The Pacific, Living up to its Name

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California / Inspiration / Photo Log / Photography / Seascapes


May 12, 2020 — San Mateo County Coast, California

Driving has always been allowed in California. There is simply nowhere worthwhile to park. All state beach (meaning “beach”) parking has been blocked. But there had been rain (finally) and the sky promised to be interesting, I drove to the coast to try my luck. I was expecting reasonably good surf for wave photos. Six to nine feet was the forecast. I was pumped. The very last existing copy of Sirens, Rachael Talibart’s brilliant book of towering waves had just arrived in the mail and, suitably inspired, I wanted to shoot some waves of my own.

But when I got there and pulled off to the side of the road north of Pescadero, the Pacific was being… Pacific.

So, shooting not what was expected but what was presented, I shot this.

(Nikon D850, Nikon 24-120mm f/4G VR. RAW processing in DxO PhotoLab 3.2; Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

More seascape horizons:

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. Simply clean.
    These days, with some restrictions, and being an islander, I need to go to swim to the ocean… so, I’m really expecting this ends quickly to start swimming in the ocean.

    Great photo!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I find myself — after a journey of forgotten moments — being invited, by the clouds, to continue onwards to a new horizon. Yet, the calmness of the water…it’s stillness becomes a shelter that forbids me to, “Go west, young [woman], go west.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, my friend. I am honored. This is a perfect example of mother nature giving me the inspiration, but it took more work to bring out what I saw in my mind’s eye. In post processing, I would adjust the tones and then go away from it for a while and then come back. Working on it for too long at any one stretch of time ruined my judgment. The simplest images are often the most difficult, because there is no leeway on the balance. And still, WordPress messed with the colors. The more subtle the image, the more WordPress distorts it. It’s a shame. Anyway, thank you, thank you very much.


      • Yes, I know. Even adjusting things in a photo can take ages, if you take everything in consideration. I also worked on it a long time.
        How does WordPress mess up the colouring and toning? It probably is the web that doesn’t show some tones or maybe the browser. But the photo is not changed in WordPress.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you very much. Saying that word press change the picture was sort of a short hand on my part. It’s how WordPress processes the colors after I upload the picture and WordPress actually displays it. I think they use a compression algorithm that is not very kind.


      • I have not put this photograph on my regular website, but the ones that I do have on my regular website do not suffer the color distortions that are seen in WordPress.


      • That could be, that they compress pictures. I haven’t thought of it.
        I usually post pictures in 1200×800 px with 72 DPI. They are usually not compressed. (I think at the moment I use 100 or 150 DPI, but it still is way beyond printing quality.)

        Liked by 1 person

      • I do 1500 on the long side. For this purpose, the number of pixels per inch is not important. It is simply the pixel dimension.


      • It does make the file smaller. I don’t know if they still get compressed at 1500. I’m going to research this and see if I come up with something. It drives me crazy. There have been several instances where I have posted something, seen a color distortion, went back and altered the Photoshop file to try to compensate, re-posted only to see a different color distortion. (Imagine the sound of hair being torn out.)


  3. Capturing what is presented and not necessarily what was imagined ahead of time is a talent and that is evident here. It is indeed a pacific Pacific image. I like the bits of light here and there on the small caps.

    Liked by 1 person

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