Gloomy Morning at Hospital Point (10 photos)

Early Tuesday morning, I met Joseph and William at La Jolla’s Hospital Point/Nicholson Point. It’s one of the most popular places for coastal & seascape photography around San Diego for sure – but more so in the afternoon and evening thankfully, when everyone is waiting and hoping for a nice sunset (but as we all know, sunsets are overrated;-).

We were lucky that morning: a nice marine layer provided great conditions for long/semi-long exposures, and there were hardly any people, so the sand and rocks were still clean and untouched (except for the annoying carvings in the rocks, of course).

I went with a 6-stop filter this time, as I’m growing a bit weary of the very long exposures with the 10-stop filter. The waves were really nice that morning and the tide was coming in, so there was plenty of “water action” that was worth preserving in the images. I found that exposure times between 3 and 15 seconds worked quite well for that (it was easy to vary them enough with 1-stop adjustments to the aperture, or the ISO), so I could use aperture priority mode and didn’t have to bother doing the math for longer exposure times.

And there’s another benefit when using a 6-stop filter: while the optical viewfinder is still pretty dark, obviously (too dark for composing properly), the camera’s live view is usable, at least when you’re opening the aperture of the lens. So with the filter on the lens, I used f/4 (the maximum opening of my 16-35 wide angle lens) to compose and focus using live view, and then simply stopped down to my target aperture for sufficient depth of field, and made my photo. It worked really well, and is certainly much more convenient than screwing the filter on/off all the time when using the 10-stop.

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