I don’t know if wave splashes in long exposure have any artistic value, but they are sure fun to obtain. They are also impossible to replicate. Taking a long exposure photograph is looking at the scene in whole different away. It is magical, it slows up the time for your eye to see.
A few times in the last two months I have been, alone or with friends, to this place near the Golden Gate Bridge called Rodeo Beach. It is relatively close to my home and that allows me to arrive early and leave before lunch time, just when the parking lots are getting full. There, on the right hand corner where the surfers hang out, it is possible to photograph the most amazing splashes.
Click on the thumbnails below to see a larger version of the images.
Location: Coastal trail at the Marin Headlands, Sausalito, California, USA;
Equipment: Nikon D750, AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm F2.8, Lee Filters (Polarizer, 6 stops); tripod;
Settings: 200 mm f/18, 1/5s, ISO 320;
Tips: Get there early. The Marin Headlands is a very popular place, and it gets really full of people. Take different grades of neutral density filters to the photoshoot: the light in this location changes fast, from overcast and dark to bright and sunny. When doing long exposure of the ocean, don’t be scanty, take many pictures with the same settings and vary the camera’s settings also. It is better to sort things out at home than to miss that especial moment when the waves do just the right thing.