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Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Calm

Scroll Mouse Over Image to see 'Before' Version

I've been working on this image for quite a while. This is one of those shots that I'd like to be a 'gallery' shot, but I'm not sure if it's exciting enough. I know that sounds silly, especially given the fact that there's an entire genre of photography based on minimalism. But, I'm not sure if this image would qualify as a minimalist image...there is alot of color, and a lot of energy...calm energy, but still energy. i really like this one though. It pulls me in. I find myself staring at it for minutes at a time. Seascapes have always been one of my favorite subjects to shoot. Since I was a small child, I've always been intrigued by the ocean. I consider the ocean and beach to be my 'element', where I am most at peace. Imagine the stories an ocean could tell if it spoke...The changes in evolution, environment, and energy it has witnessed over time. These great pools of water have been around from the beginning of time, and continue to possess so much strength and power. My favorite time to sit on the beach is at dusk or dawn...the water is always so calm, the low level of light creates the most beautiful colors in the water, the sound of the small waves crashing on shore, and the smell of salt in the air. It's my 'safe' place, and will always be. 

This shot was taken at Hunting Island, off the South Carolina coast near Beaufort. I begged my husband to wake up early with me and join me in my travel to this awesome place before sunrise. Being the amazing man that he is, he was more than happy to accomodate me. He to is a nature lover. My kids on the other hand...well, we just carried them to the car in their pjs and let them sleep the entire time. Prior to our journey, I had heard about how incredible this beach was. That it is one of the few places on the east coast that has been completely untouched by development. It was also where they did the filming of the Vietnam scenes for Forest Gump. So, I knew it had to be pretty tropical to double for Vietnam. However, when we got there and I stepped out of the car to walk toward the water, I never expected what I saw that early early morning. It was a paradise...something you'd find only on a deserted island somewhere in the south pacific. a line of palm trees led me to the soft sandy beach, where the sky was dancing with almost every shade of color from the rainbow. Exotic birds were beginning to chirp...I was in photography heaven. I have always wanted to capture an ethereal type of waterscape using a slow shutter to make the water  look very milky. I can't tell you how many times i said "wow" under my breath during this photo shoot. I wish I could take you all there to see this place in person. But, the best I can do is try to convey that sense of calm through my images. I hope i did it justice with this shot.

Post Processing:
The most significant change I made to the original image was the color scheme. I did this using a color gradient. At the moment I took the photograph, the water appeared more purple than appeared in the shot. So, I used a gradient map that started with a deep purple and ended with a midnight blue. I changed the blending mode to multiply and dropped the opacity down to around 35%. Viola. It now looks the way I remember it.   


  1. This is great! Very peaceful

  2. Thank you Eden! It was quite a sight to see live!!