Hang out at Longboat Pass in the evening, and you’ll see a stream of boats returning to dock just after sunset. It keeps the drawbridge operator quite busy.
This is a shot using a Playpod at the water’s edge. In this age of drones, it’s nice to have a tool that helps create a somewhat unique low-down perspective. Not that I have anything against drones, they are fun and provide excellent viewpoints. But angles like this are just as rewarding.
I’ve not been to the beach for sunset in a while, so I almost forgot how to photograph the whole golden hour; I nearly left too early. I was heading to the car and noticed another photographer just getting out. That reminded me that sometimes the best light occurs after the sun goes down. So I headed back to the shoreline and took this along with a few others. Then, after squeezing the last ounce of light from the sky, it was finally time to head home.
I took this earlier in the year before the red tide came in, back then there were plenty of seabirds trolling the coast for fish. The red tide is finally decreasing so hopefully now the birds will return in more significant numbers.
Here’s an interesting photo that uses focus stacking to get the effect of both the foreground and background in focus. It’s a typical scene along the beach with the ever-present sandpiper.
To make this I took two photos, one focused on the piper and one on the people further off. Then by blending the two, they both appear in focus. This technique is not so good for scenes like this because the movement of the water complicates the blending. You can see a little blurriness between the two in-focus points. Nevertheless, I think the overall effect is rather nice.
When I’m racing against the clock to get as many pictures as I can, there’s always a point when I know I should finish, but can’t help getting one last one. That explains what happened here; the light was almost gone, I was walking back to the car, and noticed this one last composition.
In a recent post, I mentioned there is an attractive aesthetic about the lifeguard stands on the beach. Maybe it’s the idea of a structure positioned before the ocean. I suppose it could be almost anything, not just a lifeguard stand. But I digress.
When I’m taking photos, no matter how many or how few I make, I ALWAYS end up with more than I need. However, on this night my ratio of hits to misses was remarkably slim. I was lucky, had the right timing, or a combination of the two. Regardless, I was on a roll, and I’m glad I got this one last one.
Sometimes I feel the urge to try and articulate the main idea behind my pursuit of photography. For whatever reason, this photo seems to evoke that in me.
Here is a picture that portrays an idyllic scene along the beach. Maybe we project ourselves into the scene. In doing so, we may walk on the shore with the vastness of the sea on one side. The expanse is an enigma. The longer we look, the less concrete our thoughts become. Our legs move as our minds begin to wander.
Rationally I like taking photos of idyllic scenes, yet, in doing so, I also attempt to capture something less rational. I aspire to capture scenery or people in the landscape that hints at something more elusive.
This idea is why I keep coming back again and again. Ironically, I try with images to evoke thoughts or feelings of something that cannot be seen by our eyes. To do that I may include space for the scene to breath, and then I hope that thoughts will fill the void. When that happens, my desire is satisfied, and perhaps yours is just beginning.
This picture is from a series I took earlier in the year. On that night I was lucky to end up with a bunch of good photos. Sometimes it all comes together, other times not so much. So I keep going out and eventually, I draw the long straw.
This week I had about twenty minutes of good shooting. I’m looking forward to processing those photos in hopes that I get a couple of winners. I’d be happy with one. (My fingers are crossed).
The difficulty with the type of landscape photography that I do is that there’s a lot of chance involved. I head to a location and hope for the best. Another, more deliberate, technique is to return to the same spot day after day until the conditions are perfect. Some of the best photographers in the world do that. They nearly always get their shot, eventually. I don’t have the patience or perseverance to do that. But now and then I get good shots anyway, and on those days I consider myself lucky.
This photo may be my favorite of the bunch from that day at the beach. And it sums up the chill mood of the people that were present at the time. As for myself, I was pretty happy also.
Without photos, memories fade. Life goes on and, we do not think about the details of that day. But when we look at pictures, the feelings, sights, and smells come back. That’s the thing about images; they’re drug-free memory boosters.
Our recollections are a quantum leap beyond what computers do. But that’s changing; AI is closing that gap. But one thing they’ll probably never do is appreciate a sunset. That’s is something only we can do, assuming we don’t forget to go to the beach.
This idyllic scene is from the beach on Anna Maria Island. Florida has a lot of islands and this, to my mind, is one of the best. Regarding beaches the sand is pretty amazing, it’s a white powdery substance more like sugar than sand. But I digress, this is about the photo, not the sand.
Anyway, now and then I get lucky, this is one of those days. I couldn’t take a bad picture if I tried. That makes up for all the other times when I show up and clouds obscure the sun. The success rate of a sunset photographer (such that I am) is disappointingly low. But this was a good day, so all is forgiven.
A “sunset photographer” sounds like a great job, doesn’t it? Imagine getting paid to take pictures of the sunset. You show up to work about an hour before sunset, take photos for about an hour, and then you’re done. In reality, I do things other things than this, but I must say, sunsets, especially good ones, make all the other stuff worthwhile.
The same day another sunset. I’ll be posting several photos from this day because I ended up with five or six good ones; for me, that’s a lot. Truth be told I have a low batting average when it comes to photos, but on this day, I hit a couple of home runs. I only post the photos I truly like; the others get relegated to the archives or reject bin.
I’m not berating myself, it’s just that the hit to click ratio is low. I get carried away when taking sunset photos. But in my defense, it’s also how I get in the zone and it helps me become aware of scenes around me. Taking a lot of photos is a way to get creativity flowing; it’s similar to stretching at the start of the workout.
One thing I like about this photo is how the sun highlights the tall grasses in the foreground. The lifeguard stand is mid-way through the image and the ocean is beyond that. Those three elements create a sense of depth that pulls our eyes into the scene. I also like it because it’s a sunset, but I take a million of those, as you know.
This was taken at Coquina Beach one evening last week. I took a similar picture a few years ago that I wanted to try and repeat. Over time my preferences and technique evolve and it’s fun to retry shots to see how they come out.
As in an earlier post this week I mention that the software is getting better. Both images are HDR but notice how much better the ghosting is in the newer version. In the older version, you can see double impressions of tall grasses, not so in the new one. I used Photomatix in the old version and AuroraHDR 2018 in the new image. Maybe I should go back and reprocess the old version in AuroraHDR just to see how it turns out.
I know some of the rescuers that work at this beach and these stands are where they spend much of their time. There’s some kind of aesthetic of lifeguard stations on a beach that begs to be photographed. I’m not sure what it is but I have a collection of them. Of course, it doesn’t hurt if there happens to be a nice sunset as well.
Pictures are like metaphors. I think this is one of those, at least it seems that way to me. Point in a direction, keep marching, in the process define yourself. Which sounds a lot like life in general, only I get to wax eloquent because this is my blog.
I’ve taken dozens of shots from this pier in Bradenton Beach. Even though it’s same old thing I come back looking for more. As long as were on metaphors, shooting this pier is like stone soup. The sea is the broth, the pier is the stone, and everything else gives it flavor. I keep coming back to try new flavors. Maybe I’m on to something, or just hungry.
Nevertheless, the more I immerse into photography, the more I look for metaphors. It seems natural when going to the beach, at least for me. Always looking for meaning in non-descript scenery, it’s what I do.