Landscape photograph of Holgate, NJ, beaches under a pastel winter sunset

Holgate Time

Landscape photograph of Holgate, NJ, beaches under a pastel winter sunset
Holgate Time — 14mm | f/8 | ISO 100 | 7 Bracketed Exposures

Holgate, New Jersey. Long Beach Island’s southern most tip makes for some high drama in the dead of winter. Considering its south-by-southwest orientation it aligns splendidly for the southwest sunsets that render over the winter months; giving photographers options to shoot toward the southwest, or to maintain a southeastern angle to work the shore break into the frame. (As I did in the photo above.) I can’t act like Holgate was my idea. All hats be tipped—real or imagined—go to Jeff Ruemeli who called me a little after 2:00 p.m. to let me know he had it on good authority that winter storm Jonas wreaked some havoc down there, and he had heard other photographer’s lauding its praises.

While I did Instagram a cellphone photograph of one of the uncovered jetties, I went with a more conventional exposure for my main image. The undulating sand was impossible to ignore, and after a brief warm up in the car, I set to working out how best to convey the pattern. Admittedly I struggled determining the optimal height to expose the photo. I wanted to get close enough to draw the eye to the reticulated sand, but still wanted to ensure the shore break was discernible across the center of the image.

I went back and forth between posting this or a vertical orientation exposure that I made handheld from a single frame. While I compositionally prefer the other shot, because it was handheld at a somewhat sluggish 1/6 of a second shutter it just wasn’t quite as sharp as it needed to be. Certainly not sharp enough to render cleanly at a large enough size. Imperfections aside I still may post it here tomorrow as the leading lines of the photo are a real standout. We’ll see.

Big time shout out to the kite surfer battling the elements and working the shore break big time. He owned that steady wind out of the south-southeast, and was riding with noteworthy balance and endurance. He went non-stop for what must have been an hour, seldom if ever coming off his board. Yeah, and it wasn’t exactly warm out there, either. Cheers, buddy.

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One response to “Holgate Time”

  1. […] a bit about what might have been. I like this photograph. I like it more than the one I posted last night—and here comes the but—but man did I turn this into a rush job. A rush job thereby leaving me […]

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