Last week I was in Florida again, and I had some time to try to capture images of the ocean. In many parts of the world, there are rock formations in the water or dramatic cliff backdrops, which offer more options for composition. The lack of any terrain made for more challenge, and the texture of the water became my primary focus.
In the top image, I converted it to b&w, and was mildly pleased with the result, but then decided to return the sky back to color in a new layer. I did make some minor cooling filter adjustments to the layer. I was about to remove the ship because I didn’t feel it was close enough to add to the scene, but then decided to leave it for its sense of scale.
I am often intrigued by other photographer’s shots of powerful waves crashing explosively into rocky shorelines, but I never knew there could also be interesting detail in a one foot high wave breaking onto a sandy beach. I’ve spent a lot of time using slow film in low light situations where blurred water results were common by default. A fast lens/high shutter speed combination allowed for detailed captures, and is something I will look for more often in future photo shoots.
There was a significant amount of human activity, as one would expect. One morning, this paraboarder was getting his workout, making several passes along the beach in front of me. As I took one sequence of shots, a plane was taking off from the airport behind him. Around the same time, a tractor was making a clean sweep of the beach. The ocean is always busy churning out its natural waste, which doesn’t make for postcard beaches!
In the end, the shots I liked the most occurred where there was texture on the wet sand or in the rolling water. One thing that doesn’t show up in the photos is the abundant humidity. The sea breeze made it enjoyable, but anywhere away from that was not pleasant. I’m very glad to be back in the desert now.