Point Lobos, Monterey
We spent a day hiking around Point Lobos State Reserve in Monterey, CA and it was gorgeous. The weather was cooperative, the surging waves were at their best and we spotted sea-lions, dolphins, spouting grey whales and deer. So, all in all it was a perfect day to enjoy the beautiful outdoors.
We parked our car by Whaler’s Cove and the shot below was one of the first shots I took of the classic Monterey landscape. The sun was still hiding behind the clouds and I broke out my trusted polarizer to enhance the natural colors. (Note if you click on the image and blow it up you maybe able to spot a sea-lion sunning himself on the rocks in the bottom half of the picture).
I also wanted to incorporate some longish exposures to capture the motion of the crashing waves. So, I stopped the aperture down to 22 and used my Lee Filter Kit to stack a polarizer and a ND filter to buy the extra stops I needed to capture the image below. I managed an exposure that was 0.6 seconds, which was enough to capture the silky effect of the waves.
A little further up the trail, we came across this dead tree that made a really interesting trellis pattern and I tried to use that as a frame to capture the crashing surf behind it. And there was also this gnarly tree at the edge of a rocky cliff with its root-system completely exposed that I just had to capture.
The shot below is one of my favorites. We navigated down the trail at Sea-Lion’s Rock in pretty windy conditions to see the crashing surf up close and get some shots. I was readying my camera on the tripod and attaching the filters I would need for a long exposure when this monster wave came crashing and I just had to get the shot. I pretty much landed up taking this shot as if I were balancing a monopod, with no thought on composition (notice the slanted horizon) but the picture works as is. I took plenty of other shots that were perfectly composed but none came close to this one.
Some portraits after switching to prime.
On the way back, more gorgeous seascapes and a really neat surprise. A doe and her two calf graced us with their presence, even letting me take plenty of pictures. I guess they were used to humans because I got really close and was constantly fidgeting with my camera to get a good exposure.
All in all, it was a great day to be hiking and we were glad we made the most of it because the rains returned the day after.