Humboldt Bay 1: South Spit

South Jetty AU12-109

Humboldt Bay is the largest protected body of water on the West Coast between San Francisco Bay and Puget Sound and the largest port between San Francisco and Coos Bay, Oregon. Yet, due to it’s location next to the relatively flat and urbanized Eureka-Arcata area, it’s not known for being particularly scenic. Indeed, some might argue it’s the least scenic section of coastline on California’s northcoast. Nonetheless, in the last year or so, I’ve been trying to draw whatever beauty can be extracted from the bay. The bay is divided in various sections, as per below:

One can see South Bay, followed by a middle section (Humboldt Bay proper), with Arcata Bay in the north. On the west side, there are narrow strips of land protecting these various bays from the Pacific Ocean. They are known as the South and North Spits, respectively. The entrance to the bay is guarded by two jetties, identified as north and south. In this post, I want to concentrate on the South Spit and the south jetty.

The South Spit branches out from a high hill, called Table Bluff, from which the spit can be viewed in its entirety:

From the spit the sunrise can be photographed to at least some advantage, with the bay making an attractive foreground:

Northcoast Misc. WI11-62

But perhaps the most interesting section is the South Jetty, which is made up of large, sometimes colorful rocks, which make for an attractive foreground for various shots of the surging ocean. With large waves pushing through the entrance to the bay, this is a good place to get out the ten stop ND filter and try for some long exposure effects over the moving water:

The other side of the South Jetty, from where it reaches out into the ocean, forms a nice place for photographing the sunset in late autumn or early winter:

Humboldt Bay can be beautiful, if just know how to extract and pixelate it!