In the West coast of Florida most of the beaches are on keys which are long barrier islands up and down the coast. The main reason they don’t get washed away in storms is that usually there are dunes with vegetation to prevent erosion. So we have these bridges over the dunes that create a pretty nice entrance to the sea. As leading lines go, these are one of my favorite because they lead to where we all want to be, on the beach and in the sun. Speaking of which, the weekend is about to begin.
Another shot from a little hidden beach in San Francisco. The only way to get here is to hike down a steep trail. The beach is surrounded by cliffs which gives you a sense of remoteness uncharacteristic of a large city. But then San Francisco is no ordinary city. Because of its geography it could be the most beautiful city in the USA. The only other that I can compare it to is Vancouver about a thousand miles to the North. But it seems the beauty of a city is related to the surrounding geography. If you frame buildings, streets and bridges with great landscapes it becomes more appealing than if you just have a city on a flat plane. Nothing against the Midwest mind you. I better stop before I can’t get my metaphorical foot our of my mouth.
In the last few days I went from Canada to Florida and then to here in southern France. That’s a lot of time sitting on planes and such and so the very first thing I did to decompress and stretch my legs was take a stroll along this Mediterranean beach. The water is crystal clear and refreshing and the sound of the waves was just what I needed to set the world straight again.
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This was taken at the Lands End beach in San Francisco. When a big wave came in it landed in a flat section behind the rock. Then as the water receded it created this pattern of ripples in the sunlight. A simple thing but I thought it was pretty awesome.
This image is a composite of three images all taken from the same location. The first image was a long exposure of the water receding and forming this pattern. To do that I had to use a small aperture and a neutral density filter. Then, I added the waves on the left from another image that was a short exposure since a long exposure makes the sea appear calm. Finally a third image was taken of a gentleman walking along the beach.
To create this image I stitched all three back together to convey a sense of what I saw on that lovely Sunday afternoon at the beach.
If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a hundred times, I love old piers. No, don’t put me down as undecided, old piers are awesome. If for no other reason than they provide a leading line into the infinity of the sea. They point outward and beyond, they are metaphors for the journey of life. How’s that for heavy thoughts along with my images? I know, as long as it’s not heavy breathing then it’s okay. As a land lubber a pier for me points outward to sea. However if you are at sea, it’s a bridge back to shore. There are so many implications that it just blows my mind. Okay, the men in white coats just showed up, I need to take my meds now. But really, don’t you think old piers are great?
This is a very hidden beach off the Lands End Trail in San Francisco. By hidden I mean it’s not easy to get to, so not many people come here. Having said that, it appeared to me there was a small dedicated group of people that come here for sunset and to get away from civilization for a bit. It’s amazing to think that surrounding this is the bustling vibrant city, yet here, exposed to the ocean and surrounded on all sides by steep cliffs you can feel quite remote. I don’t even know how I ended up here, just luck I guess.
Just before I returned home to Florida this week I took a drive down the Pacific Coast Highway (aka Highway 1). My first stop was here at Carmel Beach which is a beautiful strip that’s overlooked by the Pebble Beach golf course. Despite it being a Monday there were quite a few people enjoying the last couple days of summer. This is a combination of two images, one in which I panned my camera from left to right along the beach and another normal shot of two people walking. It’s a technique that I’m developing to convey a timeless feeling of a place.
I was born and raised in California and every now and then I return to rediscover my home. Inevitably there are more things to see than time. Next trip I will probably return to the northern coast above San Francisco, but this southern section is one that has no parallel and one that, at least for me, is unparalleled.
While visiting San Francisco I found myself with some free time on a Sunday. I ended up here at the beach at Point Lobos on the western end of the city. With perfect weather it turned out to be a picture perfect day (pun intended). The waves are bigger and water cooler than back home on the gulf coast of Florida, nonetheless each has its own unique beauty. In fact, there was a pod of humpback whales that passed by. Everyone stood up and pointed to the spouts and flukes as they lumbered along. Later I walked along a trail and enjoyed a sunset at another remote beach not far from here. It’s no wonder many consider San Francisco the most beautiful city in the USA.
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My how time flies, I was last here a little over two years ago. I shot from almost the exact same location at around the same time, but the results are quite different. For one, I used a different lens. For another, I used textures on this. My style and inclinations change over time and so I’m finding that if I go back to some of my favorite locations a shoot again, the results are quite different. Here is a link to the old version.
Planting seagrass like this protects the beach from erosion of storms. Communities up and down the coast of Florida are always looking for ways to preserve the beaches. In some places they dredge up the sand from just beyond the shoreline and place it back on the beach. That’ll last for a couple years depending on the storms and then it needs to be done again. Plants are a natural approach, only they are usually used to protect only the entrance to the beach which usually involves some type of dunes like these.