a vacation at the beach…

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III__EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM__76.0 sec at f / 22__ISO 100

Last week, my family and I enjoyed a vacation at the beach.  We stayed in La Jolla, a place I’ve been visiting since I was a small kid.  Spent one day at Seaworld, and another day at the beach.

I’ve noticed the Scripps Pier for years, and I’ve enjoyed other photographer’s images of piers.  But I’d never photographed one before, so this was my main focus on this trip.  I photographed at sunrise and sunset.  Here is one image I made, when it was nearly dark.  I got to the point where my meter would not give me a reading at my desired aperture of f/22 or f/32.  I could shoot with a wider aperture, but I would have lost good sharpness on the pier posts.  I quickly extrapolated a good exposure, took out my iphone to use its timer.  Started the exposure (with a cable release of course) and started the stop watch.  f/22 at 76 secs.  Focal length was 70mm.

I hope you enjoy this image!  Let me know your thoughts…


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Published by William Neill

William Neill, a resident of the Yosemite National Park area since 1977, is a landscape photographer concerned with conveying the deep, spiritual beauty he sees and feels in Nature. Neill's award-winning photography has been widely published in books, magazines, calendars, posters, and his limited-edition prints have been collected and exhibited in museums and galleries nationally, including the Museum of Fine Art Boston, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, The Vernon Collection, and The Polaroid Collection. Neill received a BA degree in Environmental Conservation at the University of Colorado. In 1995, Neill received the Sierra Club's Ansel Adams Award for conservation photography. Neill's assignment and published credits include National Geographic, Smithsonian, Natural History, National Wildlife, Conde Nast Traveler, Gentlemen's Quarterly, Travel and Leisure, Wilderness, Sunset, Sierra and Outside magazines. Also, he writes a monthly column, On Landscape, for Outdoor Photographer magazine. Feature articles about his work have appeared in Life, Camera and Darkroom, Outdoor Photographer and Communication Arts, from whom he has also received five Awards of Excellence. His corporate clients have included Sony Japan, Bayer Corporation, Canon USA, Nike, Nikon, The Nature Company, Hewlett Packard, 3M, Freidrick Grohe, Neutrogena, Sony Music/Classical, University of Cincinnati, UBS Global Asset Management. His work was chosen to illustrate two special edition books published by The Nature Company, Rachel Carson's The Sense of Wonder and John Fowles's The Tree. His photographs were also published in a three book series on the art and science of natural process in collaboration with the Exploratorium Museum of San Francisco: By Nature's Design (Exploratorium / Chronicle Books, 1993), The Color of Nature (Exploratorium / Chronicle Books, 1996) and Traces of Time (Chronicle Books / Exploratorium, Fall 2000). A portfolio of his Yosemite photographs has been published entitled Yosemite: The Promise of Wildness (Yosemite Association, 1994) which received The Director's Award from the National Park Service. A retrospective monograph of his landscape photography entitled Landscapes Of The Spirit (Bulfinch Press/Little, Brown, 1997) relates his beliefs in the healing power of nature. William has taught photography since 1980 for such prestigious organizations as The Ansel Adams Gallery, the Friends of Photography, Palm Beach Photographic Workshops, The Maine Workshops and Anderson Ranch Workshops. He specializes in landscape and nature photography and is concerned with conveying the beauty seen in Nature. Currently, he teaches online courses for BetterPhoto.com and One-on-One Workshops in his home studio near Yosemite National Park.

11 replies on “a vacation at the beach…”

  1. Scripps Pier is one of my favorite places to hang out on the beach. Having worked at UCSD, I’ve seen many, many photos of the pier, but never one that captures the calm and beauty of the pier like this. Thanks for sharing it–and how you captured it so I can learn and try the techniques on my next visit!

  2. Hi Steve,

    Yes, there is a sacrifice in sharpness at f/32, but it depends on the lens too. This issue won’t show up in this or the other pier image unless making print beyond 40″ wide or so…

  3. HI William, I like this shot a lot and the one after it. They are very sharp, obviously due to F32. I have a question about that. I’ve read that such small apertures actually make for less sharpness due to more diffraction. Obviously you don’t see this here as you use F32 but have you encountered that before?

  4. Bill,
    Powerful image! The composition is reduced to a few simple elements: Sky, water, pier and color. The long exposure further enhancing the element of water, by creating the glass like texture, adding strength to the piers repeating pattern of posts as a monolithic center of attention, all with balnaced symmetry.
    To me, this is poetic. I love this image!!

  5. I love this dreamy image that looks like an invitation to walk on the water out through that open door at the end of the pier. So simple, strong and inspiring. I check out your work once in a while, Bill, and see you are forever spiraling upward.

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