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Back to Thousand Steps Yet Again

I returned yet again to Thousand Steps beach in Laguna last night. This time, it was with a private student for an on-location lesson. We went to the cave that I mentioned in my previous post and made our way through. The tide was low, but still higher than last time, which made getting through quite a bit more difficult. Compounded with the sharp, slippery rocks and the darkness later on, we had a hell of a time getting there.

The shot below is the one I really wanted to get last time, but wasn't able to pull it off. This time went a little better. I learned from my previous experience, knew where to put myself and figured out how to get decent exposure in both the foreground and background.

Thousand Steps Cave

I wanted to include a bit of the ceiling of the cave off to the right of the frame in order to show that I was in a cave and not just on the open shore. The reflections in the tide pools helped bring some light to the dark foreground and some split NDs allowed me to get the sky in range for the exposure. Lucky for me, the moon drifted in to the perfect spot just in time.

I also snapped a silhouette of my student getting her pictures of the sunset. Extra points to her for not giving up despite the extraordinarily tough trek into the cave.

Thousand Steps Cave

No doubt I'll be returning several times to come in order to master this location. It's one of the toughest I've shot in for awhile!

Tip of the Cap to Kim Murphy

I wanted to give a little tip of the cap to my long-time and current student Kim Murphy! She recently entered a piece to the Orange County Fair photography contest and received a ribbon for second place! This is really a huge achievement as this is no small contest! The competition is steep and many. So Congratulations, Kim, for an excellent piece and for having the guts to get it out there - and win!

Kim has come such a long way since I first started with her. Her work has progressed immensely and her knowledge of photography is now far above average. When I first started with Kim, she was, let's say, a little bit intimidated by her camera and the concepts of shutter speed, aperture and ISO (I hope I'm not speaking out of line here, Kim!). But now she handles equipment like a pro, her work is leaps and bounds above the vast majority of landscape shooters out there and she's loving every minute of it!

Kim, I am so proud of you and I can't begin to communicate how impressed I am with your progress! Keep up the excellent work!