Winter Surf

The surf continues to rage against the coast with high winds driving it against the rocks in grand explosions…

The difference today was the sun breaks in between squalls throwing god beams across the skies…

The color image is bright and airy, giving the image a feeling of a breaking storm. I also finished one of the images in B&W. The dramatic light in shades of grey conveys a much different emotion…evoking the moodiness and gloom of an approaching storm…

The skies cleared as the sun dropped lower in the sky reflecting warm colors in the tide pools. I selected the smallest aperture on my lens and the slowest ISO (L1) on my camera to slow the shutter speed way down and clicked as wave after wave surged over the rocks to capture a more dreamy, ethereal look…

When I have been fortunate enough to find big waves at Shore Acres or Cape Kiwanda, I know right where to place my camera to capture the most dramatic action. This week with an entire coastline of rocky shores and crashing waves everywhere I looked and the first few days of flat light followed by the beautiful, constantly changing light today proved to be a challenge for me. I spent hours simply watching the surf learning the way the waves came in sets, the different manner in which the waves crashed upon the rocks during an incoming tides vs an outgoing tide. I learned so much by simply observing the waves and memorizing their patterns so I could anticipate where they might crash next. It was quite a challenge and I have several images that I feel captured the power of the winter surf on the Oregon Coast.

Images created with Nikon D3S, AF-S 28-300mm VR on Lexar digital media

Night Surf

I love a winter storm at the Oregon coast. There is no better time than around Christmas where the weather rages around you outside and you can either brave the elements for a few photographs or sit inside by the fire enjoying the crashing waves from a warm, dry beach house. I can never resist going out for a shot or two and then I find myself hypnotized by the wave sets. I wanted to work the night surf so last night I set up my camera and experimented until I found the best exposure and then clicked off a few images. I love the deep blue surreal feel of the images that resulted from my first attempt. The long exposure blurred and smoothed out the water.

…but, they didn’t communicate the power of the crashing waves so, I switched to the 70-200mm 2.8 VR II for the extra speed and experimented some more until I came up with an exposure that better captured the brute force of the crashing waves…

The neighbors had a spotlight that lit up the foreground illuminating the waves as they exploded onto the rocky shore…

The challenge was having my camera aimed in the right place when the waves crashed. When photographing place like Shore Acres or Cape Kiwanda it’s easy to simply aim at the area where the waves are crashing and click whenever a big one hit. With the entire coast roaring with crashing wave after wave it was more of a challenge getting the waves I wanted in the frame. After watching the waves for some time I began to see the patterns as sets of waves came to shore, once I got the rhythm of the waves I was able to anticipate when and where they would crash…

Images created with Nikon D3S, AF-S 28-300mm VR, AF-S 70-200MM VR II on Lexar digital media

Happy Holidays

We left Hawaii Sunday night and arrived home Monday morning. Yesterday still felt like Monday so, I was completely taken off guard when I realized that it is now Wednesday and I didn’t do my Tech Tuesday post yesterday…Argh!!!

So, without further ado, here are some more great gift ideas for the photographer in your life…

For that storm chaser in your life, how about a Lightning Trigger

And, to protect their gear when they are braving the weather a ThinkTank rain cover…

For the wildlife photographer, a teleconverter will bring their subject into frame filling, in your face proximity…


*Note: Canon and Nikon teleconverters are designed to work with specific lenses…double check to make sure your photographer’s lenses will accept teleconverters!


600mm VR with TC17E II

How about a year of unlimited training from the great folks at Kelby Training

An “Excell”ent Adventure will put a huge grin on your favorite photographer’s face. Gift certificates available…

Is your photographer’s software up to date? If not, how about the latest version of Photoshop CS5 or Lightroom 3

Add that creative touch with Photoshop/Lightroom plug-ins from the creative geniuses at NIK and OnOne Software…


OnOne PhotoFrame 4.6


NIK Software Silver Efex Pro

Stocking Stuffer ideas…

Polarizing Filter. Spend the bucks and get a high quality filter. I use the Nikon slim polarizer (available in many sizes)…


without polarizer


with polarizer

Every photographer can use a helping hand. How about a Nasty Clamp or a Justin Clamp to support that compact camera or flash…


Nasty Clamp


Justin Clamp

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