We had another gorgeous San Diego sunset last night. For more from this set, click a photo to go to the full gallery.
All afternoon we had small puffball clouds in the sky from a rainstrom that had just passed through that morning. I’ve been thinking about shooting a twilight this weekend, and I had just enough time to make it to Bird Rock to see the sun fall under the horizon. Most people go home after that, but it’s an amazing time to shoot. There was a lone gull standing on the rock and admiring the sunset himself. The clouds had all rolled out by then, with just a few stragglers left behind.
Obviously, I played with the colors more than usual, but I find that this type of fading light lends itself to that for a very good reason. Our eyes are very good at seeing color during the day, but at night, the color receptors in our eyes (cones) don’t work as well, so our brains rely more on the brightness receptors (rods) which greatly outnumber the cones.
We don’t always realize it, but our night vision is predominantly black and white. Our memory of the colors of night can be manipulated very easily, because we think we have more experience visualizing colors at night than we actually do. So, I can present several looks to the same rocks which look like they could have been captured in camera like that on different nights.
These shots might look bright, but standing there it was actually quite dark. After a four-minute exposure to get the necessary exposure, I found that lots of different color schemes gave their own meaning to the rocks, sky and water.
After I tripped the shutter, I realized there was a northbound plane that was going to slice right through my frame. I agonized for a couple minutes about when I should close the shutter and stop the plane’s lights from moving through the rest of the frame, and balance that with the correct exposure. In the end, I think I made the best choice, leaving the plane in one third of the frame, with the rock in the middle and some clouds in the right third.
One other thing that struck me was how much bigger that hole looked. It’s more of an arch now, and I imagine it will erode down to a toothpick in the next year or two. Here’s a shot from the first time I was here, not even two years ago:
I’d love to be there on that day to capture half or bird rock falling into the sea.