Timing, it’s everything. If you want to shoot waves, you need to be on time. Not. I simply pan the camera as the wave is breaking. Voila! The lesson I learned took. I can shoot waves. Our beach washed away last fall. The sand is down about ten feet. In a few cycles my home a mile from the beach will be waterfront. The federal government keeps spending money to replenish the beach. Millions of $, no, tens of millions $. Nuts! Since when did anything make sense? Meanwhile, I shoot waves.
I rate my pictures as I edit. Two stars – technically good, not outstanding, but a good shot. Three stars – a little bit better. I’m looking through three star edits. No worries. Good shots. Fun. Solid. Wow! They might make you smile. It’s not necessarily an easy shot to get. The smiles are real. I can admire my technical prowess sometimes. It’s like kids. Don’t you love them all? Equally?
You think it’s easy?! Jules casually dropped a request for a family picture. Sure! She already had it planned out. She picked a spot under the pier. Ok! Backlighting. I should have used a flash. Nope. And then, to pose the kids. Nope, they weren’t having any. No way were two squirmy kids gonna look at my lens. There were too many distractions. Nope! No way! Great! I took nearly a hundred…. No dice. No cigar. No luck. Aha! Photoshop! Damn, I hate to resort to technology. But! For my trouble, we all got our feet wet. Jules and Jeff were barefoot. It was travel day. I was wearing sock on the plane so as not to stand barefoot in TSA. Yup! Soaked. Shoes and socks. Yes, it’s lovely to ride the plane coast to coast in wet shoes and socks.
We got a shot – several – some passable. I did not nail the image I sought. Everyone went away happy!
Backwards. Opposite. … we are not… neat and organized.
We do pack our days. Upon our return from our recent trip to Maine it took about an hour to unload the car. Slow?! We had a lot of stuff crammed in all the nooks and crannies. How about a linear foot of books beneath the front seats. Exaggerate. No, I was merely cautions. There was a lot of glassware or pottery too.
Waiting were my seven cats. It took Feather a day to forgive my absence. Wating too, were a slew of Amazon fairy packages. Neat! Colleen would spy a book she had to have. I would find it discounted… or that tea pot. We need another like a … and I found it on Amazon and had it shipped. Ha! More room in the car. Thank goodness we do not have a van.
We managed a visit to the beach. The erosion from the recent hurricane had pretty much decimated the beach. I started to spin. There’s a lot of fiber processing to come this winter. And Feather made it to the vet.
Neat comes later. Organized? Colleen got a new pocket book and transferred the contents from her old one. We never did find the old one among our bags. Hmmmm? And a bread box? Yeah!? I did not know we needed one. Books? Every other available space … used and second hand. It seemed every library in Maine had a sale going. You borrow, right? Nope, you can buy gently used….
It’s all very topsy turvy confusing but there is organization to our happy chaos. Umm… and another spinning wheel… like the proverbial hole in the head. Ah! Ha! It folds compactly to travel in the car! Yup, it would be great if we had any room in the car. Did I remember to mention the large bags of sheep fleece?
More or less
I cannot seem to post a single picture any longer. It seems to be multiples. I should be more discerning about editing. There are so many pics and stories…. The pines suggested to me – saguaro cacti in the dessert. Orange flower on a stalk? Red hot poker? Names vary, color is great, and it is a beach perennial. Ok? Waves? I finally got the hang of catching one. Pan the camera. People watching? It never goes out of style. Clouds, I chase them. We do selfies. It’s legacy – for the kids. It adds up. We exercise – some. We hold hands – more or less all the time. I shoot, edit, and post.
Knowledge and information feeds curiosity. Colleen is full of it. She tries to read each and every plaque. She is always learning something new. She and I are complementary. I am “photo op.” I get the pic and she remembers the facts of the place. California coast, I like the concept that a picture can be a thousand words. We’re a team, seeing, and, always learning. It takes time to read plaques; I get more time to get my photos.
Light. It is the essential element of photography. Without it, there is no image. Controlling it: therein lies the key. Most people don’t see it. Rhetorically speaking, most people don’t pay attention. Light has color. And, it behaves to thwart the efforts of the causal photographer. iPhone has enabled the feeble to be stars by anticipating the mistakes and correcting them for you. Oh boy! Our selfies (not one and the same) – one was taken with flash, the other was natural light. Can you tell? I was bedeviled to get a wave shot. The answer: pan the camera as the wave broke. Duh! Backlight? A bright sky will make the foreground subject dark. See it, correct for it. Morning light? Meter the foreground darkness to bring out the color of the sky. Simple. It’s even simpler in iPhone. It will do all this for you and it comes with a stack of enhancements, so you look like Monet or Adams. If you made it this far, you have interest in photography. Otherwise, you are interested in photographs. I’m, just being crotchety today.
I see people. I watch people. It comes from observing patients for so many years. You watch them walk, how they act, and how they interact. I was there for the reflection. Walking sticks? Well, the woman could hardly walk. Ok?! Engagement photo shoot? The photographer was shooting from behind the couple and probably never saw the reflection. How? (did she not see it?) Photo-ops everywhere you look. I kept my mouth shut and did not engage (pun, anyone?). The fat lady? Not that fat lady – she found the reflection, pulled a camera out of her pink bag, and proceeded to ignore me.
We returned to the scene. Ordinarily, there are no second chances. The last visit was only days ago. Colleen. It was her call. I’m glad we did – return again. I was always told a bright sunny day was less than ideal for photographing. Who knows? I love the bright white contrasting against the autumn sky. Give me a few clouds. And, the monarch butterflies were out, just for me. It seems everyone else was ignoring them for the lighthouse. I worked the scene and had a grand time. It was all Colleen’s idea. She’s a genius.
We went down to the beach at sunset. The beach faces east; there’s no real sunset view. It had rained the day before. No big deal, it rains. But we are entering fall and the turbulent waves had done a number on the beach sand. There was a three-foot ledge from wave erosion overnight. A lot of sand had been washed away. There goes millions $$$ in beach replenishment. The towers in the distance are the bridge at the inlet. The waves speak for themselves. Our otherwise tranquil beach was roiling. I have often read about telephoto perspective. “It” compresses the scene to make things look crowded upon themselves. I did it! With a point and shoot! Sometimes, I surprise myself.
I have been struggling to get wave pictures. My timing… is poor. I just figured out how to get a higher % of good shots. Pan! If you don’t know what that is, sorry. Stupid! Me! I should’ve been doing this all along. Pan the wave as it breaks. Voila! (Panning is moving the camera and following the action as you press the shutter. Move the camera in the direction – right or left – as the wave breaks.) Oh boy! This was a silly lightbulb moment for me.
I’m workin’ on it
Waves. I am trying to catch the “curl.” We’re not talking Hawaii. I have no lofty surfer goal. But… well, I’ve been pretty hit and miss to catch a good wave shot. It finally dawned on me to pan the camera. As the wave breaks, I pan and I got a much higher number of shots of the waves breaking. It’s work in progress. A movie would probably be challenging too. Hey! I’m working all of this out on my own. It was another “Duh!” moment. How did I never think of panning before? Afterwards, I feel silly for not thinking. If not for an occasional “Aha!” moment photography wouldn’t be so challenging.
This pair lined up perpendicular to the incoming wave and backed their way onto the beach. As you can see they took a tumble. I saw it coming. I got one shot. They both fell out. It seemed that was the plan. I think you could be more elegant. I’m ok. I got a shot. Embarrassed? Not me. Maybe, they will work on better technique?
Scene at the beach – redux
Here’s something I learned. The Sony RX100 does a better job focusing than the Canon. This is critical at the beach when I was trying to catch a wave. The autofocus was way better. The zoom has a longer reach. Bottom line: good wave detail. It is still dependent upon the photographer to get the right moment. I didn’t quite (do it). My bad. User error… Ok!?
So, a swimmer in the heavy sea and waves – his glasses are on his forehead. Intentional? Lifeguard – sexism? – she’s in a bikini, the men are in trunks. Waves bigger than your head – is it perspective or real – real! Portrait of a gull – he really did walk right up to pick food up right next to our beach chair.
Follow-up: Maybe I spoke too soon. Or, maybe I have not mastered the focus algorithm. But the Sony does hunt and frequently fails to focus on the subject at hand. It could be user error. I have to pay attention way more. The Nikon D610 has closest focus setting that gets the subject closest to the camera. That works for the most part. I can think faster than the camera can focus. And, I am frequently in too much of hurry to worry about focus until it’s too late. So, there have been some missed shots. Sometimes there is a do over and many times not.
I just told you I don’t do motor drive. I did. Well, I shot a sequence – rapidly. I did not just press down and hope for the best. There’s some skill involved even though it was a burst of images. Ha! Whatever! Poor surfer guy. He did a show just for me. It was one and done. He left the water shortly after. It was the only wave he caught. Well, he didn’t catch it as much as it caught him. But he made a great series for me. TY
The hurricane effects were felt long before it arrived. The waves, ordinarily barely a ripple, were taller than your head. And, everyone flocked there. Tourists had no choice. Stay at home or enjoy the inclement conditions. You don’t have much choice when you paid for a weekly rental. Go in the water? It’s warm in autumn after the summer heat. What is it they say – the calm before the storm? I went to see waves and the people.
We hit a day with nice waves. Kids or not? It’s not easy to get this shot. The waves break big. Or not. I am great at getting the wave picture when they are small. I started counting the cycle. About every fifth or sixth wave was big. My camera wouldn’t focus. I had to pre-focus. I got a lot of duds. And I got a few that were ok. Timing. It’s all about timing. I have been trying. It’s a work in progress. It’s oh so deceptively easy. Not!
If I have to explain the symbolism, you are lost. Okay! The recent election is just sinking in. No one came away happy. It was not a clear cut Democratic victory. There was something for everyone. In these days of endless spin our fear(ful)less leader spun out of control with his remarks and lies about the grand republican victory. Nope! There, so far, has been a 35 seat gain in the House of Representatives. That would be greater than at any time since 1974 after Nixon resigned. Resigned!… ahead of his own impeachment and conviction. See any parallels? Democrats don’t feel much better about things. Outright repudiation will have to wait. At least the madness is at a stop. It cannot be reversed outright. The games have begun and the 2020 derby is starting. Blue? Wave? Investigation? Can you say, “Here are my tax returns.” Yeah, say goodbye, you lying sack of …
Here’s a non-sequitur. At the average of 1/100 sec per image for 100,000 images over three years that would be about 160 minutes or 2 ½ hours. Therefore, I have recorded/documented about a scant two hours of my life during that time. Since I shoot a lot of doubles, it would be a far smaller representation. Video? You shoot a lot more “nothing worth saving.”
Here’s an exercise I struggle with. Timing. Get that breaking wave sharply focused as it rolls showing maximum curl. Of course, it should also be a big wave. I frequently miss. …try again. Usually the camera is in my pocket as I see a large wave break. And another won’t come along till I have the camera tucked back in my pocket again. Insanity! Or, Murphy’s law?
It ain’t easy. Try to photograph a breaking wave and likely you will miss. Well, at least I do, more often than not. This activity is from some of the leftover hurricane activity. Nice breakers. Good high ones. Clean curl. I don’t surf. Still, I can appreciate a nice wave.
I walked on the beach. It was a balmy 78 degrees. It’s not what you get in the Red Sea in Jeddah. There, it is 100 and scorching about anytime you stand in the sun. Of course the water is warm and fish are waiting. Not so here, it’s about 70 at its warmest. That is toe dipping water for me. And the beach is typically like the desert. No coral no fish – fish need coral mutually. So, no diving. Surfing is a possibility. For now my dive gear is in storage. I like warm water. I was spoiled by the Red Sea. So I will find other things to photograph. Finally!
We dive here. The resort across the way in the image is Dream. There’s blue sky over there. They used to be very crowded with divers. Now my place is where the crowds are. Maybe they became diver unfriendly? Who knows? Waves on the ocean are nothing without some comparison. So, look across and there are whitecaps. You can see some swells. I’m not a boater nor a sailor. I can tell you the wind was steady and hard from the left. The stairs are covered in waves. Hey! I just noticed the stairs! My! They weren’t there before. Someone put them in. Neat! You used to have to jump about three feet into the water. No big deal unless you are there and about to jump. We would fall backwards into the water, no jumping forward. I don’t know why. But falling backward is unnatural. And there is a moment of panic as you let yourself fall. Nope. Not my cup of tea. Ok, they took care of the jump. You can walk the stairs into the water. The trick is climbing back out. No easy feat. There is nothing under the stairs. Right, there is no floor! Go figure!
Anyway, we dove in the morning. We were down an hour. The water was smooth as glass still and calm. And when we emerged, it was as though the world had changed. I did not pay attention. These are not intimidating waves for an experienced diver like me. Smug, aren’t I? But within minutes we got word the resort was closed for diving. There was already a sandstorm in Jeddah. And the wind was picking up speed. Gee, it’s about thirty minutes south to Jeddah, no more than about 15 miles. Sunny, windy, a few waves, and we had to stop diving. Hey! I don’t make the rules. I just play safe. And besides, I was a bit chilled from the first dive. It’s still not full blown spring here. That damn water is colder than my dive computer says. There are times when 79 degrees feels a whole lot colder than it looks. Yes! Mixed metaphors and fractured sentences….