It is hard to complain about being in Florida in March when the alternative is Vermont in March. Here it is 82 and bright sun and at home it is 42 and cloudy. And yet here I am just a wee bit grumpy that there is so little to do (I am not a lay-around beach person) and even less to photograph (I am definitely not a palm tree/beach sunset person). So what am I doing to amuse myself? You guessed it- taking pictures of palm tree/beach sunsets.
The other part of my particular situation is that I am not in a very photogenic place- its pretty just not photogenic. So why am I here and not at some other place in Florida where there is lots to photograph? Because sometimes family responsibilities take you to places that you wouldn’t otherwise go and you have to make the best of it. Doesn’t mean you can’t be just a wee bit grumpy, it just means you have no other options.
Yesterday I remembered that my sister wanted me to photograph sunsets and sunrises for a project she is working on so like the good brother that I am I dutifully went out late afternoon and this morning looking for pictures. With any landscape but particularly with sunsets and sunrises you need something other than a big orange ball in your picture. Some foreground would be nice, some pretty foreground would be even better. So last night I went searching for foreground and found nothing. There was beach, water, orange sun and fading blue water and by the time I got to the beach (family responsibilities again) the sun was mostly gone.
What did I do? I did what any desperate photographer would do – I played. Playing means doing things just for the fun of it. It helps to have very low expectations. I find the lower your expectations the easier they are to achieve. So there I was sitting on the beach, sun almost gone trying to get something, anything. Getting nothing, it I struck me- shoot as slow as you can and zoom while you are shooting. This, by the way, is not something I have ever thought before but with family over my shoulder and some very nice New Zealand sauvignon blanc lubricating what was left of my brain (nothing was right) I tried it. 87 shots later I got one I liked. If you find the picture less than ideal I would suggest a very tall glass of properly chilled New Zealand sauvignon blanc, 2010.
I suppose the lesson is: Why not? With digital there is no penalty for trying something, even if it is something that you are relatively sure is a strong sign of severe head trauma. And this is pretty close to how the picture came out, I didn’t screw around with it in my computer, I had screwed around with it enough in my camera. So the next time you are desperate or you want to get away from your family or you desperately want to get away from your family grab your camera and just start playing. Don’t think, don’t analyze just play, be random. 87 shots later you might get something.
This morning I went out looking for someplace to try sunrise. As you can see I didn’t find a very good spot. I did find a spot I think might be better so we’ll have to see about that one tomorrow. If you find the picture less than ideal I would suggest a very tall properly chilled glass filled to the brim with a mimosa.
Just to terrorize you all, I will keep posting my disappointing efforts. If I’m going to be a wee bit grumpy, you might as well be too!