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This image was taken in the middle of summer from a small overlook trail in Del Mar California. This particular vantage point is about 250 feet elevation above the shoreline. The cloud patterns and lighting can vary many times in a matter of minutes yielding many different compositions. On this particular evening, there was a thick formless cloud bank that made the view less dramatic by the minute. On nothing but a feeling, I decided to wait a little longer hoping for the sun to break through while setting to provide some type of wild light.
As luck would have it, rays of sunlight started to poke through giving the scene an almost divine lighting effect. I shot at least ten identical compositions as the sun continued to set and the very last one had some warm colors just as the sun dipped below the horizon. That is the image you now see. It lasted only as long as that last exposure and then the magic was gone.
This location is along an obscure section of California's Pacific Coast Highway (PCH). Parking is scarce and you are usually lugging your gear for 15 to 30 minutes to reach the overlook. On this stormy summer evening, I shared the overlook with only one other photographer. Neither of us had any words to describe it.
I was set up about 30 minutes before I started shooting with my canon 24 -105 F4 set at 70mm. The actual exposure was at 70mm F8.0 1/640 ISO 200. These shots are almost impossible to predict and often do not come to pass. As is often said by photographers " F8 and be there" was never more true that night.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor