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The Rock

By PatrickSmith  
This 50 foot rock on San Carpoforo beach at the south end of Big Sur really takes a beating at high tide. And this is one of my favourite beaches in California because it feels so massive.

The ridge behind the beaches here range from 3,000 feet on the top right of the frame to 5,200 feet just above the big splash to the left of the rock. The one mile drop to the ocean with a 45 degree angle, might be the largest in the world depending on how you define ocean cliffs. There are sheer drops of 3,500 feet in Hawaii and some places in New Zealand, Norway and Alaska have larger mountians a few miles from the ocean.

Regardless, this place makes one feel rather small and insignificant!

The trick to getting this shot besides shooting and running with my back against a cliff, was waiting for the ocean to calm down from a white roiling overexposed mess. The first wave in the a series is the best because the ocean colour and sand texture comes through a lot better.

1/4 second exposure @F20 with ND grads 0.9 + 0.75

Tags: California General Big sur Landscape and travel San simeon

Voters: AlanBW, BurntOut, Paul_Barr and 187 more

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Comments


AlanBW 10 20 England
7 Apr 2008 4:02PM
Superb composition, great light and colours - your timing was immaculate

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Paul_Barr 11 544 Scotland
7 Apr 2008 4:09PM
It certainly looks a grand place Patrick.

Your timing was spot on for this one.

Paul
chuckspics 9 14 United States
7 Apr 2008 4:11PM
fantastic capture,In large vesion can almost feel the waves hitting the rocks, Chuck
Rylands 8 1 2 United Kingdom
7 Apr 2008 4:11PM
Lovely image, great lighting has brought a superb tonal range
Ray
JouŠo Plus
11 56 Finland
7 Apr 2008 4:15PM
could ONLY be yours, Patrick...........

Any car problems yet?? Hope not.....

Jouko
PLCimagery 9 77 1 England
7 Apr 2008 4:16PM
Gorgeous!
Richsr Plus
8 90 219 England
7 Apr 2008 4:20PM
Like the details and lighting in this Patrick - first class as always.
Regards Richard.
bayleaf 8 8 United Kingdom
7 Apr 2008 4:21PM
What a super shot

John
PatrickSmith 11 1.2k 2 United States
7 Apr 2008 4:23PM
Thanks for looking!

The car is behaving itself Jouko. Good thing too, as this beach is an hour away from nowhere!

Patrick
elkiebrooks 12 83 5 United Kingdom
7 Apr 2008 4:27PM
A well composed and expertly timed photograph.
shortski 9 3 1 England
7 Apr 2008 4:29PM
Superb...jojo
Mike Gray 11 382 United Kingdom
7 Apr 2008 4:30PM
Who put that rock there. lol

Mike
PatrickSmith 11 1.2k 2 United States
7 Apr 2008 4:35PM
Thanks Colin and jojo!

lol.... Okay fine Mike, I kicked it out there to get a little extra foreground interest and it made the splash as it came to rest on it's flat side in the water!

Patrick
Pegon 10 78 1 England
7 Apr 2008 4:38PM
A superb shot Patrick, well timed and lovely light.
Pete.
7 Apr 2008 4:41PM
Great shot, lovely blur to the wave. Has an elemental feel-I love it
7 Apr 2008 4:46PM
Supreme exposure and composition Patrick

Dave
User_Removed 8 2.2k 3 United Kingdom
7 Apr 2008 4:47PM
Whoosh ! Love it.
Chant57 Plus
10 395 3 United Kingdom
7 Apr 2008 4:47PM
fabulous light and superb timing Patrick
C
Superb capture
Really enjoyed my trip around the Big Sur a few years ago Smile
Trevor
7 Apr 2008 5:01PM
beautifully composed , really love the light through the spray.. stunning.. !

Nikki !
PatrickSmith 11 1.2k 2 United States
7 Apr 2008 5:04PM
Thanks for your comments!

I enjoy it every time Trevor!

I liked that too Nikki. I watched it happen several times before deciding to capture it.

Patrick
ChazB 10 64 3 United Kingdom
7 Apr 2008 5:06PM
Hi Patrick, love the detail and colour in the fg pebbles and the exposure to capture the wave crashing against the rock. Yet another superb cornifornia shot!
Charlotte
49er 9 564
7 Apr 2008 5:12PM
Wonderful timing (we will make a wildlifer of you)
of the wave.. Shows the power of the sea. The pebbles in the FG add some calm to the image..

Regards

Edgar
Artois 9 405 1 United Kingdom
7 Apr 2008 5:14PM
Great emotive shot. Good composition, colour and excellent capture.
7 Apr 2008 5:19PM
great shot very happy to make it 30 .

Rgds Bob
PatrickSmith 11 1.2k 2 United States
7 Apr 2008 5:27PM
Thanks for stopping by.

Hey Charlotte, it's great to hear from you. And there is a bit of Cornwall in here I think!

LOL Edgar, well this beach is near two colonies of Elephant Seals with 15 foot long males making lots of noise. I suppose I could work them into a landscape and become a wildlifer! I'll use my 17-40 for wildlife!

Patrick
ChazB 10 64 3 United Kingdom
7 Apr 2008 5:30PM
Haha yes, my Mum just literally arrived home, saw it and said 'that's definitely a Cornifornia shot'! It still surprises me how similar the two coastlines look sometimes! Thanks for the click and comment on mine, just left a reply over there for you.
Charlotte
SKavanagh 8 312 5 England
7 Apr 2008 5:34PM
Excellent shot love the wave great piece of info too
Steve
Nigel_95 Plus
10 260 2 United Kingdom
7 Apr 2008 5:41PM
Excellent timing Patrick. Thanks for the info on the size of the rock and heights of the slopes behind. I wouldn't have guessed they were so high.

Nigel
PatrickSmith 11 1.2k 2 United States
7 Apr 2008 5:52PM
It is amazing Charlotte. I have 'flown' over your area in Google Earth and it does look quite similar. Someday I hope to see it myself.

Thanks Steve.

True Nigel, it is tough to tell except for the very small seagulls on the top of the rock in the big version!

Patrick
Wooly 10 112 4 England
7 Apr 2008 5:57PM
Excellent timing and clarity Patrick.

Alan
jeanie Plus
12 6.0k 6 United Kingdom
7 Apr 2008 6:00PM
I do hope you are getting some work done now that you got the priority sorted first Wink
PatrickSmith 11 1.2k 2 United States
7 Apr 2008 6:02PM
Thanks Alan!

LOL - Some what Jeanie???

Patrick
pmorgan 9 217 13 England
7 Apr 2008 6:03PM
Well composed, and timed, and exposed and caught!

Rgds
Paul
Buffalo_Tom Plus
9 2.3k 9 Wales
7 Apr 2008 6:12PM
Beautifully composed and exposed Patrick.Lovely.
Tom.
HUMIE 9 2 United Kingdom
7 Apr 2008 6:13PM
LARGE is absolutely wonderful !!!

*Mike*
edwood 8 3 Scotland
7 Apr 2008 6:17PM
wonderful shot.
jeanie Plus
12 6.0k 6 United Kingdom
7 Apr 2008 6:28PM
hehehe!
User_Removed 8 172 1 United Kingdom
7 Apr 2008 6:49PM
Wow, great comp and timing

Mark
evelen 11 5 England
7 Apr 2008 6:50PM
excellent capture.
eve.
MalcolmS Plus
10 1.1k 13 England
7 Apr 2008 6:51PM
Great timing Patrick, like the light on the f/g pebbles

Malcolm
martinl Plus
12 263 2 United Kingdom
7 Apr 2008 7:04PM
Lovely light and your timing was as impeccable as we've come to expect with the wave Patrick.

Martin
AlleyCatz 9 274 6 England
7 Apr 2008 7:08PM
Great timing and great comp


~Alley~
MikeA 11 1.3k England
7 Apr 2008 7:15PM
Super light Patrick and the timing shows off the impact the wave makes on the rock, guess can be quite noisy as well.

MikeA.
7 Apr 2008 7:22PM
I know I say this everytime .. so here it goes again.. Stunning!!! love the timing on the shot ...
PatrickSmith 11 1.2k 2 United States
7 Apr 2008 7:22PM
Thanks for having a look around!

True Mike, it gets really noisy here. And the cliff behind me reflects the sound right into my ear!

Patrick
GalleryGirl 8 4 2 United Kingdom
7 Apr 2008 7:23PM
What a great shot! Super light and great scene.
Marilyn x
MarkT 11 119 2 England
7 Apr 2008 7:49PM
Great capture Patrick - I wish it was the W. coast of US I was going to in a couple of weeks not Florida.

Mark.
PatrickSmith 11 1.2k 2 United States
7 Apr 2008 7:55PM
Thanks Dawn Michelle and Marilyn!

It's a shame mark, but there are some nice places there. There are some awesome swamps and beaches with great water colour and features. No hills though!

Patrick
7 Apr 2008 8:02PM
Super timming Patrick and some wonderful light on the beach, rocks and distant hills you captured. Great work.
wamp 9 276 8 England
7 Apr 2008 8:05PM
The light is beautiful Patrick and lifts the colours so well, a single boulder at 50 feet - I bet it does takes a beating Smile

Sean
MarkT 11 119 2 England
7 Apr 2008 8:06PM
Just shows you what photography does to you Patrick - I want some cloud on my holiday as well - lol.

Mark.
martin.w Plus
13 388 22 United Kingdom
7 Apr 2008 8:34PM
Lovely crisp foreground detail contrasts well with the hazy background...and of course good timing with the wave.
rangerpaul 8 19 7 England
7 Apr 2008 8:42PM
The dynamics around the rock combined with the beauty around it make this an outstanding image!
Paul
jaktis Plus
12 84 Sweden
7 Apr 2008 8:44PM
Power power and power

Peter
Glostopcat Plus
9 255 2 England
7 Apr 2008 9:51PM
An outstanding beachscape Patrick, you've timed this shot to perfection. The light, colours and composition are all exceptional, a real class act yet again
Paree 11 616 3
7 Apr 2008 10:47PM
wonderful photography
I can only marvel at your work Patrick

pareen
Well timed to capture the power of the sea and the magnificent light. JNC
PatrickSmith 11 1.2k 2 United States
7 Apr 2008 10:55PM
Thanks for looking!

I guess it was difficult to time this because most of the time the wave would impact while the previous wave was all the way up the beach. It took about 10 minutes of trying to get some decent timing on this one.

True Mark, hoping for clouds on a holiday can create a bit of a conflict of interest when better weather is wanted!

Patrick
Atlas 12 621 United Kingdom
7 Apr 2008 11:05PM
You never fail to impress us all Patrick. Not seen anything quite like this before ☼☼☼☼☼

Rob
franken Plus
13 3.8k 4 Wales
7 Apr 2008 11:08PM
Excellent image and timing on the wave.

Ken
thorn 11 124 2 Scotland
7 Apr 2008 11:13PM
Hi Patrick,
That wave really looks for all the world as though it is determined to shift that rock and it will one day with a determination like that.Fantastic timing,motion,detail,textures,saturation,lighting,shading,sky,the dynamics,perspective and shapes on this one are inimitablely yours.Breathetaking!take care and stay safe,AnnSmile
7 Apr 2008 11:16PM
Timing and image are perfect

Graeem
GillyB Plus
10 317 8 United Kingdom
7 Apr 2008 11:35PM
I see my Daughter beat me to it yet again Smile

Love the contrast in textures and also between the wild waves and calm fg. Good use of the diagonal too.

I don't think you need our Caliwall clouds as you look to have some good ones over there in Cornifornia!

gill Smile
Carabosse Plus
12 40.0k 269 England
8 Apr 2008 2:29AM
Another stunner, Patrick! Great colours and detail. Smile
fotodayz 7 179 1 United Kingdom
8 Apr 2008 4:07AM
stunning!
PatrickSmith 11 1.2k 2 United States
8 Apr 2008 4:07AM
Thanks for having a look!

I rarely do either Rob, it is a 2 hour drive from nowhere!

I think you are right Ann, the waves will win eventually!

LOL Gill, she's a fast one! But I must admit that my photography is deceptive because we only get decent clouds a few times per month in the winter and rarely in the summer. I squeeze out what I can! So I will take all the Caliwall clouds that I can get my lens on....

Thanks CB.

Patrick
andytvcams 13 10.4k United Kingdom
8 Apr 2008 7:12AM
100 Wink

Andy...
chris-p Plus
10 65 England
8 Apr 2008 8:43AM
101 ... and counting Smile
johnjrp 12 432 5 Australia
8 Apr 2008 8:49AM
Well timed and taken Patrick. John
Matman 8 37 United Kingdom
8 Apr 2008 11:29AM
What an amazing place that is. Great description Patrick, I always enjoy them.

I love being on the coast because besides their beauty I am always in awe of the Geology! That huge rock just sat there is something I could stare at for ages, wondering!...Smile

Cheers

Matt
banehawi Plus
11 1.3k 3355 Canada
8 Apr 2008 12:20PM
Timing is everything!

W
BillyGoatGruff 8 191 199 England
8 Apr 2008 1:59PM
Cracking shot, Patrick.
Well braved!
ATB
Bill
Consulo Plus
11 836 10 Scotland
8 Apr 2008 2:09PM
A real knockout, Patrick, especially when viewed large. Smile

Out if interest, did you have one filter upside down for the foreground, or where they both on the sky?
tepot 11 4.4k United Kingdom
8 Apr 2008 3:13PM
Great advice in the description Pat, something i will take onboard when i get to do a shot like this.

lots of people will probably be impressed with the wave on the rock, but for me it's the gorgeous light on the cliffs, worthy of a place in any gallery!
PatrickSmith 11 1.2k 2 United States
8 Apr 2008 5:55PM
Thanks for stopping by! I hope to catch up on your new uploads in the next couple of days once I finish this work thing....

Yes, Matt, I love the geology too. There is a vast timespan involved in the making of this place, and so many others. I enjoy watching the waves making more history right in front of my eyes.

Michael, in this case one grad covers the sky and one covers the sky and down tot eh bottom left corner where the wet sand is. I had a 30 degree angle on the grads.

I waited for the light to hit the cliffs Terry for about a half hour. Before and after I did this, the mountains were dark. I only got a few different ones with this light. Then it was gone!

Patrick
mattw 12 5.2k 10 United Kingdom
8 Apr 2008 7:51PM
Beautiful light Patrick. The timing is obviously spot on, but the sense of scale is fascinating
Matman 8 37 United Kingdom
8 Apr 2008 10:19PM
Exactly that Patrick...Smile

Matt
9 Apr 2008 1:40PM
I'll echo your thoughts on the similarities with New Zealand, Patrick. I almost felt like I was stood back on the West Coast!

Stunning light and clarity my friend. It's something I struggled with due to the sea spray on my recent trip.

All the best

Dan
9 Apr 2008 2:10PM
Superb 'action' shot. Perfect timing with the waves hitting that rock, excellent as ever.
Annette
photophantom 7 108 3 Philippines
9 Apr 2008 3:32PM
Smashing picture. Very skillful. Well done Patrick.
Dennis
PatrickSmith 11 1.2k 2 United States
9 Apr 2008 3:37PM
Thanks for looking! I'm glad you liked the timing of this one. And that gives me time to run away.

Yes Dan, I have LOTS of problems with sea spray and what seems like the whole ocean trying to get into my camera! It is a pain compared to regular landscapes, but worth it.

Patrick
MickyMc 8 8 United Kingdom
9 Apr 2008 3:57PM
Such information and a great picture as well really has made my day
Mavis
StevenPrice 11 30 2 England
9 Apr 2008 4:31PM
superb work as allways Patrick
luxaeternam 8 21 1
9 Apr 2008 6:29PM
Superb light and movement Patrick.
Smile Lucy
Strobe 8 1.3k United States
9 Apr 2008 9:11PM
Love the way you have captured the movement of the wave.
Marc
dazzaman 9 630 England
9 Apr 2008 10:19PM
this is awsome patrick. love the light and that crashing wave.

daz.
10 Apr 2008 9:34AM
Stunning image Patrick, looks awesome in the large version. Nice work.
Cheesey.
piccy 9 8 Wales
10 Apr 2008 2:00PM
Always a pleasure to view your pics large.
Freda
Consulo Plus
11 836 10 Scotland
10 Apr 2008 2:18PM
Belated thanks for the reply, Patrick. Smile
Sezz Plus
11 617 15 England
10 Apr 2008 4:29PM
Hi Patrick - catching up as I've been away. Well it's a long way down here - so many well deserved comments, not sure what else to add?
Your timing is impeccable as usual! I like the splash off the rock and it's reflction on the wet sand but also the light and colours on the ridge behind - excellent work again Smile

Sarah *
10 Apr 2008 4:35PM
Gorgeous light and tones, love how you've captured the waves crashing into the rock.
Alexandra
PatrickSmith 11 1.2k 2 United States
10 Apr 2008 4:52PM
Thanks for stopping by!

No problem Michael!

LOL Sarah, you probably got lost in one of those labyrinthine castles!

Patrick
dianah 9 24.5k 4 United Kingdom
10 Apr 2008 9:17PM
Hello Patrick..I love the sunlight on the beach, the colours are glorious. Wonderful detail of the sea as well..an excellent seascape.
Di
colin 11 697 5 Scotland
10 Apr 2008 9:42PM
Fabulously timed, yet again, Patrick.
I hope the San Francisco Tourist Board, or whatever its called, are aware of you being such a great ambassador for the stunning scenery of the West Coast. You should be on a retainer of some sort.Wink
Colin
PatrickSmith 11 1.2k 2 United States
10 Apr 2008 10:14PM
Thanks Di!

Speaking of tourists Colin, are you coming out this way again? I'll make sure we meet this time!

They don't know about me yet, but they will....

Patrick
Portknockie 11 48 Scotland
11 Apr 2008 11:05AM
Love the light and colour detail Patrick..glad you didnt get wet...

Superb timing and a great shot..

Don
Hugeknot 10 1.2k 2 Iceland
11 Apr 2008 4:23PM
The colours and details are excellent. great timing!
arpad 8 United Kingdom
11 Apr 2008 6:39PM
perfect timing to take the picture, beautiful landscape,

congratulations,

arpad
Valerie1 8 68 Northern Ireland
11 Apr 2008 8:02PM
Wonderful capture! I like the explantion you give with each shot so the rest of us can learn.
Valerie
PatrickSmith 11 1.2k 2 United States
11 Apr 2008 8:07PM
Thanks for looking!

I wish you were right Don.

I learn from everybody else Valerie so I try to return the favour!

Patrick
riprap007 11 1.6k 37 England
13 Apr 2008 7:52AM
dramatic capture... Big Sur is one of those places on my wishlist to visit Smile
bricurtis Plus
10 2.0k 49 England
13 Apr 2008 10:55AM
Wonderful light all around in this shot Patrick - the coloured pebbles in the f/ground are very effective.
Brian.
colin 11 697 5 Scotland
13 Apr 2008 6:18PM

Quote:Speaking of tourists Colin, are you coming out this way again? I'll make sure we meet this time!

Nothing planned, Patrick but would dearly love to spend more time experiencing the west coast. My daughter starts University in September so have to dig deep to fund her for the next 3 years. Maybe after, who knowsWink
Colin
pennyspike 12 2.1k 29 United Kingdom
13 Apr 2008 11:26PM
This has a definite glow to it, you have captured the light perfectly.
Penny
PatrickSmith 11 1.2k 2 United States
14 Apr 2008 4:29AM
Thanks for stopping by!

Sounds like you're in the poor house for a few years Colin! After you recover, come on out!

Patrick
Scott_Scot 11 4 4 Scotland
14 Apr 2008 4:32PM
Very dramatic Patrick!

Scotty
Maiwand Plus
9 3 71 England
14 Apr 2008 6:14PM
A fantastic and atmospheric image Patrick. i love the detail shown in the small pebbles strewn on the beach and the detail on the rather larger pebblr ( Boulder ) in the water. Wonderful.
Ron
PatrickSmith 11 1.2k 2 United States
14 Apr 2008 7:35PM
Thanks Scotty!

True Ron, that is quite a large pebble. I'd hate to stub my toe on it!

Patrick
chrissd Plus
10 304 United Kingdom
15 Apr 2008 6:05AM
glorious image Patrick, superb timing
chris
Dotrob 10 Wales
15 Apr 2008 11:30PM
Super lighting, and great timing.
Dot.
Rende Plus
9 38 4 Netherlands
16 Apr 2008 6:11PM
Stunning shot with wonderful composition and great juxtaposition of the solid rock and the water crashing into it.
Rende
16 Apr 2008 10:00PM
Great shot in did.
17 Apr 2008 4:55PM
Stunning capture.

Christine
PatrickSmith 11 1.2k 2 United States
17 Apr 2008 9:05PM
Thanks for stopping by and having a look!

Patrick
Bluke 11 303 1 United Kingdom
20 Apr 2008 9:32AM
Hi patrick... another superb image i see.... lovely work.
barb
skydivemike 10 47 Northern Ireland
20 Apr 2008 3:00PM
Just perfect Patrick.


Mike
PatrickSmith 11 1.2k 2 United States
21 Apr 2008 3:12PM
Thanks Barbara and Mike!

Patrick
KKmoments 9 12 United Kingdom
21 Apr 2008 10:20PM
Beautiful lighting picking up the 'highlights' on the pebbles in the f/g.. .lovely well timed capture on the wave too.... excellent composition... Karen Smile
PatrickSmith 11 1.2k 2 United States
22 Apr 2008 6:05AM
Thanks Karen!

Patrick
25 Apr 2008 6:59AM
A cracker, like all your images.
Johanna
tmann 11 4 2 United States
6 May 2008 2:52PM
Perfect timing and photo!
I guess it's time I use the ND filters again...
Not that I can shoot pics like this!!! Smile
This is definitely one of those WOWSA shots.....You've caught this perfectly, P...Smile

Cheerios,
Suz Smile

Hoping the pinky is better by now.....Smile
starliz 11 1.6k 3 England
14 Jun 2008 8:25AM
love the colour and light shining away on the pebbles as for the rock and wave thats something special.
CathyI 11 344 3 United Kingdom
23 Jul 2008 12:05PM
Perfect timing and rendition of the wave as I expect from you! Beautiful shot.
PatrickSmith 11 1.2k 2 United States
31 Jul 2008 5:38PM
Thanks for having a look!

Patrick

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