Usually when the phrases “Dawn Photography” and “Beach Photography” are uttered, most people will conjure up images in their mind respectively of the reds, golds and yellows of fresh morning light as the sun creeps over the eastern horizon, or the blues and greens of the waves with the whitecaps cresting out to the horizon. When you say the phrase “Dawn Beach Photography” – you probably have an image of both of those combined and really want to see something spectacular.
Well, this trip out resulted in neither of those visions, and at times you have to just take what nature throws at you and see what you can do with it. Other than the options for composition, the rest was just against coming away with anything decent. The Pelicans did seem to like the conditions as exhibited with the large number of Brown Pelicans who would skirt the waves for as long as they could until interrupted with the next onslaught of higher wave rhythms.
The one advantage of dull or overcast skies is the saturation of colors and the ability to drag your shutter a bit longer than available in normal natural light. With the tide coming in, the waves were building with intensity, their level, and the reach back up to the beach on each crash. Being able to stay at 100 ISO kept the noise down overall, and the use of a recently added 2X-8X adjustable ND filter to the kit gave the opportunity to increase the painting of the waves on the click from 2 seconds up to 10 seconds at times. The difference to this type of result than that of waves on a normal day is the ability to showcase the ebb and flow of their power and impact onto the shore. With a single click, you capture a moment which by itself can show the power of the waves, but extending this overtime the natural patterns can be highlighted which while seen, are not always successfully captured.
Long waves at Aliso Beach
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