California Coast – Rancho Palos Verdes.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Our last day in California, I was really hoping to get down to Laguna Beach for sunset before our flight to New Zealand that same night. I had been researching Laguna Beach for quite some time leading up to the trip, because of the interesting coastline and rock formations . There was a flash flood that had ripped through Laguna Beach a few days before and some of the highways around the area were closed, but we decided to take our chances and see if we could still get there. About 10 miles (16km) from Laguna Beach, we noticed all the detour signs and road closures. The only road still open was the Pacific Coast highway which required us to detour around the mountains, and that would have added a fair amount of time. We decided that it would be best to avoid the flooded beach, and the extra driving time, and shoot somewhere closer to the airport. As soon as the sun would have set at Laguna Beach, we would of had to rush to the airport. Shooting a little closer to LA gave us a little more leeway so I could shoot until after the sun went down.

I had taken note of a potential location when I was travelling up and down the coast from the Corona Del Mar shoot. I hadn’t realized how far down the waters edge was from the main road, and good thing I brought my hiking shoes because it was a steep climb to the rocks. The tide was coming in and the surf was quite a bit higher then what I had shot previously so I decided to stay farther back from waves. I found this small pool that had water flowing into it periodically which made for some nice long exposures, and even though I distanced myself from the pounding water, there was still a lot of sea spray. Thankfully I had bought a big black cloth and used it to cover my camera while setting up, which made for minimal filter/lens cleaning while I was shooting. As the clouds started to catch the last remaining sunlight of the day, I exposed two frames. One for the sky, and one for the water flow. Then blended the two images by hand in Photoshop. I’d have to say this was quite the light show to send us on our way to New Zealand!

“Last Light” Rancho Palos Verdes, California.

Buy the print here.


  1. Lisa says:


    Just…. wow.

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