Category

Carlsbad

South Carlsbad Reminiscing

California, Carlsbad, Stories, Surf

When I was a kid, my family would drive down from Newport Beach to spend a week or two each summer camping at South Carlsbad State Beach with two other families. This was going on 30+ years ago. (Now you know how old I am; everyone looks like a grom to me.) Back then we just had fun and didn’t ruminate over things too much. Now I realize how excellent these trips were. For a boogie-boarding wanna-be grom, mornings in the surf here were heaven. Our parents gave us all the freedom we could want. The 10 of us kids, plus friends who we might bring along, had the run of the beach and surf while the old folks would kick back and keep half an eye on us from up on the bluffs. We would get up early, crawl out of our sand-filled sleeping bags, grab our boards and fins, double-time it down the wooden stairs and paddle out over glass. Sometimes it was clear, other times overcast. The north county bottlenose dolphins, the ones that inhabit the coastline and forage for fish in the rips, would often swim by just outside the break, same as they do today. We knew they were dolphins but also half-imagined that they were sharks; I was sort of nervous around them. We would have wave after wave all to ourselves with not another person in the water for hours as far up and down as we could see. I suppose everyone was at work. Most of Carlsbad was undeveloped, agricultural land or just empty, so there was no pressure on this break. I would spend so many hours catching waves my Churchills wore holes in my heels.

I have been catching some of that old vibe shooting photos in the water. I realize the shots I am trying to score are not those of surfers and other people but rather of sunlight, empty breaking waves, barrels closing out, blue-green water and the mist that hangs over the coast just before the sun is high enough to burn it all off — these are the images etched in my mind from our Carlsbad camping weeks. Nowadays I live 2 minutes from South Carlsbad State Beach, how is that for coming full circle? My fins are longer, hair is shorter, however I still like to be in the waves from the campground down to the Ponto jetties. A kid again.

ponto
Those are the south Ponto bluffs looking toward Leucadia in the background. Some damn developer is planning on building a hotel or something on that spot. Travesty.

ponto
Ponto jetties, the entrance to Batiquitos lagoon, are just visible if you squint real hard. I live on that hill back there.

Fire Breathing Dragon

California, Carlsbad, Surf

**As of August 2012, I am using Delmar Housing Projects for my Canon 5D Mark III. The lens I prefer to use is the 16-35 f/2.8 II. The first couple sessions with this rig: first and second.**

More surf photos.

My approach to photography is not particularly rigorous or diligent. In fact, it is random and haphazard. A good friend of mine has several times referred to my technique as “machine-gun-fire.” My thinking is that if I spray enough frames around during the course of a shoot, odds are one of them will be a keeper. I adhere to the ancient Zen saying that Even a blind squirrel sometimes finds a nut. In keeping with this philosophy (of shooting as many frames as I can and worrying about it later) I replaced my 20D with a wildly fast 1DIIN (my other camera being a relatively slow 1DsII). This thing is a fire breathing dragon. It fires off 8.5 frames a second, continuously, and doesn’t even begin to slow until I have blazed 20-30 frames. Not only that but I got 500 shots this morning before the camera was full — that is a lot of photos. 8.5 frames a second is twice as fast as any of my other cameras, so I can shoot twice as many frames in a day which means, assuming averages hold, I will get twice as many keepers. Twice the keepers means I am now twice as good as I was before and I should expect twice as many photo sales. Sound reasoning.

I took the new camera out for a test drive this morning at Ponto, wrapped in the beautiful new Delmar camera housing that Erik Hjermstad just built for me last week. Conditions were nice, glassy, sunny, warm. It was fun. Here are a few shots.

Breaking wave, Ponto, South Carlsbad

Breaking wave, Ponto, South Carlsbad.
Image ID: 17679
Location: Ponto, Carlsbad, California, USA

Breaking wave, Ponto, South Carlsbad

Breaking wave, Ponto, South Carlsbad.
Image ID: 17680
Location: Ponto, Carlsbad, California, USA

Fireworks at the Aviara Four Seasons

Carlsbad

Happy 4th of July! The Aviara Four Seasons Hotel in South Carlsbad, just around the corner from our house, shoots off 4th of July fireworks each year. Sarah and I set up the lawn chairs on the edge of the 17th fairway at 9pm tonight to check it out — it was pretty good. I wonder, however, if this was the last fireworks display Aviara will be allowed to offer, seeing as they started a fire in the nearby brush that required fire department assistance to extinguish…

Aviara Four Seasons Carlsbad Fireworks, Oceanlight.com

Photos of Batiquitos Lagoon in Spring

California, Carlsbad, Wildflowers

Batiquitos Lagoon, bordering Carlsbad and La Costa in northern San Diego County, is experiencing a fantastic display of spring flowers and plants. The hills bordering the lagoon are as verdant as we can ever recall seeing them, covered with lots of yellow flowers and deep green foliage. Now is a good time to check out any of the lagoons in north county. For more information: Batiquitos Lagoon, San Elijo Lagoon, Aqua Hedionda Lagoon, and San Dieguito Lagoon.

Keywords: Batiquitos lagoon photos, wildflowers, spring, photograph.