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San Gregorio Light

By PatrickSmith  
The first storm of the rainy season arrived early this year. So I went out looking for some good light to go along with the low tide. The storm caused the water in the river here, which is normally a pond for most of the year, to overflow the sandbar on the beach and flow to the sea.

I watched the action for a while, and composed this scene. When the sun dropped under the cloud deck the beach was lit well. I decided to add in some of the foam that was floating about. I like how it painted the foreground for me as it wrapped around the rock.

2 second exposure @F16 with ND grad 0.9

Despite the long exposure, as the water moved, the riples stayed in the same place. So no detail was lost in the water. So it is an interesting combination of movement.

Tags: General Seascape Landscape and travel California coast San gregorio

Voters: Phil_Morgan, MalcolmM, graeme34 and 186 more

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MalcolmM Plus
12 887 5 Scotland
22 Oct 2007 3:41PM
Fantastic light, quality shot.

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Phil_Morgan 11 182 1 Wales
22 Oct 2007 3:41PM
Vintage Patrick Smith! A very short exposure for you Patrick!! Wink

22 Oct 2007 3:42PM
Beautiful! colours and composition are great

Simon_Palmer 11 759 11 United Kingdom
22 Oct 2007 3:42PM
Stunning! A real beauty mate.
allanC 12 21 Scotland
22 Oct 2007 3:43PM
Gorgeous light and like the composition with the well placed boulder.

PatrickSmith 13 1.2k 2 United States
22 Oct 2007 3:45PM
Thanks Malcolm, Graeme, Simon and Allen!

LOL Phil, just wait until the big winter storms arrive. Then it will be 1/4 seconds or less!

scott_jessuk 12 249 1 Scotland
22 Oct 2007 3:47PM
Very nice capture Patrick, great light and would like nice in a nice frame on my wall.

paulcr 13 1.5k 9 Ireland
22 Oct 2007 3:48PM
The light water on the left looks like windows.. Paul
Possum 11 148 England
22 Oct 2007 3:52PM
The foreground is magical; coupled with the warm light on the cliffs reflected onto the water, this makes for a really special shot.
Kris76 10 Canada
22 Oct 2007 3:55PM
Great composition and a well captured light on that water ... Kris
Hanners Plus
12 875 10 Ireland
22 Oct 2007 3:56PM
not sure if I've ever seen a long exposure lilke this and still look like it does, great shot.... Smile
thewaiter 16 1.2k 9 England
22 Oct 2007 3:58PM
usual high standard Patrick.
mhaseman 11 608 1
22 Oct 2007 3:59PM
A gorgeous composition Patrick. Just lovely. I was staring at the image trying to figure out where it was taken. I was thinking it must be down along Highway 1 but I was thinking more south closer to Big Sur. This whole area is gorgeous. There's a great breakfast place a bit further south on the Pescadero Road.
Cheers, Martin
VintageRed 12 15 1 United Kingdom
22 Oct 2007 4:00PM
Masterful shot Patrick.
JYBluesman 10 97
22 Oct 2007 4:02PM
Simply wonderful. - Jeff
uggyy 12 2.1k 9 Scotland
22 Oct 2007 4:02PM
Love this kind of light, its a pleasure to work with.

Wish I was there, you have did this scene justice.

jaktis 14 84 Sweden
22 Oct 2007 4:08PM
Looks almost like a windowreflection

PatrickSmith 13 1.2k 2 United States
22 Oct 2007 4:10PM
Thanks for stopping by!

That could be arranged Scott!

True Paul. I shoudl send it to Microsoft I think! It is the foam moving for two seconds in the current under my feet.

It is unusual Tony. It's because the ripples were stationary while the water continued to move almost like a river.

Martin, this is near Half Moon bay about 20 miles south of San Francisco. I'll have to check out the breakfast place!

mhaseman 11 608 1
22 Oct 2007 4:15PM
Yes please do. It's only a couple of miles from San Gregorio beach. Great omlettes with advacado if I remember right Smile
PatrickSmith 13 1.2k 2 United States
22 Oct 2007 4:20PM
Martin, is the breakfast place actually in Half Moon Bay?


paulb20 Plus
11 12 United Kingdom
22 Oct 2007 4:21PM
The beautiful light and your superb composition make this a very classy shot.
MikeA 13 1.3k England
22 Oct 2007 4:23PM
Lovely play of light and textures Patrick.

22 Oct 2007 4:24PM
Lovely image, beautiful light,
AnneWorner 10 620 43 United States
22 Oct 2007 4:35PM
Great capture of the light.
davidhu 12 19 United Kingdom
22 Oct 2007 4:36PM
Classy work. Beautiful light.
Jouİo 13 56 Finland
22 Oct 2007 4:38PM
one of your very best, Sir Smith...........

Fabulous colours! Very different from your recent uploads and I love it................

...and if you still speed up ~2 seconds, it will be perfect for me! Smile

Imagine, what would your 5D say about 2 minutes exposure time at -39 C!??? "Jammin´" ....LOL..........
I better not try it next winter Wink

deegee 13 181 United Kingdom
22 Oct 2007 4:41PM
Those rectangular shapes created by the foam are most unusual! Almost like submerged access to a lost world.....

mhaseman 11 608 1
22 Oct 2007 4:44PM
Hi Patrick. No drive along highway 1 through Half Moon bay and keep going for a few miles until you see a turning on your left (small parking area on right) with a sign for Pescadero. Follow that road for a few miles. You'll drive through some farmland and past a couple of farmstands on your left. Keep going until you hit a cross junction. Turn left and the restaurant is the first place on the right. I can't remember the name of it but it's really good. Lots of bikers there on the weekends but still a family place too. We all used to ride (motorcycles) in the mountain roads from Santa Cruz upwards and pop out in Pescadero after coming down from Skyline Blvd. Beautiful area.
Dotrob 12 Wales
22 Oct 2007 4:59PM
Great shot, super lighting Patrick.
angej 13 479 United Kingdom
22 Oct 2007 5:00PM
Nice one patrickSmile
ChazB 12 64 3 United Kingdom
22 Oct 2007 5:04PM
Wow, wow and more wow! Just finished my 9-5 day in the lab (which is a long day for a student!) and decided to log on to ePz to see what my favourite photographers had been uploading and well, saw this!!! It must be so nice to watch such an amazing scene after a busy day, I wish the beach in St Andrews looked just like this right now lol! Anyway, Supeb shot, love the colours, light and of course, the composition!
TerryBaxter 12 11
22 Oct 2007 5:10PM
Oh wow!

scott_jessuk 12 249 1 Scotland
22 Oct 2007 5:29PM
I will need to get a job first Patrick not got much money at the moment, then I may buy one of your amazing print.

GillyB Plus
12 317 8 United Kingdom
22 Oct 2007 5:35PM
I will go with 'wow' too Smile

arpad 10 United Kingdom
22 Oct 2007 5:37PM
wonderfully subtle capture

IanFlindt 13 740 21 United Kingdom
22 Oct 2007 5:38PM
Strangely, I would never have taken this for one of yours, Patrick. Where's the dramatic battle between rugged landscape and violent sea, where's the turbulence, the excitement, the drama? Instead all we have is an image of calming, serene, tranquil beauty! Smile
22 Oct 2007 5:52PM
great work
LisaRose 11 172 4 United States
22 Oct 2007 6:05PM
Really beautiful Patrick...

22 Oct 2007 6:09PM

pmorgan 11 217 13 England
22 Oct 2007 6:16PM
Awesome clarity to this!

SRSmith 10 1 United States
22 Oct 2007 6:23PM
The play of light falling like a bridge across the water is just stunning. Wonderful work, Patrick.
ColouredImages 13 47 35 United Kingdom
22 Oct 2007 6:24PM
Simply stunning Patrick. A great play on light
Such special light my friend, and so well used, the composition is perfect for showing this one off. The detail along the horizon is spectacular.

All the very best
PatrickSmith 13 1.2k 2 United States
22 Oct 2007 6:44PM
Thanks for your comments! We had no internet connection for about 2 hours so I'm behind a bit now!

'Sir Smith' Jouko? I like the sound of that - LOL! Do you really think the shutter would get stuck on long exposures at -40c?

Yes Dennis, they are like windows in a way.

Thanks Martin. I'll have to look for it the next time I'm out that way. You're right, it is extremely scenic out this way.

Yes Charlotte, I remember those days. Those lab classes are very long but you don't get many units for them. But you still need to take them so you end up with very long days! The St. Andrews area looks like a great place for photography. That harbour barrier would be great with a very long exposure of maybe 2 minutes. You may get a bit wet though, LOL!

Thanks Scott, my job is on the edge too so I may be in your situation at any time!

LOL Gill, good enough for me.

Good questions Ian! I'm still waiting for the big winter storms to appear, then a bit more drama I hope. So I'm just taking advantage of a bit of good light because it is usually clear and warm at this time of year until November.

taggart Plus
13 47 13 United States
22 Oct 2007 6:53PM
A beauty, Pat, I am especially impressed bby the clear-- the clarity of the, water--- and the bits of foam light add so much!---LOL, On almost forgets to look at the long view--- excellent light wat down there, too!

bricurtis Plus
12 2.2k 49 England
22 Oct 2007 6:57PM
Superb sky line, wonderful light on the FG water.
Another winner.
Blenkinsopp 12 320 4 England
22 Oct 2007 7:00PM
wonderful light and simple but very effective composition
debster 13 693 3 England
22 Oct 2007 7:18PM
Yep, it's the simplicity of this shot that makes it for me.....beautiful Patrick.

robincoombes 10 1 5 Wales
22 Oct 2007 7:36PM
Stunning as always

chase 12 1.1k 246 England
22 Oct 2007 7:41PM
Beautifully simple Patrick.
ashley 14 167 1 United Kingdom
22 Oct 2007 7:41PM
nice colours and composition

Paintman Plus
11 1.2k 177 United Kingdom
22 Oct 2007 7:42PM
Excellent work. Very well composed.
PatrickSmith 13 1.2k 2 United States
22 Oct 2007 8:03PM
Thanks for checking in! I'm still having a bad internet connection so I'm a bit slow today!

Yes Jennnn, the water was very clear despite the new runoff. It was not a big storm and the water even in the stream was not churned with mud!

A wonderful place and a magnificent image. Great light. JNC
Maiwand 11 3 73 England
22 Oct 2007 8:11PM
Vintage Patrick Smith ! A beautiful clean and unclutterd shot with a superb sky line. Amazing.
Bluke 13 303 1 United Kingdom
22 Oct 2007 8:28PM
Amazing image Patrick..
wamp 11 276 8 England
22 Oct 2007 8:44PM
The colour that the light has enhanced from the rock looks good against the orange of the sky. The white areas of water in the fg add well to the fg too

Nettles 10 England
22 Oct 2007 8:51PM
Love the mist in the background and the superb colours, a wonderful image.
22 Oct 2007 8:53PM
I love the light colour and composition but I am not so sure about the foam movement. I think it's fascinating from a photographic point of view but aesthetically the jury is out for me.

I enjoyed spending some time on your excellent web site. You must have put some time and effort into it and well worth it it was too!
I have a couple of questions I will PM when I have a little more time.

PatrickSmith 13 1.2k 2 United States
22 Oct 2007 8:57PM
Thanks for looking in!

No problem Simon. Feel free to ask any question. Yes it took a long tine to write it and I'm just putting in some code for PayPal. The methods section took some time to and I'll be adding to it in the next month or two.

martinl 14 269 2 United Kingdom
22 Oct 2007 9:24PM
That light is just sublime Patrick, and the rock is perfectly placed.
REKLAW 13 3 United Kingdom
22 Oct 2007 9:30PM
Fine photography Patrick, very well done.

ripleysalien Plus
11 1.2k 11 United Kingdom
22 Oct 2007 9:42PM
I dont know how you do what you do, your images are magical and thats before you see the "fifth element" like the lone forground rock in this, it jumps up even higher.
Another cracker Patrick, one day I will get The PSmith day

imagio 11 12 1 England
22 Oct 2007 9:54PM
Superb composition and colors

DP_Imagery 13 24 6 Wales
22 Oct 2007 10:11PM
Beautifully done. Bruce
22 Oct 2007 10:16PM
loks like you found some light then, quite stunning
PatrickSmith 13 1.2k 2 United States
22 Oct 2007 10:26PM
Thanks for stopping by!

Steve, I have a 'look?' Well, your look will end up being different than everybody else's. I've tried to imitate other's work, but it always ends up being different. Usually, I just stand around looking for what I like most about a place, then I try to capture it. Usually I have to do it quickly because by the time I realize what it is I like, the light is fading or the tide is turning!

MarkT 13 119 2 England
22 Oct 2007 11:06PM
A beauty Patrick.

blackgull 10 1 Scotland
22 Oct 2007 11:15PM
Great capture. Well done.
glazzaro 13 70 23 United States
22 Oct 2007 11:39PM
Absolutely gorgeous! Well summer ends for us next week, we fall down into the 50s and 40s. Spot on! Click!!!

chris-p Plus
12 67 England
23 Oct 2007 12:22AM
Always a pleasure to view...
23 Oct 2007 1:32AM
To use your own words, Patrick, YOU have nailed it with this capture, aside from the simply gorgeous light on that cliff face, I love the texture of the water you have captured here, and that rock in the foreground just adds another element that completes this landscape beauty.


(Thank you for your comments today)
tepot 13 4.4k United Kingdom
23 Oct 2007 3:43AM
isn't it strange how a simple object can make a picture, in this case the foreground rock which balances the image and just brings it altogether.
This is incrdible!!!! Well done
chrissd 12 304 United Kingdom
23 Oct 2007 5:02AM
stunning effects Patrick, what a lovely shot
Scott_Scot 13 4 4 Scotland
23 Oct 2007 8:19AM
Like you say, I love the combination of movements here Patrick.

Maddie 12 2.7k 2 United Kingdom
23 Oct 2007 10:36AM
rather nice patrick Smile
imander 11 388 7 United Kingdom
23 Oct 2007 11:14AM
i think its all been said, but a truely wonderful picture
franken Plus
15 4.6k 4 United Kingdom
23 Oct 2007 12:33PM
A beautiful scene.

proz 13 205 United States
23 Oct 2007 2:05PM
superb Patrick, an absolute stunner
tmann 13 4 2 United States
23 Oct 2007 2:36PM
Incredible as usual my friend!!!!!!!
Hope all is well with you!!!!!
PatrickSmith 13 1.2k 2 United States
23 Oct 2007 2:44PM
Thanks for your comments! Wait until you see the shot I got last night! Very unusual...

Yes Eric, it is interesting how the texture in the water remained for two seconds. It is because of the sand ripples under the water. They stayed in place.

Simple can be best Terry. I'm glad the rock was there!

I'm fine Thomas. Just waiting for some storms to make some big waves for me.

bayleaf 10 8 United Kingdom
23 Oct 2007 3:27PM
Awesome Patrick.

Just like the rest of your portfolion.

Chriscj 12 96 1 England
23 Oct 2007 4:02PM
Very nice Patrick.

WOW, P....Now this really woke me up and it's almost nap-time.....LOL!
This is very nice, and the angle in which you've captured it, made it look as if your on a deserted island.....Enchantment!

Cheers to your cutsie little dragon sharks, and may the flying elephants keep you in good company....LOL!

As Always,
Suz Smile

Sir P???? LOL, sounds like........Slurpy....LOL!

Arctic Watermelon, please.....Smile
49er 11 564
23 Oct 2007 4:14PM
Perfect.. Love the FG in this a lot..
phototime 12 8 United Kingdom
23 Oct 2007 5:36PM
A wonderful shot Patrick,beautiful light and colours.Looks great.

PatrickSmith 13 1.2k 2 United States
23 Oct 2007 6:22PM
Thanks for dropping by!

LOL Suz, go have your nappies!

glyndwr 10 66 10 Wales
23 Oct 2007 6:30PM
Fantastic light and great water effect.

foggytwo 14 36 1 Scotland
23 Oct 2007 6:32PM
Fantastic lighting in this seascape Patrick, I like the lone rock.
evelen 13 5 England
23 Oct 2007 6:42PM
wonderful shot and lighting detail and colours.
RockArea 11 18 3 United Kingdom
23 Oct 2007 6:48PM
Stunning - wonderful light and gorgeous colours

Jouİo 13 56 Finland
23 Oct 2007 7:05PM
Yes Sir! Wink

WellCome and try Smile

LOL @ Suzie Q Smile

kinfatric 13 550 9 Scotland
23 Oct 2007 7:10PM
this is beautiful
Ceciliat 13 6 Philippines
23 Oct 2007 10:14PM
Colours are great - and there's a cool comfortable feel about this photo. ah! Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
Nice one sir
Mari 14 1.8k United Kingdom
23 Oct 2007 10:28PM
Lovely light here Patrick and slow water movement just right. Don't see any pebble attempts yet (well except that big one on the beach there) LOL

PatrickSmith 13 1.2k 2 United States
23 Oct 2007 10:35PM
Thanks for dropping in!

LOL Jouko!

Thanks Cesie, I had to resist the urge to add in all sorts of things!

Yes Mari, this is the pebble shot gone horribly wrong - LOL!

Nigel_95 Plus
12 262 2 United Kingdom
24 Oct 2007 12:25AM
Wonderful sky, and light on the cliff face and rocks in the middle distance Patrick.
John_Duckett 13 386 2 Norfolk Island
24 Oct 2007 12:27PM
A superb image that really forces you to stare..

Great work,

Robsterios 12 20 Australia
24 Oct 2007 1:51PM
Awesome colors Patrick...Another Superb shot from you...regards, Rob.
PatrickSmith 13 1.2k 2 United States
24 Oct 2007 2:55PM
Thanks John, Rob and the lookers!

robway 13 318 Wales
24 Oct 2007 9:27PM
A complete image, timing, composition and colour.
katieb Plus
13 255 4 United Kingdom
25 Oct 2007 7:34AM
That was along way down - Patrick this is a beautifully captured image.
PatrickSmith 13 1.2k 2 United States
25 Oct 2007 5:50PM
Thanks John and Kate!

Nigel_95 Plus
12 262 2 United Kingdom
25 Oct 2007 10:00PM
I'm glad to hear the news that the wind has dropped somewhat in your neck of the woods Patrick.

Pegon 12 78 1 England
25 Oct 2007 10:33PM
A really beautiful image Patrick, the light and colours are gorgeous.
sneazy 13 74 United Kingdom
25 Oct 2007 10:33PM
Unusual capture of the foam movement Patrick. What is not unusual is the quality of the photograph with some wonderful low, warm lighting.

SandraKay Plus
10 233 4 United Kingdom
26 Oct 2007 8:44AM
The large version uploaded slowly, with the top part of the picture sitting on the screen for a while before the bottom half appeared. It struck me how the top half made a really stunning panorama.
The full picture is just perfection.
Tandberg 14 1.2k 2 England
26 Oct 2007 1:58PM
LOvely colour Patrick and i lik ethe detail too
PatrickSmith 13 1.2k 2 United States
26 Oct 2007 4:49PM
Thanks Pete and Dave!

Yes Nigel, the fog is moving in right now and it is cooling off a bit! Lots of smoke in the air still though.

Mark, the foam is very unusual. I was actually going for something else when I noticed this movement, then I chased it around until I got it right.

Sandra, I hadn't though about the pano crop, but it does work!

dianah 11 24.5k 4 United Kingdom
26 Oct 2007 8:31PM
Everything has been said but I just need to say how wonderful I think this is..just brilliant.
26 Oct 2007 11:22PM

Another inspirational image, I love your work...

Gavin ...
Portknockie 13 48 Scotland
27 Oct 2007 5:11PM
Just love the light and colours Patrick...

Great work...

BertC 11 29 Malta
27 Oct 2007 7:08PM
Stunning .... took me a while to get down here lol !!
ChiliMan 11 135 17 Singapore
27 Oct 2007 7:42PM
Oh my...what...LIGHT...

...Patrick, this is luscious. The wisps in the the light glowing the cliff face and bouncing off those rocks in the sand...mmmm...

thorn 13 124 2 Scotland
28 Oct 2007 12:52PM
HI Patrick,
Wonderful lighting,shadows,detail,rocks,colour/tones and composition.Class work.Take care.AnnSmile
Glostopcat 12 255 2 England
28 Oct 2007 2:45PM
A beautiful beachscape Patrick, wonderful light and composition
John_Horner 12 12 2 England
29 Oct 2007 3:57PM
Amazing light and detail Partrick. The long exposure certainly worked a treat here. Wonderful warm colour tones.
tripodted 12 32 1 Northern Ireland
29 Oct 2007 9:25PM
Great shot, Patrick. The patterns made by the foam add a nice touch too.
PatrickSmith 13 1.2k 2 United States
30 Oct 2007 1:43PM
Thanks for looking!

I liked the foam too Ted, but only when I got back to see it on the computer. I just did it as an experiment, but will try it in more places now.

DaveU 12 1.4k 125 England
30 Oct 2007 5:29PM
Lovely light on the cliff but it's the expertly placed foreground rock that does this for me.
webjam 13 292 11 Netherlands
1 Nov 2007 7:02PM
I like that contrast of the ripples and the soft flowing water because of the long exposure - beautiful as ever!
colin 13 697 5 Scotland
14 Nov 2007 7:20PM
Just lovely - the water patterns are great as is the light.

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