My work schedule, for now, is all over the place, with some days ending at 9:00 p.m., others at 6:30, and others at 5. The end result is a sense of no time for me because I am waiting to go to work, and my feeling like I am totally uncreative. In between all this are the usual chores of running a household. But this is Spring Break, and I am able to do a bit of what want, despite a stated goal of cleaning out the garage (which so far has included a dumpster dumped and 9 boxes of paper shredded by a mobile shredding service!).
I am inland from the Pacific by about 35 miles, both east and southeast. Ways to get to the beach are head through the canyons, or out toward the flat Oxnard plain. A friend and I both were free, so we decided to head out to El Matador State Beach in Malibu. It is below a cliff line, and requires a bit of a walk to get there. The walk is not difficult, but it is a bit precarious as the steps are old, and in between the steps is a narrow section of pathway which is very eroded. Loaded down with camera gear can make for a rather spooky descent.
I brought two lenses with me: a Tokina 11-16mm, and a Nikon 24-120. I also brought a tripod. What I forgot was the ND110 filter for the Tokina, and as a result couldn’t get any long exposures for that soft, spooky water look. Oh well!
The entire coastline in California is pretty much public property, with a few exceptions. There are laws regarding public access, that it cannot be denied nor cut off by someone. In Malibu, of course, there are wealthy and famous people who have built houses along the coast. Keeping the beaches accessible can be daunting, but there are public pathways, some hidden and unknown, others blocked off by zealous homeowners. I know that if people trashed my yard walking to get to the beach, I wouldn’t be happy, and it is these cretins who spoil it for a lot of us. Then, of course, paparazzi don’t help, either.
El Matador is a lovely little beach, with fantastic rock formations, and tidal pools with urchins. It behooves the photographer to know the times for tides, but even if the tide is in, splashing on the cliffs, great pictures can be had, as can ones on the sand and in the rock of caves. An overcast day has its own challenges as does the sunset or sunrise. Forgetting certain pieces of equipment change the game plan. It was a great break from chores, and I plan to go back on a sunnier day to do the sunset, and bring my ND filter for those long exposures.