This is my proudest moment in photography. I believe this is my most beautiful image - not only due to aesthetic beauty, but also the meaning it holds. My sister-in-law's uncle passed recently. He was an avid beach goer and boogie boarder.
We decided that it would be a nice gesture to take a photo of his favorite beach (Chun's Reef) to give to his wife in his memory. I hope that this photo becomes much more than just a nice gesture. I hope that she can see her husband every day by viewing this photograph.
We began the day planning to do the shoot at Chun's Reef. Keeping in mind that I've never been to this beach, I decided that it would be best to bring a flower lei to add foreground interest in the photos just in case the beach proved to be flat or boring. I was wrong for the most part, on the far right there were some rocks covered in sea weed. However, these rock formations were right on the shoreline and the waves were crashing.
On the far left of Chun's Reef beach there were simply AMAZING rock formations. The rocks were covered in beautiful bright green seaweed and the landscape was completely layered in different levels of rock and tide pools. I couldn't have asked for a better scene to photograph.
I set up my tripod and camera and snapped roughly 30 photos before placing the flower lei on the rocks for some added interest. The day went on and I continued trying different compositions but nothing was really popping to me. As the sun went down the light started to throw golden light on to everything around me. There was a point that the golden light was becoming overkill and all the rocks were starting to just look orange!
After a few shots of the lei in this final composition my brother came to me and suggested we use his wife's fins to represent Uncle Roger's love for surfing and boogie boarding. This thought came at the last possible moment before the sun disappeared behind the mountain into a dull fading blue sky. We set up the fins and I put the lei on top of it and took about 10 photos. I rely heavily on the use of the Black Card Technique rather than GND Filters because it gives me more control and variety in each exposure. However the foliage on the left hand side wasn't exposing properly for the first few photos so it took me a while to bend my black card to a shape that would cover the sky without underexposing the foliage.
The very last exposure that I took was the one you see here. I believe that this photograph completely captures the feeling of the life of Uncle Roger's favorite beach.
Roger's Reef Beach.