Coastal

Big Sur Cove: The formerly impassible Big Sur coast has a host of sea stacks. The slow shutter speed not only showcases the persistent surf, but also the approaching fog. Fog enveloped this section of coast as I hiked back up to the road. —Big Sur, California

Endemic Island Paintbrush on the Bluff: California has the most National Parks in the US (nine to Alaska’s eight). The Channel Islands have been on our radar for going on ten years, but we hadn’t bothered until April 2018. It turns out that springtime gives rise to blooms that are endemic to the islands and seen nowhere else. It’s a novel experience seeing the sun rise over the ocean from the west coast, and the backlit island paintbrush made this extra special. —Channel Islands National Park, California

Pause for a Drink: Horse Head Rock is one of the oldest rock structures in Australia at 500 million years old. All of the characteristics of the area remind one of the California coast in reverse. The sun rises over the ocean and sets over the cliffs, but the rocks, water color, marine layer, and surrounding cliffs are all reminiscent of Big Sur. –Sapphire Coast, NSW Australia

Pummeled Smooth: Nothing says California winter like a beach and 60°F. Peak low tide offers different perspectives, and in this case a look at what water can do given enough time. The smoothness of these rocks is visually appealing (and satisfying to touch!). This was one of hundreds of images taken, and I chose this because the wave just about touched the camera without overtaking it. —Davenport, California

Coastal Pinnacles: The Pinnacles on the coast of New South Wales are a beautiful feature made of iron rich sedimentary rock, and it is of further interest because it is so near the ocean. With kangaroo prints in the sand, and banksia flowers on ground this truly felt like a foreign place. –Ben Boyd National Park, NSW Australia

Edge of the World: The aquamarine water, the quality of rock, the marine layer, and the atmospherics of the Sapphire Coast reminds one irresistibly of Big Sur, California. These anti-crepuscular rays stretched opposite the descending sun, and reached an apparent vanishing point at the horizon. –Sapphire Coast, NSW Australia

Quenching the Columns: The basaltic columns at the Bombo Headlands meeting the ocean’s waves made for a different experience than what I’m used to at Devils Postpile. The shedding columns end up swallowed by the sea, and the edges are much smoother. I expected the sound of a sizzle as the rising sun gave the columns a blush as the waves continued their steady assault. –Bombo Headland Quarry Geological Site, NSW Australia

Deepest Darkest Falls: The darkness underneath the towering Redwoods filters the light and brings out rich greens in the undergrowth. It fits with the mood of almost permanent dusk given to a redwood forest. —Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park

Resparked: Near the black sand beach, lava cooled and produced these interesting swirls. The waves batter this area and given enough time will reduce this whole section to sand as well. As the sun rose, it caused the volcanic rocks began to glow once again like they were liquid once more. —The Big Island, Hawaii

Annular Eclipse: A ring of fire eclipse occurs when the moon crosses the path of the sun, but is too distant to fully cover the sun. In this case the sun formed a crescent and some lens flare reflected onto a palm tree. —Santa Monica, California

Island Morning Glory: The island morning glory is one of several species that is only found in the Channel Islands, but it doesn’t tend to grow cliff-side. True to its name (and the photoperiodism that marks the family Convolvulaceae), some of its flowers began to open and add to the glory of the sunrise. This large patch overlooks the east side of Santa Cruz Island with a fabulous view of neighboring Anacapa Island. Shortly after the sun rose to prominence over the marine layer, a large fog bank descended over the east side of the island. The dark corner is the fog creeping in, and fifteen seconds later the ocean was no longer visible from this vantage point. —Channel Islands National Park, California

Time and Pressure Open the Door: Key hole formations in rocks near the ocean will allow glowing sunrise or sunset light through when the season is right. We happened to be here at the correct time for the golden sunset light to make an appearance. This key hole formation is the hard stone that remains as the weaker parts were eroded away by the ocean. —The Big Island, Hawaii

Incoming Pacific Storm: McWay Falls is a common stop in Big Sur and its understandable why. Normally a tight view of the falls makes sense, but this day was a bit different. An incoming storm approached off the water as the sun was about to descend into the marine layer. The light hit the rain and storm clouds which necessitated including them with the 80 foot waterfall landing on pristine beach. –Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, California

The Stars Look Very Different Today: Halema’um’u caldera of Kilauea can put on quite a show if the clouds cooperate. The red glow of the lava reflects onto any nearby clouds and the sky for a different view of the stars. —Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii

The Rocks Below and the Clouds Above: Looking south from this some stretch of land produced Big Sur Cove. However, this view is looking north towards Carmel. The gusting winds moved the cloud into position to mimic the V shape of the rock leading into the scene. The shape of the cloud only worked for one 13 second exposure as the clouds exited this section of sky. –Big Sur, California

Australian Sky: The Australian night sky is disorienting to a resident of the northern hemisphere. The core of the Milky Way has always been near the horizon for me, but in Australia it is much higher in the sky. Australia Rock reminds one irresistibly of the shape of the continent itself. The high milky way and Australia Rock together give one a strong sense of place. –Narooma, NSW Australia

Springtime at the Harbor: After exploring the island all morning in layers of fog and thick cloud cover, we paused at Potato Harbor for awhile waiting for the golden hour. Fortunately for us, the clouds began to part an hour before sunset. The light ripples making their way into the harbor were peaceful looking and belie the Santa Ana winds that ripped up from the ocean. —Channel Islands National Park, California