Panther Beach Sunset, Santa Cruz, CA
Panther Beach is a hidden beach nestled between the towns of Davenport and Santa Cruz in Northern California. This location has been on my list of places to revisit for many years now, but I had been putting it off due to the steep climb required to access the beach. However I mustered up courage to visit this location just before New Year's Eve 2017. The climb down to the beach was steep as I had anticipated, lined with poison-ivy on either sides, however it was quite manageable even with carrying my tripod on one hand (Note to self: order one of those tripod straps which affix them to the backpacks next time around).
After walking up and down the beach, none of the compositions seem appealing. Then I chanced upon this little gully which was exposed due to low tide, so I considered going down into the gully to examine the photographic opportunities. My first attempt to climb down the rocks proved treacherous due to the slippery moss-covered rocks, so I hastily abandoned that. I instead climbed down and walked into the gully when the waves were away. It was at this point, I realized why Panther Beach is named such. The rock out cropping on the left does indeed look like a crouching panther or cougar ready to spring!
With the composition established, I needed something to enhance the foreground a bit to further lead the eyes into the scene. A long exposure of an incoming way completed the picture and wrapped up the trip for me.