually — they’re a little mysterious and their shapes mimic the treeline directly above them.

  2. Not California. But you’re on the right (right as in correct) side of the country. 🙂

    Good point on hill being unidentifiable. It might be too abstract then. Hrmm. I’ll post a crop later – the picture is on my other computer.

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