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

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