Tag Archives: waves

Panning Waves

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Just after sunrise on the Atlantic ocean, I started composing images of backlit waves. First I tried raditional shots, just trying to catch the waves at the crest while freezing the action. It then occurred to me that waves might make a good candidate for panning. Using a range of shutter speeds from 1/4 to 1/2 sec I started panning the camera, tracking a single wave (just like panning on a moving car, bicycle, etc). The images come out quite painterly, a look I always like.

Shown here are a couple of my favorites.


  1. To get this slow of a shutter speed I was shooting at f36, ISO100 with a polarizer on.
  2. The blue and gold colors were created by the morning sun combined with the shadows in the waves. 
  3. As always with this type of shot you need to practice and capture several exposures to get one good one.

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Notice how the slow shutter speed captures the spray as it shoots in different directions. 

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Below is an image shot at 1/200 of a second, f9, ISO 200. A more traditional image.

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