Catch a wave

NPhoto - - Special Feature -

What’s the ef­fect? When you think about all of the pic­tures that are made in the world, most of them will have been taken us­ing a shut­ter speed of 1/60 sec or faster. This is mostly be­cause the pho­tog­ra­phers re­quired a fast enough shut­ter speed to en­able them to hold the cam­era rather than use a tri­pod.

Shut­ter speed, by def­i­ni­tion, is the amount of time that the shut­ter is open and al­low­ing the sen­sor or film to record the im­age. But when we slow the shut­ter speed down and leave the shut­ter open longer, a whole new world ap­pears. With just a few clicks of the dial, we cross over from static snaps into the realm of ex­cit­ing and evoca­tive im­agery.

Seascapes open nu­mer­ous pos­si­bil­i­ties for us­ing slower shut­ter speeds, which al­low you to cre­ate the feel­ing of ex­plo­sive power in crash­ing waves. Tim­ing plays an im­por­tant part in cre­at­ing a suc­cess­ful im­age, as you need to cap­ture the ex­act mo­ment a wave ex­plodes against a rock – or, in this case, an ice­berg. It can take sev­eral at­tempts to get the right wave.

What’s the time? I find that a shut­ter speed of around 1/8 sec to 1/4 sec works very well in pro­duc­ing the de­sired ef­fect of an ex­plo­sive crash­ing wave, and for this im­age I used 1/4 sec. It’s slow enough to cap­ture move­ment in the wa­ter, yet fast enough to freeze the wave to show the im­pact. When you are us­ing slower shut­ter speeds, use a tri­pod to keep ev­ery­thing in the scene, ex­cept for the wave, sharp.

Have you ever heard of the ‘sev­enth wave’ the­ory? It states that ev­ery sev­enth wave will be the big­gest one. This would be so easy if it were true – it isn’t, although there is some truth be­hind it. If you study a se­ries of waves, there is a pat­tern that emerges with the big one ar­riv­ing sooner or later. It is never ran­dom, so take some time and study the waves to give you more in­sight into cap­tur­ing the right wave.

Back­light­ing will also help to make the wave stand out. In this im­age, I aligned the ris­ing sun with the hole in the ice and used a small aper­ture of f/22 to cre­ate the sun­burst. A three-stop ND grad over the sky bal­anced the ex­po­sure with the fore­ground.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.