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Rainy afternoon at Tabletop Reef

Somewhat unexpectedly and much to everyone’s delight, a late season disturbance brought some more rain to Southern California. I spent one of the cooler days out in the desert (finding the slot canyon in the Coyote Mountains Wilderness – photos will follow, of course), and just couldn’t resist the call of the coast on the next day. The ocean has this intensive, vibrant color during and after storms. It’s beautiful. A walk with Toni at Cardiff State Beach was just the right thing to do.

I could watch showers over the ocean, and got rained upon sideways due to the heavy onshore winds – my right side was completely soaked, my left side was mostly dry. Luckily, the showers were brief, and I had plenty of time without rain to make photos, mostly at Tabletop Reef. The rocks there are mostly submerged by sand again now – you can browse the Tabletop Reef tag archive (click below) to see how it changes throughout the seasons.

Once more, I found that a 6-stop filter gave me the best exposure range to retain structure in the surf, but render the waves smooth and blurry to emphasize their movement as they rolled towards the shore while the tide was rising. I varied my ISO between 100 and 200 to get exposure times between 2 and 4 seconds, which turned out to be the “sweet spot” for the desired effect in these conditions.


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