In the gathering dusk, Mike and I left Drakes Beach and headed across the narrow Point Reyes peninsula to South Beach. Unprotected and facing the open Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Farallones, the wind swept in bitter cold and covered cameras, cars, and people with salt spray.
The trick with this capture was to guage the length of the exposure correctly. Long exposures of the surf at dusk can produce interesting effects, but they don’t show the savage and beautiful action of individual waves. Short exposures, with the crispness they imply, are not possible in low light (at least not without boosting the ISO).
To get the effect in this image of some wave clarity combined with wave motion, I exposed the image at almost one second (0.8 of a second) and f/9. By way of contrast, here’s a short exposure of a South Beach sunset, and here’s a long exposure image from the same general vantage point.