I’ve always loved photographing water and of all the wonderful places along the Santa Cruz coast the place that holds my most nostalgic experience is Hole in the Wall beach. Not because it’s the prettiest beach in the Bay Area (it’s not) or because it has beautiful sea stacks and stunning cliffs, but rather because I had a near-death experience here. Several years ago Willie and I photographed this beach and on our way back to the car I managed to get swept up in a wave and tossed against the rocks before I managed to drag myself back onto the beach. I’ve had a respectful fear of the Ocean ever since.
Willie had scouted this section of the beach on a previous trip and wanted to return for this evenings’ sunset. The climb down was fairly steep and I was a little bit nervous of the massive waves crashing against the rocks but on this trip I managed to avoid any life-threatening experiences. Instead I witnessed a beautiful sunset.
I had been fascinated by this little channel almost as soon as we arrived here. I loved the little arch and noticed how the waves drained off the background cliffs, creating mini-waterfalls. To my right were beautiful wave-carved granite slots that I hoped would reflect the sunset. Unfortunately my gamble failed and the sunset color stayed low in the sky, not high enough to reflect in the slots. Trying to make do I ended up back at this channel. I still wish the sunset had reflected on the granite rocks but hey, it turned out pretty nice anyways.
Nikon D800 w/Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8:
24mm, f/9, 0.6 sec, ISO 100