GREETINGS FROM MISSION BEACH: One of the drawbacks to arid climates and perfect "big sky" weather is the lack of cloud cover which can make compelling landscape photography a challenge to shoot. On camera, big and blue is often big and boring, so sometimes instead of expansive skies and soaring mountain peaks, the key to a great shot is scaling way down. Mission Beach San Diego is "party central" but plenty of vacationing families and European Hostel travelers also make their appearance. I knew the girls playing in the water would give me a magic moment... if only I was patient enough and got the right settings. I shot about 100 photos, experimenting with how to frame the scene and exposure values as I went, along with mother nature's steadily diminishing light and the relentless march of time compounding the mix. In the end, I chose this shot which happened just before Old Sol dropped below the horizon for good. The surfers in the background were an added bonus - they were obscured in most of my other photos and I just happened to shoot this one between the sets of 8 foot surf swells. Even though in many ways, I just got lucky, I am very proud of this shot. It illustrates Calvin Coolidge's famous quote that neither talent, genius nor education can ever take the place of sheer persistence. — at Mission Beach Board Walk.

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