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Sargassum Surrender

I had great plans to use the new port I’d just gotten for my water housing. I’d waited for over two months to get it and I was excited to take it out for a spin with my 85mm and try a few abstract shots under low light conditions.

I got to the beach early, about a half hour before sunrise and realized it wasn’t going to happen. The Invasion had begun. I’m used to seeing the Sargassum seaweed levels increase at certain periods of the year, but this time was different. There was tons more seaweed in the water and along the beach than usual and it lasted for most of the year. After making a few failed trips during the first month I decided to try and make the most of the situation and gave up on shooting from the water.

As one of our local sayings goes “If you don’t have horse, ride cow”. For the first two days the cow seemed to be acting more like a bull and I was in for a wild bronco ride. It took me a while before I found anything I liked. There are a lot more limitations when I’m shooting from the land especially when it comes the position and quality of light.

By the third session I had a better idea of what was happening around me, like how the waves were breaking and how they interacted with the light.

My goal was to create a set of images that portrayed the Sargassum in various situations and try to make something visually interesting from an otherwise bland scene.

I ended up using my 70-200mm for most of the images and used ND filters for the longer exposures.

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