Ref.#91 5387 ~ Pacific Ballet
Cape Kiwanda is famous for dynamic wave actions which make for spectacular photographs. When waves approach the sandstone cliffs almost straight-on, the receding wave heads back from the direction it came. When a receding wave meets an incoming wave the two collide. The action is best when swells exceed 10 feet. This photograph climaxed two days of constantly watching waves come and go usually with only moderate interaction. On this particular day the surf was active from a storm out at sea with swells of 12 to 15 feet. The incoming and outgoing waves were both cresting as they met creating the very unique "explosion" of water that you see here.
The film was Fuji Velvia sheet film which is rich in color, high in contrast, but very slow on speed (50 asa). I had set the large format lens to its fastest speed of 1/250 second. Normally a breaker should be photographed at a faster speed. To "freeze" the action I had to snap the exposure precisely as the breaker reached its apex. Any sooner or later would induce a slight blur.
Early attempts to print this image proved very disappointing as all the whites were completely washed out and details lost. Conventional photographic printing of the day was inadequate. It wasn't until I purchased my high-end Imacon scanner that I could properly show all the detail in the highlights I saw in the large transparency. That was almost ten years after I had taken the photograph.
Linhof Master Technica view camera; 4"x5" Kodak Vericolor Film
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