It has been a month or so since I've written a post so I want to start the new year off with a solid post. Being back in California, specifically the Bay Area, for winter break after having spent the last few months in Illinois is quite change. In Illinois at school I generally focus more on my portrait and people work as well as my video endeavors. I have much more opportunities, as well as friends, at school which naturally lends me to spend more time on human aesthetics rather than those of nature. However the huge variety of landscapes California has, as well as my abilities to travel around, makes me put more emphasis on my nature imagery. Over the course of this break I had the opportunity to photograph many of my favorite locations including Mt Diablo and Santa Cruz. However it was my most recent shoot where I decided to go somewhere new.
With my break winding down I had one last day where I could plan a day trip. Within a day's drive of my house I could go down to Monterery Bay or up to Point Reyes on the coast side, or I could push it and go down to Yosemite or up to Tahoe if I was feeling adventurous. I did not want to go somewhere I have been before, preferring to explore somewhere new. I decided on the Marin Headlands just north of San Francisco.
I have been to the Headlands a few times before, but only to the extent of a quick drive through. The best view of the Golden Gate Bridge is actually from the southern edge of the Headlands as well. Studying the area's website as well as example shots from Flickr I decided to venture out to Rodeo beach. From what I could gather from Flickr there would be great chances to get some gorgeous seascape shots. The drive over was very quick, exiting 101 and entering the Headlands seamlessly. The beach itself is gorgeous with ample trails for hiking and exploring as well as easy parking.
After a short hike around the surrounding hills I came out to the beach, set up camp, and went scouting for a good sunset location. I quickly came across the spot most of the shots on Flickr were most likely taken at. Scouting a little further down I decided the that spot was the best.
At this point there was still about an hour until sunset and I wanted be able to have long exposures. I had brought both my Canon digital system as well as my medium format Pentax system to shoot with. But with the bright light and the need for long exposures I decided to shoot digital as well as infrared. With my infrared filter I could get exposures around 1-2 minutes in the bright afternoon light. I grabbed my wide lens and tripod and shot away.
Aside from getting drenched by a rogue wave crashing into a nearby rock the shoot went smoothly. I switched to regular color once the sun touched the horizon since I could get those long(ish) exposures without a filter.
The excursion was amazing and very refreshing. I have felt like the past few landscape shoots I have done have been anticlimactic and, in a way, pointless. This outing was just the opposite and justly reviving me on why I love photography.