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Salt Spray Samba | by Joshua Cripps
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Salt Spray Samba

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Really fun shoot last night with Jave, Rich (aka The Hitman), and James out at Four Mile Beach. What looked like absolutely epic clouds in the afternoon dissipated to clearish skies by evening but swept back in in full force for sunset.


The other things out in full force last night were the freakin' wind and salt spray. Here's how it would go down: line up to shoot, shoot, curse due to massive salt spray drops on front filter, remove camera from splash zone, clean filter, return to spot, line up to shoot, shoot, curse, rinse, repeat. All four of us were dancing in and out of the spray to get the best comp while trying to keep our gear clear of the oceany blasts. Hence the salt spray samba.


But it was a dance well worth dancing because conditions were primo: incredible light in the sky, killer reflections in the sand, and beautiful turquoise hues in the water. And in the end, everyone seemed to score at least a few shots they were happy with, and so we rolled out from the beach a happy and hungry crew and headed to Betty Burgers in Seabright to celebrate our victories over the elemental demons.


Video below.



Technical Notes


ISO 100

12 mm

0.5 sec


3-stop HOYA Solid ND

2-exposure blend

Theory: I like to shoot at f/8 whenever possible because it's the sharpest aperture on my wide angle lens and it allows for ample depth of field for landscape shots. I also wanted to avoid a lot of spray drops showing up on this image and keeping my aperture at f/8 would help de-focus whatever drops were on my lens as much as possible. At the same time I wanted to open my shutter speed to catch the motion in the waves, but with the light the way it was at that moment, at f/8, 0.5 sec the photo would've been completely blown out, so I had two choices: 1) stop down to f/22, which would greatly increase the appearance of water drops on the image, or 2) toss a 3-stop ND filter on the lens. I chose the second route and it worked out splendidly! Then it was a simple matter of taking two back-to-back exposures and combining them with a layer mask in PS.




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Taken on May 10, 2010