Santa Cruz Boardwalk

2012.06.24
Day Sixty Seven. Finally made it up to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. To my surprise, it was warm. Warm! All of my time on beaches in Monterey and Carmel had not properly prepared me for such a possibility. I almost wished I had brought a bathing suit with me ... though I quickly remembered that the Pacific was still the Pacific and the odds of the water temperature having gone commensurately with the air temperature were negligible. Oh well. Went around the boardwalk to get familiar with what was there ... got yelled at by security for setting up a tripod to attempt a long exposure of the smoke (read: steam) coming up around a friendly dinosaur ... fun times. After snapping a few pics in the daylight, I realized that I was massively early for the sunset and found a local watering hole, which, much to my chagrin, was engaged in karaoke ... one of my most hated activities. I decided to pass the time by playing with my 50mm prime, shooting wide open. It really is too bad that it's "impossible" to make a 14-600mm f/1.4. The light gathering ability and depth of field of f/1.4 really is a tonne of fun ... almost as much fun as watching the crazy old people "dance" ... if only life had a mute button ... I did shoot a video with the prime wide open just to see how it would look. In particular, I was attempting to see if the focus would follow the subject as he "boogie woogied" ... unfortunately, he didn't really move enough for me to fully tell whether the focus was following him or not. I'm (in all likelihood) not going to upload the video ... primarily because I don't feel like adding video playing capabilities to the site ... but also because I don't want to integrate YouTube embedding into the site either. If I ever shoot some really cool video, maybe I'll chance my stance on this ... but, until then, assume that any video I shoot, you don't want to see. After the sun had sufficiently set, I headed back out to the Boardwalk and managed to capture some really cool imagery before heading down to the beach to do some long exposure of the lights whirling around on the rides. The swings kind of look like a mushroom cloud at 10 seconds. Whatever the ride with a green support arm that turned into a solid wheel of light looks really cool. The long exposure of the birds down by the water look really creepy. I really like the shot of one of my fellow photographers doing the setup work for a shot. But, the really good ones came after we crossed the bridge and shot the Boardwalk from the ridge. I don't think I can adequately express how much I love the results of good nighttime long exposures. The last one, with the Boardwalk rides going full tilt and moon and stars out (plus the fleet of UFOs in the middle) is particularly stunning :)
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