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Old November 27th, 2010, 08:33 PM
Maris Rusis Maris Rusis is offline
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Noosa, Queensland, Australia.
Posts: 382
Default HDR: Wave Break, Noosa Beach.

Wave Break, Noosa Beach

Gelatin-silver photograph on Kodak Polymax Fine Art VC FB, image area 24.7cm x 19.6cm, from a Tri-X Pan Professional negative exposed in a Tachihara 810HD triple extension 8x10 field view camera with a Fujinon-W 300mm f5.6 lens and using a #25 red filter and a 1 stop soft ND grad filter.

A modern technique in electronic picture-making is High Dynamic Range processing where several exposures are combined to bridge wide luminance ranges in subject matter. A difficulty with HDR is subject movement but this can also represent an opportunity. Wave Break, Noosa Beach is high dynamic range subject done on film.

The Tachihara 8x10 camera was placed on a low rock wall so it could look toward the beach with a plain sea foreground. Focussing was augmented with a back tilt of the rear standard to place the plane of focus along the water surface and through the distant line of trees. The picture would then be in focus from front to back at any aperture, any shutter speed.

Careful note was made of the upper right-hand corner of the ground glass (bottom left-hand corner of the picture) to establish what part of the sea surface lived there. That patch of sea was committed to secure memory because it would be needed later.

A 6 inch clear plastic ruler was placed on the ground glass of the camera to measure the movement of the wave images. The fastest wave image moved 2 inches in one second. Since I wanted a maximum 1/2 inch blur to imply wave movement but retain wave shape I knew my main shutter speed would be 1/4 second.

The lens was fitted with a Cokin P filter holder carrying a grad ND filter and a #25 red filter. The grad filter was aligned with the tops of the trees. A short initial exposure was made at f64 with the result that only the sun disk, some bright threads of cloud, some water sparkle and, faintly, the tree line registered on film. The camera was then left completely undisturbed for nearly half an hour while the sun set and the scene darkened.

Before the second exposure the red filter was removed (carefully!) and the shutter re-cocked at 1/4 second. A spot-meter reading confirmed that an aperture of f16 should be set for the assorted dark tones to fall on Zones II, III, and IV. The last element was getting the wave in the right place. Because the ground-glass was blocked by the film-holder that pre-memorised patch of sea was the aim point for the breaking wave. A few seconds later the shutter was clicked to catch a nice wave as it swept by. The rest was routine.
"Photography or the application of the chemical rays of light to the purpose of pictorial representation...". Photography, the word, coined and first uttered by Sir John Herschel at the Royal Society, Somerset House, London; 14 March, 1839.
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Old November 27th, 2010, 10:34 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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This is wonderful technique and especially praiseworthy in timing the wave and having the pre-memorized patch of sea as a reference for the wave you would subsequently capture.

I don't understand how you didn't end up with a blur for the sun as it would/should/could move in 30 min at this fast moving time of the day. You seem to have just one sun disk!

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Old November 27th, 2010, 11:52 PM
Andy brown Andy brown is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,108

Asher, I think I know the answer.
By the time of the second exposure, the sun was below the treeline ( I know the lay of the land here)

The ambient light would still be enough to register the (wonderful) light trails on the wave.

What a good image Maris!

Interesting that you'd measure the wave movement. I often try for similar movement in water shots but have used trial and error as my method.
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Old November 28th, 2010, 05:32 AM
Mark Hampton Mark Hampton is offline
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Join Date: May 2010
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for me the bottom (sea area) is interesting, well worth working on. A lot of work and effort for a cracking wave !
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Old October 8th, 2011, 07:59 AM
Jason Asher Jason Asher is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Posts: 15

Great work Maris, love how you methodically explain your process, what a superbly setup shot. I too like the main feature of the wave movement, as it curves around and leads us out perfectly - the image would feel so empty without it. Look forward to viewing more of your work.
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Old October 8th, 2011, 10:24 AM
jake klein jake klein is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: minnesota
Posts: 747

I'm pretty sure seeing this online doesn't do the print any justice! I would love to see a print like this in person.
Best Regards,
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