The Life in My Years

An anthology of life

While browsing through blog rolls a wave washed over me. Debbie Smythe’s One Word Sunday and the subject, “Wave.”

I have hundreds of photos of waves so the most difficult part of the challenge was to cull the archives to find a handful of photos for this topic.

I’ve always lived within a short drive of the ocean and for a time I took the ocean and the waves for granted. That changed with the pandemic. During the winter months, a wide open lonely beach was one of the safest places to be. I visited the beaches of San Mateo County, California almost weekly.

It was a good opportunity to experiment with slow shutter speeds and a tripod.

It’s during the winter months when the wave action in California is at its peak.

Rockaway Beach, California


Rockaway Beach, California

Waves pound the rocks at Grey Whale Cove Beach.

Shorebirds are oblivious to the violence behind them.


Grey Whale Cove


Grey Whale Cove

Just yesterday I took a drive to San Francisco’s Fort Point, located beneath the Golden Gate Bridge. There’s a surf break here that curls sharply from underneath the bridge towards the rocky shoreline. I stopped for a bit to watch surfers ride the frigid waters beneath a world famous landmark.

Visit Debbie’s site, Travel With Intent to see her take on waves and then scroll to the comments section to view more great photos of waves.

21 thoughts on “Wave – One Word Sunday Challenge

  1. Kyung Lee says:

    Great shots, Paul, yet again!

    1. Paul says:

      Thank you my friend.

  2. Those definately ARE waves! Cool pictures!

    1. Paul says:

      Thank you Peter. I love the ocean. I feel fortunate to have spent almost my entire life within a short drive of the Pacific.

  3. Jane Fritz says:

    Truly marvelous, Paul.

    1. Paul says:

      Thank you Jane.

  4. Love your wave photos, Paul! Beautiful!! 💜

    1. Paul says:

      Thank you so much Lisa!

  5. I really like the one with the two birds!

    1. Paul says:

      Thank you Audrey.

  6. Toonsarah says:

    What a great set of images! Your slow shutter speed shots are really effective, full of the power of the sea, and the surfer really well captured!

    1. Paul says:

      Thank you Sarah. During lockdown the beach, during winter when there were no crowds and it was safe, was a haven of sanity.

  7. Emille says:

    Used to live one hour from Long Beach in California, and then in Costa Mesa, probably a half hour from Corona Beach (without traffic!) Now in Texas, I am missing these waves sorely! Although they never got as big as you are showing here, You are a lucky blogger!

    1. Paul says:

      Thank you Emille.
      Your story has a familiar ring. There was a time when I wanted to retire to one of the Mountain States. A few weeks into a five week long road trip a year ago, I was talking to a shop keeper in Montana. We were discussing our home states and I told her that once upon a time I wanted to move to her state but after being away from the ocean, I realized how much I would miss it. I live ten minutes from San Pablo Bay and about forty minutes, give or take, from the ocean itself.
      Thank you for reading and commenting.

  8. selizabryangmailcom says:

    So hot right now where we are (in Southern California) just looking at that water makes me feel cooler, haha.
    Beautiful shots!

    1. Paul says:

      So sorry for the late response.
      The Northern California ocean water is not just cool, it is downright cold!
      Thank you for the kind words and for reading and commenting.

  9. Cath Moore says:

    very powerful shots of waves….the last one is incredible….I am guessing that is the Golden Gate Bridge just in the background….sure gives perspective to the surfer

    1. Paul says:

      Hello Cath,
      So sorry for the late response.
      Yes that is the Golden Gate Bridge.
      I don’t surf, but if I did I would not surf there. It is very choppy and the currents are treacherous. If you don’t know what you’re doing you could end up drifting into the ocean.
      Thank you for reading and commenting.

  10. eden baylee says:

    Hi Paul,
    The pic with the surfer is stunning. It makes me think of how small and insignificant humans are by comparison to what they’ve built.

    1. Paul says:

      Thank you Eden,
      So, I’m going to give you some technical photographic mumbo jumbo to burst the bubble a little about the comparison of the surfer to the bridge. I shot that picture with a lens that has a focal length of 300mm. Longer focal lengths make background objects appear larger. In addition, my camera is not what’s called “full frame” which means that my 300mm lens is equivalent to a an even longer lens, 450mm. That’s one reason that the bridge looks so much larger.

      All that said, it’s still a damn big bridge and in real life the surfer does look insignificant compared to that bridge.

      There isn’t any amount of money that could get me in the water under that bridge on anything less than a boat. I’ve been on fishing boats under the bridge (Cora even landed a good sized halibut near there) and that section of ocean/bay is rough, turbulent, cold and prone to some treacherous currents.

      Thank you for visiting and commenting my friend.


      1. eden baylee says:

        Ha Paul, you didn’t burst my bubble at all! Even though you explain how you technically captured the picture, it doesn’t change what I see. There’s no manipulation of the photo’s assets like one might do with Photoshop. It’s impressive how you can create this ‘illusion’, which really isn’t an illusion. 😀

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