Ship Rock Water Sky

comments 32
Photography / Seascapes / Ships


May 8, 2015. Sutro Baths, San Francisco, California. My general plan in shooting Horizons is to have water and sky and nothing more. In this scene I wanted the texture and pattern of light on the water juxtaposed with the soft clouds. Period.

But without a crane I wasn’t going to get high enough to get the rock out of the frame and the light was changing rapidly and then this huge RORO (Roll On Roll Off automobile carrier) lumbered into the frame and by my mental calculus it was going to take approximately fifteen minutes short of forever to get out of the frame and by then the light would be gone forever. Bah!

Ahhhh, but Grasshopper, one must be open to all.

I had to admit that the relative scale of the ship and the rock and their relative positions made a mighty handsome image.

And I must further admit that I was a happy grasshopper.

(Nikon D750; Nikon 28-300 f/3.5-5.6G Zoom. RAW processing in DxO Pro; Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

The Author

California based fine-art photographer featuring abstract, impressionist, and minimalist seascapes — near and distant — and floral-based images. Fine-art photography can be seen at All original images on this blog are copyright 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 Michael Scandling. All rights reserved. No images on this site may be copied, duplicated, reused, published, or re-purposed in any way without express permission from the copyright owner, Michael Scandling.


  1. In some situations, ship + rocks would be a very bad idea, indeed. Here it works, especially given the humor inherent in big-ship-little-rocks.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is just like the discussion we’ve been having over on my blog, where a very wise commenter* stated, “The thing we all learn, sooner or later, is that you get what you get. It pays to be flexible.”

    *Remember when you said that?!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am glad that you adapted to the conditions and got yourself a nice shot. Sometimes life is like a box of chocolates.

    My first thought was the New Mexico Shiprock but I was prepared for a nice surprise with the mention of water. I thought Shiprock was a mesa until I just Googled it and found out that it is a monadnock which is interesting since there is a mountain by that name in New Hampshire.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Jane. This is where one is reminded the value of thinking on one’s feet. And fixed ideas are very bad. (And what was I thinking trying to get a pure wide-angle horizon shot from Sutro baths?!)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m glad you didn’t let the ship stop you, because for me, those pools of light towards the foreground are just delicious. And having the ship back there, with the detail up close gives the whole thing scale.

    Liked by 1 person

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