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misty swell

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I created this photograph standing 30 feet above the surf on a promontory of volcanic rock on the north shore of Maui. It was just after sunrise on my daughter's 16th birthday in June but she was still sleeping, of course. Amidst all the action of waves crashing, throwing huge sprays into the air, I focused on the small outcrop of rock below in the shape of fins with parallel fractures and an interesting shape. The white surf swelled and dropped around it as the waves advanced and retreated. I knew that was my subject.

I wanted the effect of rocks surrounded by a translucent mist so I experimented with different shutter speeds, ultimately most pleased with 8 seconds in this photo. With an 8 second exposure, camera shake is a real threat to a sharp image so I had to time the shutter release just right. Ok, let's get real: I got lucky and the wind calmed for me!

Processed for black and white, this photograph conveys mystery and drama just not possible in color. I also framed it to avoid any clear sense of scale, enhancing the mystery.

Creating this image was the perfect beginning to a great day.

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