Long Exposure Photos of Golden Waves

waves crashing over

David Orias likes to photograph the ocean. Based on his work displayed on 500px and Flickr, he favors coastline activity and has a particular fondness for waves. What he has remarkably captured are ocean waves that seem to appear like swirling paint in rich hues of gold, blue and silver. His technique is a slow shutter speed, precise camera movement and the rich light of sunrise or sunset. Most of his images are taken off the California coastline.

golden light reflecting on waves

Orias describes his technique and motivation:

“What drives my photographic passion is unusual light and trying to produce photos that we just can’t see with our own two eyes. I try to accomplish this with the use of long telephoto lenses and the use of slow shutter speeds and sometimes camera motion in some of my photography. I am expanding my photography into landscape photography and the use of subtle HDR in those landscape photographs. “

waves crashing during sunset

Orias’ craft is a product of self-study and experimentation. He has no formal education in art or photography. His software of choice is Adobe Photoshop for most post work on his images. He basically adjusts color, contrast and saturation. He is quick to admit he is just beginning to understand layers.

waves reflecting sunlight

Orias further elaborates on his unique wave photography technique:

“The bold colors and painterly feel in many of my wave photographs are mostly the result of early morning light, camera motion and slow shutter speed exposures, in contrast to the more typical front-lit photos and fast shutter speeds seen in many surfing photographs.”

waves crashing during sunrise

Orias also points out that during wildfire season, the Southern California sunlight can be refracted and spread by smoke particles, creating an orange hue in the morning. This helps create the vibrant, metallic colors from the wave images. One of his photographs was recognized through an honorable mention in 2010 in PhotoRadar’s Picture of the Year competition. Not bad for a self -taught enthusiast.

See his body of work over on his 500px account or his Flickr

Patricia Ramos

Patricia Ramos

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.