Walking down the beach at around 5 am in anticipation of photographing the sunrise, I happened to come across the remnants of some old wooden breakwater posts and decided to use them as a foreground element in my composition. I knew I wanted to use the slower shutter speeds to capture the motion of the ocean waves. But I was also looking to create some leading lines left by the motion of the water, rather than turning it into a milky white blob of nothingness which happens while shooting using a really long exposure.
To execute my plan, the shutter speed had to be just right. To get the right pattern in the water, I had to have the right wave and expose at just the right time. This proved to be more difficult than it seemed. Light changing quickly, wasn't going to give me time to continuously adjust my settings and wait for the right wave. So it had me thinking. there was another way to approach this shot.
To increase my chances, I switched my camera settings to continuous shutter release. It allowed me me to capture a series of images with hope one of them will capture a perfect arrangement of all the components at play. In the process, I discovered that there is a much higher likelihood of getting a more eye pleasing image this technique as opposed to trying to time it perfectly with a single release of the shutter. I also determined that the motion and the patters were much more pleasing when the wave receded. Slower moving water, created much nicer lines I was after. I wasn’t completely happy with the images I created, but I thought the new approach is worth exploring further on another shoot at the beach.
I processed only a few images from that morning and they are all shown below. The last one was captured using continuous shutter release. All images shown here were captured with a tripod mounted Canon 5D Mark II camera body and Canon 16-35mm f/2.8l II lens.