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Crystal Pier - Black & White and Color!

Hello everyone,

I finally made it down to visit San Diego last week. I've been wanting to explore the California coast for a few years now. I made it down to San Francisco before, travelling along the Oregon coast, but going further south to Los Angeles and beyond remained on the bucket list until last week.

I was down in L.A. and was fortunete to visit Paris Photo before travelling to Palm Springs to check out the Palm Springs Photo Festival. The trip was more then worth it for these two events alone, but I was able to carve out 2 extra days to go shooting on my own as well.

I have seen many images from San Diego, and knew the area is famous for its great sea-scape shooting opportunities. So although I did not re-invent the wheel here and found 'new' locations, I still enjoyed myself tremendously visiting the famous Crystal Pier and the 'Children's Pool'.

Today I want to share 2 images I photographed at Crystal Pier:

Image details: Photographed with Hasselblad H4D-40 and 80mm Hasselblad Lens. Exposure is 256 seconds @ F5.6 ISO 100

I got to the beach adjacent to the famous pier when the tide was pretty high. In a perfect world, with more time to visit, I would have preferred to come with the tide being much lower, as this would have allowed the use of a wider angle lens. Due to the high water line, I couldn't walk out towards the end of the pier very far. Luckily I had an 80mm lens with me, a focal length I normally don't use very often. It's equivalent to about a 63mm in 35mm camera format, so it's slightly longer.

Those of you who know my work and have been reading this blog for a while know I prefer to work with wide-angle lenses of 24mm and wider, but the image above is an example that you can 'never have enough lenses in your camera bag'. Well, despite this image, my wife is still not buying this statement :-)

While out on the beach there, I also took a shot using my Cambo WDS camera fitted with a much more wide-angle lens. I decided to leave this image in color:

Image details: Cambo WDS camera with 35mm Schneider Digitar XL lens. Phase One P25+ Digital back. Exposure is 900 seconds @ F8 at ISO 50

You see the much wider view in the image above, coming from the use of a 35mm lens that is about 22mm equivalent to 35mm camera format. I shot this with my old Phase One P25+ digital back. The image is a result of 2 individual captures that have been stitched to create the final panorama (the black and white image above has been cropped to get the final panoramic aspect ratio).

I very much like the color coming from the Phase One back, so I decided to not convert to black and white. To get the final color 'treatment' I processed the image in Nik Color Efex 4 (using Photoshop CS6).

The longer exposure rendered reduced detail in the sky, and I particularly like the bottom of the frame where the waves came really close to my tripod legs. You can actually see a bit of beach sand where the waves did not reach.

I had to take a few shots, as people walking by continued to leave their footprints in the sand. Even though the long exposure made the people invisible, the foot prints remained. Yes I could have taken care of this in Photoshop, but in this case it was a lot easier to simply wait until the 'traffic' calmed down and some bigger waves washed the footprints away, leaving the beach pristine.

Before I go, here's a shot of behind-the-scenes, showing my camera setup. You can see how close the waves came to my tripod -:)

As always, your comments are appreciated and encouraged. More images from this trip will be posted soon!

Have a great weekend everyone,


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