Filters or Blending?

Twilight and low tide at the tide pools of Tabletop Reef, South Cardiff State Beach/Solana Beach, California

A recent Twitter conversation about the pros and cons of graduated neutral density filters (often just called GNDs) made me think about my own approach towards handling high-contrast scenes. I’m not using GNDs anymore, rarely did so in the past, and I prefer exposure blending on the computer, or even just using “software GNDs” in a single exposure. I find it far more flexible* and prefer to have “pure data” without the (unalterable) effects of the filter in my original/initial exposures.

Read moreFilters or Blending?

Variations of a Sunken Tidepool at Dawn

Sunken tide pools of Tabletop Reef before sunrise, Solana Beach, California. Early September, 2019.

Winter storms wash out the sand from our shores and carry it away; summer swells and currents bring it back and bury coastal features under it. One might say that the sand moves in and out like the tide – just much, much slower. The tide pools of Tabletop Reef in Solana Beach are no different and at this time of the year, only the topmost part of the rock structure that I’ve been photographing so many times over the years is sticking out of the sand.

Read moreVariations of a Sunken Tidepool at Dawn

Blue Hour at the Tabletops

Blue hour at the Tabletop Reef Tide Pools, Solana Beach, California

I hadn’t been to South Cardiff State Beach and the tide pools of Tabletop Reef in quite a while. Or rather, the coast in general. It had been 6 weeks, and I began to feel a certain longing for the ocean. I thought that’s interesting – I lived in Germany for 40 years, and I’ve been on “beach vacations” in Italy, Greece and Turkey in the past, but I never felt that I actually missed the ocean.

Read moreBlue Hour at the Tabletops

Another Sunset at Tabletop Reef

Sunset at the tide pools of Tabletop Reef, South Cardiff State Beach, Solana Beach, California, January 2017.

Storms are drenching San Diego County and Southern California with much needed moisture. The first of them has just passed through and the only place to go for a walk is really the beach, because all trails are muddy and slippery, or closed entirely (to prevent further damage when people walk into vegetation to get around large puddles, etc.).

Read moreAnother Sunset at Tabletop Reef

Long Exposures at Tabletop Reef

Long exposure photo of the tide pools at Tabletop Reef, Solana Beach, California

I’m close to finishing the culling/editing and processing of my photos from December (three days with photo activities left). Here are two photos from a morning outing to the familiar tide pools at Tabletop Reef.

Read moreLong Exposures at Tabletop Reef