Pastel Surf

Surf at Dusk No.1 — Corolla Beach, NC  © jj raia

Surf at Dusk No.1 — Corolla Beach, NC © jj raia

During this trip to North Carolina’s Outer Banks, each morning was spent in the surf at sunrise in hopes of something dramatic in the sky, while a few sunsets were spent facing the bay looking west. But generally, a sunset looking east is not very productive.

As one does a lot while on a real vacation (as opposed to a photo trip) quite a bit of time is spent relaxing. And so I was doing just that as the afternoon wore on, just watching the surf roll in and out. A bank of clouds was looking pretty good looking east out toward the ocean, and when it began to take on some color, I put on the waders, grabbed my gear, and went into the surf. As mentioned in previous posts, for the image above, I blended a frame with the best cloud color in the sequence with another that had the best movement in the surf, to get the best image possible from those few moments. 

After the color left the cloud in the first image, I turned the camera looking north to see the pastel colors of dusk and took a few images using 2-second exposures to really drag the surf into directional lines that crossed through the frame rather than further into it as it does in the photo at the top. Depending on what the surf was doing at the moment the shutter was tripped, made a big difference in the result. For the three above, the surf was running in or out, with the timing just around when it had reached its furthest travel, with no other surf involved with the motion. For the image below, the surf was coming in from the right, and was met by the previous surge returning from the left, to slow its momentum, and causing a bit of turbulence in the lower half of the frame.

Surf at Dusk No.4 — Corolla Beach, NC  © jj raia

Surf at Dusk No.4 — Corolla Beach, NC © jj raia

But what really makes these images of the surf a bit unique, is the soft pastel colors of dusk, as opposed to the usual dramatic red and orange of a sunrise or sunset. Of course, the addition of clouds in the sky is certainly something that added to the good fortune as well.

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