"Sister Golden Hair"

And if you get the reference, you’re old like me. I hope the title does it justice.

This was captured/created early one morning while my wife and I vacationed in Monterey, CA. With a room directly over the bay, I awoke and noticed thru the curtain the day would be breaking very soon. I grabbed camera, tripod, and spent the next hour watching, photographing and experiencing the sun rise over Monterey harbour.

I’m posting this one because I wanted to show how just about ANY subject, ANY condition is a source of abstract photography. Who would think the hot, reflecting sun could result in something like this. I didn’t - until I tried.

Hope you enjoy this.

Specific Feedback Requested

Any and all feedback always welcome. I’m curious if you have any other reaction than “golden hair.”

Is the lone streak in the LR a distraction?

Technical Details

Nikon D800E, 28-300mm @300mm f/25 .1s iso 50, handheld
image rotated 90deg and flipped horizontally from original orientation


Yes, it is amazing how just anything could be turned into a photo and then an interesting image after post-processing! As you say this is a very good example and this type of good images are very encouraging for those of us not (that often) having access to iconic places and grand vistas. I like this one, and it really looks like hair. For me the lone streak in the LRC is a bit disturbing.

Hi Lon, it takes a keen eye and curious mind to photograph a fleeting scene like this. Yes my first thought upon looking at the image was of golden hair. I love the diagonal overlapping lines you captured here. The lone streak in the LR does not bother me much. To me it’s barely noticeable.

This is a great example that any subject can become a source of abstract photography with the right eye and imagation of course. Well done!

Hey Lon,
I like it! It is awesome how much impact good light has on basically everything haha.
The lone streak of hair wasn’t super noticeable in the thumbnail but upon further examination it is a light distraction, but not a bad one. I could go either way! =)

Lon, Very creative capture. Dancing with the light to come up with something new. I don’t mind the bit in the bottom corner since there are a few others above it.

LOL, I’m old. And the title does do it justice. It’s beautiful. That lone streak doesn’t bother me at all.

I totally agree! That’s the fun of abstract photography - looking around and just trying things to see what shakes out.

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I’m old too, I even have the album the song’s on: Hearts. I’ll have to title my next flower shot “Daisy Jane” :slightly_smiling_face:

So, I love this image, I actually thought it was ornamental grasses from the thumbnail. But I can’t figure out what you were shooting…light reflected on the harbor water? I really like it a lot, Lon.

Such an amazingly fun capture, Lon. Love the movement and energy!

Wonderful image, Lon. I think it’s the simple color palette and the deep blacks that makes this work for me. And the composition consisting of repeated arcs in same direction.

Totally amazing, and no one could have a clue where these streaks of light came from! I also would have thought grasses. Wonderful tonal structure and color. The stray hair doesn’t bother me – it lends a sort of authenticity.

Really cool shot! My initial thought was that this was a long exposure of some long grasses in golden hour. Golden hair works too. I did find the lone streak a little distracting once it was pointed out in the description of the photo, but before it was pointed out I didn’t even notice it! Keep up the great work!

My first thought was fireworks, but “Sister Golden Hair” is a fab interpretation (though it would appear I’m too young to get the reference… but not for very long!)

It’s nice to linger over the long streak in the darkness. It certainly provides an anchor to prevent the eye from skimming quickly over the black part and adds to the realism of the hair, for there’s always a stray hair or two! The warm light is delightful and the composition is top. Pure beauty!

This is very cool and mysterious Lon! I love the title’s reference. From the best era of music! I had the album many many years ago.

Is this a long exposure of edges of waves breaking against rocks in the early sunrise? Regardless of the source, it’s a great image and good story to go with it!

Thank you all for your kind words! And inquisitive minds! To help out the mystery, below is a short series of 3 images leading up to what was the posted image. Originally I described photographing the early morning for under and hour. Well, this sequence, I ended up with about 25 frames in less than 4 minutes time. Yes, this is the morning sun reflecting off the bay. Waves? Well, not really, but calmer ripples of a bay, rather than open ocean. What I was amazed with was being able to perform movements with the camera with a slow enough shutter speed that included light from the SUN! There are about 4 or 5 frames that are quite different - other than the colors, but all different as a result of different motions. Anyway, these represent the chronological progression:

Thanks for looking and commenting!

And from the last image, you can start to see the connection and progression to what was posted.

Thank you, @Ola_Jovall , @Alfredo_Mora @Matt_Payne , @AndreDonawa , @Bonnie_Lampley , @David_Bostock , @linda_mellor , @Igor_Doncov , @Diane_Miller, @David_Johnston , @Matt_Payne, @LauraEmerson and @Steve_Kennedy

So actually 1/10 of a second is not a terribly long exposure - if you’re camera is fixed on a tripod… but when the camera is sweeping and moving, a lot can be recorded in that short time of .1s.

Hope this helps! I think maybe this is a topic for a general discussion, but posting here for now.



Whoa! I thought these were hairs of a horse. Now I’m really impressed! =)

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Let me get this straight, Lon. You provided ICM while the ripples were also in motion (?). A combination of movements by both parties? If so we need a new term for this perhaps. The final result looks beautifully stationary. I find this very inspiring.

Obviously did not mean to post an angry reaction. I have no idea how it happened and have tried to remove it, but to no avail. Sorry!

Not a problem Laura! I did not take it negatively, but I was very curious how you did it. :thinking:

That’s amazing Lon! I agree with @Mike_Friel - we need a new term for this (ICASM - Intentional Camera And Subject Movement?) and a separate discussion thread on technique. Inspiring indeed!

Me too! Still can’t figure it out :laughing:

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