Butch Mazzuca  

One One-Thousand, Two One-Thousand by Butch Mazzuca

July 2024 - One One-Thousand, Two One-Thousand

July 2024 - Butch Mazzuca


About the Image(s)

“One One-Thousand, Two One-Thousand”

Canon 1DX “ Canon 24-70 @ 50mm

ISO 100 “ f22 “ Bulb @ 32 seconds with a 6 Stop ND filter

Shot taken along Biloxi Bay in Mississippi several years after Katrina. These are the remnants of a fishing pier that was never re-built. My wife and I were staying about 20 miles outside of Biloxi Mississippi in a beach house we had rented for the week. When I woke up on our first morning and saw the pastel sky, I knew I had to find something to shoot so I grabbed my tripod and camera bag raced out of the house and spotted the remnants of the pier about 100 yards down the 10-foot-wide pebble beach; I looked for a good composition and set up my camera and tripod. But in my rush to beat the sun and the still water.

My goal was to create a glass-like reflection in the water and knew I needed a long exposure, but I had forgotten my iPhone and had no way of measuring the seconds. It was about an hour before sunrise, and I was playing beat the clock because A) there were already ripples and waves in the water and I knew it wasn’t going to remain still as soon as the sun came up and B) I was afraid of losing the pastel sky. I took a couple of test shots before I was able to calculate the correct exposure and put my camera on bulb, set the aperture at f22, added a 6-stop ND filter and counted the 32-second exposure... one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand, three-one thousand, etc.: that’s also how I came up with the title for the image, and title’s are important in competition, I was hoping the title would make a good judge stop and reflect upon the title vis-a-vis the actual image.

I purposely chose this image including the 'as shot' rendition to initiate a discussion. Had I shot what I saw that morning I wouldn’t have submitted this image, but I had a good idea about what I could do with the scene to make a pleasing photo I could hang on my wall and followed Ansel Adams’ famous comment, “You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” With that said, I was hoping to start a discussion about one of the joys of photography. Does a photographer shoot the the scenes he or she sees or should they enhance the scene to create art? - I’m 79-years-old and have no illusions about my skill as a photographer, so my personal goal when shooting is to create pleasing images that I would be proud to hang on my wall and score well in my photo club competitions. I hope a discussion follows.

BTW - horizon lines are critical in landscape/seascape photography and the horizon line in this image is not crooked, the white line above the pilings are breaking waves using a 32-second exposure, the horizon line is where the blue-green water meets the deeper blue of the sky. Comments on this aspect of the image are also welcome.

3 comments posted

Sherry Icardi   Sherry Icardi
That was quite a spectacular shot when you consider what you went through to get it! You certainly saved the pink color and you can't slow down the sun from rising. It is a beautiful still life and worthy of printing and hanging on the wall.

For discussion, I belonged to a camera club here, but no longer attend. The group did a lot of "field trips" and most of them I enjoyed. But then they started to do topics that just don't intrigue me (part of the Florida issue - limited landscape opportunities) so I dropped out pretty much.

I have never submitted images for judging , what motivates you to do that? I totally agree my goal, like yours, is to create art that I like and want to print and hang. And I've used them for gifts when I know what the individual likes. And of course, I am the family photographer for all events!

My joy of photography is also learning everything I can about my subjects, exploring with my camera AND helping me maintain fitness. I spent my career in an intense environment and I frequently worked 10-11 hr. days so I initially started traveling with fellow photographers to give me uninterrupted time away from my job. Then when I retired 6 years ago, I decided to really learn how to use a camera properly. I had two mentors that helped me along the way.   Posted: 07/12/2024 13:47:12

Gary Jones   Gary Jones
I could see that this was a long exposure with the softness of the water, so the title seemed to reflect that when I looked at the image. I compared the original to the finished product, and you've done well to bring out the colors and add brightness to the overall image. I liked the image and it's one that I don't think I would have been able to visualize, so thanks for presenting the image for us all to see.

I think photography provides the opportunity to be creative, whether that's a portrait, landscape, wildlife, or any result that the photographer likes and enjoys. I'm trying to be okay with all the AI techniques available able to us and my only thought is that we should be willing to post what some of these techniques allowed us to do, such as the now simple sky replacement, cleanup of distractions, composites, etc. But to me in the end photography is an art form and we need to let the artist be creative.

I've been in 2 different photo clubs and regularly submit images into the competitions. I find it keeps me focused on the spring/fall deadlines and categories. We now watch the judging through Zoom and it's very helpful to hear the judges comments. I don't always agree with their decisions, but it has helped me do a better job with composition and post processing. I also enjoy the conversations at the club meetings and hearing where and what others are shooting.
  Posted: 07/12/2024 14:39:01

Butch Mazzuca   Butch Mazzuca
Sherry and Gary thanks for your kind words. And to answer your question Sherry, I enjoy competing because it makes me feel good when I do well.

  Posted: 07/12/2024 15:36:10


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