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Updated: Aug 12, 2022

A beautiful seascape photography by Martin Osner


Recently there has been a lot more interest in seascape and ocean prints at our gallery in Cape Town. I believe that a lot of the appeal lies in the peace and tranquillity that seascape prints exude. When used in interior decor, they are also particularly impressive when printed large. The great photographer, Ansel Adams, spoke of photography's appeal as a believable art form compared to other traditional mediums. This is especially so in the landscape genre, a statement that I agree with 100 percent!

Martin standing by the cliffs watching the big swell come in
Huge waves & swell on the Friday afternoon.

A few years ago, I decided to shoot seascapes for two print collections, 'Classic Black and White' and 'Seascapes on Eden'. For this particular shoot I had planned for the full moon so that the ocean swell would be high. I could not have asked for a better weekend. I arrived at the location early on a Friday. Later that afternoon, I spotted a possible composition along a jagged coastline which would photograph well at daybreak the next morning.

The weekend promised great photography, high seas and exciting cloud cover, and it all started with a bang or should I rather say a wave.

When offering advice on composition, I have always maintained that one must not be afraid to get close to your subject. This time I certainly practised what I preached and moved down onto a ledge just a few meters above the shoreline to set up a shot. It was still a bit dark, and I had not noticed just how quickly the rising tide was coming in.

I eagerly awaited first light with the composition now established. The camera was set for an exposure time of three minutes, using an ND filter. I did a couple of test exposures and should have noticed a warning wave that hit the lens. Ready to go, I started the shutter and counted down the exposure when I got close to two and a half minutes I spotted a wave coming in that seemed a little bigger than the rest, but I was not prepared to close off the shutter at that point. Well, suddenly, the first shot of the morning saw one drenched photographer from head to toe and one equally wet camera system. All I heard was a

A warning wave that first hit my camera.
A warning wave that first hit my camera.

resounding thud, and before I knew it, I was soaked! That morning I only got one shot in before I had to head back to dry out the camera and lens in a lukewarm oven for the day.

I am pleased with the shot as it demonstrates all of what I was trying to capture for my Seascapes on Eden collection. The long exposure brought a calmness to the composition and the light on the morning did the rest.

At the end of it all, my decision to stand fast proved correct for the sake of getting the photograph, but for the camera, well maybe not.

Hope you enjoy,

Martin Osner

Seascape on Eden print hanging in an interior

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