Thursday, January 17, 2013
A Dance On The Beach
Focus on the fundamentals to make great strides in your photography
On a recent trip to the coast, I was eager to photograph a local state beach at sunrise rather than the classic sunset hour. I got out there in the near darkness of dawn. It was a beautiful morning, with warm glowing light, crashing waves, and birds calling and scurrying to feed along the surf line. I was moving constantly, trying different options, focal lengths or foregrounds, and playing with blurring the waves. I was especially intrigued with a natural arch formation, so my compositional arrangements centered on the arch and surf. I was having a great time when a flock of seagulls landed right in front of my viewfinder. At first, I was frustrated with them "blocking" my view and wanted to chase them off. But then I decided to incorporate them. I experimented with various shutter speeds, hoping to have gull impressions "painted" onto the beach. The resulting image shown here pulls together my vision. A few small tweaks in postprocessing emphasize the mood of misty light backlit by the early-morning sun with the ghostly birds like a dream.
Soon the gulls were gone, the good light passed, and I was famished, ready for breakfast after a joyful, two-hour dance at the beach. Some things never change.
To learn about William Neill's Yosemite workshops, iTunes app, ebooks (William Neill's Yosemite, Meditations in Monochrome, Impressions of Light and Landscapes of the Spirit) and online courses with BetterPhoto.com or visit his PhotoBlog, go to www.williamneill.com.
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