For the first 20 years I lived on the North Island, I had not been to San Josef Bay.
I remember the first time I walked that last 200 meters along the forest trail before the beach. It was amazing. You could see parts of the river from openings between the trees. Large spruce trees lining the rivers edge. The sound of the pounding surf getting clearer and louder as the excitement of walking out on to the beach builds.
Being able to drop your pack and take a rest is the best. But I have never been able to sit and rest at the entrance for too long. I have always had an overwhelming desire to get to the sea stacks as soon as possible. It’s like I’m going to miss something gigantic.
I always start to extend the legs of my tripod as I’m walking to them. By the time I’ve reached the rocks just in front of the sea stacks I’ve already forgotten what I had planned for finding a good composition, so I pick out a lens to put on the camera without knowing what to shoot. It’s only then that I realize it’s an hour or two before high tide, which is a long wait before the water comes in and around the stacks.
That’s my favourite time to photograph them. One thing about photographing the sea stacks at San Josef Bay is the island to the left of the sea stacks creates harsh shadows on the stacks for most of the year, excluding overcast days where the light is diffused. I was out at San Josef Bay last Sunday and the beauty of it never disappoints.
Douglas Bradshaw has lived in the North Island for 33 years. He is a Landscape and Wildlife photographer based out of Port Alice B.C. His website is portalicephoto.com follow him on YouTube and Facebook at Port Alice Photography, Images by Douglas Bradshaw