Posts Tagged ‘ocean’

Palos Verdes in a Few Hours

December 22, 2009

I was lucky enough to spend a short winter afternoon down at Palos Verdes which is not the easiest place to get to for me. I live in Ventura County and the freeways getting here can be full of traffic but I really wanted see the place with my own eyes at least once.

Point Vicente Light House

5 shot panoramic of the Point Vicente Light House.

Some crashing waves at one of the coves with Catalina Island off in the distance.


Video of the crashing waves.

Any photographer would be having a field day seeing patterns like this even if you do not shoot abstracts.

Getting in a little closer.

Even though I could not use the wide angle from certain views because of structures, there was still plenty to photograph.

A few days after the new moon you will always find the crescent moon lingering just above where the sunsets, you just have to wait for it. My friend Ted Rivera was packing up as I shot this.

Signs of life.

Pale blue light.

Shooting through a fence since the light house grounds only opens on certain Saturdays.

Beach pebbles in the golden hour.

‘Layers of time”

Let’s not forget about all the recreation that goes on down at the beach. With the kelp beds Palos Verdes hosts some fabulous spear fishing.

Abstracts galore.

Sun and sand.

I call this the scroll format.

You can stand on a cliff look down at the ocean and see 10,000ft snow covered peaks.

San Vicente Point Light House

The San Vicente Point Lighthouse.

A view of the Santa Monica Bay and Palos Verdes off in the distance from the Santa Monica Mountains

This was taken a couple of days afterwards but it shows the relation of Palos Verdes to the rest of the Los Angeles Basin. It floats above the basin, it high points of elevation are about a 1,000 ft. You can barely make out Catalina Island on the right but you can see how Palos Verdes was an Island at one point in time.

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Portfolio Workshops

Varying your Ocean Portfolio

November 28, 2009

On average most first time photographs of the ocean are sky, sea, and sand, agree? After you figure this out you will begin to want more variety because, like counting sheep, a hundred photos of sand will put you to sleep. Adding rocks and a sunset sky can really make things more interesting but will that give a portfolio the variety it needs to stand out among others? As photographers we all lose a viewers interest eventually but it is necessary to keep interest as long as possible.

Revolving Ocean
Images like this can anchor portfolios but can become repititve.

Most portfolios don’t go beyond a sunset set sky, rocks and moving surf. You will need to show something more to hold a viewers interest while they look through your work. Once you’ve mastered capturing the light you might begin to crave other things that are the complete opposite of what you ordinarily see while visiting the sea. Just a quick walk around with an open mind before you pull out the camera will bring so many different opportunistic subjects to your attention. This goes beyond sea stacks, cliffs, and tide pools, those are the obivous. Here is very useful list that may help you in your search to diversify your seascape portfolio.

Beer Gut Star Fish
The main colors orange and green here are not often associated with beach scenery.

Sea Caves – Dramatic Surf
Seasonal Waterfalls – Wild Life
Rivers – Stars/trails
Land – Flowers
Lagoons – Large Dunes
Recreation – Trees

Exploding waves in a small sea cave, Big Sur, California

There are plenty more right?

Many of the subjects are only found in certain areas so you might have to do little bit of traveling but not much.
If you really don’t have any of these elements around there are many coastal ecosystems such as flood plains, coastal hills and forests you can include in your collection. Do not forget your portfolio should reflect your best work so creating a uniqueness to your portfolio is not something that can be achieved overnight. I see it as a life long work in progress for photographers.

Southern California
Big Sur and Central California Coast
California’s Rugged North Coast
Baja California

Steve SierenThe Point Buchon Trail is not accessable during sunset or sunrise hours but it has some fasinating cliffs and seastacks. Finding less often photographed beaches can help come up with new ideas.