Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Ventura Pier: The Black & White Series

To me there's nothing cooler photographed in black and white than a pier at sunrise - any pier, any sunrise! Surreal and other-worldly at a long exposure, the water and mist combining in a slow motion dance of tones and shadows which take you far away and yet pull you into the moment.

Christmas Eve morning it happened to be Ventura Pier pulling me into the moment - I was rushing a bit having slept through a couple of sleep cycles on my cell phone (no alarm clock in the RV - have to fix that). I knew where I wanted to be, but wasn't sure if I could get there in time for the sunrise. I've been experimenting with the Nikon D200 and trying to do most shots in Manual mode, so I knew even if I ended up being a tad late I could "fiddle with the dials" and create a mood (how's that for tech talk?).

As I sped along a coastal side-road past the pier, I saw a parking lot with a guard shack - however at 6:20am the Gov't-manned shack was closed and - as LUCK would have it - one of the gates was open. I took that as a good sign and pressed on.

The pier was close and the steps leading up to it would be a terrific vantage point on which to capture a dreamy shot of the lights that lined the pier, the American flag fluttering at the end of those timeless planks, and the dreamy sky. No sooner, however, than I'd set up my new (old, tried and trusted) tripod given to me by Tony Corbell, positioned the camera, and began working the dials than the freakin' lights went OFF! Egads! How was I to know there was a timer set for 6:30am!! Dang - but since my motto is "press on regardless" - the shots in this post were dutifully recorded onto digital film.

It was definitely a chilly morning, and I was wearing at least 4 layers of clothing, but the best part is you just KNOW it's going to get more warm as the Sun bathes Mother Gaia in his glorious rays. The colors were brilliant and I just knew I was getting some "money shots", but then in post-processing using Nik's Color Efex Pro 3.0 I tried the black and white filter. Whoa. Now that's cool! I was hooked and promptly worked up all my color money shots into shades of gray; probably the best gray ever created. ;-)

We're moving up the coast tomorrow morning early, about a 5 hour drive to the Monterey area. Piers will definitely be in my psyche now that Ventura has captured my spirit as much as I've captured hers...


Anonymous said...

I am looking to purchase a poster/picture of ventura, CA's pier for my boyfriend. I googled it and your blog came up! I LOVE the pictures and would love to have some (maybe a series of 3) for him. Would you be willing to either a) email me them or b) print them and I'll pay you??? What do you think?
Thanks so much!!

Anonymous said...

p.s. my email is rebecca.greely@gmail.com :)