I had long wanted to capture a long exposure image of the ocean around a static subject. After exploring around Midway Atoll, I found just the spot.
It was quite windy and overcast on this particular day, but the excitement of being on this exotic and extremely remote island compelled me to leaving the comfort of our hotel in pursuit of scenic vistas. When I saw the cargo pier in the distance I knew exactly what kind of photo I wanted to take. I was glad I had thought of bringing along my tripod and I was finally going to get my money’s worth out of the variable neutral density filter I had purchased a year ago. The howling winds could not seem to find me once I had crawled under the pier. The gentle rhythm of the ocean’s swell drowned out the sound of a million albatrosses. I had found the most peaceful place on the island.
This photo was taken from the western side of the pier. Although I really love the first photo I posted on this blog, I really like how smooth this one turned out. There is a nearly seamless transition between the sand on the beach and the water. I also really loved the way the colors faded into each other.
This photo was taken from the Eastern side of the cargo pier. Although the lighting may not have been as dramatic on this side, I feel that the mistiness of the water was more distinct in the photo.
I was invited to the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands by the NOAA marine debris team (on Oahu). I captured this image for the program, as I felt that it depicted the ubiquity of the marine debris in the sanctuary. This photo was particularly difficult to capture as the long exposure was often interrupted by the swell, which would move the buoys and cause them to appear blurry or faded in the image. I had to retake this exposure over and over (probably 11 times) until the buoys finally stood still long enough for the photo. For these photos the camera settings were: ISO 100; f/25; 10sec and a variety of focal lengths. I also used a variable neutral density filter (which I was so stoked to use). I had a tiffen 2-8 stop filter, which I would adjust down 4-5 stops. I am in no way supported by tiffen, it was just the only neutral density filter I could afford. It did an decent job. I just wish I could stop all the way down (full 8 stops) without getting a strange “X” shadow across my images. I believe this shadow is simply the optical artifact of having two polarized lenses twisted at 90 degree angles relative to each other. This is the reason I would only stop the filter down to 4-5 stops. I’m quite fond of these images though and could not choose any particular one to share (so I included most of them). I hope you enjoy them and stay tuned for the rest of the adventure across the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.