• A Sunset Standstill •


• A Sunset Standstill •

••On a side note••
Scotch and I arrived in Los Angeles after 10 day 4,000+ mile journey a year ago late on a Christmas Eve and it was around this time on Christmas morning that I was able to start exporting my memory cards and the 8,000 or so photos from the roadtrip onto my computer. Because of the frantic nature of the trip and pretty extreme weather, i didn’t really review anything on the drive and I was finally able see all the shots I took on my memorable, amazing trip for the first time. I made my brother sit and watch too rationalizing how after 10 very full days in a car with a dog, he could spare a few minutes of a boring slideshow like recap of the trip. It’s really hard to believe it’s been a year now in Los Angeles and I’m so thankful to be here now and still have Scotch around. This trip put him over 100,000 miles cumulatively on car rides which seems like a ton to me but for a dog who loved it so much, it was time well spent together. As I’ve noted quite frequently during my time here, this has been a really challenging year for him as he’s aged a lot and has dealt with a lot of health issues. He was done to his last weekend in november when last minute throats surgery gave him a reprieve of shorts. Despite a few infections, he said healing well and I hope 2017 is a really happy year for for him. It’s been a wild ride so far. For both of us.

This is another shot from a location I only visited once in 2016 and haven’t posted yet. Back when I shot this in April, the majority of my trips were either to Malibu Pier or Venice, with a few visits to a handful of other places scattered in. I didn’t know the area too well even after 4 months and when the cloudy winter skies because less frequent and were replaced mainly by hazy cloudless spring days, I didn’t want to jeopardize rare good conditions on a place I didn’t know at all. Fortunately since (and despite my frequent trips and posts from Venice) I have gotten accustomed to the area and have a much more substantial list of locations to choose from depending on the conditions.

I was focused back on areas around Malibu at this point after a series of lousy days at Venice but with the pier area closed for renovations, I began driving further down the Pacific Coast Highway in search of non crowded/interesting vantages for sunsets. This was around the time I started driving all the way to Point Mugu in Ventura County and along the way, I’d usually detour off the PCH to see if any of the 5 or 6 parking spaces at Point Dume were open. I have yet to find a spot and typically there’s a row of idling cars waiting for people to leave. If you pass with Point Dume on the left and hook around towards the ocean before getting back on the highway, you run into Malibu Beach which has a single restaurant and is lined on both sides with free parking. Here, I’ve never had an issue finding a place to stop and with light starting to fade, I unpacked my car here and wandered a bit down the shoreline towards the mountains.

There was a heavy colorful cloud cover out to sea and with the mountains so close (and extended right out of frame), there were plenty of times where the clouds and rolling fog met and it was pretty amazing to see. It was the first time out here I’ve seen thick fog by the ocean and it almost didn’t look real. The beach wasn’t very crowded which was fine because at the time, I was still mostly focused on very long exposures and prefered a completely clean view in front of me. I also was still not real comfortable shooting with anyone watching me. I didn’t get here early enough to explore more and I wish I hadn’t shot so many long exposures with this view. It would’ve been nice to get some crisper images of the incoming water but that didn’t really happen. Further, this was the only direction that was interesting, since the color faded further to the left and there were no mountains as a backdrop so I took no photos directly out to sea of the horizon which is something I do quite often now.

Sometimes when I shoot long exposures with people in the frame, I try hard to wait out the release of the shutter as long as those subjects are still, releasing it as soon as I sense movement. On quicker shutter shots, I do something similar where I wait until the last possible moment before the surf washes under my low tripod to take the shot. While the sky and sunset turned out to be pretty remarkable, I was more amazed by the motionless couple standing in the middle of the beach for well over a minute–and yes, that is a couple not a single person like I originally thought.

This visit is an example of one of the places I’ve gone where I wouldn’t mind a do-over. I knew about 16 months ago when my obsession with long exposure began that there would be days I’d look back on and regret not taking a more varied approach to my shooting. Further, my understanding of photography is much different now and having seen some conditions here I have yet to find anywhere else, I missed chances at some very memorable shots. Until my shooting gets a bit more on track, I doubt long exposure will dominate a shoot like it used to unless it’s specifically a trip for long exposure, like to Hollywood Bowl Overlook. With winter here and lifeguard stations mostly empty, this might be a great spot to bring Scotch at some point for a relaxing night on the beach. The drive isn’t quick but it’s one he still enjoys and being able to park 5ft from the sand makes it even easier. He’s getting closer to being as healthy and active as I can hope for at this point in his life and from his recovery from throat surgery and there’s plenty of places I still want to take him to see 🙂

WHEN & WHERE
Malibu Beach
Malibu, California
April 10th, 2016

SETTINGS
Canon T4i
EF-S 18-135mm IS STM
@18mm
ISO 100
f/16
72 seconds
ND1000 + CPL

Posted by Wilkof Photography on 2016-12-25 09:53:26

Tagged: , happy holidays , Malibu Beach , Malibu , Beach , Los Angeles , California Coast , Pacific Coast Highway , California , beachfront , canon T4i , cloudy , canon , clouds , dark , dusk , evening , hazy , hillside , landscape , light , land , 18-135mm , 18mm , lens , long exposure , Neutral density , ND1000 , low angle , low light , low tide , mountains , mountainscape , moody , mood , nature , night , nd filter , overcast , outside , ocean , oceanfront , oceanscape , perspective , panoramic , reflection , rocks , shadow , scenic , sky , sunset , serene , sand , sea , sundown , symmetry , seaside , silhouette , surf , sunlight , sun , trees , topography , tide , lifeguard , houses , homes , water , wet , Spring , waterfront , waves , Wilkof Photography

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