ocean

Imperial Beach San Diego Long Exposure Photos

Imperial Beach San Diego Long Exposure Photos

Long Exposures + Ocean = Dreamscape

If you asked me, I would tell you that a tripod is a must for making long exposure photos. In fact, I have already shared some long exposure ocean photos from San Diego featuring the Ocean Beach Pier that were all shot with my Nikon mounted on a tripod. That said, if getting a tack sharp image is not needed, handholding a slightly long exposure photo, especially with a lens that has VR (vibration reduction), can produce some very cool shots. The latter was the method I used to hold my Nikon right above the incoming water at Imperial Beach, San Diego, California at sunset. Why do a long exposure? Because it makes the water look like stretched out cotton. In the above shot you might easily think it was taken from a boat in deep water, when in reality it was me in less than ankle deep water letting that few inches of water whoosh past me as the camera’s shutter stayed open for 1/6th of a second.

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The Many Looks of the Ocean Beach Pier in San Diego California Photo Story

The Many Looks of the Ocean Beach Pier in San Diego California Photo Story

The Ocean Beach Pier Changes Day by Night

Over the course of seven days staying in the Ocean Beach community in San Diego, California I went to visit the Ocean Beach Pier several times. It looked and felt different each time. I was there for a brilliant sunset. I was there as a storm approached. I was there when the pier was nearly completely empty, and when it was filled with people. I met a pelican. I walked it, and I rode a Bird (electric scooter) down it. I listened to the stories the ocean whispered as it passed under and around the pier.

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Ocean Beach Tide Pools of San Diego

Ocean Beach Tide Pools of San Diego

Seek the tide pools out

San Diego and Ocean Beach in particular have many gems in them that may not appear on the front pages of many travel websites. Open up Google Maps and zoom in and you will see a place simply called Tide Pools. There are no signs in Ocean Beach pointing the way to them directly, and likewise no clear way of getting to them exactly. In fact one must scramble down a steep slope to a concrete wall, jump off it, and then there you are. Standing on a shore of black rock with all of the Pacific Ocean before you. It is quite a place to take in the sunset and get splashed by incoming waves! The tide pools are only visual, however, not like the ones I grew up exploring in New England that were full of aquatic life. Nevertheless, the Tide Pools of Ocean Beach, San Diego are a hidden gem worth finding.

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Sunset Cliffs San Diego California Drone Video Aerial Photos

Sunset Cliffs San Diego California Drone Video Aerial Photos

Flying over the ocean again

After a year of flying my Mavic Pro drone over the deserts in New Mexico, I had the chance to return to California with my much improved piloting skills and fly over the ocean. In particular, the Sunset Cliffs are of San Diego. As you can see in the drone video, cars line Sunset Cliffs Blvd the entire length showing how popular of a sunset viewing area it is. You basically can park anywhere and get access to the cliffs and a great view. Some people scramble down a cliff level or two, while others remain planted safely on the roadside.

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Big Sur California Drone Video

Big Sur California Drone Video

Beautiful Scenery, Basic Flying

I visited Big Sur, California soon after becoming a certified drone pilot with only a few flights of experience. I wish I had the cinematic drone flying skills I have now then! I never move the gimbal while flying, the drone is only moving in one direction all the time, save for an attempt at using active track on the rocks. Someday I will return to Big Sur and make a much better drone video!

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Malibu Coast Drone Photo Pacific Ocean in California

Malibu Coast Drone Photo Pacific Ocean in California

My brief time at Leo Carrillo State Park in Malibu, California flying my DJI Mavic Pro drone was incredibly fruitful.  If I lived in Malibu I could produce nearly infinite drone photos of that stunning stretch of California coastline.  Of particular interest to me was that small cove of rocks, which I have remarked before looks like a secret cache of dinosaur eggs!  

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Malibu Coast Drone Photo Leo Carrillo Park in California

Malibu Coast Drone Photo Leo Carrillo Park in California

Malibu has long been a mythical place to me.  It is mentioned in songs, it evokes memories of old surfer movies from the 1950s, it is where I know many celebrities and sports stars currently live, and I know from studying its geography it is close to LA, but still a good drive, thus offering relative access, but far enough away to be its own world.  To get to it one is treated to a stunning drive on the PCH with the Santa Monica Mountains to one side and the vastness of the Pacific Ocean on the other.  

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