Story Behind the Shot: Rialto Dune Grass


I plan to do a series of blog posts that explain more about my creative process and tell the backstory behind certain images in my portfolio.  Since a prospective client recently inquired about this abstract image titled, "Dune Grass at Rialto Beach" I'm going to make that the first topic in the series.

Rialto Dune Grass | Motion Blur

This image was created during a photography workshop on the Olympic Peninsula last year.  I woke up early and drove to Rialto Beach to scout the shoreline for interesting scenes and subjects.  The sky was overcast with low clouds, and the light was fairly flat, so I moved inland a bit — exploring the driftwood and dune grasses.

There was a light breeze creating motion in the grass, so I decided to follow nature's lead and shot a series of long exposures (varying between 2-4 seconds each) while panning my camera over areas of the dune grass that had particularly interesting contrast and color.

In the reference shot below, you can see what the underlying subject looked like without motion.

Dune Grass | Reference Shot

It was rather unremarkable, but I like how adding motion causes the image to become so abstract that you wouldn't even know what the subject was, yet it retains an organic quality with lots of visual interest.

Is there another image in my portfolio that you're curious about?  Ask me in the Comments section below, and I'll consider writing a "story behind the shot" blog post for it as well.  Stay tuned!