one morning at secrets (part two)

August 15, 2014

Part two is all about the waves-- the great metaphor for change, energy, and flow. 

the influence of julio-- blue sky and waves for days.

change in volume change in color, secrets, kauai, hawaii

People ask all the time, "How did you get that color?" My reply is almost always, "It's all about the light." Well, in wave (or surf photography) it's all about the light and the volume and depth of the water. The photo above is a perfect example of this. The deeper water in the background is a deep blue. However, the wave is sea-green. This change is always happening and you can even see it  within individual waves. I recommend a circular polarizer to help pick up this difference in color. Also, we can't forget the light so if you have the time wait around for the good light. Direct sunlight on the wave will make the unique colors stand out even more.

 

the influence of julio-- blue sky and waves for days.

rainbow spray, secrets, kauai, hawaii

Often with the right light and the right direction of light (behind you) you can get a rainbow spray coming off the back/top of the wave (the rip curl). This shot has a little rainbow forming, but not much of one. I have other shots where the rainbow is longer and more pronounced, but this shot gives you an idea of something to look for the next time you photographing large waves. Again, a polarizer will help here as well.

 

the influence of julio-- blue sky and waves for days.

frothy break, secrets, kauai, hawaii

I've now left the tripod behind, well up on the beach, and have gone knee deep into the surf. This can be dangerous for both the photographer and the equipment! If you choose this method-- please be careful! Also, camera insurance-- enough to adequately cover the replacement cost of your gear-- is highly recommended.

 

the influence of julio-- blue sky and waves for days.

secrets shining, secrets, kauai, hawaii

When i get in the surf and shoot i always set the camera to aperture priority. There is just too much going on to think about camera settings. Also, with waves this big you can't be looking at the LCD between shots to see how things are going. If you are in the surf you need to be vigilant and looking out for what's coming next. 

 

the influence of julio-- blue sky and waves for days.

change is beautiful, secrets, kauai, hawaii

I think this one is my favorite from the day. Look at how heavy that wave is! Pure hawaii, baby! Other camera settings for surf photography: aperture 2.8 and usually exposure bias of -1/3 to -2/3. Generally i'm looking for speeds at 2000 and faster. I like to keep iso low-- around 200 in good light, but some days i have to move it up to 400. I try not to go any higher than that as the color tends to suffer as a tradeoff for the speed. 

 

the influence of julio-- blue sky and waves for days.

breaking into the light, secrets, kauai, hawaii

Just like any other time, you need to be aware of the direction of the light (sun). I often find that shooting a wave while looking into the sun gives a glassy, almost mercury (quick silver!) quality to the wave. It's really hard to pull it off, and i'm not confident that i did it here, but it's always worth a try. You can sometimes pull off from stellar shots that are unique in a liquidy metallic nature. Often these shots lend themselves well to black and white. 

 

the influence of julio-- blue sky and waves for days.

breaking into the light (bw), secrets, kauai, hawaii

This shot is a continuation of the color photo above. I just processed this one in black and white, using a yellow filter preset as the base and customizing the adjustments from there. This reminds me, when shooting surf photography I always use the high frame setting (rapid/continuous shutter) and i'll often also use the AI SERVO auto focus setting that tracks moving objects (the wave). Other times I'll focus on a certain area and shoot what comes into it.

 

the influence of julio-- blue sky and waves for days.

colors falling right on the beach, secrets, kauai, hawaii

all photos in today's blog were taken with a canon 5d3 and a canon 70-200ii/2.8 L series lens, nikon circular polarizer and black rapid shoulder strap.

well, i've run out of things to say so i guess that's all for today.

thanks for visiting.

have a great aloha friday!

aloha, 

lee