Scripps Rocks

I’ve walked past these rocks at Scripps Coastal Preserve quite a number of times now, and I tried to photograph them every now and then too – but never quite successful. During yesterday’s morning outing with Joe (and a very happy Toni) I tried a different approach, getting closer with a 50mm prime lens.

It was a nice and gloomy morning, fully overcast with a nice and thick marine layer. In the absence of hard contrasts, it’s great to work in abstracts. I tried to work the scene from three different angles, and all three came out quite nice. The first one is a focus-stack of three images, the other two are regular single-frame photos.


The third one, though a bit soft because I had to use f/22 to get everything in focus, is my favorite. Why did I not focus stack on that one? Composition. With focus stacking you always lose a little bit of the image corners, and you don’t quite know where shapes and lines will begin/end. You need to compose just a little bit wider – which, with a prime lens, means moving the entire tripod (versus just zooming out a bit).

Now if the area is flat and level, that is not too much of a problem – but with each tripod leg set to a different height, squeezed in between some rocks, it would have meant giving up the precise framing that I had, and then trying to get it right again. I did not want to try that. :) The photo, as it is, is entirely uncropped and unstraightened, exactly as I had it in the viewfinder. Worthy the trade-off in acuity, I think.

After this productive morning, we rewarded ourselves with coffee and a nice breakfast at Caroline’s Seaside Café.

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