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Willie and I had been itching to take some photos and the weather forecast called for partially cloudy skies in Santa Cruz so we decided to grab a 3rd friend and head down the coast to Davenport Pier. There used to be an entire pier here but for some reason or another it got taken down and just the pylons are left. To get down to the beach is fairly tricky -- there's a "trail" that heads down the cliff and in some parts it's *really* steep. It's a little bit like rock-climbing, although you're not hanging from the wall. I had heard people use rope to help out so I threw some in my bag before we left and tied it to a pole at the top and it helped us out a little. Getting down wasn't too bad as long as you had good footing. Getting up was almost easier, until the top, when I was glad I had attached the rope.

Once we were on the beach I scouted around for a good composition. I find this place actually pretty hard to photograph … mostly because the sunset isn't exactly where you want it … and it's hard to get enough foreground interest to make the photo interesting. I started off way to the left because there was some interesting foam, but by the time sunset hit the foam was gone and the composition was ruined. I then moved to this spot because of the rocks in the foreground and its close proximity to the old pier pilons. I waited for some wave action and then captured it on its way out. Unfortunately, a big wave came in shortly after and took a couple of those rocks with it, so that composition was now done. All those clouds we had hoped for never came in and the sky was pretty boring.

When we got home it was pretty clear that in order to get something decent I was going to have to do quite a bit of post-processing work. I call this an "artograph" because I had to stitch several photos together and then do some heavy processing to get it to look like this. I found several shots I had taken with different cloud positions and blended them together to get a more int

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