Sunday, 12 February 2017

Why I love waves (And you should too!)

The sight and sound of waves breaking against and over the rocks can keep us mesmerised for hours. Every splash is different - the water pulling back - build up to the next wave - crash!! No second is equal - no moment totally still. How do we explain or express this to somebody else? ...with difficulty! My passion is photography and together with a deep love for the ocean, I spend my time at the coast completely immersed - living every sound and movement of the water.
Breaking Force (Chimbote coast, Ancash - Peru)
Breaking Force (18mm - 1/40s, f8, ISO100)
Even though the shutter speed is fairly low at 1/40s - already see some speed streaking in the water.

Here are some photos from a few days ago along the seafront of Chimbote in Peru (Ancash Region). Initially the light was bright but the waves were rolling in big and strong just after a very high spring tide. At the risk of the occasional splash in my direction, and unprotected, I sat down and set the tripod up - ready to rock and roll with a session of wave photography stretching into sunset session. I did also add a circular polariser filter to take some glare off as well help me get to slower shutter speeds easier - yes, I was looking for slower shutter speeds.

Obstacle or barrier (waves on Chimbote coast, Ancash - Peru)
Obstacle or Barrier (18mm - 1/40s, f8, ISO100)
Same settings as the previous but the light gets a bit warmer.

Hint: set your camera on "rapid fire" as you want to try and catch sequences of waves from the moment they touch the rocks till the water runs down. Depending on your camera and shutter speed, this will generally be between 6-10 photos. As you drop down on shutter speed, there are less shots per sequence, so best to push that shutter button a moment later. (Shutter speed you select also depends on what effect you want in the photos i.e. super sharp frozen droplets midair with a high shutter speed or the streaky effect with a slower shutter speed.) 

Blending colours (waves on the Chimbote coast, Ancash - Peru)
Blending colours (18mm, 1/13sec, f8, ISO 100)
A huge wave breaks and at 1/13s shutter speed gives that streaky flowy effect I love.
The light from the right adds great ambiance.

As the light went with the sunset, I decided to see what I get from this spot with the shutter open much longer - in this case 8 seconds Tripod is imperative for these shots to avoid camera shake, and if you have one, a remote shutter release.

Smoke on the water (waves with sunset at Chimbote, Ancash - Peru)
Smoke on the Water (18mm, 8sec, f8, ISO 100)
This is where you get that fluffy, smoky look which in this case is enhanced by the sunset colours.

Get out there and give it a try...don't just try and take 10 photos; as my mentor once said " have the subject, work it!" Enjoy and let me know how it went - share your photos with me, I'd love to see your photos of waves!

Camera & Lens: Canon EOS 500D, EF-S18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS, Circular polariser filter,
Manfrotto tripod
Post-processing: Adobe Lightroom 4.4

Islands in the Sun (sunset in Chimbote, Ancash - Peru)
Islands in the Sun (18mm, 1/60sec, f8, ISO 100)
Another lovely sunset with some smaller waves in the foreground - bit less streaky at 1/60s.



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