Pride of Madiera!

Location: Bixby Bridge, CA
Time: Sunrise
EXIF: Canon EOS 7D | EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM | 10mm | f/13 | 1/40s | ISO 400

A plan started brewing Saturday evening to head to Treasure Island for some blue hour photography. Basically, shoot the SF Skyline & Bay Bridge from different locations in Treasure Island during blue hour. The thought was to not worry about whether Sunrise is going to bring good colors or not and just shoot during Blue Hour. I went to bed setting my alarm for early AM to head out to Treasure Island.

When I woke up, I saw that the prediction for Monterey was very good. Golden Hour in Monterey and south was predicted to be have excellent colors. So, I told the guys that Treasure Island may not be a good idea and we should go to Monterey instead. One of my friends was picking me up and he didn’t respond for a while. I really wanted to go to Monterey as the chances of a good Sunrise was high.

Everyone agreed that we’d head to Monterey, specifically, Bixby Bridge. One of my friends picked me up and we went to another spot to pickup another friend of ours. He got delayed and that put us behind schedule by about 15 to 20 minutes. We then drove to Scotts Valley to pickup another friend of ours. With a packed car, we headed to Bixby Bridge.

When we got there, it was still blue hour. It was extremely cold and windy. The recommendation from Escaype was to face South, which is the direction we would face when shooting Bixby Bridge anyway. We waited in the car for a few minutes as it was too cold outside. After a few minutes of waiting, we decided to go out and start shooting.

It was still blue hour so we were trying to find the right composition. Time went by and we didn’t see any colors. It completely skunked. I was so disappointed. This was a long drive and to not see any colors was truly disappointing. We walked up and down PCH 1 to get a good comp. I got a couple of good shots even though there were no colors in the sky.

We were about to leave and one of the guys found this beautiful flower and said it would make a good foreground. These flowers are referred to as the Pride of Madeira. They were positioned in an awkward angle, which made it extremely difficult to shoot. We had to walk down the hill and stand in a very small space to get the shot.

When I went there, I tried a few shots. I first tried putting the flowers in the left; then in the center; and then I tried putting the flowers in the right of the frame. From a comp stand-point, I liked this the most. I actually sat down on a branch to get this shot. Having my ultra-wide angle lens definitely helped.

As I said, the sky did not have any colors. Actually, it did have some colors but definitely nothing compared to what was predicted. I had to bring colors in post processing, which wasn’t really difficult to do but would have loved to see more colors. I shot this hand-held so I bumped the ISO to get a sharp photo. I like how the photo turned out but wish I had done a couple of things differently. I should have move a little bit to the left to see if I could get all the flowers. As you can see, some of the flowers are hidden. Not sure if this is possible but I could have tried. Another thing is to leave a bit of room on the right so the rock is not on the extreme right.

 

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