Archive for March 13th, 2010



Tide Pools Area: Cabrillo National Monument

Cabrillo National Monument sits at the point of Point Loma, overlooking San Diego Harbor on one side, and the Pacific on the other. There is a lighthouse there, and little pocket park, with some of the best views of the coast you are likely to see. You have to drive through a section of the Naval Base and the National Cemetery to get there, so access is limited to 9 to 5 (when the military gates are open these days) but it is always worth a visit, in any season and any weather.

The day I had available dawned, as promised, with rain, and I debated going at all. I did get out, and had about 3 hours there, shooting from under my umbrella and in brief intervals in the drizzle, before a steady driving rain drove me off the point and back to the hotel.

This is the Tide Pool area, which is reached by a well paved and graded road that serves both the modern lighthouse and a water treatment plant. They have been working here in the last year, making improvements on the short trail system, and I enjoyed exploring further from the parking lot than I have ventured in the past.

The challenge in this weather is, of course, to capture the authentic drama of the rainy coast, cliffs and ocean. The contrast and exposure (EV) range is surprisingly broad on such a day, dull as we might think it, as the lighter sky tends to dominate the dark, rain soaked, landscape. More on that in a Point & Shoot Landscape post (coming soon).

I took a couple of different shots of this view before I got the balanced rocks where they needed to go. This image required some creative work in Lightroom…or maybe I should say, a bit more work than my usual 1 minute adjustments.

Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent. F4 @ 1/250th @ ISO 80. Landscape Program. (For more on Landscape Program see the P&S piece mentioned above.)

In Lightroom, Recovery for the sky, Fill Light for the foreground. Blackpoint right. Added Clarity and Vibrance. Reduced Brightness overall. Reduced Contrast. Graduated Filter effect pulled down diagonally from the top right corner across the top half of the image to reduce exposure even more for the bright area of clouds. Sharpen landscape preset.

From San Diego 2010.