While on Christmas vacation in Virginia Beach I had the opportunity to use the Nikon 24mm PC-E Til/Shift Lens. Long story short I loved it. Major depth of field for landscapes. I shot an HDR while out at Cape Henry Lighthouse. I used the newest version of Photomatix to Fuse the set of 5 images together instead of doing a tone mapped HDR. The result is very natural looking. HDR software is finally starting to mature to the point where it is capable of producing wonderful imags.
I went out to the Malibu area late this afternoon hoping to catch the tail end of a nice swell and get some great wave/surf photos. When I arrived at Leo Carillo the sun fully blocked by thick overcast skies. For all practical purposes the sun set at 3pm. With no sun, small waves and cold water I pretty much wrote the trip off. Sunset was at 6pm and by the time 530pm rolled around it was dark and gray. I jumped back in the car and headed towards home. Just as I was getting ready to turn off PCH I looked in my sideview mirror and saw that out of nowhere at literally the last second the sky started turning red. I was fortunate enough to be right at the entrance to the beach at Point Dume and made a quick right hand turn and pulled off the road. The color was fading by the second so I quickly cobbled together my camera, tripod, timer and gradient filters and ran out on the beach. The only object I had to work with was a closed up lifeguard tower. I managed to take three shots of the tower and then moved down closer to the beach and took three shots of the water and sunset. For my first shot at the beach I had enough light to autofocus on the small rocks in the foreground. After a 15 second exposure there wasn’t enough light to autofocus or manually focus. I tried my best but ultimately ran out of light. All of this happened in the very last minute of light. The entire shoot round trip from the car and back was maybe 3 minutes.