“Abstract-ish” wave photos


One of my goals when I recently traveled to Oregon was to produce some images of waves that would be displayed in panoramic formats. I ended up with two that I like and they are good examples of how playing around with a scene can yield different and pleasing results by changing key settings. First, what is common to the images: they were both shot using a Sony A7r and a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens with Metabones IV Canon EF to Sony E mount adapter at 100mm. I used a tripod and remote release to trip the shutter as well.

The differences are only two main ones, but they yield two distinct results. “Cannon Beach Wave No. 1” shown above had an exposure of 10 seconds, to create a more abstract and ethereal feeling. Note the two areas where it appears that something misty is rising from the wave tops at right and center left, although calling them waves when there is so little definition to them may be a stretch! The other difference is that it has a temperature (white balance) of 7,100k, a very “cool” and blue setting. A 6-stop neutral density filter was employed and the aperture was set at f/8.

“Cannon Beach Wave No. 2” had a significantly shorter exposure of 1 second. The shape of the waves is defined, but there is still some motion to create a softer representation (and feeling). The temperature is also a slightly warmer 6,900k. A polarizing filter was employed and the aperture was set at f/11. This second image was captured earlier in the morning, so the colors have a more pronounced purple hue.


The lingering marine layer of fog and low clouds offshore created a wonderful backdrop with its subtle changes and gradations in color and hue.

Click on the images to view them in a larger size

Like the typical parent, I like both images and appreciate their differences. It’s fun to see how changes, some out of my control, such as the changes due to the rising of the sun, as well as the ones I consciously make, like the change in exposure time, can yield different results. The lesson – get out and experiment!

This entry was posted in Scenery and Landscapes.

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