La Jolla Shores, San Diego, California, USA by Duc Tran

Picture Story

This picture was taken early on in my photography career. As a photographer, I was, and still am, very obsessed with taking landscape photos where I can incorporate long exposure into the process. I am very intrigued with the concept of creating a contrast between the smoothness created by long exposure of flow and the details from the still subjects. This photo was a 3 minutes stack of huge waves crashing over a pile of rocks. By using long exposure, I was able to make the waves look like mist surrounding the rocks, creating a peaceful atmosphere to deceive the viewer from the violent reality of the nature in which I was photographing.

It was definitely challenging to take the photo (or multiple photos in this case) because this was late into the afternoon as the sun was setting and the tides were coming up. The waves were huge which posed a challenge to position the camera/tripod to take multiple long exposures and making sure each photo was taken the same way. Additionally, time played a big factor because the tides were coming and this location was accessible by walking some distance on the beach, so there wasn't any time that could be afforded for mistakes to happen. Overall, the entire process felt very rushed at the time, but I'm happy that the practice I put in before paid out and I was able to capture the photos necessary for this shot.

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