Brian's Photo Blog — Article 383
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Splashing in the Surf at Surf Beach
Sunday 1 March 2015   —   Category: Outings
While on a January 2015 trip to the California Central Coast, I indulged in a number of photo outings. I’ve already written about my morning hike at Montaña de Oro state park, our planned long walk at Jalama Beach — where we encountered a distressed sea lion — which was thwarted by the high tide, as well as our visit to the historic La Purisima Mission in Lompoc.

Next we headed back to the coast — west this time instead of southwest (the direction of Jalama) — to the Santa Ynez River estuary at Ocean Beach Park / Surf Beach.

A moderately short walk brought us to the sea shore, where my thirteen-year-old daughter Olivia had a lot of fun jumping and splashing in the surf. In order to capture the action, I set my Olympus OM-D E-M5 camera to a low-speed burst mode. This setting enables the camera to take four pictures per second for as long as I hold down the shutter button. This resulted in some really exciting and interesting photos!

On a side note, the E-M5 can shoot up to nine photos per second in high-speed burst mode, but in the past I have found that for most situations that is way too fast. After some experimentation, I determined that four frames per second was sufficient, and better for my needs. Your milage may vary.

Even though we were at the beach for about half an hour, all of the 181 pictures I took there, except the first two, were captured during the short 15 mintutes Olivia was in the frigid January waters of the Pacific Ocean. Out of that multitude of actions shots, 35 of the best (which includes nine close-up crops) have made it into the new Lompoc Surf Beach 2015 album.

If I am allowed to say so myself, some of these shots of Olivia came out really great! They are reminiscent of the award-winning photo I took of Olivia running through the Oregon surf about three and a half years ago. But the quantity and quality of these new images take things to a whole nother level! Not only are the shapes and shades of the glass-like water fascinating, but so are the diverse expressions on Olivia’s face!

Of course, when it comes to photographing the extraordinary qualities of surf water, my feeble attempts are nothing compared with the incredible shots by award-winning Hawaiian photographer Clark Little. Now that’s truly a whole nother level! After I discovered his work last summer, I was so astounded by it that I splurged and bought his spendy but gorgeous coffee-table book: Shorebreak.

If that book is out of your price range, or if you merely want to see a sample of his work before you buy it, don’t miss the more-than-350 photos in his online gallery / store. But because the images there are low-resolution and watermarked, if you want to see Mr. Little’s photos in all their glorious splendor, then you will definitely want to get his book. Surf’s up!

For the other photo outings from my January trip to California, don’t miss these other articles and albums:
Brian's Photo Blog — Article 383
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