“We should get together,” I said a few days ago to Larry Fitzgerald. This afternoon we were texting each other to apologize for traffic and parking related delays.
We met in Huntington Beach, aka Surf City. It’s two days before the US Open of Surfing. It’s “the season” in HB.
There was trouble at the Open last year. Violence. Rioting. Huntington Beach suffered a black eye then worked hard publicly to guarantee there would be no repeat in 2014.
It was hot in SoCal today. Temps were near 90 just a few blocks inland. At the HB Pier the report was 78° with the water at 68°. Lovely.
We were going to lunch at Ruby’s, a 50s themed diner at the end of Huntington Beach’s long fishing pier. We were there for the schmooze, not the kitsch.
Considering it’s Thursday the beach and pier were jammed! This is an active beach with volleyball, bicycling and surfing. An in-water lifesaving course was in progress alongside the pier.
It was hazy today, but I made out Santa Catalina in the distance and a few offshore oil rigs which look a lot closer in my photo than they actually are.
This is oil country. I even shot pumps in action behind someone’s house!
We decided we’ll meet again. Cameras again too!
Until I moved here I had no idea Huntington Beach was Surf City. It is. I’ve been to HB a few times already, always with my camera. This afternoon it was me, “Clicky” and a bag full of lenses.
Over the past few days the forecast has pointed toward swells from a mid-Pacific storm hitting the coast. They wouldn’t be giants, but this winter has been disappointing to SoCal surfers.
“Isn’t it a little late,” Helaine asked? I was leaving around 4:00 PM.
The idea was to combine a little surf photography with sunset and whatever else I could find. I went to the beach unprepared! I was wearing jeans and sneakers. Somehow, the walking across the sand and into the ocean part hadn’t clicked. I ended up barefoot with my cuffs rolled up.
I like the vibe at HB. The whole beach area has a friendly feel with people of every shape, size and color.
The photo at the top of this entry is a 14 shot panorama. It was stitched together in the computer. Panoramas are very wide angle shots.
As I was repositioning myself near the base of the pier I walked by two girls. One was jumping while the other was trying to take a cellphone shot. I asked if I could give it a try.
I tried first without a light, but the contrast between the sky and her was too much. The finished photo uses the flash on the camera. I can’t remember the last time it was used.
Click the photo to see a larger version.
The temperature was mild and the beach stayed crowded as the Sun dipped behind Santa Catalina Island. The real show begins after sunset as the sky cycles through its colors until the clouds turn a fiery red.
And it’s January.