Photography in Paradise

peeking from behind the sensor

With the best low tides in in morning during the early summer months I find that photographing ocean piers a wonderful challenge to push the range of my film or digital camera system to the limit. I get up at 4 am and head out in the dark to get there before sunrise because the low tides are usually before sunrise. Long exposures is the norm. Anywhere from 30 seconds to 3 to 4 minutes is the norm. During the long exposure wet snd is not your find because the tripod can move sinking into the sand. Of course you don’t know this happened until you are processing your images. Making HDR exposures suffer from this movement in the sand. With the lighting changing rapidly making back up exposures have to be constantly monitored and adjusted for the change. HDR exposures of 6 image presents a problem when each exposure is 30 seconds to 2 minutes. During the 15 minutes it takes to make HDR long exposures things change and you have to be vigilant to get it right. For the most part I stay away from HDR set-ups.blue pierThis is the normal early morning color when the sky is overcast.

standard bxw Converting to Black and White is easy.

bxw hdr This is a six exposure HDR series used to open up the shadows. Don’t look too close there was movement during each exposure.

stray light Stray light from a light on the pier added the orange glow in the water reflection. These thing can either add or detract from the image.

super HDR This is another HDR used to open up the underside of the pier.

flash fill I used flash fill to give me color on one the pilings.

water movement  Flash fill and water movement enhance the pier images.

keeping the horizon This is an example of keeping the horizon level when when none of the pilings are ever truly vertical.

sunrise When sunrise arrives the colors can be very nice.

panorama This is a 7 frame panorama stitched in Photoshop. I chose the Canon 7D st at ISO 160 and the 17-4mm lens set at 17mm in the vertical position with the Really Right Stuff panning head on a solid Gitzo tripod. Working in sand you need a heavy and sturdy tripod to make good long exposures and HDR frames or panoramas. It was a fun morning and Ray Savage went with me. He was brave to get up so early and venture forth.