Canon 5D Mark II, 180mm F/3.5 Macro, f/32, 1/10, iso 100
Found myself on the Pacific Ocean for Christmas. Been finding myself a lot there lately, haven't I?
This place is South Beach, in the Pt. Reyes National Seashore. My wife and I are on training wheels as empty nesters, and with both our kids in SoCal, we took a shot at the next phase of our lives. Staying in this area for a couple of nights was really great.
My wife loves to beachcomb, and I don't typically accompany her. I'm working on my photographs. But this trip was not meant to be a photo expedition, and it was darn cold out at this beach. So I thought I'd walk with her and enjoy the moment. Along with the 5D Mk II of course.
The waves were large, crashing and beautiful. I took some shots of them. Nothing too inspiring. I noticed a girl shooting some waves too. She'll likely be the subject of a Fun Friday one of these days.
Then I got the idea of trying some of my wave panning techniques. This would be the first time I would try it from the beach (usually I'm on a pier). I tried several concepts, nothing quite grabbing me while viewing them on the LCD.
I realized that the girl now had a friend join her, and they were running around, being playful on the beach. I decided to try some other camera movements, besides horizontal panning. I started seeing something I liked.
Then I heard the words of Tony Sweet who often uses "in camera effects." In a facebook post/image recently he said "as in all things photographic, you want to begin with a nice composition." (I paraphrased.)
Surveying my scene I decided that the moment I was looking for was when the waves reached up the shore the furthest distance. I moved my self closer, then, farther, from the waves to be able to capture the sand as well, as I liked the rich colors I was getting.
Once I had my composition and my camera movement down, I played with different shutter speeds, all working when the girls were playing and the waves were doing their thing. Kind of a lot going on, but I was really enjoying it. Many of my photo buddies know I struggle to take the time necessary at a particular location to work through all the possibilities.
Once I saw this one on the LCD, I was pretty sure it was going to be promising. Let's find out, what do you think of it?
Also, since I have been working on these wave shots quite a bit, I have added a new category to my "category cloud" which can take you to an index listings of my wave shots.
Canon 5D Mark II, 70-200mm F/4.0, f/32, 1/2 sec, iso 100
For me, the ocean is not just a photographic subject, it's important to my being. And gets more so as I get older. I'm always happiest when around the Pacific Ocean. So I'm glad to have found an interesting and challenging way to photograph her.
These "wave pans" with a slow shutter are my favorite way to shoot the ocean. Today's image is the first time I successfully incorporated a sky into one of these. Every wave is different. Just waiting for me to attempt some magic. Can't wait to go back.
Canon 5D Mark II, 70-200mm F/4.0, f/32, .5 sec, iso 100
Another variation on my wave pan images today. When I first started with digital photography around 2000, I was amazed at information that could be found in the dark areas of an image. Using Photoshop I could bring out hidden details.
When I looked at the original of this image, at first glance everything looks kind of flat and gray. But I noticed subtle colors present. Which doesn't really surprise me as there are a lot of things in this area to reflect light, and seawater has all manner of critters and floatsam in it.
So using the basic sliders in Lightroom, I began saturating some of the colors, and ended up with this creation. I didn't add any colors, they were all there, but they are digitally enhanced beyond what we could see. This is a creation, art, it isn't supposed to be reality. I'm quite taken with this one. What do you think?
Also, on the continue link below you can view the original image so you can see what I started with.
Canon 5D Mark II, 70-200mm F/4.0, f/32, .8/sec, iso 100
Those of you that frequent my blog know I'm very enamored with these "panned wave" images. Each time I go to SoCal I try to get on a pier and see what I can do. On my last trip, what the heck, people were IN THE WATER, completely messing up my shoot!
Well, I do what I can. I decided to just include them, and the results were interesting. On a lot of these shots the exposure is 2 or 3 seconds. At that speed, the people just turn into blurs of colors. With this image, just under a second, the body surfer is still identifiable. And we still have the lovely lines this technique creates.
Used to love to body surf when I was a kid. That's when I first found out about the power of the ocean. When a big wave is coming and is going to break on you, you dive into it right? You hope to scoot through and pop out on the back side. I was in Laguna Beach having a good time when this monster wave came at me. I did the dive, but it did no good. The wave pushed me into the sand and just held me there like a giant hand. As I started to get to that stage where the need for a breath was strong, I recall thinking "is this water ever going to let me up?" When it finally did and made my way to the beach, I had a "sand rash" as big as a dinner plate on my side.
Canon 5D Mark II, 135mm F/2.0, f/2.0, 1/2500, iso 200
Well after the excitement shown in yesterday's post, we continued down the beach. I took a bunch of shots of the pier from the other side, then headed south, and saw that I really preferred this POV.
All of a sudden there was this one guy in view, and I felt this could be a pretty cool shot. I'm not sure if I already had this lens mounted or not (FYI I took no zooms on this trip, so sometimes you gotta reconnoiter in a hurry). I'm thinking maybe not because assuming I had a bit of time, there's no way I would have set my aperture to f/2.0. But anyway it all worked out.
I decided I wanted kind of a "big storm feel" for the image. So in Lightroom I began with a preset called "PH Surreal Moment." I then fiddled with several other sliders, including the saturation and luminance for green and aqua to accentuate the wave.
My thought is that although the person up there represents just a few pixels overall, it is what makes the image. Your thoughts are appreciated as always (with the comment link below).
Canon 5D Mark II, 180mm F/3.5 Macro, f/22, 1/8, iso 100
Today I'm sharing another of the wave pictures I attempted on our Central Coast trip. The image from my post on the 6th remains one of the most commented ever here on the blog. I wish I had some more as nice as that one, but I have what I have. There are more waves coming, I hear, so on my next trip I'm going to nail them!
Today's picture is also not exactly what I was gunning for, but is one that I do like quite a bit. Has that flowing feeling, and I particularly like the "just big enough to break a little bit" nature of the wave itself. I also like that when you think of most wave shots, they are coming at you, and here we have one of the back of a wave, yet it holds some interest.
Canon 5D Mark II, 400mm F/5.6, f/22, 1/10, iso 100
We are back from our 8 day trip to Monterey, the (CA) Central Coast and Long Beach/LA. I had two main photographic goals on the trip. First, to capture some "moving wave" images. The second was to help out my buddy Ben with some flying and airplane images with his California Cub airplane. On this latter goal, we scored!
Let me give you the background on the first goal. On a website, I had stumbled across images that really took my breath away. I was inspired! The photographer described that he was panning the waves, using 2 to 5 second exposures. His shots were not of breaking waves, but his panning created the most beautiful flowing lines. Like you see in the bottom area of my image above.
I could tell that a sunny morning or evening was required for these shots, lots of pretty reflected light on the water. And you want small waves, not breakers. Our first morning in Avila Beach looked perfect for this type of shot. So you know I was on station.
But what I found was that I was not able to get a long enough exposure to create the effect. (you can see I used low iso/small f/stop.) Before Christmas I had thought about purchasing a Singh Ray Variable Neutral Density filter that would have been perfect in this case. But I didn't follow through with that.
But I gave it the old college try as they say, and although I was not able to achieve a shot like the inspiration shot, I did get a few winners of my own. The above one being the best of the lot I believe. Now he didn't have anything like this, and I think it is quite a pleasing image. Somehow I got the smooth lines even without the desired length of exposure.
After the shoot, I realized I could probably rig up something with my Galen Rowel split GND's that would give me a longer exposure. The next day was overcast in the morning though, and on the following morning, which was perfect (argh!) I was off for my airplane shoot.
As for post processing, just some Lightroom Vibrance and Saturation brought out the colors in the water.
I need to get my GND filter stuff together and try again. Meanwhile, I'm happy to have created something unique and hopefully others like it too. Let me know what you think of this one. Also, on the continue link (you ARE going to click, aren't you?) I have a picture showing the overall scene I was shooting.