Tuesday, February 01, 2011

A painful afternoon....

Yesterday i ventured out to carlsbad, i left the house a little late and had an errand to run before i headed to the coast. After my errand was finished there was little time to scout so i decided to go to the cliffs and shoot there. I have shot in this area many times before, strangely enough though i had never actually photographed the cliffs themselves which is really the biggest draw to this place.......go figure. So with location picked and subject for the days photos in mind i went on my merry way! I got there and there was still a little time to figure out what i wanted to pull off and i picked my spot by where all these cool moss covered rocks are. The tide was low but i could tell that it would be coming up soon i set up took some light readings and waited for the sun to come down some more and do its thing. I was hoping for more clouds from the recent rain but alas it was not to be, there were just a few and i would have to settle for that. A little waiting around and soon things started to come together, the light was turning this golden color, the red cliffs really come to life in this kind of light, the green moss gives a nice contrasting color, the waves had come up enough that the sand was wet and i was getting a nice reflection of the sky in it. With some of the waves coming up i wanted to pull off some longer exposures and incorporate some of that beautiful movement in my photos. So i went to get my cable release......no where to be found.....BLAST!!! i forgot it at home, oh well i would have to improvise and try not to move the camera to much when i pressed the shutter release. Took a few exposures and noticed two things: 1) the water was not blurring enough so i would need a longer exposure. I was already at ISO 100 and pretty much stopped down all the way so i wouldnt be able to do it that way, not to worry ill just slap my 10 stop ND filter on there and all will be good again. 2) Looking at the histogram, the luminosity histogram looked ok but the red channel was clipping really bad. Those red cliffs reflect a lot of light and digital sensors dont seem to like the red spectrum for some reason, they do funky things. Not to worry! I can use my 2 stop spit ND filter and get the problem under control. So with solutions in hand i went to go grab my tools. PROBLEM! I forgot bot my ND filters......at this point i was annoyed. I could have just remained frustrated but it is what it is, i didnt have what i needed so i would just have to work around it and make a note for next time, i wasnt about to let this ruin my afternoon. So off i went to do the best that i could, it was a lot of fun actually. I didnt really deviate or move locations to much, i knew the cliffs were what i wanted to shoot so it was really just trying to find the best way to show them off and still incorporate all the other elements that were there. After a succesful afternoon and the sun having gone down i decided i wanted to pull off a few more exposures. Other problems presented themselves though, with the sun down light had faded fast so it was getting hard to see and there were big rocks everywhere. Also in my excitement to shoot i failed to notice that the tide was coming up and it was coming up fast! Wait no it was already really high and hitting the base of the cliffs and my exit was at this point non existent. The water was up to my knees at this point and was covering most of the rocks, i grabbed my gear and decided to wait on top of one of the bigger rocks, but as i went to get on top of the rock i pulled my foot out of the water and bye bye went my sandal. Having already lost several pairs of sandals already i wasnt about to lose these. so after the sandal i went, looking like a total idiot carrying thousands of dollars of camera gear in high tide. I finally got my sandal and saw that the waves were getting bigger but there was a lull in the tide......it was now or never! So i booked it out of there, it was dark there were big dips in the sand the water was covering large rocks. in my haste i stepped forward and my foot landed in a big hole in the sand and next to it was a large rock. My knee landed on it bearing all of my weight, it hurt......A LOT!! No time to stop though, i put the pain aside and moved forward but progress was slow and my window had gone. Waves were against the cliffs now, nothing to do at this point but put the cameras above my head and pray to God that one of those waves didnt throw me against the cliff. I made it back the waves had gotten up to my waist but i was still alive and the gear was ok, having gotten back in one piece i stopped to catch my breath. I looked down and hey my sandals were both there not to shabby. Drenched, sandy, out of breath and my knee was killing me, I limped back to my car with a smile on my face. I had both my sandals, the gear was ok, i had shot some good stuff and i guess most importantly i was still alive......not bad for an afternoons work :) I would like to think that i have learned my lesson and would love to say that next time i wont stay so long. Lets face it though we all know that i wont and given another chance to do it again i would probably do it the exact same way. Such are the risks we take being out in the field, but thats what makes the job fun. Enjoy!

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