Catching waves and rays

I’m not much of a beach person – never got into the sand, sun and lying around thing.  Rather be in the mountains seeing what’s next on the trail or what I can find over the next ridgeline.  Nonetheless, there are plays of light, color and perspective near the water than merit consideration.  And when the sky gets into the act with clouds a photographer has to pay attention.

This is a panoramic – several individual images stitched together in Photoshop to render an image with a wider angle of view.  Standing at this spot I knew this was the look I wanted.  The sun is coming over my back and lighting up the clouds and water, and the wind is blowing in my face to create those ripples in the water’s surface.  The darker color in the water is a channel leading away from shore, a convenient leading line to give some depth to the image.  As is the narrow strip of land on the distant shore, a design element meant to convey a sense of width of the water stretching away from me.  Even the clouds are a design element since anyone familiar with these big, puffy clouds in the sky know they are huge, and so this scene must cover a large area of a distant shore since the clouds are so much higher than the shore and stretch so far along it.

Continuing my photographic quest to learn “seeing” I’m pleased to have anticipated this image, knowing while driving along the shore this would be the scene in the final shot and then finding the right spot to achieve it.  Adding a polarizer to the lens increased the contrast of the clouds against the sky and helped take some of the glare from the water, a tool to enhance the color and texture of both.  Again, anticipation of the conditions and tools needed to achieve the look I wanted.

I’d love to say many images come out of my camera like this but sadly the multitude are just snapshots documenting my presence at the scene.  Still, even one or two encourages me that I’m learning to apply what I’ve learned and developing the competency I want in order to declare a level of proficiency.


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