What’s the effect? Photographing milky-water seascapes is relatively easy, and there are numerous images like this throughout photographic magazines, but taking one is not simply a matter of pointing your camera out to sea and slapping on a filter. You need to consider things carefully before making any exposures. Look for an interesting foreground of rocks, perhaps concentrating on one distinctive rock, like the one here seemingly wedged between the others. It’s best when the tide is at the right level around the rocks, and receding, so you won’t be chased by the incoming waves. Finally, have a central point of interest for the eye to stop on, such as the mountain range in the background. Oh, and the right amount of clouds wouldn’t go amiss either.
What’s the time? Select an exposure time that will allow the waves to make a few passes over the rocks, preferably over the tops so they wet the surface; wet rocks look much better than dry ones as they glisten and reflect the colour of the sky. To obtain an exposure of almost one and a half minutes, I used a Lee Big Stopper ND filter, along with a Lee landscape polariser to remove reflections from the rocks. A threestop ND grad filter over the sky helped to balance the sky with the foreground. There was an opening in the clouds, so I waited until it lit up the distant mountain. I chose an aperture of f/16 to increase the depth of field, resulting in an image that’s sharp from the foreground to the background.