In the same tidepool Nondys and I shot the "Drenched" image also seen in my flickr stream. We spent a fair amount of time exploring ideas in this shallow tide-pool. The waves just breaking over the rocks and filling to various depths ranging from 18" to 2". When Nondys had told me she had this sarong wrap that was bought for her by her father i thought it was the perfect piece of fabric to play in the water with.
I knew that at some point, with her hair being so long, that I wanted to do some shots of hair fanned out in the water. I also love the sort of texture and movement that hair can create, but rarely do I find a subject who has hair you can play with like this. Nondys' hair was long, strong, and she was super into playing with it to get a great shot. I wanted to make her collapse into the pool, but with all the rocks around, you can imagine her pose is one of an extremely delicate positioning. For much of the shoot she was doing the equivalent of a stomach crunch from a workout to keep her face out of the water in a place where the depth beneath her head would allow her hair to move freely. Then after positioning herself, she kept fanning the water with the fabric using her right hand. The motion is subtle, but it really demonstrates the movement of the water and doesn't look like a typical motion blur.
It was approaching sunset, the water was getting colder and colder, but Nondys stuck it out like a real professional. After some great advice a few local photographer friends, I actually went back into the original file and played with some abstract white balance variations to create some tonal turbulence in the water that mirrored the ripples and motion lines. This ended up being a composite of two very polarized ranges of the white balance used in the original shot. This helped isolate her as a subject so much more, because in reality it was starting to be sunset and all the detail was washed in golds.

I shot this with a single Nikon SB800 helping to cross fill the light from the sun. There were some strange shadows coming off of some of the rocks and because of the angle, I wanted light from the flash to penetrate the water helping give detail to the edge of the water and the fabric/sand/stone below. After a few experiments with angle and power, i got the effect I was looking for. The light was positioned almost 7' above the subject firing at almost 75° downward into the pool. The lens was set to zoom enough so that it was focused in on her. The direct angle of light also helped create many light details on the surface of the water that weren't seen when I shot with ambient light.
I've wanted a shot like this for some time, and I really am enjoying editing all the images from this afternoon experimenting in Kona, Hawaii. A true treat that I'm happy to share.


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