It’s difficult to find a coastline more photogenic than Ruby Beach, located 26 miles south of the town of Forks. One of the best high views of Ruby Beach can be seen from the edge of the parking lot. From there, it’s a quarter-mile walk down the trail to the beach. Cedar Creek fills with spring run-off and blocks access to the north end of the beach after heavy rains. The south end of Ruby Beach offers views of the lighthouse on Destruction Island, four miles offshore. Small stone cobbles cover Ruby Beach. From the size of a penny to 6-8 inches across, they make fascinating patterns for a creative photographer. A large photo mural of these stones cover the walls of a McDonald’s in Hoquiam, a city farther down this coast.
On a cool winter day at Huntington Beach Pier there may be a hundred surfers, in their black neoprene wet suits, out there paddling around, waiting for another big wave. Instead of shooting surfers from the beach, move up to a higher camera angle to avoid including the sky in your photographs. Climb the stairs to the upper level of the pier and walk out to the point where the big waves are breaking. The peak of any surfing action will be happening right below you. A 300 mm telephoto lens is just right for shooting surfers riding the curls late in the afternoon when the low angle of the sun catches spray thrown up by their boards. A shutter speed of at least 1/2000 of a second is needed to freeze the action. You may have to increase your ISO setting. Shoot a few tests to fine-tune your exposures, set your shooting mode to “S” for shutter priority, and set your exposure mode to “continuous.” This is the kind of sports action that digital cameras were made for.
Four miles south of Santa Monica, Venice Beach is a great place to photograph everything from beach bums to costumed drag queens dancing through a carnival sideshow atmosphere. One-and-a-half miles of beachside shops offer T-shirts, tattoos, bike rentals, surf shops, food, fortune-tellers, jugglers, plenty of bizarre art, and head shop wares. Rastafarian musicians skate along the beach past conga drum bands and wild-haired performers pounding on old pianos sitting in the sand. Muscle Beach is part of this ocean front walk.
I found some of my favorite angles of the Santa Monica Pier a half-mile north, looking across the wide sandy beach, through small groves of palms framing the Ferris wheel. Bicyclists and skaters add a nice touch to these static shots. For two days, I couldn’t stop shooting and went home with hundreds more digital images to sort and edit. This is a great location for video and sound recording gear.
I found this scene along a country road on Prince Edward Island, located to the west of Nova Scotia’s Cape Bretton Island and northeast of New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island is Canada’s smallest province. Photographers looking for new images will discover many lighthouses, working lobster harbors, red sand beaches, and fascinating historic villages.
All of the island’s railroad tracks have been replaced with hiking and biking trails. You’ll find wildflowers scattered everywhere in the spring. Your favorite autumn colors paint the forests in early October. A new toll bridge, called the Confederation Bridge, is a faster way to reach the island. One of the old ferries are still in operation. My newsletter issue #131 - Prince Edward Island, Canada has the information you’ll need to plan your trip to PEI.
Notes and images from Bob Hitchman.