Catching sunsets at the ocean are one of the great parts about living on the West coast. It’s not something that I think about all the time, but people on the East coast don’t really ever see the sunset over the ocean. Unless you’re one for waking up at the crack of dawn, you probably don’t see it rise either.
I’ve taken advantage of my location and have been to places like Rodeo Beach near San Francisco to get some ocean sunsets. One thing that you always have to keep in mind are the waves. Those things will sneak up on you quick and even if it looks like there is a pattern, you are likely judging it wrong. I’ve come close a few times from getting soaked by a wave. I’ve also had cameras come closer to getting taken out than myself.
When in San Diego, at Ocean Beach, I set my tripod up in a good spot and started to wait for the sunset. As I was waiting I decided to shoot continuous to get some frames I could later animate. Laura was worrying that I was going to get hit with a giant wave. I was confident that the way the rock in front of me was shaped, all the water would go away from me when the wave came in. Well…I’m sure you know where this is headed…a wave came in quick on the left and splashed much more than either of us thought it would. The water splashed a good 6 feet up and 20 feet towards me. I got a little wet as I pulled the camera and tripod back using the camera strap. The camera got a little wet, but nothing a quick dry with my shirt could solve.
So, now I know. Make sure to look up tides when you’re going to go take some sunset pictures at the ocean and make sure you expect waves to come at you from much farther away than you think they might. This little animation isn’t from that big wave that almost got me, but you can see the volume of water race in from the left.