Matunuck in the Cold
February 17, 2015
This winter has been a winter of record for New England. Boston and the Cape have been hammered by feet upon feet of snow. Down here in Rhode Island we're battling cold weather and wind every other day. Old Man Winter wasn't about to let up, so it was time to pile on the layers and make an attempt to photograph some of this spectacular weather. It's hard to get motivated in temperatures hovering around 10° with wind chill, but cabin fever has been setting in, too. I just had to get out shooting!
I made my way to the south shore beaches as another storm front was moving in. There was a break in the cloud cover around sunset and although the clouds didn't light up, the horizon certainly did! It was about 15° and the wind was blowing along the beach at 20+mph. After only a few moments I couldn't feel my fingers and my gloves were no match for the biting breeze. Facing towards the water the wind was at my back which made my twenty minutes in the elements much more bearable.
I was snapping away, photographing the water, the receding waterline and the waves crashing close to the beach. I wanted to add more motion to my images and capture some of the intensity in the scene, but I had forgotten my tripod. This meant long exposures were out of the question but I made my best attempts at a few pans instead.
For panning, a tripod is still beneficial but not quite as crucial compared to stationary long exposures. The tripod helps stabilize the camera from any vertical movement, providing nice smooth horizontal striations that result from a panning motion. My shutter speed was at about 1/10th of a second so after some trial and error, holding by breath as I steadied myself against the breeze, I was able to pan smoothly enough in my handheld state, capturing beautiful motion in the water, the waves and along the horizon.
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