In the natural world, the Ocean is "my place." Little gives me more pleasure than seeing, touching, smelling, and just trying to be one with Mother Ocean. Last night I enjoyed a special time with her in Cape Cod. As I waited hopefully for a beautiful Atlantic sunset, these tiny waves beckoned before me. Waves so subtle that only a few gained the necessary inches in order to "mini-break."
I'd like to think this sensuous water knew of my presence and called to me with their lovely display. I feel fortunate to be able to capture these moments with my camera. Each one unique, never to happen again.
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.