Earlier this week I taught my Lightroom seminar in San Diego. I arrived fairly early in the afternoon (the day before) so I knew I’d have some time to kill during the day. Well, whenever I go to a city and have some extra time I always do some quick web searches on where to go shoot. I love the beach, so when it came to San Diego, I knew that I’d be looking for something along the coast to shoot. That helped narrow the search. After that I do what I always do. I head over to 500px.com and do a search. This time I did a search for “San Diego Beach”. After looking through the photos I realized it was going to be a hard decision because there were so many cool places. I finally decided that one of my favorites was a place called Sunset Cliffs Beach.

Sunset was around 4:45pm so I headed out of my hotel around 3pm. I got there about an hour early and just walked around without my camera for about 30 minutes to scout where I wanted to shoot. It was a beautiful place. Lots of rocks that were both higher up and some that were down closer to the water. The weather was gorgeous and there were a ton of people out on this Sunday afternoon. I found what looked like a good location though – down on some rocks that were pretty easy to get to, but not too crowded. So I grabbed my camera gear and made my way down.

I shot a bunch of different compositions at a bunch of different times but my favorite is the one below. It was taken about 10 minutes after the sun went below the horizon. The sky wasn’t anything spectacular that evening, so I lowered my tripod close to the ground so the rocks became the focal point. I took a bunch of photos but was able to time one where a small wave came over the edge to give that feeling of movement.

(click to see it larger)

Settings:
• Nikon D800
• Nikon 16-35mm lens
• Aperture: f/11
• Shutter Speed: 6 seconds
• ISO: 200

Oh and if you’re wondering whether or not I got wet, this photo should tell the story. It was the photo taken as a wave crashed over, and I had to get the tripod and bail in the middle of taking a photo. The good news is that the camera stayed dry (but I was soaked from the knees down) :)

Have a great weekend!