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Coastal Surge

Posted by
Stephen Phillips (San Francisco, United States) on 9 November 2009 in Plant & Nature and Portfolio.

This is the outboard end of the Pacifica Pier - located on the Pacific Ocean just a few miles south of San Francisco. The pier extends out over 300 meters (1000 feet) from the sea wall.

This image was taken late on this past Saturday afternoon - shortly before sunset. There were warnings posted along the California coast all weekend for dangerous swells. The forecast was for waves to as high as 8 meters (26 feet).

I used to go to this area every time high surf was forecast - but hadn't been there in years - before this Saturday. The awesome power of nature. I was so glad I went.

© copyright 2018 by Stephen Phillips Photography / Oakland, California /
please respect these rights - do not copy or use these images without permission.

Mirko Herzner from Mühlheim am Main, Germany

This image is pure power. Amazing composition with the two/three waves presenting such strong lines.

9 Nov 2009 6:07am

yz from Hungary

beautiful light

9 Nov 2009 7:33am

Magda from Vancouver, Canada

Fantastic! The light and drama are superb!

9 Nov 2009 7:37am

Elena Kotrotsou from Drossia, Greece

Magnificent capture

9 Nov 2009 10:15am

Paco Díaz from Palma de Mallorca, Spain

A good shot of the hard waves, just the weather we have these days in Spain. Good moment and light.

9 Nov 2009 11:22am

Anthony Morgan Lambert from Bielefeld, Germany

One of the best sights in the world,the ocean crahing into the shore during a storm.Great shot and I love the light and colours !!!

9 Nov 2009 11:51am

Marcie from United States

Gorgeous!! Love how you captured the motion..the light.

9 Nov 2009 12:52pm

Pepe Cabrera from Cuidad de Antipolo, Philippines

Beautiful shot!

9 Nov 2009 1:15pm

Betty from Phillipsburg, United States

You really captured the power of those waves! I wish I was there with you! Amazing.

9 Nov 2009 1:29pm

Scott F. Schilling from San Martin, United States

Stephen this is an awesome display of power! I really like the 3 layers of waves and these are darn big waves! I was hoping to make it along the coast this weekend for this big swell but ran out of time! You captured this perfectly and the pier is a great addition for my eyes to rest on and wonder if it is going to withstand the beating!

9 Nov 2009 2:10pm

MARIANA from Waterloo, Canada

Wonderful power and beauty in these waves :)) Beautiful toning !

9 Nov 2009 2:55pm

Calusarus from St Sorlin en Valloire, France

A beautiful shot of this angry ocean

9 Nov 2009 3:35pm

Chris from South Jersey, United States

that is some impressive surf.....the colors in this shot are really wonderful as wel.....

9 Nov 2009 5:18pm

Jeff from Pembroke Dock, Wales., United Kingdom

Its a beaut Stephen.A little reminder that you don't want to mess with nature.."But then we may be too late".

9 Nov 2009 7:27pm

Macrobaby from Vancouver, Canada

The power of water captured in an instant. Beautiful. I love the light captured in the waves.

9 Nov 2009 8:05pm

dobbino from Cape Town, South Africa

Magnificent! You have captured the raw power and majesty of the waves. Just love this!

9 Nov 2009 8:59pm

Anagalou from ici ou ailleurs, France

the power of nature is so impressive !! Beautiful shot !!

9 Nov 2009 10:00pm

Alun from cheshire, United Kingdom

Loads of power to this shot, great

9 Nov 2009 10:11pm

Cricket-TammyWarren from United States

Wow....what a beautiful and powerful image! Look at this force. Amazing shot.

9 Nov 2009 10:41pm

ordinaryimages from Kentucky Bluegrass, United States

Power photograph! The above of course...but also to mention the contrast of the blue hues of the left frame with the yellow oranges of the right, and the poetry of the wind driven spray. best...jerry

9 Nov 2009 10:44pm

Susan from Fort Lauderdale, FL, United States

Don't ya just love Dangerous Swells!!!! Superb catch...thing that's odd to me is those large, frightening, waves, but sky looks clear...only time we get swells like that is when hurricane clouds are around !!

9 Nov 2009 11:16pm

@Susan: Nice thing about your waters is you can swim in them. These waters are always cold. Averaging 62f summer - and 57f winter. But the Pacific frequently stirs up winter storm swells from systems that pass well north of San Francisco. So this is not rare. By the way - these swells are just medium. During the el nino of 1999 - I actually saw water go over the roof of a two story house behind where I stood as I took this photograph!

willow from Chelsea, United States

Beautiful light! You've captured Mother Nature at her finest.

10 Nov 2009 3:23am

Bethany from Michigan, United States

Wow- that's amazing!

10 Nov 2009 2:49pm

See The Light from Newcastle, United States

I was there!!!! Caught the Oneill Cold Water Surf Classics in Santa Cruz, AMAZING !!!!!!. Will be posting some surfer dude pics this week.

10 Nov 2009 4:06pm

@See The Light: Hi, Mary. We near passed one another - I drove along West Clift Drive in Santa Cruz yesterday - watching them knock-down the reviewing stands along the bluff. It is now Tuesday morning - I'm in Pacific Grove (on assignment) and though the waves are way down - they're still big.

jpdm from Pignans, France

so wonderful colours and light, the waves breaking on sea wall

11 Nov 2009 9:40am

Bob Towery from Granite Bay, United States

What an awesome shot. Pacifica has always been one of my favorite places. Now that I'm more serious about photography I should go back and see what I can do there. The lighting in this shot is really magnificent. Glad you were there to capture this moment.

17 Nov 2009 3:14am

@Bob Towery: Thanks for the visit and kind words, Bob. The timing here was perfect - about 10 or 15 minutes before sunset. The storm swell warnings were down - but these were still plenty big.

dj.tigersprout from New York City, United States

EXCELLENT! i love this frame!

19 Nov 2009 5:30pm

Marah Saoudi from Morocco

Very beautiful capture

8 Dec 2009 7:54pm

Monte Stevens from Westerville, United States

This really portrays the power in those waves. The action speaks loudly while the soft colors add a calming to the scene. This is also my mental image of the northwest coast.

13 Dec 2009 7:12pm