Breaking Wave Detail, Reynisfjara Beach, Iceland.

Breaking Wave Detail, Reynisfjara Beach, Iceland.

 [764 Words | Reading time: 3 min 45 seconds]

Breaking wave in Reynisfjara Beach, Southern Iceland.

This image is available as a Fine Art Print. Click here to see possible surfaces,

Any action can be dissected in instantaneous photograms some of which are able to summarize and represent effectively the whole action. Photography is the absolute queen for this purpose. Cinema is unbeatable on telling a complete story but at the expense of being unable to slice each moment up. Properly used, this ability of our preferred medium, allows us to transmit to our viewers the power contained in any natural phenomena.

The fastest shutter speed we can use in any current camera (even the cheapest one) can go down to 1/1000 of a second. That’s enough to freeze most natural actions on earth, and most of these camera bodies can go even further down to 1/8000 of a second. If we are able to combine this ability of our electronic gadgets with our capacity to choose the appropriate moment to press the shutter, we will improve our skill to convey a meaning in our fast photography.

Not all the moments any action can be divided into are equally representative of the whole of it. Some of them are more meaningful and are best related to the general sense than others. If we analyze this image taken in the black volcanic beaches of the rough coast of beautiful Iceland, of a breaking wave we can conclude that the most significant moment is for this ephemeral subject when the wave is about to fall when it has bent over herself but the water still has not begun to fall. This instant represents the maximum amount of ‘contained energy’ just before the wave is going to lose its natural shape and is going to break transforming herself in an abstract and chaotic shapeless mass of white foam that progressively will lose its energy until it finally dies in the shore.

In this image, the superior border of the wave is beginning to separate from the main mass of water, getting transformed in drops of foam. The wave is about to disintegrate, you can read from its shape what is going to happen next.

One of the most meaningful moments you may choose in your photograph can be the one that shows the “climax” of the action, or the one that happens just before, the one that shows the “the relish or agony of the inevitable”.

During my trip to Iceland, I visited Reynisfiara Beach at different times, under heavy rain and under quiet cloudy skies. Most of the days the wind was always present and the waves were huge, and violently broke against the volcanic rocks in the shore. The spectacle they always produced was impressive, but this image represents the essence of a breaking wave in a more subtle way, to my mind at least. When I shot this particular scene the wind was nearly non-existent and the waves were not violent, so their shape was better defined, more elegant, more subtle. They hit the shore in a ‘clean’ way.

Related Image: Breaking Wave, Reynisfiara, Iceland.

Related Image: Sea Gale, Breaking Waves, Dyorhaley, Iceland. 2/5

Related Image: Ice block and surf, Diamond Beach, Jokulsarlon, Iceland.

Camera Model: Nikon D800
Lens: Nikon 80-200 AF used at 135mm
SETTINGS: Aperture: f4 | Shutter Speed 1/800 | ISO 800

Tripod: [Legs: Manfrotto 055 Pro] & [Head: Gitzo 1372M Magnesium Alloy]
Backpack: LowePro with rain cover (absolutely needed in Iceland)
Filter: No filter.
Memory Card: Sandisk SD Extreme 64Gb 

NEXT SCHEDULED POST: Road curve, Southern Iceland.

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This image is available as an Open Edition Fine Art Print. Click here to see a full size version of it.


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