Capturing the Sea in Motion – Continuing the Study

(Click on any image to enlarge)

Cormorants at Del Mar Cove Del Mar Cove Del Mar Point

These images from Del Mar Cove here on Sea Ranch continue the study of the sea in motion.  For these images I used an extended exposure from 6 to 30 seconds.  As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, extended exposure like this adds considerable chaos in the final image.  Now, while one can’t control every aspect of the outcome in long exposures, some trial and error as well as having an idea ahead of time as to what effect I am trying to achieve reduces the level of chaos in the final image.  I also shot these images in color and I really don’t know the full extent how the images will translate to something I want when processed into B&W.  But having shot many, many mid-day long exposures with a 10-stop ND filter provides a pretty firm base from which to start.

The light and clouds are also major players here in adding to the overall effect of the sea’s motion extended over time.  This is one of my favorite spots to shoot along the ten-mile stretch of Sea Ranch.  I call this area ‘Cormorant Rock’ because, as you can see in the first image, there is often a cormorant or two sitting atop the pyramid-shaped rock just offshore.  The amazing thing is that in this image where the cormorants are perched atop the rock, the exposure was 30 seconds long.  These guys really don’t move much…how nice for me.  And finally, the B&W really seems to bring out the textures and tonal quality in the layered rocks and the intertidal creatures covering the rocks.

I hope you enjoyed my focus on how extended exposure can capture the sea in motion in a very unique way.  Having the rocks there for the sea to work against and around also adds to the overall visual complexity of the image.


Equipment:  Nikon D810; Nikkor 24-70 mm f2.8 lens; Hoya 10-stop ND filter; Oben Tripod


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