Into The Ocean - Photos of California Piers

A TV commercial for some pickup truck, that's how it all began. In the commercial the girl puts her surfboard into the back of her truck right next to a pier (which, by the way, could never happen because you can't park right under/next to a pier like that). When I saw the pier I thought 'that looks just like Venice Beach Pier' and then the girl drives away and right under the Venice Beach sign. That's when it hit me: all the piers in California are different. And so it began.

This project is something that I feel like I am meant to do; like it's part of some bigger purpose.  At the time I began feeling like I was supposed to do this, I was living in the Bay Area with little to no access to any ocean piers but it didn't matter. I became obsessed with this project. Pacifica Beach pier was a favorite then. The waves are really intense there and it's the only pier in an "L" shape.

Pacifica Beach Pier

Now I'm back in the land of piers (aka Southern California) and I have been working on visiting and photographing more California piers. After much exploration (aka lots of photos) it seems most fitting that the project be in black and white. I've chosen that because it makes the structure of the pier the most important part of the image.

For my black and white photo processing I use two plugins by Macphun Software: Tonality Pro and Intensify Pro. I like them because they're quick and easy to use and they are great at bringing out the gritty details. Also, they both allow you to reduce the effect of the preset so you're not stuck with over-processed photos and they work with layers so you can add one effect over another. I highly recommend them if you use a Mac - you can download them and try them out for free before you buy. If you decide to buy, use code ANAMACPHUN for a 10% discount.

The pier below is Balboa Pier which is an easy to get to, mellow beach. I took this image on a scouting trip but it's definitely a keeper.

Balboa Pier

This is Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach in San Diego. There are little cottages on top of it where you can spend the night. Can you say pier bucket list??

Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach

And this one is Scripps Pier in La Jolla. You can't go on Scripps Pier because it belongs to Scripps Institute of Oceanography and it's used for research.

Scripps Pier in La Jolla

Next I will be heading both north and south. I haven't been to Ocean Beach or Imperial Beach piers yet and I also want to check out Newport Beach and Huntington Beach piers. There's a thrill that comes with a project like this and I hope that you will follow along on this blog to see all the California piers with me.