On the Prowl: sunset photo at Panther Beach, Santa Cruz, California

Last week I called up my friend and fellow photographer Jim Patterson to see if he felt like going shooting. I didn’t have whatfor in mind, so Jim suggested a place called Pebble Beach near Pescadero. We cruised up the coast, being buffeted by high winds the whole way. We got to the beach, and hopped out of the truck to scope out conditions, and that’s when we began doin’ the Panther Beach shuffle.

You see, thanks to the wind, the ocean froth at Pebble Beach had been whipped up into a foamy meringue which was completely covering the beach in foot-thick, viscous, undulating drifts. I busted out some video to document this weird phenomenon and got totally splattered with foam in the process. 🙂

Ok, so shooting here was totally out of the question due to the high winds and ubiquitous foamy goop. So where to go? Jim and I were shouting at each other over the roar of the wind and decided our only course was to head back south.

After some miles we pulled off at a little turn out to scope the rocks just north of Waddell Creek. The water was coming up pretty high over the rocks so we hemmed and hawed a bit and Jim made the decision to leave, and I made the decision to get in his truck so he didn’t leave without me.

Further cruising ensued until we pulled into the Panther / Hole in the Wall Beach parking lot. We scrambled down to the beach to see about getting to HITW but the arch way was impassable as the ocean had scooped a good 50 tons of sand out of the floor of the arch and the water was running really high through there. Ok, so north end of Panther it was. But we got up there and the waves were absolutely demolishing the rocks, sending spray shooting 40 feet into the air.

Hrm. So back to the south end we went and ended up shooting a bunch of stuff near the arch. And the conditions ended up being pretty awesome; better than I think either of us expected. So we set our D300’s rattling as the sun set and came away with some nice images.

See video below!


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