Storm Plant

As illustrated yesterday, we had a major storm blow through on Sunday and I went out to document it. My first idea for photographing the storm arose from sitting in the house watching bushes thrashing about in the back yard. I wondered if I could show how windy it was with long exposures of the vegetation. It was this idea that got me dressed and out the door in the first place.

I tried the bushes in the backyard but thought that was not going to work very well. Naturally I was then drawn to the beaches to see what wet windy scenes I could capture there, as I expect to show more of later this week. However, the idea of wind-depicted-through-vegetation remained; proof that I still have a bit of a retention span, even when the wind is blowing in my ears and scouring around inside my head.

The top picture shows wind in the shrubs right next to the ocean (you can see the grey green colour of water at the top of the shot) accentuated with camera movement during the exposure. I confess the camera movement was not fully by design, so this picture is in part an accident. But it does convey something of idea I left the house with.

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The wood shed picture has deer brush whipping about in it which became partly transparent in a way it normally is not. The trunk of my neighbours’ apple tree is visible from an angle that usually obscures it. But the longer the exposure I took, the more visible the tree became. I like the contrast between the transparency of the moving bushes and the opacity of waves as shown in yesterday’s photographs, both outcomes arising from the same photographic technique.

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The final picture is in Trafalgar Park at the SE corner of Harling Point (map). In the foreground are grasses, broom and wild rose (I think) all in motion and blurred while the rock remains solid and unmoving, as bedrock is wont to do. This is a very close parallel to the long exposures, such as yesterday’s, of water breaking on the rocks creating a creamy wash of colour against sharp-edged bedrock and glacial erratics.

I don’t think any of these shots says “wind” at first glance, nor even upon closer study, so I have some work to do with this idea. But, I do think it is promising and will likely try some more next time vegetation is in motion around here, on a weekend, which is likely quite soon.

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Canon EOS 5Dii, Canon 50/1.4 lens, Cameron fader ND filter, ISO 100.

  • Top:  f11, 1/13 second, ND probably around 1 or 2 f-stops density.
  • Middle: f22, 10 seconds, ND probably at 4 or 5 f-stops density.
  • Bottom: f22, 30 seconds, ND at 6 or 7 f-stops of density.

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16 thoughts on “Storm Plant

    • Hi composer – thank you! They are opportunities. I hate to think how many times I have hit delete without having a close enough look, or dismissed something (non-photographic) in life with a flick of the wrist, and without really looking. I think a lot of the things wrong in the world arise from inattention. At least a deleted photograph causes no harm.

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    • Thanks Ryan – I really like that first image too. I wish it wasa completely controlled outcome that I had envisioned and achieved. However, since my hand was on the camera (and the delete button afterwards) I will assume a small amount of credit. 🙂

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  1. These shots have a wonderful abstract quality that I really like, especially this first one. I can see that hanging in my living room.

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    • Ken, thanks for you comment – you have a mastery of the abstract that I can only wish for, so I am very glad to hear from you. And what a compliment, to think of one as hang-able. 🙂

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  2. I like them all. They each have distinct characteristics that make them stand out. In the woodshed photo the deer brush looks like soft peach watercolor or pastels, the beach grasses make a lovely striated photo in the top photo; and in the bottom photo I love the contrast of textures between the rough rocks and the soft blowing grasses. Capturing movement as you did was an awesome idea! Great photos!

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    • Thanks a lot Judy – I am glad that you find this idea interesting. I will have to try other ways. I recently saw a picture of a tree bending before the wind and I think it was a better/different way of telling the story than these are.

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