My friend Helen is working on an article on rescues and wanted to get some pictures in rough water. Seems simple enough. She lives in Arcata and Trinidad is just a short jaunt up the coast - it has a protected harbor for launch and you can paddle around to the famous 'smack wall' for more exposure and reflected waves. With a forecast of 5-6' swells and 10-20 kt winds it sounded like the perfect conditions to get some choppy water but still be able to get pictures. But of course every time you want the bad weather it completely fails to materialize. We had some swell - 4' @16 sec - but without any significant wind the ocean just looked flat. We got nice shots of flat water rescues but the rough stuff was harder to capture. Even with the occasional 10' swell the next day it still didn't look impressive through the camera lens.
But it wasn't a total waste on the photography front. Aside from the rescue shots we did manage to get a little paddling in and we had a beautiful sunset one night as well. I've been talking a lot of photography lately - from bugging some professionals for tips to being asked for advice (which is weird because I know so little...). I finally feel like I'm getting a grip on what it's all about and hopefully it pays off in my work. It seems the ratio of quality to crap is definitely improving. But thank god for digital since it still takes dozens of shots for one good one.
More of my pictures from the trip can be found on my Picasa Page.