Several years ago, I became acquainted with John Singer Sargent during a member’s preview of his seascapes at the Corcoran Gallery. I really liked the way he captured the light, atmosphere and water, and those impressions have remained with me ever since.
A couple of weeks ago I was in Charleston, SC with a couple of photo buddies, and the last morning I was in town, we went to Folly Beach for sunrise. The big draw at Folly Beach for most people is the pier, which extends for what must be nearly a quarter mile into the ocean. I took some obligatory photographs of the sunrise behind the pier, but was not really inspired until I looked to my right, away from the sunrise, and saw the light playing off the water – it immediately reminded me of John Singer Sargent. I made exposures as long as the magic lasted, and the one below is the first of what I hope will be several images from those few minutes.
I stood in the surf and aimed my camera down the beach, away from the rising sun toward the boundary between night and day. I wanted to include some of the beach in the frame, but had to be careful not to include any of the early morning beachgoers, I used a longish exposure (1 second) in order to capture some of the wave motion, but still retain a hint of detail on the water’s surface.
This picture proved incredibly difficult to process to the point I wanted – I suppose part of that was due to the fact that I tried to do as much as I could in Lightroom 5 instead of Photoshop by itself. The print, though, turned out very well and will be displayed at the Workhouse Arts Center in the Associate Artists Gallery (Building W-9) during May.
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