The Great Journey in Photography

f8 and BE THERE!


Brown Pelican_-2

300mm f8.0 200iso 1/250sec

This season I am making a real effort to branch out a little and travel outside my local area to experience some new sights and hopefully wildlife. I have my old haunts that I know well and serve me well but every now and then I really want to get out of town and shoot something new.

Last week I decided to go out and try shooting in La Jolla California. I had heard about legendary scenic vistas and an abundance of Brown Pelicans and Cormornts. Mind you I did my due diligence, I googled the subject and found some images and videos but only found a couple of blog postings. I also read a blog post from the great Arthur Morris about shooting there, so I knew there were some great images to be made.

I tentatively decided that La Jolla Cove would be a good place to start. Get satellite images of the area-check. Research with Lighttrac sunrise set and directions-check. Weather Bug the heck out of the area-check. It is going to be pretty cool with rain arriving soon after sunset. I like that because rain at the beach always means no crowds.

La Jolla Cove it is. I wanted to shoot late afternoon to sunset and as usual I gave myself plenty of time to make the 120 mile journey. Good thing because I did hit some traffic on the way down and when I got into the area traffic was horrendous. Arriving at the Cove area I suddenly realized that I had made a really big mistake somewhere along the line. The Cove is a total tourist destination with nothing but shops and restaurants with very little beach access or parking. I didn’t feel comfortable leaving my gear in the truck parked far away to look around and I didn’t feel comfortable hauling my gear down to a crowded beach where there was not even one bird in sight. Somewhere my research had been terribly wrong, the satellite images looked promising but may have been out of date and the crowds, well there is just no way any significant number of birds are going to hang around so many people. It was a total wash out, I must be at the wrong place.

Ahh, but I did do due diligence and actually had a fall back location of the San Diego Safari Park. A good idea but sadly with traffic so bad trying to get out of the area and a drive cross town just didn’t leave enough time to accomplish anything. The day was a complete loss and a 250 mile trip for nothing.

I’m not lamenting that I got shut out but rather trying to illustrate the fact that being there is a huge part of the battle. Making the effort to get up and out will not always payoff but if you have patience and desire you will alway be better for it in the long run.

I’ll be back in La Jolla soon enough and I will find the places I need to be, I can assure you that. Stay tuned.


2 responses

  1. Hey Ron, If you had a copy of my San Diego Site Guide (, you would not have had to waste time searching around LaJolla. It took me more than 15 years to discover the great spots.


    December 3, 2010 at 5:23 pm

  2. …and that is why you are the man!!
    Thanks for the tip and you just made a sale.


    December 3, 2010 at 6:29 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s