This summer, I traveled with my family on a camping trip to the Bandon area of the Oregon coast. It was cold and windy, which is not unusual there but it was a refreshing break from the heat where I live. On the first evening after setting up camp, we were eating dinner in town. A thick fog had rolled in along the Coquille River, and I noticed these pier pilings mysteriously appearing and disappearing in the mist. After dinner, I spent nearly an hour photographing these piers.
When composing this image, I wanted to show both the ethereal foggy mood and the depth of the posts fading out into the mist. I shuffled my camera position until I found a good rhythm of spaces between each line. This spacing accentuates the fascinating graphic structure because each space defines a post, and avoids the merging of that shape. For this image, I used the Singh Ray Vari-ND to lengthen the exposure. This technique does a great job of simplifying the overall image since the blurring “washes away” the textures of the water. To me, this heightens a feeling of the piers floating in space.
For the next two evenings, I was on the main Bandon beach, photographing in the wind and fog. Heaven! For some reason, very few others were enjoying the wintry conditions! I spent over one hour with my feet nearly freezing in the surf. In order to heighten the misty conditions, I had to get out into the surf wash for that “blurred water” effect. The wave action kept moving my camera, with the tripod feet sinking into the sand. I finally found a high spot where my tripod was relatively protected and my camera angle still included the surf. Since every wave picture is different, dependent on timing and action, I made dozens on frames to capture the best moment.
For the image above, I used a Singh Ray Vari-ND to get more blurring action. There were some subtle tones in the sky, but the monochrome evening lent itself to Black and White. I particularly enjoy the textures in the surf and rock formations in this image, but mostly importantly how this image conveys the mystical mood I felt on this beach. The subtleties are hard to see at a small scale, but a large print will bring out the delicate, high key qualities.
Even though I did not see spectacular clouds, or a dramatic sunset while at the beach, I made the best of what nature offered me. What did you do on your summer vacation?