For Groundhog day 2022 I decided to make a trip to the beach for a little sunset photography. I find winter to be a rough season for making photos. Since I shoot a lot of landscapes the lack of greenery or fall foliage limits my choices if exploring the woodlands. Locally there are only two fishing piers to work around. While they’re both quite photogenic, how many shots of these two piers do I really need? Apparently I decided a few more wouldn’t hurt!
The following were taken at the Oceanana Pier, Atlantic Beach, North Carolina on the evening of February 02, 2022. The sky was heavily clouded subduing the sunset colors substantially. Even so I’m reasonably happy with the results of this visit. I experimented with some different approaches on this outing. For example, I shot for a greater distance away from the pier. Also I decided to use a lower point of view for a few shots. This allowed me to include more foreground and some of the small shells and rocks washed up on the beach. Additionally, I made it a point to do a black and white presentation for a shot beneath the wooden structure. I used monochorme presentation for the pier before but I don’t recall doing it with the traditional under the pier shot.
I’ve used neutral density filters to slow my shutter speed and create that nice, smooth look to the water in the past. Frequently I use a variable neutral density filter for this effect. This time, however, I experimented with stacking two fixed filters to slow the shutter speed. I also took a shot at stacking three ND filters, but that resulted in heavy vignetting. I also played with the combination of a fixed ND filter with the variable ND filter stacked in front. Combined with the lowest ISO setting on my camera and closing the aperture to its smallest opeing I was able to get the effect I wanted. In some cases I the shutter was open for 16 seconds or more.
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