Tag

Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Surfer’s View of Scripps Pier Perfect Sunset, Solar Alignment, La Jolla

San Diego

Twice each year, the sun sets perfectly centered in the long thin window of the Scripps Research Pier pilings. Photographing this event is frankly rather formulaic and straightforward, to the point that people pack the narrow space on the shore between the pier pilings well before the sunset to ensure they have a “spot” when the sun lines up. It’s not a secret photo op nor is it spontaneous, but it is a striking and fleeting sight to see. I met a couple photographer buddies for one of the lineup evenings in 2013 and managed to photograph it reasonably well: Scripps Pier Sunset Perfect Solar Alignment, La Jolla, San Diego, California. This year I gave the matter some thought and realized I just couldn’t bring myself to do the same photo over again, especially with the crowd that forms. How to do it differently and with at least a modicum of spontaneity and physical challenge?

Scripps Pier solstice, surfer's view from among the waves, sunset aligned perfectly with the pier. Research pier at Scripps Institution of Oceanography SIO, sunset, La Jolla, California

Scripps Pier solstice, surfer’s view from among the waves, sunset aligned perfectly with the pier. Research pier at Scripps Institution of Oceanography SIO, sunset.
Image ID: 30150
Location: Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California, USA

After pondering it for a while I realized leaving the shore was really the only option. I spent three afternoons recently photographing the pier using one of my water cam setups — a custom-made surf housing for my Canon 5D Mark III — along with a few pieces of simple but secret equipment to make it all possible. Shooting it from the surfline is pretty tough, the pier does not move of course but the water moves and thus so do I. The sun is only centered below the far end of the pier for a short while, perhaps 30 seconds or less, and getting the camera reasonably high up off the water while positioning the pilings where I wanted them and keeping them vertical was tougher than I thought I would be. The nice part was that even though the solar alignment that makes these sunsets special only really occurred one of the three evenings (and was probably not properly aligned had I been shooting from the shore), it was still great to get wet and enjoy the surf and I landed some new views of the pier I have known since 1981 (ok, including the older pier and this new one). This photograph was the image from that effort with which I am happiest; it seems to capture dark shadows that settle under the pier rapidly as the sun disappears, the thin pastel colors in the clouds, and rapidly moving wavelets of water reverberating through the pilings. Cheers, and thanks for looking!

Scripps Pier, Clouds and Surf, Black and White, La Jolla, California

California, La Jolla

Scripps Pier, La Jolla, California. Cloudy day and small surf. This image was photographed with the relatively new Sony A7R camera. I am really impressed with this camera. If you follow my photography you may know I am not a black and white art photographer, but in this case it seemed to suggest itself. Cheers and thanks for looking!

Scripps Institution of Oceanography research pier, La Jolla, California

Scripps Institution of Oceanography research pier.
Image ID: 29130
Location: Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California, USA

Scripps Pier Sunset Perfect Solar Alignment, La Jolla, San Diego, California

La Jolla, San Diego, Seascapes

SIO Pier Sunset with Sun Framed Within the Pier Pilings

Occasionally the setting sun will be perfectly framed within the pilings the Scripps Institution of Oceanography research pier. This is what the perfect solar alignment through the SIO Pier pilings looks like — it is a spectacular sight! Contact me to inquire about a print for your home or office of this iconic San Diego icon, captured at the peak moment of a rare celestial event. This image is available up to 54″ high x 36″ wide, presented on canvas, metal and traditional photographic substrates. Cheers, and thanks for looking!

Scripps Pier solstice, sunset aligned perfectly with the pier, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California

Scripps Pier solstice, sunset aligned perfectly with the pier.
Image ID: 28478
Location: Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California, USA

Photos of Scripps Pier, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

California, La Jolla, San Diego

Photos of Scripps Pier, La Jolla

Below is the Scripps Institution of Oceanography Research Pier, the pier that supports the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California. The original wooden Scripps Pier was built in 1915 and was replaced by the modern cement pier in 1988. On the hill behind the pier can be seen many of the buildings that make up Scripps Institute of Oceanography. To the left (north) is the southern edge of Black’s Beach, while if one walked along the beach to the right (south) one would come to La Jolla Shores Beach in a few minutes. When I was in grad school I worked in the Norpax building on the far left above the sandstone bluff. Some of the greatest minds in all of science work on this hill, wearing flip-flops as their laser brains study climate change and deep ocean phenomena, and go surfing at the pier at lunch. It’s brutal living in Southern California.

Scripps Pier, predawn abstract study of pier pilings and moving water, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California

Scripps Pier, predawn abstract study of pier pilings and moving water.
Image ID: 26340
Location: Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California, USA

Scripps Pier, sunrise, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California

Scripps Pier, sunrise.
Image ID: 26456
Location: Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California, USA

Research pier at Scripps Institution of Oceanography SIO, sunset, La Jolla, California

Research pier at Scripps Institution of Oceanography SIO, sunset.
Image ID: 26531
Location: Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California, USA

SIO Pier.  The Scripps Institution of Oceanography research pier is 1090 feet long and was built of reinforced concrete in 1988, replacing the original wooden pier built in 1915. The Scripps Pier is home to a variety of sensing equipment above and below water that collects various oceanographic data. The Scripps research diving facility is located at the foot of the pier. Fresh seawater is pumped from the pier to the many tanks and facilities of SIO, including the Birch Aquarium. The Scripps Pier is named in honor of Ellen Browning Scripps, the most significant donor and benefactor of the Institution, La Jolla, California

SIO Pier. The Scripps Institution of Oceanography research pier is 1090 feet long and was built of reinforced concrete in 1988, replacing the original wooden pier built in 1915. The Scripps Pier is home to a variety of sensing equipment above and below water that collects various oceanographic data. The Scripps research diving facility is located at the foot of the pier. Fresh seawater is pumped from the pier to the many tanks and facilities of SIO, including the Birch Aquarium. The Scripps Pier is named in honor of Ellen Browning Scripps, the most significant donor and benefactor of the Institution.
Image ID: 22293
Location: Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California, USA

Scripps Pier, sunrise, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California

Scripps Pier, sunrise.
Image ID: 26458
Location: Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California, USA

Scripps Pier solstice, surfer's view from among the waves, sunset aligned perfectly with the pier. Research pier at Scripps Institution of Oceanography SIO, sunset, La Jolla, California

Scripps Pier solstice, surfer’s view from among the waves, sunset aligned perfectly with the pier. Research pier at Scripps Institution of Oceanography SIO, sunset.
Image ID: 30150
Location: Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California, USA

Scripps Pier solstice, sunset aligned perfectly with the pier, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California

Scripps Pier solstice, sunset aligned perfectly with the pier.
Image ID: 28478
Location: Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California, USA

See more San Diego photos and photos of Scripps Pier.