On my excursion to the coast with Joe Defao, I wanted to do a long exposure with an isolated subject. After seeing this rockpile, I decided I could make a comp if I positioned myself correctly on the sidehill. My original thought for this image was a black and white treatment, but when I saw the cyans that came out of the water with the sublte warm glow from the sunset, I changed my mind.
I did this same shot at shorter exposures with only 10-stops of ND (plus ~5 of grads), but the ocean wasn’t as smooth as I had wanted, so I put on another 3 stops and cranked down the aperture. That made my exposure a whopping 8 minutes in the light of day! I usually just don’t have the patience for that, but after my first few exposures, I decided I needed to make it right.
The scale of the rocks is difficult to grasp here, but I’d say they are at least 35 feet tall. I was amazed that even after 8 minutes of exposure, the tidal line in the water in the background was still quite visible.
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 24-105L @73mm
480 second exposure @ F16
Hoya ND-400, B+W ND .9, Lee ND Grads .75 & .9
One single exposure at ISO 50