For me this brings back idyllic childhood memories at the beach. I’m grown up but I still relate to what these children are doing. I think we all do.
I am fortunate to live near a beach like this. I can just hop in the car and be here in a few minutes. When I see that the conditions are good in the evening I’ll drive over. By conditions of course I’m referring to photographic conditions. For me that means nice clouds.
I took this at the height of spring break so there were tens of thousands at the beach. Even after living here for over a dozen years it still surprises me. At sunset everyone was lined up by the waters edge taking photos. Maybe a million pictures were taken within a five mile radius of me. It was kind of funny because I suddenly became aware that everyone was doing the exact same thing. And I thought I was the only one.
Lately I’ve been working with prime lenses. This was shot with a Sony 55mm prime at F1.8. That just means I have a narrow depth of field with which to create a sense of distance. The blurring is on purpose, the out of focus areas give the image a dreamy quality, not as much realism.
There were so many people that I chose to focus away from the crowds. You would never know hundreds of people were all around me as I took this. By simplifying a scene I’m better able tell a story. The story in this case is that the children are playing and in a world all their own, oblivious to everything around them. And for them this will surely become an idyllic childhood memory.
I headed over here for a walk and do some people watching along the beach. I’m glad I did on account of the scenery and the spectacle people that where there to watch the sunset. I’ve mentioned before on the blog about how these crowds of people come to watch the sunset, but I still find it fascinating. Most of the people shown here are from out of town and just the thought of standing by the water watching a sunset is like a dream. Maybe even a dream come true.
Its fun to take random shots of crowds. I didn’t particularly know everything that was going on around me as I worked with my camera. Nevertheless I find it interesting to go back and look closer at the scene. There is no way to take it all in when there, everything changes from one minute to the next. We can see what each person is doing. An interesting study, so many lives and the only thing in common is the location.
Anyway, it was an experience to remember because the next day I was on a plane for Vancouver where its pretty much the opposite of this; cold, dark and rainy. Even so there are a lot of cool things to see in Vancouver and the change of scenery provides contrast. It also reminds me of how fortunate I am to live where I can go to the beach in the middle of winter.
I’m always amazed by the numbers of people staying late at Holmes Beach. I should be used to it, but each time it surprises me just a little. I live about twenty minutes away and I’ll come here to watch the sunset and take a few pictures. On the drive I figure the place will have emptied out. About the only time I’ve seen it empty is during a rare storm or heavy fog.
Holmes Beach is right at the end of a main thoroughfare so it’s the most convenient to get to. Once in a while I come here during the day but mostly I’m here at sunset. If I walk up to the water I can see people lining the beach for at least a mile in each direction.
A few days ago we came here during the day to take a walk and relax. At the end of it we sat in an outdoor restaurant next to the lifeguard stand. As we watched the scene I had the idea of taking a shot with the people lining the shore. When I came back a few days later that’s what I did, however this was not exactly the same shot I had in my mind, but close enough for now. I’ll just have to come back to get that other shot I was thinking about. I have such a hard job sometimes.
Being one of the more popular destinations in the area, Holmes Beach has a big parking lot. But if you walk a little ways north or south you can find all of these hidden paths from quiet residential areas which provide less used access. Unlike the beaches of Miami and Ft Lauderdale, the beaches of Anna Maria Island are laid back. And even more so when you can find your own little path leading to a stretch of beach to call your own.
This is Holmes Beach on Anna Maria Island here in Florida. Something about coming to the beach helps ease the other things that are less pleasant. I guess that’s perspective, and every now and then I like coming here to get a little of that. Perfect way to begin the weekend dontcha think?