Changing tides

I had to go to Orange County, CA this week for work, which isn't really a bad thing.  I do love Austin, and it is definitely home, but I enjoy what I have seen of SoCal.  Last time I was there, I went to Laguna Beach and got a lot of shots, a few of which have already been posted.  The forecast this week was for rain, and boy did it rain out there.  I thought that place was all sunshine, all the time, but no they aren't.  There was even a tornado reported.  This ain't Kansas!  Well, I arrived late on Monday afternoon, and with little time to spare, I hurried straight to Laguna Beach again in hopes of a dramatic sunset.  Fortunately there was a break in the rain that afternoon - in fact I believe it rained just about the rest of the time I was in town.  Unfortunately, I wasn't exactly wearing the proper footwear for traversing wet, slippery rocks and hiking around on a wet sandy beach.  In this shot, I had been out there only a few minutes and had been heading the other direction, toward the sunset.  I looked back and decided the view was pretty behind me, too.  That is something I keep trying to remember - look at things from all angles, and don't forget to turn around.  So, I got off the rocks and down into the sand, set up my shot, and started shooting.  At that time, the water came in and I realized I was in its path.  Needless to say, I wasn't giving up my shot, so I tried to hurry but still wound up with wet feet and jeans, with sand everywhere too.  That's fun.  I squished around for about an hour out there but it was awesome.  Next time though, I am bringing better shoes!

This is a 7 exposure HDR, shot at f/13 as the sun was setting behind me.  The exposures range from +2 to -4. I merged them in Photomatix to create the HDR, then made my typical adjustments in PSE (Curves, Contrast, Unsharp Mask) and then a final flourish in Topaz Adjust.