Who wouldn’t want to be walking on THE beach?
I had just finished shooting with my film camera, experimenting with camera settings and the sunrise and how it effects the changing colors in the sky. So we were actually out at the beach a good half hour before the sun peered around the corner of the beach. We were likely out there about an hour or more (I lose track of time when I’ve got a camera) and I was ready to go back to the hotel to eat breakfast. Priorities, you know.
My husband and I are walking back to the hotel and I turned around, seeing her and the pups. I try to always look behind me as I’m walking when I think I’m done photographing, as sometimes the most interesting shot IS behind you!
I quickly got the digital camera out of my bag and snapped the shutter.
I was lucky to just barely capture the woman walking and throwing a stick for her dogs before the composition was lost because she would have been too far away from me.
Now for the “techier” stuff.
The lens attached didn’t zoom, so I had just the one focal length to compose with. No time to think about shutter speed and such. I might have quickly looked at the exposure meter in the viewfinder to get the exposure close. (I usually shoot in manual mode, which means I do the thinking for the camera, manually adjusting the shutter speed, aperture, and ISO, if necessary (think “film speed” during the film camera days).
This type of scene would have been tough for most cameras to meter if left to what the camera thought was the correct exposure because of the extreme light and dark of the early morning.
Why b&w? In color, the foreground of the beach is distractingly sparse with grass. Black and white helps to get rid of that distraction because now it’s just shades of darker grey. But the main thing was all the shapes in the image. The islands. The trees. The people and dogs on the beach. All beautiful as silhouettes. You know exactly what they are, the information of color and detail is unnecessary. Also, I wanted the sky to show some of the glow of the sun and fog, and if I had chosen camera settings where you saw the details of the woman’s shirt, or the green of the trees, that sky would have been nothing but overblown white. This could be YOU on that beach simply because you can’t see specifically who it is.
I like to think that this image is luck merged with experience.
Sunrise Walk on the Beach was photographed during the beautiful, foggy sunrise on Paihai Beach in New Zealand about a year and a half ago. The fog slowly lifted as the sun rose higher and higher. Why does life always seem better on a beach?
PS - Looking back at my photo files, it looks like I took two shots, but the first one I was in such a hurry that I wasn’t paying much attention to how the girl was standing, and her and the dogs were basically blobs. In this image, she was just swinging her arm back to throw the stick, which the dogs are obviously eagerly waiting for.
PSS - Most of the film images I took didn’t turn out well for a variety of reasons. But my plan was to experiment, and in that I succeeded. You gotta mess up to learn.