Photo of the Week - Surfer's Path to the Point

How I created the shot:

Today, I am excited to share my latest piece, titled Surfer's Path to the Point.

I first created this image in my mind: I visualized three or four surfers walking down the path to the point, carrying their surfboards. Behind them, a beautiful sunrise painted the sky with bold, colorful brush strokes. The lighthouse burned brightly, like a star shining in the evening sky.

Sounds easy enough, right?

Well, not so fast.

There were a few challenges to overcome. First, there was the timing of the surfers walking down the path at the exact time that the sunrise was in peak color. Second, would there even be a colorful sunrise that morning? Third, would the surfers walk with enough space between them to add to the composition?

Finally, what about the lighthouse? As the day gets brighter, the light from the lighthouse would lose its brightness, making it difficult to capture a starburst.

So, what was my plan?

Based on previous experience, I suspected that by the time the sun began to rise, the daylight would be too bright for me to capture a starburst because creating a starburst requires a long exposure and a bright light source. To remedy this, I planned to arrive earlier in the morning, while it was still somewhat dark outside, so I could capture the starburst from the lighthouse, then blend that image into the second shot of the sunrise and the surfers.

The downside was that I no longer had the luxury of changing my composition, because both shots would need to line up correctly to successfully blend them, so my initial setup had to be on the money.

I set up my camera, double-checked the composition, and proceeded to grab the starburst shot of the lighthouse. This was a good thing because, as it turned out, it was too bright at sunrise to get a starburst shot.

The next step was to wait for the sunrise and pray for a beautiful sky and a few surfers to come through.

Timing is everything.

Fast-forward. The sunrise has begun, and it is spectacular. Right on cue, the surfers appear and start walking down the path to the point where they enter the water, and they space themselves out nicely. I'm super excited as this begins to unfold.

Everything seemed to be going great, until...

I realized how important it would be to capture a wave with some character to make the image complete. The problem was, I only had a few seconds to catch it while the surfers were in a good position. I adjusted my shutter speed with the intent of capturing a breaking wave with just a bit of motion blur to it, just to give it a little bit of that artsy feel that I like. Fortunately, the next wave was one of the larger ones of the morning, and I was able to get the shot.

What's the bottom line?

It was a bit challenging to blend the two images, but I took my time with it, and I'm super-pleased with the final result.

Want to know the best part?

The best part is that I found a way to overcome the limitations of the camera to bring my vision to life. Sometimes, we need to think outside the box. As an artist, my goal is to create lasting images that will take you away from the stress of your day, and connect you to the natural beauty of the world around us. Enjoy!

Technical Stuff:

Canon 5D Mark III / 24-105MM L-Series Lens / ISO 100 / f-18 / Tripod / Multiple Exposure Blend

Quote of the Week:

"Photography has nothing to do with cameras."

                                                         - Lucas Gentry


Want to see how this image would look on your wall?

Click on the image, after the new page loads, click on the Wall Preview feature to how it would look in your home or office.