California - Big Sur North - patricksmithphotography
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This opening in a cliff face at Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur allows large waves to come through at high tide before a big storm. The waves often fill the entire portal to the top, and the portal becomes a giant water shotgun!  The Tufoni formations in the rock are incredible and should be seen in person.  The sun was only like this for about 30 seconds so I had to work fast.  Fortunately, the sun was dimmed by high clouds but there was still enough light to reflect onto the rock face from the cliff behind the camera.  Backlighting is crucial here; otherwise you have an overexposed portal with no detail on the rock face.  Once the light was right, I waited for the water flow to become dramatic.  A short exposure time allowed a little movement while retaining detail of the sea spray.

This opening in a cliff face at Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur allows large waves to come through at high tide before a big storm. The waves often fill the entire portal to the top, and the portal becomes a giant water shotgun! The Tufoni formations in the rock are incredible and should be seen in person. The sun was only like this for about 30 seconds so I had to work fast. Fortunately, the sun was dimmed by high clouds but there was still enough light to reflect onto the rock face from the cliff behind the camera. Backlighting is crucial here; otherwise you have an overexposed portal with no detail on the rock face. Once the light was right, I waited for the water flow to become dramatic. A short exposure time allowed a little movement while retaining detail of the sea spray.

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