Navy Helicopters At Sunset On Coronado

November 4, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Helicopter On Silver Strand Coronado At Sunset

Navy Helicopter Against A Coronado Sunset

    The area around Naval Amphibious Base (NAB) on Coronado is always buzzing with helicopter activity. To the south of the base in Imperial Beach is the Naval Outlying Landing Field (NOLF) so choppers are always flying around as training for pilots and Navy SEALs takes place. There is an area adjacent to the giant “Dinosaur Cage” where Navy personnel can be seen practicing combat exits from hovering helicopters, sliding down a rope to the beach below. Earlier this year they were training at sunset so it made for a great photo opportunity and a chance to test the limits of my camera.

Faux Night Shot Of Helicopter On Silver Strand Coronado At Sunset

Helicopter And A Sunset Made To Look Like A Moonset

    When the sun is directly behind your subject there are two things you need to be aware of. The first is that your subject will be a silhouette and the second is that you need to be careful not to go blind from staring at the sun as you are setting up your shots! Obviously the sun is the brightest light source you will ever have to contend with so having it in your frame means you will most likely need to allow the minimum amount of light to reach your sensor as your camera will allow. For me, that meant using a shutter speed of 1/4000 of a second and a tiny f-stop of 32.

Navy SEAL Exits Helicopter Silver Strand Coronado

Navy SEAL Exits A Helicopter

    Something that I hardly ever talk about is white balance. Yellow light looks warmer which is why the time around sunrise and sunset is referred to as “golden hour” and always has a nice warm feel. Blue light looks cooler and has more of a nighttime feel to it. By playing around with the white balance you can completely change the feel and mood of a photo. All three photos in this post were shot at sunset, but the middle one looks a little different. That’s because I adjusted the white balance to the blue end of the spectrum, robbing the sunset of it’s warm light which makes the setting sun look like a nighttime full moon. There are a lot of filters that people use to change the look of their photos, but as a person that grew up in the age of film photography, I prefer to stick with white balance adjustments, the ORIGINAL filter. Cheers!

Sunset In Imperial Beach

March 3, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Imperial Beach Sunset

Imperial Beach Sunset

        San Diego Bay is a great place to be during golden hour and sunset. The colors and the view just can’t be beat and talk about a made to order photo-op! All the photos for this post were taken at the southern edge of the Bayshore Bikeway in Imperial Beach.

Long Shadow During Golden Hour Sunset Imperial Beach

The Long Shadow Goodnight

        For those of you that don’t know, “golden hour” are those final minutes before a sunset or after a sunrise. The sun is very low, right above the horizon so the light from the sun has to travel through many more miles of our polluted atmosphere which helps to give our nearest star’s light a very warm, yellow hue. One of the biggest not-so-secret secrets of landscape photography is to take your shots during golden hour. A word of warning though, golden hour does not actually last for an hour, it only lasts for about ten minutes so you’ll want to plan ahead.

Women Walking Dog At Sunset In Imperial Beach

Looking East From Imperial Beach

        Bayshore Bikeway is a very popular bike path with pedestrians and every sort of non-car conveyance. As you can see from this map of San Diego bike paths, including Bayshore Bikeway, it circles most of San Diego Bay, with the circle being completed if you decide to take the ferry between downtown San Diego and Coronado.

San Diego Bay Skyline Golden Hour Sunset

San Diego Skyline, Coronado Bridge & A Seagull During Golden Hour

        Those of you that work in a cubicle in an office under fluorescent lights for forty hours a week need to pay attention to these next sentences: Your job is killing you, your boss is dumber & richer than you and your family doesn’t respect you because you are a human parodic example of some one that has given up on their dreams. In short, the world around you knows you are doing something you hate for money, just like a whore. Your family knows you are being paid money to wake up before sunrise and drive through traffic just so your boss and any of his colleagues can fuck you in the ass, balls deep.

Sunset On Bayshore Bikeway

October 28, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Bayshore Bikeway Silver Strand At Sunset

Sunset At The Southern End Of Bayshore Bikeway

        At southern most part of the Bayshore Bikeway, there is a metal bench that had me facing north, towards the Coronado Bridge and downtown San Diego, with the bike path directly behind me. The shot above took place while looking over my left shoulder, to the southwest.

South Bay Power Plant From Bayshore Bikeway At Golden Hour

South Bay Power Plant At Golden Hour

        To my right was the scene above, the South Bay power plant, bathed in golden hour light. I keep hearing conflicting reports as to what is ever going to happen to the power plant; some say it’s coming down because of permit trouble or because it isn’t needed to ensure reliable electricity for the city anymore, and others say it’s going to stay because it has a relatively neutral environmental impact and California needs all the electricity it can get.

Dinosaur Cage Sunset In Imperial Beach/Coronado

Dinosaur Cage Sunset In June

        As the Earth orbits the sun and spins on it’s axis, the seasons change and the relative position of the sun rising and setting slides along the horizon. The photo above was taken from the same bench as the top photo in the post, but back in June 2010. During early summer, the sun sets directly behind the dinosaur cage, relative to the bench at the southern most part of Bayshore Bikeway.
        Anyway, I’m trying to decide if I want to pay to have my 5 year sitting outside neglected 1970’s Free Spirit 10 speed bicycle fixed up or by a new bike altogether. I want to start riding my bike to work but not having a bike to ride is the first, most important obstacle to overcome.

La Mesa, CA Sunset

August 29, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

La Mesa Sunset

Sunset, As Seen From La Mesa, CA

        All three photos in this post were taken at the same time, in the same place. I was just walking around my neighborhood at sunset, and the photos in this post is what I came up with. La Mesa is 12 miles from the coast, but the scenery is right in front of you.

La Mesa Sunset

Silhouetted Flowers Against The Setting Sun

        There are an infinite number of ways to photograph a single event, including an ordinary sunset. Above we see a typical sunset silhouette with the foreground being a clutch of flowers. Nothing special, 1/1000th, f/5.6, ISO 200. The shot below is different, but the same.

La Mesa Sunset

Sunset With Foreground Lighting

        The shot above is the same as the middle photo above except that there is more light on the foreground. The difference between the two photos is massive, even though they were taken at the same place at the same time. Pressing the shutter release button is just the first step for creating a great photograph. Photoshop is your friend after the fact. Admit it.