Thursday, March 12, 2009

2009 02 21 Lighthouses

Since Yosemite was booked up for the weekend with Firefalls photography workshops and camera clubs, Friday meant deciding do we all go home, go to the desert or hit the coast.

The coast won.
Santa Cruz
Saturday morning was a good time to go to the Santa Cruz Lighthouse and Natural Bridges Parks. The surf was up and being enjoyed by the surfers, human and otter. Photos of the surfers are here They surf close to the bluff, these are all full frame (for a Canon 40d) 300mm photos. It was windy and the water was cold, but that did not seem to stop the surfers from catching some nice waves.
Pigeon Point Lighthouse was calling from up the coast, so the GPS was set and off we went.

The lighthouse has a hostel that operates in the keepers quarts, a few open museum buildings, but the actual lighthouse itself is fenced off because the salty sea air has caused some damage to the metal band that holds the lighthouse together. A chunk fell off, there is a group raising funds to repair the lighthouse, but for now images include a chain link fence.
The view from across the bay included some tide pools that would have been fun to explore, but the tide was in and the wind was howling. A storm was expected for later in the day.
While looking at the gift shop, there was a post card from the Montara Lighthouse just up the coast a bit further. The trip was now a lighthouse tour, so off to the next light.
Half Moon Bay
Montara Lighthouse also has a hostel operating in the keepers building and was not as impressive as the postcard. But it was still interesting and had a pretty garden to add to the foreground.
It was more of a challenge to loose the No Parking signs and plastic lawn chairs.
Since driving further north would bring us to San Francisco, it was time to head south and see where we would end up for the night.
The rain was finally starting to catch up with us, the sky was closed and the hoped for sunset did not happen, but there still was the Point Pinos Lighthouse and a dinner and the much talked about Fishwife Restaurant.
I could not figure out what I was doing wrong while trying to get a clear shot with my 300mm f4IS lens. I had the tripod out, the remote cord in use, even the mirror was locked up.....after a frustrating few minutes I realized, I also had the IS on and not turned off.....ooops. And yes it does make a difference if you forget and leave it on!
Click on the photos for links to photo galleries.

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