New Kind of Water Panning

I wanted to try something new.  I came across work by notable photographers Morgan Maasen and Katherine Gendreau and they were doing something a little bit different with their seascapes.  They were panning horizontally across the horizon, blurring everything but maintaining a sense of color, ambience and environment.  I wanted to try it.

So on one cloudy and nondescript early spring day, I found time to go to Narragansett Beach.  I took my tripod and my neutral density filters, and set up.  I was rather close to the water since it was low tide and the closer I was to the waterline the more I could minimize the amount of sand in my frame.  I also kept the tripod near eye-level compared to a low angle, which would maximize the amount of water in my frame.  

I tried a couple of different exposures and techniques.  First I tried using the full 30 seconds of the exposure to move smoothly from one side to the other, then I switched it up and using about 20 seconds to go from one side to the other I moved constantly back and forth for a longer 1 or 2 minute exposure.  Visually I couldn't notice a big difference, it was just a matter of keeping the camera moving for the whole exposure.  And the smoother the better, any bit of stutter would show up in the frame.  And even though I was zoomed in to the fullest 35mm of my wide angle zoom, the layer-cake effect that was created would start to bow at the edges.  Perhaps I should shorten the horizontal distance I pan, or switch to a different lens that wasn't so wide.  

I only took a few shots but I was happy with my first attempt.  I considered it a fair success and hopefully more practice will make it even more perfect!

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