Soft waves, cool breezes, fishermen, surfers and friendly healthy people. These are all impressions I got from my first extended stay at Jalama Beach. A beautiful off the beaten path beach campground in Northern Santa Barbara County, CA, just north of Point Conception, a fabulous place to start photographing California’s hidden coast.
Shhhh, This place is rustic, remote and just perfect.
It seems to be a secret place only open to 20 year old surfers and 50 year old RV loungers come to eat Jalama burgers, sit on the beach and surf. What a beautiful secret it is.
What’s the best part about Jalama Beach?
I loved the fact that there was spotty internet service there. Yay!
As far as the natural part of the beach, there were incredible dramatic tide changes. Along with the movement of the beach tides, there were waves of surfers moving up and down the beach as the size of the waves changed.
This is California. I’m no talking about Los Angeles or Hollywood, or traffic or freeways. This is the real California, why we’re here and why we love it.
What else would bring you to enjoy a few days photographing Jalama Beach? Try shooting the fog sitting off the coast every morning and afternoon touched by the orange hues of the sun low in the sky. Shoot the reflections, the patterns in the sand, and the surfers enjoying the beach. What else there to do? Drop your fishing line and come up with maybe a Corbena or a Sand Shark. There are some surprising sea creatures who hang out just off shore.
And don’t forget the wine and Orangeboom beer. Wine is California right? (But maybe not the Dutch beer. We threw that in ourself!) But that was part of our experience camping there.
What is the best part of photographing this beach? We spent 4 days there and the tides were so dramatically different, every day the beach took on a new look and new opportunities to shoot. And don’t forget the dramatic sunsets. Here are just a few of the shots I got on different days.
I loved watching the children take over a large tide pool one day. Brightly colored, decked out in their best hats, such a colorful and whimsical scene.
And don’t forget to look down. This beach has such a surprising collection of colorful and weathered stones, interesting patterns and reflections. I kept picking up the stones hoping to find a creative project when I got home.
When you are trying to capture the essence of a place in photographs, think about what kind of emotion you are trying to capture.
Set out with a plan before you shoot. What are you trying to capture? Is it solitude? Is it community? Is the landscape alone, or do you need people in the picture to complete the scene?
We are planning to go back to Jalama in a couple of weeks in November and are looking forward to the “November Skies” full of dramatic clouds and awesome opportunities to shoot. Those are those most dramatic sunsets we get all year. We’ll keep you updated!
How about experiencing a beautiful location like this with a personal photographic coach? You will be guaranteed to go home with a collection of images you will be proud to add to your collection and maybe even show in the next competition. Check out our variety of private and group tours on our photo expeditions website.
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