Tuesday, June 2, 2009

It's all about the light, and the camera, and photoshop, and the classes, and the...

I love to take pictures. I really, really do. But to get the perfect lighting outside means getting up early...very early, and I really, really, hate to get up early. Since I entered "transition" (I refuse to use the word retirement) I don't "do dark." Meaning that I don't get out of bed until the sun is up.

To show you an example of taking a picture when there is full sun, look below. I took this on Hilton Head in the middle of the afternoon.

Can you see the huge shadow on the surface? When I took this shot about three years ago, I thought it was breathtaking. Sure, the color is good and the composition is okay. Maybe I should have composed the horizon differently, but the major flaw is the shadow. To get this shot without the shadow would mean opening my eyes before sunrise, and as I said before, I don't "do dark."

But there is another way and I was lucky enough to have my camera in hand. Well that's not exactly true. Here's how it happened. A few weeks ago, three friends and I were on the beach on Hilton Head just talking away, catching up, with not a care in the world, when this major cloud appeared. So, the Ansella Adams who I think I am, sprang into action. I ran, or walked briskly (depending on whom is telling this story) to the condo and grabbed my camera so I could get the shot. Truth be told, I had contemplated getting up early to get the shot but here was my chance to get it without "doing dark." As all digital photographers do, I took about 20-30 shots of the same walkway. I was in all sorts of contortions- bending, squatting, and kneeling...praying that no one would walk on the beach until I could get the shot.

As my friend Tracy would say, "Et voila." Thank God for clouds.