Photo: Lavender and purple skies setting behind the Huntington Beach Pier shown with surfer
The iconic Huntington Beach Pier is known as the focal point for surfing in Huntington Beach, Calif. If you're looking to capture "pure California beach" experiences, head for "HB" and look for surfers. They are accustomed to being photographed, for the most part and generally are cooperative with letting you take their picture. If not, wait and you'll find someone else.
To capture surfers, sunsets and the Huntington Beach Pier all in one picture, you need to be on the south side of the pier just about when the sun goes down. There's a window of several minutes after the sun sets that you can keep snapping away and be amazed by the results. However, surfers tend to fade into darkness unless you use fill flash. Most cameras will compensate when it becomes dark enough. It hard getting that fine balance of light to match the sky with the mood. But keep experimenting and you'll get some great souvenir photos of Surf City.