As the light develops…

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As the early light developed from the east, I turned my camera and focused (pun intended) on the always gorgeous and striking Otter Cliffs and round rocks laying on Boulder Beach. I never get tired of spending time here, and as I experimented with several compositional choices, I tried to accentuate the various elements in the scene. Lately I have been making a conscious effort to explore using focal lengths other than wide, though as you can see, I once again somewhat predictably (for me) stayed more toward the wide end of my 17-40mm lens. The waves from the outgoing tide were almost eerily calm, so any aspirations I had for photographing huge surf and a stormy scene were not to be… hardly the recipe for the enthusiastic landscape photographer! Having said that, this location never disappoints, and regardless of the conditions, I always find there to be enough beauty to pretty much guarantee coming away with a photograph that I like.

In the two images above, I processed them each with a slightly different white balance, and since I couldn’t decide which I liked better, I posted both. In the first image, I was also drawn to the effect that a longer shutter had on the water, and in the second, the warmer colors of the rocks got my attention. My camera was set on aperture priority mode, and in an attempt to get more of the scene in focus, I chose to shoot at f16. As the light developed slowly, the camera automatically made any adjustments to the length of the shutter needed for a correct exposure. I bracketed the scene with three images each about a stop apart, and I then blended different exposures to account for the significant amount of dynamic range there was between the lightest and darkest parts of the scene, making one image that represented more what my eye was able to see.

In this last photograph, I turned my camera to portrait orientation and used the wide angle effect to draw attention to those beautiful round rocks in the foreground. Right as I was tripping the shutter, the sun broke free from behind a low layer of clouds parked on the horizon and fleetingly raked across the scene. More “contrasty” than the other two images in this post, I wanted to show off the beautiful warm light that was being caught on the side of the rocks. Luckily a decent wave rolled in while the light was momentarily good, and I thought the warm sidelight illuminating the breaking water added something to the view.

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14 thoughts on “As the light develops…

  1. Gorgeous photographs! I love the darkness of the first one, but the wave and light in the second one is spectacular. Thanks for sharing your images,
    Nate

  2. I just love the various moods you capture in these. The last one is so dramatic but I would be hard pressed to try and choose my favorite of them. ~Lili

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