Martin’s Beach, California, USA by Jason Stewart

Martin’s Beach has been the subject of a very public court battle here in California. It looks like it has finally ended as the Supreme Court has refused to review the case basically guaranteeing access for us to freely visit this place whenever we want! It is a beautiful beach and seems relatively unknown, when we visited there were only a handful of people enjoying the scenery. When you are within an hour of San Francisco this is rather unusual. It was a beautiful evening and I hope to return very soon.

The shot itself is very simple. There is a small inlet on the north end of the beach where you can photograph this dynamic rock formation from the north side. This makes the rocks look as though they are far off shore when in reality you can actually walk all the way up to them from the south. The rock features an interesting natural bridge that you can’t see from the south side where you gain access to the beach. We had been photographing the area for a half hour or so before I wandered to this position and first noticed the hole. I slid my Lee 10 stop filter into my filter holder and calculated the shutter speed required. The light was hitting the rocks and highlighting the texture and the color in the sky balanced what would have otherwise been an asymmetric composition. I focused on the rock as I knew the water would be almost free from any detail once the 110 second exposure had finished and released the shutter.

I don’t think there is a bad time to visit this beach. I know it will be a location I go back to many times to find new compositions and different conditions!

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