Sun and Salt

Kayaks on the Salt Pond inlet, Cape Cod National Seashore

I haven’t been doing much photography the past six months. Too many other distractions.  I’d taken this photo back in June, actually before the last one I’d posted, and had planned to post it, but then somehow forgot all about it.  Now that the weather’s turning cold, it’s a nice reminder of warmer days.

The location is the Cape Cod National Seashore, on a narrow channel between Salt Pond, on the right, and Salt Pond Bay, on the left. Rather literal names, and somewhat lacking in variation. But they get the point across. It’s actually a couple of miles from here to the ocean, through a maze of twisting channels and low marshlands. To the north, left and behind me, is an area that’s a mix of national park and private land, with a few houses, roads and a trail eventually leading to Coast Guard Beach.

It’s a good area for hiking, and one I recall fondly: when I was about ten (I think; memory dims) my school class spent a week at the old Coast Guard building, walking the trails and studying the animals and plants of the region.  It was a very enjoyable time, even if I did think my legs were going to fall off by the end of it.

So I like this image in part for the recent memory of a warm late-Spring day, and in part because it triggers an older nostalgia. But I also like it because I think it captures the sense of place well. A warm day of bright sunlight, with little wind. The tang of salt on the air. Absolute quiet. A very peaceful day. The anonymous kayakers, moving so slowly I could capture them in an HDR set of images, were the only motion at all (there’s some visual noise if you look closely at them).

This image is, as mentioned, an HDR, composed from my usual bracket of five photos. The bracket was centered at 1/320’th-second exposure, with f/10 and ISO 400. My 24-105 lens (the usual) was most of the way out, at 96 mm. I’m fairly sure I had the circular polarizing filter on (hence the fairly high ISO for a bright day). I don’t recall what preset or adjustments I used to make the image, but I think I did very little, the software pretty much got it right on the defaults.

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