Thursday, March 31, 2011

If you don't go, you'll never get the photo!

This past weekend I went with my friends in the Eastman Camera Club to Charleston SC for a long weekend of photography and friendship.   This was a great trip, even if the weather didn't cooperate.  On Sunday morning we got up way early to leave the hotel at 5:30 AM for sunrise at Folly Beach.   It started raining Saturday afternoon and had been raining ever since.   When we left the hotel it was raining pretty hard without much sign of clearing.   We kept telling ourselves, "if you don't go you'll never get the photo"   Not everyone agreed it was worth trying and only half our crew got up that morning.  

When we reached the beach it was still raining but after about 15 minutes, the rain slowed down enough to get out of the cars.  At that point about 7 of use headed down the path toward the beach with no blue sky to be seen.  About 5 minutes later we walked out on the beach, the rain stopped, and the clouds started breaking up!  Our prayers were answered -- God blew the rain out and gave us a couple hours of shooting time.

Something I never saw growing up in Florida was a starfish on the beach.   This morning we saw two live ones and one that had spent too much time in the South Carolina sun.

f/8, 1/40 sec. 70mm handheld

This one reminded me of John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. 

f/8. 1/20, 100mm handheld
The landmark on Folly Beach is the lighthouse that is just off shore.   The skies were still dull grey and cloudy and the lighthouse was a bit dull itself, which does not make for dramatic photos.   To make things a little more interesting I got low and shot the starfish with the lighthouse in the background.   The sand was very wet and I didn't want my camera in the sand and I didn't want to lay down in the sand to make the shot.   I ended up resting the camera on my wallet to keep it off the sand.  

f/14, 1/80 sec, 95mm "Wallet Mount"
The wallet was my idea, but someone else suggested the composition. 

Finally, the sun came out enough to give us some good low side light on the dead trees along the beach and the lighthouse offshore.

f/16, 1/60, 50mm hand held
My friends came away with several good photos from Sunday morning.  If we had stayed in bed or went back to bed when it was raining, we never would have gotten any shots of Folly Beach.   Sometimes you have to get up at completely unreasonable times, drive with no promise of good light or even good weather, and pray that you will find something worthily of shooting.   There are no guarantees, expect "if you don't go, you'll never get the photo".

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