My June 2013 Photo of the Month is Coastal Rays, taken at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park in San Diego.
Coastal Rays Background
I photograph at this very spot in Sunset Cliffs, perhaps too much. A beautiful sunset like this is exactly why I come back again and again.
This is another image with the horizon close to the middle. This is supposed to be a violation of photographic law. Yet, I find on many occasions that the split is appropriate and the image is still balanced. While I could have shown more clouds and less ocean in front of Ross Rock (also known as birdshit rock by the surfers), I don’t think the image would be balanced. The negative space, to me, was appropriate.
Another photographic law I wanted to mention is that the photograph appears dark to the histogram. But, the highlights are brilliant, and even more so with the darker tones surrounding them. It may be tempting to lighten the image, but the lighter tones are less striking, and the image suffers for it. I am comfortable with this composition as a “dark” image.
I believe that years earlier, I would have been tempted to “zoom” in and squeeze a much tighter angle to catch the sun-rays. My visualization told me to leave it much more subtle, create a much more traditional composition, and let the person discover the beauty for him or herself. I know a superior piece of art needs to be studied, and I will let you decide if this photograph is worthy of study.
I did not photograph as much as I would like in June 2013. The predominant marine layer season (June Gloom) doesn’t usually lend itself to brilliant sunsets, but this was a day that the onshore flow didn’t get in the way.
As always, thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy the image.
T.M. Schultze is a San Diego-based photographer, traveller, and writer. He writes, photographs, and draws things of the outdoors that have inspired humans for thousands of years. He co-authored the Photographer’s Guide to Joshua Tree Park which can be purchased here.