Tuesday, July 29, 2008

tripod or iPod?

This really isn't about a tripod, except that I did have to use it during the first part of the shoot at the beach. Instead, it's about shooting at the beach ON the beach.

I started out early one morning. That's a HUGE tip for beginning photographers. Most gurus say it's because of the light, it's not as harsh. However, another reason I go out early is because there are fewer people on the beach. Yes, I could photoshop them out, but it's a whole lot easier if the people just aren't there. I really like to shoot at the beach in October or November; the sand is smoother, and again, people aren't there. My destination that morning was an area north of Myrtle Beach where there is a pier near public parking. It's a pain lugging the equipment blocks away from the ocean. I have shot under piers before but this time I had a plan. Let me back up and explain.

About a month ago, I met this guy (20-30 somethings would call him a dude) at Sam Flax's in Atlanta. I was walking down an aisle looking at the acid-free, archival quality mats when I saw this amazing poster size image on the framing counter. The image was a pier with the ocean looking very creamy-like..not foamy. Etheral would be a good word to describe it. The two guys who were helping him with his selection seemed to be concentrating on the colors for the mat and frame, just like they should have...very businesslike. This is where I enter the picture. I ooohed and aaahhed and began the interrogation. (Read the blog posted on June 27th....I was becoming one of them.) He told me without a lot of prodding where he took the shot, when he took the shot, and the shutter speed. I knew he had a more expensive camera, but I didn't think that would make that much of a difference. I thought I had all I needed to duplicate THE SHOT.

So, off I went on my merry way to take THE SHOT under the pier with my secret shutter speed to make the water look creamy. Using my tripod, I experimented with every selection on my camera....aperture, shutter speed, ISO, etc. Soon the people were waking up and taking their morning walk, thus causing frustration on my part. Why did everyone want to walk under the pier this early in the morning as I was taking THE SHOT?

I planted myself under pier with my bag and tripod. Set everything up. Took the shot and this is the result. Not exactly what I was looking for. My shutter speed was obviously too slow. My aperture was good- 32, and the ISO was 100. The problem was shutter speed.

Here is the second shot. Not really the second, I took 39 and don't want to bore you. This is the second example of my shoot that morning. This time I accelerated the shutter speed, same aperture and ISO. It's getting better. But, where is the water?

The third image shows lots more color, probably due to changing the ISO to 400, the aperture to 5.6, and the shutter speed to 1/640..that's really fast. I love the color, but it's NOT CREAMY!

This is the 4th and last image. The shutter speed is .6, the aperture is 36 and the ISO is 100. I think with some tweaking in photoshop this image will look pretty good. It's still somewhat overexposed, but I like that effect. What do you think?

I want to thank Tom, my guru for so patiently explaining my questions regarding metadata. He is a genius. I also want to thank John for sharing his image with me. It's NOT EVEN CLOSE, but maybe someday.

1 comment:

Michael said...

I like 3 and 4 the best. Maybe a melding of the two would be good - the creaminess of the water with the darker wood of the pilings along with a little more blue in the sky. It also might look really great in B&W! Of course, that's strickly from a novice, but still a different point of view.