For the longest time, I’ve been waiting for Torrey Pines State Preserve to be in dense fog. I have this image of the twisted Torrey Pines, eroded cliffs and coastal chaparral slopes cast in my mind, and with the way that fog has to obscure distant backgrounds, I imagine it must be insanely beautiful.
However, I live about 30 minutes away from the coast so it’s not exactly easy to catch the short periods during which dense coastal fog might occur and actually be there. When a friend gave me a personal “dense fog alert” :) I grabbed my stuff and went there.
By the time I arrived it was still foggy, but the fog wasn’t low enough to really shroud the Torrey Pines mesa. As it was still lingering out over the ocean I walked out to Broken Hill (which is probably one of the most scenic spots at Torrey Pines) and waited for a while, but the fog that was driven towards the coast by the wind wasn’t enough.
So I made some photos of Broken Hill*, because the fog out over the ocean obscured most of the water, which looked good. Now Broken Hill is a spot that you can only photograph in so many different ways, and a lot of the images one can find online look very similar – at least if we’re playing by the rules and don’t leave the official trails (and some photographers don’t seem to care about that too much, unfortunately).
I wanted to try something different, went a couple of steps back, and tried to include some bushes and a big Prickly Pear cactus that grows near where the trail ends. With these weather conditions, I went for a quite dark and eerie black & white look. I hope you like the results!
*) I noticed that two of the smaller pines on Broken Hill appear to be dead – quite sad, and probably a result of California’s ongoing drought. I just learned from a video by the National Weather Service here in San Diego that over a 4-year period, locally we’re now missing 40% of the normal precipitation – which translates to a lack of 1.5 rainy seasons. We don’t get much rain, and two good storms can make a big difference. In other regions, it’s even worse, they’re missing 2 or even 2.5 rainy season’s precipitation.
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