This is a very famous and iconic photography destination. But being the desert dweller that I am, and having a much grander affinity for the mountains than the sea, I do not get to the ocean very often. But when I am there I do like to go and try to capture something that really moves me.
I ought to go to the ocean and photograph more often
I was down in San Diego for a photography convention in February 2015 and wanted to create some photographs for myself while I was there. I had done some research of photo destinations near where I was staying prior to my trip and this image kept popping up in my browser.
I was immediately drawn to the symmetry of the pier’s pylons. Planting my tripod right in the perfect middle of the pier allowed me to center up the far end “opening” of the pier. It felt like a portal to another dimension!
I wanted something different - something I had imagined in my mind’s eye but hadn’t actually seen created yet. I’d seen several images of this pier from this perspective - dead center - but none of them in black and white and none of them in a panoramic perspective nor with a long exposure.
It actually wasn’t an easy shot to get! There was a lot of seaweed gathered against some of the pylons closer to the beach and I had to put the tripod in the waterline. But as the sea ebbed and flowed with the tide it would wash away the sand the tripod was on and blur the image.
81 seconds later…
Finally I was able to get a capture where the tripod didn’t move and I had tack sharp exposure on the pylons from front to rear with smoothed out ocean. Post-processing in Lightroom allowed me to convert to black and white and make the 1:3 crop that you see presented.
The reason I call this image ‘Tunnel Vision’ is because once I had ‘the shot’ I packed up my gear and left, happy with what I had on the back of the camera. I didn’t even explore a single alternate perspective! Tunnel Vision, indeed. I guess I’ll have to go back there and re-take another shot from a different angle!
Ocean… here I come!
Pro Tip: Click on the image to see it larger. Enjoy!