Heartbreak happens to all of us and can wash over us like the in rushing tide. We are soaked with grief, and the overflow is channeled into the body. Loss becomes a physical emptiness with feelings that often cannot be put into words. The idea of healing can seem so enormous that often we don’t even try for fear of further damage. This leaves an enduring mark upon us and by no means does recognizing that this is not permanent dull its sting for it is the sting itself that stimulates healing. The pain is letting us know that we need to pay attention to our emotional selves, to listen to our feelings and be in them fully. There is a saying that time heals all wounds, and this may be true to some degree. Time tends to dull the pain. Most importantly, open yourself to the possibility of loving, trusting, and believing again. When, someday soon, you emerge from the cushion of your grief, you will see that the universe did not cease to be as you nursed your broken heart. You emerge on the other side of the mending, stronger for all you have experienced.
I discovered this fissure in the rock at Sunset Cliff’s in San Diego during a low tide at sunset. It is quite a challenge to get to the beach from the cliffs above, the final descent is down a 30 embankment where a rope has been secured to assist hardy souls getting up and down – a beginners introduction to rappelling of sorts. Having a hefty Manfrotto Tripod and a pack full of photo gear made this even more fun! The waves were quite vigorous this afternoon and this called for a Neutral Density Filter which allowed a 30 second exposure to smooth things out and capture the many tiny waterfalls. I used a Variable ND from Singh-Ray on a 10-20mm lens. Mounting the tripod on a sturdy rock outcrop stabilized the shot with the tide sweeping around its feet (and mine). There are many such geographical features along the coast of Southern California which emerge during the low tide and will be subject of further exploration in the coming years!
Please have a look to our website http://www.kerstenbeck.com for more scenic landscapes and other gems which would look amazing framed and on your wall!
Thanks so much for the visit!
Transformation is a universal constant that affects our lives from the moment we are born until we leave earthly existence behind. At the root of all growth, we find change. Occasionally, change and the circumstances leading up to it are a source of extraordinary joy, but more often than not they provoke feelings of discomfort, fear, or pain. Though many changes are unavoidable, we should not believe that we are subject to the whims of an unpredictable universe. It is our response to those circumstances that will dictate the nature of our experiences. At the heart of every transformation, no matter how chaotic, there is substance. When we no longer resist change and instead regard it as an opportunity to grow, we find that we are far from helpless in the face of it.
Our role as masters of our own destinies is cemented when we choose to make change work in our favor. Yet before we can truly internalize this power, we must accept that we cannot hide from the changes taking place all around us. Existence as we know it will come to an end at one or more points in our lives, making way for some new and perhaps unexpected mode of being. This transformation will take place whether or not we want it to, and so it is up to us to decide whether we will open our eyes to the blessings hidden amidst disorder or close ourselves off from opportunities hiding behind obstacles.
To make change work for you, look constructively at your situation and ask yourself how you can benefit from the transformation that has taken place. As threatening as change can seem, it is often a sign that a new era of your life has begun. If you reevaluate your plans and goals in the days or weeks following a major change, you will discover that you can adapt your ambition to the circumstances before you and even capitalize on these changes. Optimism, enthusiasm, and flexibility will aid you greatly here, as there is nothing to be gained by dwelling on what might have been. Change can hurt in the short-term but, if you are willing to embrace it proactively, its lasting impact will nearly always be physically, spiritually, and intellectually transformative.
This was shot one evening on the beach in Del Mar, California before covering a Press Event for a local Artist. The smooth waves and ripples were achieved by using a very long shutter speed (30 seconds ) and letting the waves wash over the sand. Using a Neutral density filter, the available light was reduced by 6 stops – these filters are great for making silly waterfalls, flowing rivers, musty waves etc. Also, and often overlooked, one can use these filters in strong sunlight to control the exposure to allow portraits to be shot with a wide open aperture. There are many manufacturers of such filters, this one was from Singh-Ray. Lee, B&H and other also make great products – The Big Stopper by Lee is a 10 stop Neutral Density filter, which can allow exposures of several minutes – awesome for moving clouds against fixed foregrounds!
This image is available for purchase on our website http://www.kerstenbeck.com/International/Domestic-Landscape/23603331_JrbKxX#!i=2293421194&k=9X4jJsP&lb=1&s=A
….or just drop by and have a look around!
Some people seem called to help others, responding to the needs of family members, strangers, or even animals with a selflessness that is truly impressive. Often, these people appear to have very few needs of their own focusing their lives on rescuing and helping others. While there are a few people who are truly able to sustain this giving lifestyle, the vast majority have needs that lie beneath the surface, unmet and often unseen. Perhaps, their motivation to help others may be an extension of a deep desire to heal part of themselves that is starving for the kind of love and attention they dole out selflessly to those around them on a daily basis. Sometimes, they are unable to give themselves the love they need and so they give it to others. This does not mean that they are not meant to help others, but it does mean that they would do well to turn some of that helping energy within. One problem with the rescuer model is that the individual can get stuck in the role, always living in crisis mode at the expense of inner peace and personal growth. Until the person resolves their own inner dramas, they play them out in their relationships with others, are drawn to those who need them. In the worst-case scenario, they enable the other person’s dilemma by not knowing when to stop playing the rescuer and allow the person to figure it out on their own. However, if the rescuer finds the strength to turn within and face the needy aspects of their own psyche, he or she can become a model of empowerment and a true source of strength in the world.
We found this lone life guard rescue craft while exploring underneath a pair in Santa Monica, California. We seem to have an affinity to go underneath piers to explore the dark, damp, salty realms and more than often we find wonderful treasures of textures, colors, smells – or sometimes just fascinating geometries. It was impossible not to notice this bright red vessel which provided a powerful focal point to this image. In the distance, there is a compelling myriad of posts vanishing into the bright light of the day – perhaps symbolic of the complexities and uncertainties which lie before us. Taken with a tripod mounted Nikon D90, using a small lens aperture (great depth of field or focus) and slow shutter speed (more light) allowed us to capture the details of the boat and surrounding sand as well as bring to light the beauty of the underbelly of this iconic pier.
The time we are blessed with is limited and tends to be used up all too quickly, so how we use that time is one of the most important decisions we make. It is far too easy to put off until tomorrow what we are dreaming of today. Our hectic daily pace affords us an easy out; we shelve our aspirations so we can cope more effectively with the challenges of the present, in order to have more time and leisure to realize our dreams in the future. Or we tell ourselves that we will chase our dreams someday once we have accomplished other lesser goals. In truth, it is our fear that keeps us from seeking fulfillment in the here and now—because we view failure as a possibility, our reasons for delaying our inevitable success seem sound and rational. If we ask ourselves what we are really waiting for, however, we discover that there is no truly compelling reason why we should put off the pursuit of the dreams that sustain us. All the joy, passion, and contentment you can envision can be yours right now, rather than in some far-flung point in time. You need only remind yourself that there is nothing standing between you and fulfillment if you decide that today is the day you will take your destiny into your hands.
This was shot at Huntington Beach in California. We were exploring the wondrous undersides of this pier – we tend to do that searching for a good opportunity for some dramatic High Dynamic Range shots (HDR). When we found what we were looking for and were about to head off to our next destination, we spotted this lone surfer, patiently waiting for The Perfect Wave.
Often, we spend so much time reacting and responding to everyone else that life seems to have no personal direction. Other people’s lives, problems, and wants set the course. Once we realize that it is okay to think about and identify what we want, remarkable things will begin to take place! It is not lack of time which tends to be the problem – we all have 24 hours each day. Stop looking at the speedometer and keep an eye on the compass! If you advance confidently in the direction of your dreams and live the life you have imagined, you will meet success. Put some things behind you and pass through invisible and imagined barriers. Here is a short verse by Ella Wheeler Wilcox which is fitting for the image for today:
One ship sails East and another sails West, with the same winds that blow.
It’s the set of the sails, and not the gales, that tells them the way to go.
Like the winds of the sea, are the ways of fate;
As we voyage through life, it’s the set of the soul that decides our goal
And not the calm, or the strife.
This is another shot from the Embarcadero in San Fransico, California, taken early one morning as the fog from the Bay was burning away. The entire area is a treasure trove for Photographers – old buildings, fishing boats, unique individuals, crab traps, great food and drink, a submarine… the list goes on. Here we were shooting the long lines of piers as they extended into the misty Bay when a Tall Ship appeared as if by magic. Using our tripod mounted Nikon D90 (10mm, f19, 1/8sec, ISO100, remote shutter release), we quickly aligned the ship with the lines of the piers and shot three exposures. Later these were combined with Photomatix to bring the entire dynamic range of the light to bear. No sooner than we had executed this, the ship had passed!
Like millions of other people today, you will have noticed being a bit more stressed when going about your daily activities, such as commuting, the challenges of the home or workplace. How often have you had your day planned to perfection when, out of the blue, you are inundated with some urgent and important request that requires immediate attention. It is like when you are on the beach and are unexpectedly hit by a rogue wave – suddenly you are knocked down and struggling for breath!
Priorities are like big rocks. If you fill your bucket full of pebbles (small demands) and you have a major crisis (children, financial, health, creative opportunity etc), these major events are big rocks. You no longer have room in your bucket for the things that matter the most in your life. Always think of the big rocks first with a resounding “yes”. You can always say “no” to things, which to others, may seem urgent but not important. Whatever the circumstances, it is living and being driven by the principles you value most, not by urgent agendas and forces surrounding you.
This image is from the South Island of New Zealand, shot in July (Winter), just a bit south from Westport. In the Winter, the beaches are wonderfully vacant of tourists, with the exception of the rogue Photographers, as most have headed further south and up into the mountains to experience the fantastic downhill skiing. To get capture the entire dynamic range of the light during this early morning, three shots were taken using varying exposure values and then combined with a software program called Photomatix. New Zealand is a treasure to visit and a diamond in the raw for Photographers!
We are all carrying a lot of excess baggage such as resentments, fear, jealousy, self-pity, and dishonesty. This is a huge burden to us and now would be a good time to let it go. Forgiveness involves forgetting, releasing and moving on. When something is removed, it is always filled with something else. If you let go of your defects and replace them with assets, serenity and peace will fill the void.
Dag Hammarskjold one wrote, “Forgiveness breaks the chains of causality, because he who “forgives” you – out of love – takes upon himself he consequences of what you have done. Forgiveness, therefore, always entails a sacrifice.”
This image was shot off the coast of Maui in Hawaii. The clouds were lingering on the horizon and rolling off the neighbouring island to the right, we set up our gear and took in this beautufil and calm vista. There were few, if any, people at this location, and the gentle wash of the waves and soft trade winds were soothing to the soul. We bundled up some of our negative energy, put it into a “bag” and tossed it into the sea.
Since a young age, we are taught to value speed and getting things done quickly, forging ahead at a frantic pace – after all doing is more valuable than being, right? Yet as we surge forward in search of some elusive sense of fulfillment, we often find ourselves feeling strangely disconnected….we fail to notice the simple beauty of living. When we learn to slow down, we rediscover the significance of seemingly inconsequential aspects of life. In essence, we give ourselves the gift of time—time to indulge our curiosity, to enjoy the moment, to appreciate worldly wonders, to sit and think, to connect with others, and to explore our inner landscapes more fully. A life savored slowly does not need to be passive, inefficient, or slothful. Conducting ourselves at a slower pace enables us to be selective in how we spend our time and to fully appreciate each passing moment.
This is a shot from La Jolla, California. We spent hours exploring the area, thinking of where the sun was eventually going to set, looking for interesting foreground and background and just taking in the briny smell of the sea, listening to the onrush of the waves and soaking in the sun. We waded through the surf to a lone rocky outcrop, set up our camera and tripod and waited patiently for the sun and the surf – this was not a one snap wonder but took place over the space of around 30 minutes. In the background you can see the Life Guard Towers at Children’s Pool where scores of seals bask in the sun and surf and give birth to their pups. You may also notice the huge waves as they are breaking, eventually sweeping into the cove (and inundating these Photographers in often thigh high water). The concept here was to contrast the dynamic rush of the waves with the tranquil descent of the sun at the end of another glorious day.
Serenity means maintaining a sense of inner peace even in difficult situations. We gain serenity by accepting the things we cannot change and focusing our energy where we can make a difference. Fear, anger or desire can create a sense of urgency that triggers us to react impulsively. When this happens, we risk undermining our goals, damaging relationships–even violating our deepest values. By contrast, when we cultivate serenity, we don’t fear our emotions, but we do keep them in balance. We govern ourselves rather than being ruled by external circumstances and our feelings about them. Peace is present right here and now, in ourselves and in everything we do and see. Every breath we take, every step we take, can be filled with peace, joy, and serenity. The question is whether or not we are in touch with it. We need only to be awake, alive in the present moment .
This was shot mid-morning from The Embarcadero in San Fransisco. The Nikon D90 equipped with a wide-angle lens and polarizing filter was stabilized by hand against a sturdy post. Ordinarily a tri-pod would be used along with a remote shutter release and mirror lock-up to avoid camera shake. What struck me this morning was the calmness of the vista, smell of the ocean…and how quiet everything was. In the distance, the fog was burning off the bay which eventually exposed Alcatraz.
If you’re like me, at the end of the day you’re tired, not looking for a fight, but willing to stand your ground…just like with this modern and irritating verbal crutch. It somehow indicates closure or synopsis, and is used by people who are incapable of finishing a sentence without incorporating at least one tired cliché. It’s hard to escape it. You hear it in meetings, in dinner conversation and, of course, all over the radio and TV.
The past forms one parameter of our experience, while the future creates an area of hopes, dreams and wishes. We attempt to live today in between the two. If events of yesterday or tomorrow color today too much, today gets lost because time passes without conscious appreciation of what is happening now. If we invest in the future with many hopes, fantasies and dreams of what might be, we often overlook a present moment rich with its own gifts and beauty.
Being in the now sharpens our senses; our eyes to see and our ears to hear. We detect moments of opportunity with heightened senses, and we experience an enriched awareness of ourselves – our inner and outer motivations creating a more profound life. With this image at La Jolla Cove in California, one can hear almost hear the crashing of the distant waves and the swoosh of the outushing water revealing tranquility below in the tide pool.
Taken with a Nikon D90 and Sigma 10-20mm wide angle lens mounted on a tripod, using a slow shutter speed and a polarizing filter to pierce the reflections on the water, the intention was to capture dynamics of the ebb and flow of the sea.
Dont’ let yesterday use too much of today!
Another day of the conference and one of the things that most love watching in Hawaii is how the waves “roll” over… they are quite beautiful, peaceful and you can honestly just sit & watch them all day long. This shot was again taken in Maui by Erik, and he used the trusty Nikon D7000 mounted on a sturdy Manfrotto Tripod. The silky texture of the in and outrush of the waves was achieved using a slow shutter speed. Although the light was quite harsh at the time, he screwed on a variable Neutral Density Filter to the lens which cut down on the available light to the sensor, allowing a slow shutter. For me, I love the colors that are coming through – just beautiful. Drop us a note if you would like to understand a bit more about neutral Density Filters and all the awesome things they allow your creative vision to attain.
Once we left the beauty of Napa, we headed down to Monterey, CA where we had booked 2 nights at the Centrella Inn- I made sure that we got a “cottage” because I wanted to have the full kitchen, living area- antique bed- you name it- I made sure it was done up nice…. BUT, one thing I did not count on was the newly married couple on the 2nd floor of our cottage using their antique squeaky bed at random hours of the day & night!! Full occupancy, no way to get out of the cottage into another room.. it was like rabbits were on the floor above us.
But all in all it was a fabulous trip- we loved the view walking from Monterey to Pacific Grove and now since that time I have done the Big Sur Half Marathon 3 times with my girlfriends- each time we run past that cottage all I can think about are the rabbits and our no sleep nights!!
Please enjoy the shots- I must have shot that tree at least 75 times just trying to get the money shot.
This continues our Series of shots from under Piers in California. We love exploring the dark underside to capture the colours and surprises which abound. This was during a shoot with a great East Coast Photographer, Jerry Denham. We sought refuge under the Pier at Pacific Beach in California during a torrential downpour….only to find even more beauty!
We set up tripods and put Neutral Density Filters on our lenses to allow long shutter speeds. This allows the on rushing waves to get smokey and dreamy. Here we wanted to have this Kelp as a focus point. The trick was to capture the outrush of the waves to draw the eye to the inrush of the waves….they were huge and we got soaked!
All in a days work!
We took this shot after spending a great day with fellow Photographer, Jerry Denham who was in town from the East Coast. We scurried around under Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach, got soaked by rain, covered with salty sand, blown by fierce winds….and had a super time capturing a spectacular stormy sunset. It is what Photographers do – recall some previous posts. After dropping Jerry off at his Hotel, we stopped to admire the lights of San Diego.
Setting the camera on a sturdy Manfrotto Tripod, this was a 13 second exposure, f9 and ISO100. This allowed for the waves in the harbour to be smoothed out – also notice the boat on the right rocking back and forth during the 13 seconds, this adds some life to what might have been a static shot!
Due to all the varying light temperatures of the scene (Incandescent, Sodium Vapour etc), we left the camera on Auto White Balance and then corrected in post processing using Nikon Capture NX2 Software. In order to be able to do this, you must shoot in RAW (or as Nikon calls it, NEFF) and not in JPG. In RAW, you can correct exposure to a certain degree, White Balance and several other parameters without damaging the original image – not that we ever need to do anything in post! 😉
Thanks for the kind visit, Kathleen and Erik
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This was shot the evening after three days of bad weather in the San Diego area. A storm brought cold, wet a dreary climate to the area, and some much-needed rainfall. It was a nice change to our usual “Sunny and Seventy” climate – some say being a Weather Forecaster here is the easiest job in the world! I again had the privilege to shoot this scene with a renowned Photographer, Jerry Denham, how again taught me all sorts of tips and tricks… Thanks Jerry! Here, we mounted a 70-200mm lens on a Nikon D7000 and used an 8 second shutter to smooth out the rough surf – it was windy, rainy and violent this day, but using this technique one can hardly tell.
Pacific Beach was developed during the boom years of 1886-1888 by D.C. Redd A. G. Gassen, Charles W. Pauley, R. A. Thomas, and O. S. Hubbell. It was Hubbell who “cleared away the grain fields, pitched a tent, mapped out the lots, hired an auctioneer and started to work”. To attract people, they built a Race Track and a San Diego College of Letters, neither of which survive today. A railway also connected Pacific Beach with downtown San Diego, and was later extended to La Jolla.
As with many California cities, the history of its development can be traced back to the completion of a cross-country railroad in the late 1880s. Lots in 1902 sold for between $350–700 for ocean-front property and by 1950, the population of Pacific Beach reached 30,000 and the average home sold for $12,000. Today, homes can sell for millions.
This was shot during a Whale Watching cruise off the shores of San Diego. During the return trip, with smooth following seas, this Pelican tracked the motion of the boat from the stern and executed a perfect and graceful landing on the back handrail. She was clearly looking for a snack, but was happy to ride along for close to 20 minutes.
The Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) is the smallest of the eight species of pelican, although it is a large bird in nearly every other regard. It is 42–54 inches in length, weighs from 6.1 to 12 lb and has a wingspan 6.0 to 8.2 ft.
The Brown Pelican occurs on coasts in the Americas from Washington and Virginia south to northern Peru and the mouth of the Amazon River. Some immature birds may stray to inland freshwater lakes. After nesting, North American birds move in flocks further north along the coasts, returning to warmer waters for winter. Their young are hatched in broods of about 3, and eat around 150 lbs. of fish in the 8–10 month period they are cared for.
This bird is distinguished from the American White Pelican by its brown body and its habit of diving for fish from the air, as opposed to co-operative fishing from the surface. It eats mainly fish and amphibians as well as crustaceans. Groups of Brown Pelicans often travel in single file, flying low over the water’s surface.
This was shot at dusk during a heavy Marine Layer. I wanted to accentuate the myriad of textures and colors of the exposed kelp and sea creatures on the rocks as the tide was out but coming in strong. Timing was critical as one can see the huge waves on the horizon about to wash over this scene (and the photographer).
Asilomar Beach covers the western edge of Pacific Grove on the Monterey Penninsula. The southern portion is a broad white sand beach which leads away from Ocean View Boulevard into Pebble Beach property.
The northern portion of Asilomar Beach consists of rugged rock outcroppings with a few small beaches between them. Everything is connected by a network of pathways. The landscape has been restored with native vegetation after decades of being covered with South African iceplant. It’s a great place for walking and is probably the best place on the Peninsula to watch a sunset…and take a few photos. www.kerstenbeck.com
I am fascinated by tidepools and love to shoot them with a long shutter speed, polarizing filter, wide angle lens and wet feet! The waves were quite strong, but the slow shutter helped to smooth out the water. I like all of the sea critters on the rocks waiting for their next submersion!
more at http://www.kerstenbeck.com
This image was shot from the Coronado side of the San Diego Bay with a 10-20mm zoom wide angle. The ultra long exposure smoothed out the ripples on the Bay and drew out the lights from the city. The orange cast is from Sodium Vapour lights which help prevent light pollution for the observatory on Mt. Palomar. More at http://www.kerstenbeck.com
I love shooting HDR underneath piers. There are always surprising textures and colors to be discovered. The Redondo Beach Pier is massive, with places to eat, Pubs and even a concert venue. And the occasional photographer lurking underneath! Latest updates are at http://www.kerstenbeck.com
While shooting along San Francisco’s Enbarcadero, this mystery ship emerged out of the thick Marine Layer of the Bay. Could it be The Flying Dutchman?
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I love shooting the tidepools at La Jolla, or anywhere for that matter, so many details in the foreground and sweeping Coastlines. Taken with a Nikon D90, 10mm lens , tripod, 3 shot HDR, mirror up, live view, remote release, wet shoes!
more at http://www.kerstenbeck.com
Ok it is official! I live under a pier in California, or so it would seem with all the under the pier shots I take. I love the leading lines, textures, surprising colors and other treasures like the occasional Red Boat.
….more at http://www.kerstenbeck.com