Capturing Crashing Waves in Action

June 25, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

A giant wave blasting against the rocky coast of MaineSchoodic Waves in ActionI had a blast capturing the action of the waves pounding the coast of Maine. As the sun was setting, I hung out on the coast of the Schoodic Peninsula.  And I look forward to trying this technique at the Jersey Shore too.

I set my Nikon D5200 for Aperture Priority, f5.6@1600, choosing the fast shutter speed to freeze the action of the waves.  I bumped up the ISO to 500, and although I knew the D5200 shows a bit of noise at that ISO, I needed to get the shutter speed to be a fast one.  I used the 55-300 lens and hand-held, so I could work the subject as in sports.  

This subject is a departure for me.  I usually photograph grand and intimate landscapes and the only action I am concerned with is wind.  But these amazing waves crashing onto the shore challenged me and seduced me.  In fact, every time I tried to leave the coast, another wave pounded the granite and called me back.


untitled-648Rock Stars, Coast of MaineThe challenge was to capture both of these waves as they pounded the rocks. I ran around the boulders, kept the horizon as straight as I could and POW, high speed capture.

The challenge was to capture both waves as they pounded the rocks.  I ran around the boulders, kept the horizon as straight as I could and POW, high speed capture. I used a 16-35mm lens to get the wide angle I needed for two waves.  What a fun way to spend an evening.

And as a bonus, after the light was no longer catching the tops of the waves, I explored the Schoodic Granite.  The warm light, the texture of the subject and the background waves caught my eye.  Again I used the 16-35mm lens, my sharpest, to show depth of the scene.

untitled-593Schoodic Granite, Lichen, and WavesI focused on the foreground boulders and lichen, letting the background soften. Out of my element with handheld photography, abandoning my tripod was actually very freeing for these subjects.




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