Thursday, June 2, 2016


Summer is coming, and while we have started seeing ads for getting our beach bodies in shape for those itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikinis, things are a bit different from a photographer's perspective. For us, it means getting our gear ready so we can stroll the beaches or wander through gardens or roam the highways for some wonderful and unique images.

This is a great time of year to be outside in search of fun in the sun. This image was made while walking on the beach on a sunny afternoon. Don't let bright sunlight deter you from shooting. We hear about the magic light of early morning or late afternoon / evening, and it is indeed beautiful light. But there are great shots to be had when the sun is high in the sky as well.

The main thing to be aware of in mid-day sunshine is shadows. They can be very hard-edged, and also can be quite dark. Look for areas where the darkest shadows are not going to interfere with the main subject OR where they become part of the composition. In this shot, because of my position relative to the sun, there are no serious shadows. There is a slight shadow under the bird's wing but it is a tiny part of the image and does not grab your attention.

Two primary elements make this image work. First, it is an example of a decisive moment. It was taken a split second before the water reached the bird. You know that in the next instant the water will move forward and the bird will either walk or fly away. Second, the strong diagonal line created by the white foam creates a leading line and brings your eye directly to the main subject, the bird.

Supporting elements are the bird's reflection, and the combination of the warm-toned sand against the cool-toned water.

Shutter Speed 1/800 sec.  Aperture f/7.1.  ISO 200.  Lens: Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS, set at 200mm.  Camera: Canon 30D (an oldie but a goodie!).  Handheld.

TODAY'S QUOTE: "And so with the sunshine ... I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer."  --F. Scott Fitzgerald

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