Seaside Oregon, July 2016
I often struggle with the 35mm frame. An odd width, not quite panoramic, and not compressed enough to match the clean feel of a 4x5 dimensioned frame. For years I exclusively photographed square (long before Instagram), I loved the look of equal vertical and horizontal lines. A few years ago I started getting into panoramic images. The wide field of view was an extreme antithesis of the square frame. I kept these images color only, for the dimension yields a field of view similar to the human eye and color is how we see. The abstraction of using a square frame melds with the abstraction of photographing in black and white and thus I had two distinct streams of creative language.
On the Oregon Coast in July I wandered the north coast searching for a simple scene of mono-color. Color is easy to overdo and yet it doesn't yield to abstraction easily. If I were to turn the sky purple or a tree orange it would look too off to be visually accepted. But a way to color abstraction is to focus on a single tone with a strong visual element to support that color. A single color tone doesn't have to be weather induced, it can be a dense green forest, or a field of yellow grass with a compliment of blue sky. I say single tone, but really I mean a simple yet strong palette, complimentary if possible. At the small coastal town of Seaside I found my color and my subject, a series of diminishing sea-stacks and dense early morning weather.
A long exposure blurs movement, but it also changes the color temperature of the scene. By altering the white balance either with a filter over the lens (an 81C or a tungsten filter for example) or a cameras internal white balance control that color temperature can be further deepened. To accentuate the blueness of the overcast pre-sunrise light I used a daylight white balance setting. That paired with a 60 second exposure produced a beautiful blue tone that supports the strong contrast of the sea-stacks.