Photo of the Week - Morning Bliss

How I created the shot:

I was laying in bed, just after 5:00 am, undecided on whether or not I would get up and go shooting. I hadn't been sleeping well the past few nights, and since it was Sunday, I could stay in bed all morning and catch up on some sleep.

As I lay there pondering, I remembered the weather forecast was calling for some rain. I thought the conditions might be ideal for a shot I had in mind up at Shark Fin Cove in Davenport.

"Sleep, or shoot," I repeated over and over to myself. Finally, I slid out from under the covers and grabbed a quick cup of coffee... decision made, I was heading up the coast.

I headed out the door at 5:50 am, when I arrived at the turn out on the side of the road off Highway 1, it was still dark. While waiting for the morning light, I set up my camera and gathered a few things together that I would need for the shot I was hoping to capture.

Now that the sun was beginning to rise, I could see some beautiful clouds hovering above the cove and a small break along the horizon where the sun was going to rise. Things were looking promising for some great light this morning. I’m starting to get excited!

I head down the path, cross the railroad tracks, and Shark Fin Cove came into view. Though I've seen it many times before, I am always awestruck by the geological formation jutting out of the Pacific Ocean that resembles a Megalodon-sized Shark Fin; it is a beautiful site to see.

"I've got some time," I said to myself, so I decided to try to grab a couple of other shots that I thought had some potential. I composed my first image, a vertical shot, and set up my camera. I double checked my ISO, f/stop, mirror lock up, and TV settings. Next, I placed a Neutral Density filter on my 24-105 Lens so I could increase the exposure time and create some silky smooth texture to the water.

I fired off a few shots. The morning light began to take on a beautiful pink glow in the clouds above. "Time for me to move if I want to get that shot," I thought. The color was becoming more intense; I had underestimated how much time I had. I am now running with my camera, mounted on the tripod with the legs fully extended in one hand, and my backpack in the other. "Only 50 yards to go, I can make it," I told myself.

The light is beginning to peak; I’m trying to stay calm while I set up and compose my image. "Wait a minute; this isn't the right spot," I thought. "Where the heck is my spot?" Once again I find myself running, only I’m not sure where I’m supposed to be. "This looks right," I told myself, "I'll set up here." Only it wasn't right... again!

Okay, I thought, you've been in this situation before, lets just do this. By now, the light was peaking, within minutes it would be gone. I composed my shot, focused my lens, took a quick check of my settings, and fired off a 25-second exposure. "I've got time for one more," I mumbled, and I pressed the shutter again.

I titled this shot, "Morning Bliss"; it was the last capture of the morning. It's the shot I visualized weeks earlier, (albeit a slightly different composition), but I couldn't be happier with it.


Technical Stuff:

Canon 5D Mark III camera / 24-105 L Series Lens / Exposure Time 25 seconds / f16 /  ND filter / Tripod


Quote of the Week:

“My life is shaped by the urgent need to wander and observe, and my camera is my passport.”
Steve McCurry


Want to see how "Morning Bliss" would look on your wall?

Click on the image. After the new page loads, click on the Wall Preview feature to how it would look in your home or office.