Playing on the Beach with Singh-Ray Filters

In Equipment & Technique, Polarizing Filters by Randall J. Hodges1 Comment

Winter is my favorite time to photograph the beautiful beaches of the West Coast. Recently I was able to get out for a two-night adventure to Second Beach in Olympic National Park in Washington. Second Beach is one of my favorite beaches in the world, and I was incredibly excited to hike on it again. I was there to film a new episode of my video series “Out in the Filed with Randall J Hodges”. I was hoping for great hiking, good light and fantastic shots. Luckily, I was not disappointed.
After grabbing a campsite in La Push on First Beach, we made our way on foot to the trail head and I only made it in a couple of hundred yards, and had to drop my camera gear to grab a quick shot of the trail going over a hiker bridge. I used the thin Mount Singh-Ray Light Bright Warming Polarizer to remove glare and reflection. It was overcast at the time, so I was shooting nice long ten second exposures, just the way I like it. Then it was on to finish the hike out to the beach.

Canon 5DSR Canon L Series 24-105mm lens, Canon L Series 16-35 lens, Gitzo Tripod and Ball Head, Singh-Ray Light Bright Warming Polarizer. 1.2.3 And 4 stop Singh-Ray Galen Rowell Graduated Split Neutral Density Filters in Hard Graduation

Forest Trail and Hiker Bridge in Olympic National Park, in Washington Aperture Priority F/20 @10Sec -1 stop Dark @ ISO 200 @ 35mm White Balance 5600K Singh-Ray Light Bright Warming Polarizer

Once we made it to the beach the light was coming out and I had to rush to get my gear out and get shooting. It was time to take off the polarizer and put on the Galen Rowel Graduated Split Neutral Density Filters to balance light. The clouds were epic, but the light faded fast. I was able to grab a few good shots with a three stop filter in hard graduation before the sun disappeared into the clouds. Then it was off to night hike the beach and watch the full moonrise.

Evening Light and Sea Stacks from Second Beach in Olympic National Park in Washington Aperture Priority F/20 @1 Sec -2/3 stop Dark @ ISO 100 @ 16mm White Balance 6000K 3-stop Galen Rowell Graduated Split Neutral Density Filter.

Sunset from Second Beach in Olympic National Park in Washington Aperture Priority F/20 @1 Sec -2/3 stop Dark @ ISO 100 @ 16mm White Balance 6200K 3-stop Galen Rowell Graduated Split Neutral Density Filter.

Sunrise in the Surf from Second Beach in Olympic National Park in Washington Aperture Priority F/20 @1 Sec -2/3 stop Dark @ ISO 100 @ 24mm White Balance 6400K 3-stop Galen Rowell Graduated Split Neutral Density Filter

Sunrise in the Surf from Second Beach in Olympic National Park in Washington Aperture Priority F/22 @.3 Sec -1/3 stop Dark @ ISO 50 @ 24mm White Balance 6400K 4-stop Galen Rowell Graduated Split Neutral Density Filter

We were back on the beach at sunrise I decided to head further south down the beach for a different composition. The sea stacks on second beach are just incredible, and from the south they just spread out across the ocean. Again the clouds built in very fast and I was worried that I would not score anything at all. This is always extra stressful when I am filming my video series. No Shots, no video and I am left paying my video guy for nothing. But Mother Nature treated us right, and the sun started to sneak under the clouds and brought in some amazing light and shooting conditions. Again I had the split neutral density filters on, and with my beach boots on, I let the waves race past me while trying to wave designs while trying to control the shutter speeds. Waves in and Waves out, I was shooting between a quarter of a second and a full second exposures trying to create the perfect foreground. Oh my goodness, what a morning it was and I put so many images In the Bank! Then the light started hitting the sea stacks and the magic was really happening. I was having so much fun playing in the surf. I started the morning off with a three stop grad in Hard Graduation, then as the light come up I switched over to a two stop. Then when the light was full on, and I ending up with just a one stop to finish off the morning. Hiking the beach back to camp, I was in such a great mood. The light had happened and I captured it, all-in-camera as always, and in the video. No need for post processing in my images as always, I prefer the old-school style. Without the use of Singh-Ray filters to balance light that would just not be possible.

Sunrise in the Surf from Second Beach in Olympic National Park in Washington, Washington F/22 @.3 Sec -2/3 stop Dark @ ISO 100 @ 24mm White Balance 6400K 3-stop Galen Rowell Graduated Split Neutral Density Filter

Sunrise in the Surf from Second Beach in Olympic National Park in Washington F/22 @.3 Sec -2/3 stop Dark @ ISO 50 @ 24mm White Balance 5600K 2-stop Galen Rowell Graduated Split Neutral Density Filter

Morning Light and Sea Stacks in Olympic National Park in Washington F/20 @1/4 Sec -2/3 stop Dark @ ISO 50 @ 24mm White Balance 5000K 1-stop Galen Rowell Graduated Split Neutral Density Filter

After a nice relaxing lunch break, the packs were re-packed and we hit the trail back to the beach for one more sunset. It was a super low tide and I found some excellent reflecting pools with amazing sand designs leading the eye into the scene to complete a perfect foreground. After scouting different compositions, in different pools, I settled in on one and it was already go time. I never left my comp, and just kept capturing excellent Images, one right after another all throughout the sunset. POW, Nailed that! Put that in the Bank!

Sunset and Sea Stacks from Olympic National Park in Washington F/22 @.3 Sec -2/3 stop Dark @ ISO 50 @ 16mm White Balance 6200K 4-stop Galen Rowell Graduated Split Neutral Density Filter

Soon sunset reached its end and I gave my final sign off to the latest episode of “Out in the Field with Randall J Hodges”. Then it was time to night hike the beach again with all my new images dancing in my head, and start dreaming of the next adventure. If you would like to take a class with me, check out the lessons tab on my website at www.randalljhodges.com. If you want to see me in action in the video we filmed while I captured these images, just click here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3191cTKUKg0. You will see me using the Singh-Ray filters and watch me capture my images right in the camera, on the spot. You will learn about my all in camera techniques in a free mini photo lesson and have a little fun with me out in the field. Time for me to get back out in the field, so until next time, Happy Shooting Everyone!

Randall J Hodges
Randall J Hodges Photography
www.randalljhodges.com

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