Ah, it’s a new year and there is nothing like the beginning of a new year to motivate. I have never been one to set New Year’s resolutions and I certainly won’t start now, but the New Year does give us the chance to make necessary adjustments and hone our objectives for the future. It is not surprising that most of mine have to do with photography and at the top of my list is getting back to sharing my art through my blog.
2012 saw me further exploring other types of photography that interests me. The down side to this is I took an unintentional break from this blog. Upon reflection, I simply did not take the time to do any personal photography and since that is what I blogged about, my blog naturally took a hit. While I haven’t totally ruled out blogging about my experiences doing commercial type photography, I felt the strong desire to return to what had originally brought me a lot of joy, namely landscape photography. What was extremely disappointing to me is that my excuse for not doing so was very poor. I heard myself telling fellow photographers all the time, “You must make the time to explore your personal art. It is what will stimulate you creatively and it will be reflected in all of your work”. This very same thing had been told to me previously and I totally believed it, so why was I not doing it? Not doing so was taking its toll and I consider getting back to it essential to the further development of my photography.
Anyway, now on to the image I chose for this post. I had previously posted it on social media, so a few of you might be familiar with this image, but here is a bit of the story behind the image. Admittedly, it is one of my favourite images for various reasons, with already one request from someone dear to me to have it printed and framed. As it was done during a workshop I was attending, it certainly didn’t qualify as ‘taking time for my art’, but it was one of the few landscape photographs I did in 2012 and I thought it was a good image to resume with. As I mentioned before, this image was captured during a much needed ‘rest day’ while on a pretty intense workshop being held by Craig Tanner in Savannah, Georgia. Craig took us to one of his favourite locations for an early morning shoot in Tybee Island. None of us were familiar with the area, so after a few suggestions from Craig, off we went in every direction, flashlights in hand to find our spot and see what we could capture. It was a cool, crisp morning and as usual on such outings, I was filled with anticipation. I loved this process of searching to find that special spot, but with no previous scout, time would be against us all. This was a beautiful beach and I was surprised at how many people were out just to watch the sunrise. Then again from what I have seen and heard, sunrises here can be pretty spectacular. With some luck, I thought I might be able to capture my very own special moment. As it turned out, this image was captured on my 3rd location pick. The previous two didn’t quite have what I was looking for (although those images are still candidates for future development), but when I happened upon this tide pool, I thought yes, this is something I could work with. Time was against me though. The sun was already creeping above the horizon, so I had to hustle. I found my composition, set up my tripod and quickly slipped two filters into my colkin holder. A reverse grad to hold back the exposure of the sun just above the horizon and a graduated ND to help with the tide pool reflection and sand. I took a few exposures to get different options with the clouds that were clipping by pretty quickly and was pleased with what I saw on the LCD review screen, so off I hustled to see if I could find yet another spot.
As is customary on these workshops, you are asked after each day of shooting to submit an image for group critique, even for this ‘rest day’. This was to be my choice. We never did get around to reviewing the images from this day with such a hectic schedule, but when I returned home and decided to complete the processing of the image, I was a bit puzzled. The image I chose didn’t look the way I remembered it. The composition was somewhat different, just not quite right. I started to look at the other exposures and quickly saw what had happened. Recently, I got into the habit of reviewing images after a shoot starting with the latest image as I found that usually these are where the stronger images were when doing location or studio type shoots. Not only would you usually have your composition and lighting dialled in just to your liking, but by now even your models are now more relaxed, resulting in better poses. That wasn’t the case here though as in the very short span of time I took to make these few exposures (about 2-3 mins), the tide pool had shrunk considerably. I was very surprised at how much and didn’t notice it at the time, but it was enough that in my view it totally changed the composition and feel of the image. It never occurred to me that this could have been a factor, but I guess with the rising of the sun, the tide receded as well. Another reminder that on these types of shoots, time is of the essence.
Shot at 24mm and processed using Lightroom 3.6.