Sailing Into The Sunset

There are times you take a very good photograph but  do not know it until see the finished results. This photograph is one of those events. Our daughter from Chicago was visiting and as we do with all visitors we headed out to Pensacola Beach later in the afternoon.

As we sat up our chairs we watched two motorized parasailers flew be out over the gulf and disappeared down the beach.

Florida is known for its beautiful sunsets and this evening was going to be one of them as we sat enjoying the cooling gulf breezes on a hot day.

The setting sun went behind the clouds as  one parasailer came back towards us, waved as he passed by overhead and headed into the sunset. Just then the sun suddenly came  through the clouds and I took several different photos as the sun illuminated the sail and cast  a glow around it.

I had the camera set to capture the sunset and the parasailer was a dramatic addition to the scene.  Many times when you shoot directly into the sun with a digital camera you will get glare or reflections in the lens, but not this time!

I am showing the scene in both color and black and white but I like the color photo the best.


Beach Bum

When we talk abouit “beach bums” we all have different ideas of what a “beach bum” could be….it could be a person who loves the beach and hangs out there, a person who loves the beach….or a homeless person who lives on the beach. This photo of the week is my version of a “beach bum,” that certainly lives on and along the beach.

It was captured near Destin, FL in 2009 while I was scouting out some photos of a small beached sail boat. The bird turned out better than the sail boat. It was taken on a cloudy day so that none of the detail was lost in deep shadows.

I focused on the bird’s eyes and you will notice that the water in the background and the beach in the foreground is slightly out of focus…as is the end of the bird’s beak. I also have a color shot of the bird that is in my “other” gallery…soon to be renamed.

Beach bum bw  1  copy

Keep it Steady and Crisp

I always look for photographs that are crisp and in focus. Auto focusing lens help a lot, but how you take the photo also helps too. “Shoot Steady,” someone once told me. Don’t “snap” the shutter, just squeeze it gently and take a deep breath at the same time.. Even with an automatic focusing lens, if you jerk the camera when you snap the shutter your photo will come up blurred to a degree and not be as crisp as it should be. In other words, don’t move the camera when you snap the photograph.

Don’t hold the camera out in front of you, keep it as close to your eye as possible. With many cameras that you use on “auto” mode which means the shutter spend and the lens opening will be determined by the amount of light you have available, the darker the scene the slower the shutter speed and more of a chance for a blurred photo.

The photo with this blog has nothing to do with this subject, but is a nice sunrise scene. It was taken on the Florida keys. It was a very dark morning because of an approaching thunderstorm. Suddenly the sun burst through an opening in the clouds. I had my cameras nearby and took both black & white and colored photos.

The color photograph of the sunrise can be found in the “Other” gallery as well as a pastel sunset scene taken the same day at the end of the storm.

Sunrise Before The Storm

Fill The Frame

Everyone tells you to “fill the frame” with your camera so that you get “the best of everything” in your photograph. But what is “the best of everything?” It could be your subject…it could be color…it could be could be just about anything. In a previous blog we discussed cropping your photograph to its best advantage. With zoom lens on early all the cameras these days, you can move the zoom back and forth to fill the frame.

You can also walk around for a different position on the same subject to see how it looks. And with the miracle of digital photography, you can shoot several photos without being afraid of running out of film. Most people I know tend to overshoot and then spend time trying to edit their work or spend houses trying to decide which photo they like best.

I always tend to leave a bit more in the frame than what I will end up with. This gives some “space to play around with” if I want to crop it tighter on the final photograph. If you fill the frame too tight and you want to crop for a particular size print you may end up losing part of the photograph that you really liked.

For example, my photograph “Looking for the Spirit,” in a recent photo of the week titled “Indian Pow Wow,” was the full frame of the photo…and it was a bit tighter than I normally wold have liked, . But I was shooting with the zoom way out from a distance with the camera on a tripod and it filled the frame. If I would make different size prints of this photo, I would tend to lose a bit of it depending upon the size of the final print.

The scene “Going to The Beach,” a mother and her young daughter walking to the beach, leaves enough space in case I want to crop it a bit tighter…or leave it as it is. The emphasis will still be on the two people walking down the path towards the beach.

The post on the right front and the beach grasses on each side of the path lead your eye to the couple going down to the beach..and then you see the surf in front of them.

Looking for The Spirit  water

Going to  the beach copy

Beach Scene

This is a scene from Pensacola Beach taken two weeks ago. It was about a half hour from sundown and the low sun angle produced a nice shadow effect on the sand from the sand fence.

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