What a Difference a Night Makes

Sachuest Moonlight

In April I had the great fortune to be on the Rhode Island coast during the spring high tides. The full moon combined with high wind to produce some really dramatic surf at Sachuest Point, one of my favorite places on earth.

The evening’s fading light allowed me to use relatively slow shutter speeds to capture some silky water textures as the waves either shot into the air upon impact with the rocks or rolled over the rocks when their power was spent. Here is a shot I got with an aperture of f 8, ISO 200, and shutter speed of 0.3 second.  It was quite an exciting experience because when I was looking through the lens at the wave action I had no idea what was happening immediately around me–one of those waves could have been about to engulf me and I’d have been quite unaware until after the fact!  Such are the adventures one has for the sake of one’s art.

The following morning brought bright sunlight and still the strong wind. (Is there ever a time without any wind when you’re near beautiful Rhody’s coast?)  I returned to the same spot, and here I was able to use a shutter speed of 1/1000 second to freeze the wave action and get quite a different effect. 

It seems paradoxical that by freezing the action you actually convey a greater sense of action, but so it is. I never tire of shooting somewhere along this amazing, rocky coast.