The story of creating “Ocean Mist”
My second day on the Great Ocean Road in Australia started with promise. I was heading to the 12 Apostles rock formation. As a pilot, I was looking forward to renting a helicopter and doing some aerial photography along this stunning stretch of coastline. But at the airport the choppers were coming and going into a definite haze layer that looked like it was not burning off in the morning sun.
I went into the airport office and they confirmed my suspicion. The haze was expected to last all that day and probably for a few more days to come. Aerials were out and the best way to photograph would be to stay out of the haze.
So I hiked off along the ocean-side trail searching for interesting images. If my previous days’ adventures in Australia were any indication I felt my efforts would be rewarded.
I soon found a beautiful location and set up my camera. I liked my composition with a number of the rocks in the ocean just off shore. The hazy sky gave a soft glow to the scene. The ocean was relatively calm but had a few waves flinging themselves upon the outcrops. Nice, but I felt that the ocean had more to offer.
One of my favourite camera filters is my Lee Filter neutral density filter: the Big Stopper. Its claim to fame is that it blocks 99.9% of the light from passing. When you first look at it you think it’s a piece of black glass. It is that, but the density makes for some very long shutter speeds. The effects are amazing. Whatever is stationery is rendered sharp, but whatever is in motion blurs or “averages” the exposure.
For “Ocean Mist” the exposure was 75 seconds in daylight. Here you can see the ocean waves dancing about the rocks and forming a magical mist. The hazy overcast added to the soft effect. My lens was set at 400 mm to fill the frame with the scene. Success. Ocean Mist captured the feeling of being there. This image is one of my favourite Australian images. I am sure it will be yours, too.
If you are traveling to Australia I would highly recommend the Great Ocean Road southwest of Melbourne. It is considered one of the outstanding drives in the world. Remember if you are driving the Aussies drive on the left (and you should too). That means that driving the road from east to west will keep you on the ocean side and you won’t have to keep crossing traffic as you pull back on the road from the many stops you will want to make.
To purchase one of the remaining prints of Ocean Mist click here and send me an email or call me at 519.563.7118.