This is a thirty second time exposure with my lens wide open. I caught the last light of sunset. I was on an aerie, a grassy platform, high above Tennessee Beach looking north. You can see a little bit of Tennessee Beach in the lower right of the photo, the massive cliffs to the north of Tennessee Beach, then the lights of Muir Beach, followed off in the distance if you look hard by the lights of Stinson Beach. Here’s a fisheye photo taken from the same vertiginous spot in daytime.
Speaking of vertiginous, I’m not inclined to vertigo, but this is a pretty dramatic location with a long drop to the pounding surf. Once true night was upon me, I had to remind myself that I was well equipped with a headlamp and good hiking boots.
The path that goes up to the spot can’t exactly be called a trail, but at least it is a path. The path was lit by the crescent moon and bright starlight, although a little fog was wafting in. I knew that as long as I stayed on the path I’d be fine.
Still, things don’t look the same at night. It can be particularly difficult to accurately gauge distances.
There’s a natural physiological danger response (at least for me) in this kind of situation when I am alone at night high up a cliff above pounding surf. I willed myself to calmness.
As I started down, I glanced at a gully to my left. A pair of bright, luminous eyes were staring up at me. Probably a raccoon or bobcat. There was no way down the gully to investigate. Over the constant sound of the surf, I could hear the occasional toll of a warning buoy.
Back down on Tennessee Beach, I felt more relaxed. I meandered up the short, easy trail to the parking lot, dawdling on the way to capture the landscape by moon and starlight.
And, yes, more photos will follow.