Where Does the Time Go?

Where Does the Time Go?

four-mile-beach-santa-cruz-rocks-waves-sunset

Behind the Scenes of this Photo


Taken at Four Mile Beach in Santa Cruz, California, on January 30, 2012.

When I took this photo back in 2012 and shared it on flickr, my original caption read: “it seems to me that the days are simply flying by lately. I wake up, then before I know it it’s time to go to bed again. What the heck, where does the time go?” And now, looking back over six years later the sentiment rings doubly true. Where indeed does the time go? I spent FOUR YEARS living in Santa Cruz exploring the coastline and taking photo after photo of crashing waves. Four years seems like a long time, and in truth those years entailed hundreds of nights spent at the ocean, but looking back I realize I’ve already been gone from Santa Cruz longer than I ever lived there.

And then I think about all the adventures I’ve had since then, all the places I’ve been and the people I’ve met, and those moments too have just flown by. In the end you can only have one takeaway from a reflection like this: life is short and goes by too quickly. So take advantage of all the moments you can to spend time building beautiful memories in places that make you happy with people you care about.

See more beautiful California Coast photos here.

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Exfoliation

hole-in-the-wall-beach-santa-cruz-black-white

Behind the scenes of this photo


Taken at Hole in the Wall Beach near Santa Cruz, California, on October 10th, 2010

Santa Cruz has one of the most beautiful coastlines I’ve ever seen, with dramatic seastacks, interesting geology, and easy access. This shot is from my favorite spot in the area, Hole in the Wall beach, which is chock full of rocky shelves and lovely features.

Hole in the Wall Beach, Santa Cruz, 10-10-2012

Fall is finally bringing some interesting clouds back to the Santa Cruz coast and I am dusting off my seascape chops. On October 10th I went out to photograph Hole in the Wall Beach, in my opinion the most beautiful beach in the Santa Cruz area. The sunset was lovely: lots of color and texture. And I came away with four keepers from the night: two in color and two in black and white. Let me know what you think in the comments below. Cheers!

Hole in the Wall Beach, Santa Cruz, California

 

Hole in the Wall Beach, Santa Cruz, California

 

Hole in the Wall Beach, Santa Cruz, California

 

Hole in the Wall Beach, Santa Cruz, California

Tempest

Hole in the Wall Beach sunset, Santa Cruz, California

Taken at Hole in the Wall Beach near Santa Cruz, California on March 17th, 2012

It was a battle. Me versus the wind. For every blow I would land in the form of a good shot, the wind would land a punch of its own by covering me with salt spray, tipping my tripod up on two legs, or tumbling my backpack into a tidepool. We went back and forth all night until I snagged this image. Thinking I was the victor, I stuffed my filters in my pocket and tromped off to find another composition. Which is when the wind had its last laugh: plucking the filters from my pocket and depositing them somewhere in a thousand square feet of tide pool. I looked and looked, to no avail. With the rising tide, the relentless wind, and the near-invisibility of the filters I knew it was a hopeless task. But my disappointment was tempered by the fact that I had a memory card full of shots like this.

 

Surf’s Up

Wilder Ranch State Park beach sunset, Santa Cruz, California

Taken in Wilder Ranch State Park on March 11th, 2012

On March 11th the front of a major storm system hit Santa Cruz and brought a wonderfully-textured pink and purple sunset with it. I hit the beach looking for waves but never imagined I would find one carved naturally in the sand. When I shoot seascapes I’m always trying capture the waves and their motion in the most interesting way possible. Rarely do I get a chance to express that goal with such a great visual metaphor. When I saw this sand wave on the beach I laughed out loud. After all, could there be a more absurdly perfect subject for a seascaper?

Keyhole

Sunlight shines through the arch at Pfieffer Beach in Big Sur, California

Taken at Pfieffer Beach in Big Sur, California on December 9th, 2011.

In the winter there is a very interesting photographic phenomenon that occurs in California. At Pfieffer Beach in Big Sur, the setting sun shines at just the right angle to shine through the keyhole of a mighty arch to illuminate the sea spray and crashing waves on the other side.

 

Bridge Over Troubled Waters

Wilder Ranch State Park beach sunset, Santa Cruz, California

Taken at Three Mile Beach in Wilder Ranch State Park on May 15th, 2011

This bridge is possibly my favorite feature along the Santa Cruz coast. At high tide the crashing waves flow right under the bridge. And in rough seas the pounding of the ocean can actually be felt through the bridge, providing a somewhat unnerving experience.

 

Fury

Panther Beach stormy sunset, Santa Cruz, California

Taken at Panther Beach near Santa Cruz on March 25th, 2011

Nature photographers can tread a fine line between dangerous and dramatic. On the day I took this shot I originally had planned to teach a photography workshop. But the other instructor and I decided to reschedule because of the risk of rain, hail, and massive waves. We thought it might be too dangerous for a group. But I decided to go out myself, staying on the safe side of that line: capturing the incredibly dramatic conditions at Panther Beach from the safety of some rocks poking up out of the surf.

Buried Treasure

San Gregorio State Beach sunset, Half Moon Bay, California
Taken at San Gregorio State Beach near Half Moon Bay, California on February 16th, 2011

San Gregorio State Beach has the glassiest sand I’ve ever seen. The beach is so smooth and flat that the reflections that set up in the sand are nothing short of astounding. This section of the beach in particular was extremely fun to shoot: a big set of waves would roll up and soak the beach, then roll back, exposing hundreds and hundreds of feet of pure glassy goodness. When this would happen I would chase the outflowing waves 30 or 40 feet down the beach then spin back around to shoot the glowing clouds to the north. Then another big set of waves would come in and chase me back up the beach.

 

Fire and Foam

Davenport Main Beach sunset, Davenport, Santa Cruz, California

Taken at Davenport main beach in Davenport, California on February 4th, 2011

Davenport main beach holds two very interesting attractions for me as a photographer. One is the prominent seastack. The second (and more alluring, in my opinion) is a series of rocky fingers that rise up out of the sand. The fingers are only accessible at low tide, and with the right waves, the contrasts between the dark rock and the white foam is sublime. Top that off with a gorgeous sunset, and you have a recipe for awesome photography.

Fireworks

Fireworks

The Story Behind This Photograph:

Taken at Hole in the Wall Beach near Santa Cruz, California on December 22nd, 2010

On this particular night at Hole in the Wall Beach, a remarkably low tide exposed entrancing patterns in the sand that radiated out like an explosion.  With the fiery display of light in the sky it seemed like gigantic fireworks were going off at the beach.

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Adraga Allusions

Hole in the Wall Beach sunset, Santa Cruz, California

Taken at Hole in the Wall beach near Santa Cruz, California on December 7th, 2010

On a night with an extremely low tide I visited my favorite beach in Santa Cruz to see what had been exposed. And much to my happiness, a cluster of interesting rocks I had never shot was accessible. I was struck by how much the formations reminded me of the rocks I’d seen in photos from Adraga Beach in Portugal. Once I found a composition I wanted I waited for a wave to come up and wrap around the rocks. But the ocean did not want to cooperate. Finally, just as I was about to move a bit closer to the water, a single wave came up around the rocks and allowed me to capture the watery streaks seen in this photo.