If there is one word I have come to detest within the past six months, that word would be ‘DROPLETS.’ But, wouldn’t you know it, Terri Webster has gone and chosen it as this week’s Sunday Stills Photo Challenge. At first I envisioned staging two people, both not wearing masks and one sneezing toward the other. That seemed a bit too ‘real’, so I took the lazy route and dug into my photo archives.
In case you don’t already know this about me, I love going to the beach and photographing big splashes at high tide. The natural shoreline of Coquina Rock in front of my favorite location, The House of Refuge, is perfect for those types of shots, as the structure provides perspective as the waves hit the rocks.
My last post featured a series of shots from this same location. I took those shots last week when we were experiencing King Tide. This photo, which is an all-time favorite is from around the same time last year. The droplets are just inches from my lens, and were an unexpected surprise. My camera was set to Automatic Focus and the lens was anticipating the tower as the center of the photo. This is the result of what I call a good oops, or happy accident. Nothing is in focus, but is has a dream like quality that I love; all created by sea spray, which could be mistaken for snow. Most people would never guess that this was taken in Florida.
Some years ago I started a photography club and we were often invited to shoot at local events. One of those was a CosPlay event at my favorite beach. The group acted out scenes from Star Wars as we positioned ourselves in various locations to maximize our advantage of the rocks and ocean. There were about twelve members of the group, so each photographer chose two people to work with, then we switched around so everyone had a chance to get lots of different photos.
When it was my turn to shoot the couple in the photo below, (who I thought had the most awesome costumes), the wind kicked up and a rain storm could be seen on the horizon. What luck! The droplets (splash) in the background of this photo along with the deteriorating sky made this shot. I processed the photo in PhotoShop Elements to increase the drama of the sky and pop the color of her cape.
What I missed, and some of you will notice, is the water droplets on my lens. Shooting at the beach does have its challenges, and you should always check your images for spots, which can be easily removed in post-processing.
I love taking action shots, and there is nothing better than capturing surfers doing what they love to do. My camera is set to burst mode for this type of photography. I track one surfer at a time and have my camera ready to zoom in as soon as they are upright on the board. Sometimes the ride is a bust and sometimes I get lucky. The droplets (fanned spray) in the photo were intentionally created by the surfer with a spin of the board, just before bailing out.
I spent a couple of hours scrolling through my photo files this week and enjoyed the trip down memory lane. My photographs reflect a joyous life, that has been well lived. These past months I have struggled to keep even the most basic cornerstones of that life in place as we face the question; what next?
What makes me smile this week is a reminder that contentment requires a high degree of engagement, curiosity, creativity and gratitude. How about you? Are you engaged with life, or just going through the motions right now?
Shared with Trent’s Weekly Smile.