Melbourne Beach, Florida
The weather hasn’t truly been bad. Listening to the reports I am happy I do not leave off the Eastern shore of Lake Ontario. They have been hit hard this past week. We did experience some unpleasant weather on Tuesday. There is a warm front coming through my area. Around 3pm the sleet and freezing rain started. I opted to leave work early in hopes of out running the weather East. The ride home had its moments but in the end I only traveled an extra 5 minutes due to the weather.
The drive did have me thinking about the beautiful weather I left in Florida back in December. In particular, the last day where I was at the beach for the sunrise. I had an opportunity to switch out my lens to the telephoto and capture the sandpipers and seagulls. On the way home I kept thinking of this particular image I was able to capture of three gulls heading back toward the beach. I had to finish processing and then post it.
I used quite a few of my compositional tricks to help improve the chances you will like this image. 🙂 I’ll tell on myself and explain what I did…
In my post about the new 52 week challenge I joined I talked about the rule of thirds. That rule is in full force in this image. Can you spot them all?
First, the horizon is on the bottom third horizontal line. Next I placed the three seagulls on the left vertical line. As luck would have it the gulls are also on one of the intersection points. Now, the highlight on the right where the sun will eventually break above the clouds is on the right vertical line. See what I mean by the rule of thirds is in full force.
Now there are few other eye-catching tricks employed in this image. There are three separate layers to the image. The water/waves are in the bottom third of the image and become the foreground. The clouds on the horizon are in the middle third while the gulls and bright yellow/orange sky are the top third. The clouds effectively become the background and the gulls and the hint of the sun are the subtle subject.
One last trick is the odd number of seagulls. This is often referred to as the rule of odds. The brain does not try to ‘pair’ off the odd number and bring a dullness or ‘sameness’ to an image. You can read more about this photographic ‘rule’ at another Digital Photography School article here.
So, did I succeed? Did my tricks influence you at all?
Cocoa Beach Pier, Florida
Not only should you be looking at your ‘keepers’ but the less than perfect images are learning experiences as well. And sometimes the oops or ah, crap images are avenues for creative outlets. I never throw away an image until after a long consideration and inspection.
This image is the result of me not paying attention! I was focused on getting the shot and neglected to watch as the surf was coming further up the beach. This five second exposure was almost done when a big wave came crashing towards me. I grabbed the tripod and tried to out run the water. One soaked foot later and an image interrupted I learned to keep one eye out on the water.
But the same principal applies to this image as does an image with car lights. The main exposure was almost set (a little underexposed) and the only points tracked during my grab and go are the intense lights. To me it looks as if I tried to do light painting around the pier area. The surf is smooth light I wanted. The clouds are exposed to my liking and the pier stands out as it should.
Because of the movement in the last 20% of the exposure there was a natural softness to the image. I was able to recover most of the detail in the pier but in the end I went with a soft and dreamy look to enhance how I felt about the image. And yes, I am dreaming about my next trip to Florida! LOL
Everyone was enjoying the sunrise on the beach the last day I visited. After capturing a few images of the colors before the sun crossed the horizon I switched lenses to my telephoto to see what I could find with the sandpipers and seagulls. These sandpipers were a little cautious of me at first but as long as there was not a lot of other movement on the beach I could get fairly close. The hardest part was getting them to stand still so I could focus… LOL.
Olympus OM-D E-M1, M. Zuiko 40-150mm f/4-5.6 R, 1/15s, 150mm, f/8, ISO 400
Cocoa Beach, FL
On Christmas Eve day I went back to Cocoa Beach for the sunrise. My hopes were high after my cloudy attempt last time I was in Florida. I arrived plenty early to grab some pre-dawn images around the Pier. Luckily that plan was very fruitful. As the day marched toward the sunrise the clouds covered more of the sky and dashed my hopes for the idyllic Florida beach sunrise.
The pier uses quite a few spot lights to illuminate the sand and surf. At first I thought the bright lights would ruin any image I tried to capture. There was still a lifeguard stand on the beach and I thought possibly it could be used to hide the obnoxious lights. Although I initially captured multiple exposures the slightly underexposed image turned out to be all I needed.
Olympus OM-D E-M1, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 13s, 23mm, f/8, ISO 800
Cocoa Beach, FL
Although it had just stopped raining, the conditions looked great for surfing. There were more people in the surf than there were on the beach as I ran around trying to capture images at Cocoa Beach Pier. I really liked the color scheme used for the lifeguard tower and having the surfers walk by sealed it for me. It didn’t matter that it was a rainy, overcast day, the scene was set.
Olympus OM-D E-M1, M. Zuiko 40-150mm f/4-5.6 R, 1/60s, 85mm, f/16, ISO 200
Delta Lake State Park
Autumn Colors at the Beach
Nikon D5100, Tokina 12-28mm f/4, 1/6s, 16mm, f/11, ISO 100