Background

Today is the fourth and final day of our workshop with Serge. The heatwave has not consumed us, but it is still smothering the group. We have lost one of our members, as she had to fly back to France. My brain is on overload, I’m nervous about missing my flight since it is at 11:00 PM and we are shooting the amazing El Matador Beach in Malibu. After working in the classroom to perfect our images from Downtown LA we are off to Malibu to capture the sunset at the beach. The light, clouds, and sunset were all amazing! The waves were not really my friends.

Location – El Matador Beach in Malibu California

El Matador Beach is part of a state park just north of Los Angels in Malibu. The area is known for its beauty and is not the easiest beach to access, be prepared to climb down several flights of stairs to find this beach. None of this stops hundreds of people from visiting it every day and enjoying the sunset over Malibu. The beach is extremely stunning, the sunset views are a thing of beauty, no wonder we saw so many other photographers there this particular night.

Getting to El Matador is easy, just follow the Pacific Coast Highway North from Santa Monica until you see the signs, park your car and you are there.

A glowing sunset with flowing water over the cliff at El Matador Beach
A glowing sunset with flowing water over the cliff at El Matador Beach

When these Images were captures

This is my last day of the of the workshop and I have learned an incredible amount. I feel like I am mastering my photography in a variety of settings, yet somehow we saved the best location for last. I flew out to LA on the 5th of July and caught a flight immediately after the sunset in Malibu, still covered in sand from the beach. It was well worth it though, because when I finally got to review all of the images I captured it was everything I had hoped for.

The sun playing peekaboo around the cliff wall at El Matador Beach.
The sun playing peekaboo around the cliff wall at El Matador Beach.

How these images were captured

It was high tide and I don’t recommend going with gear at this time of day. The waves came extremely close to crashing into my camera. If I didn’t have cat-like reflexes I’m pretty sure my camera would be somewhere in the Pacific ocean right now. That said, I ended up soaking wet, covered in the sand just to capture these.

I was able to set the Sony A7R II down to ISO 50 to get some long exposures on these images. This makes the water look a little more smooth and silky than if I had the camera on auto.

Majestic rock at high tide located at El Matador Beach in Malibu California
Majestic rock at high tide located at El Matador Beach in Malibu California

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