I was out at sunrise the other day. One minute the sky displayed a full spectrum of color. The next it was dark and intermittently I was pelted with rain. It had stormed overnight and it was low tide — the perfect combination for a treasure trove coughed up from the sea. The birds love it. So did I.
Category Archives: beach
One of these things is not like the others . . . yet it belongs!
Ailsa’s travel theme this week is “Belonging“. I think I belong on a beach, preferably a warm and sunny one. Wish that the white stuff I see covering the earth was sand and not snow.
Linking up with Kim Klassen’s Texture Tuesday. This week’s theme: Color.
Coquina (d. variabilis) are abundant on the beaches in Southwest Florida. Although they are everywhere, I am always taken with the variety of colors and patterns in these little shells. The bivalves are edible (these were just the shells of the little creatures), but I’ve heard that they are not very tasty! They’re so tiny, I would never have the patience to shuck enough to make even a small appetizer.
This image was layered with one layer of Kim’s texture kk_0603 with Blend mode of Multiply at 15% opacity, masked off of the shells. There was already plenty of texture in the wood (love that grain!), but the texture helped the tone a bit along the edges.
Twice in as many weeks, I’ve tried to take a lengthy walk along the shore, past the point where the mangroves jut into the Gulf briefly, before the beach widens once again. At this point, mangroves have developed between the shoreline and the high-rise hotels. It’s about 1.5 miles to this point, and is only accessible at low tide. Beyond here, the beach is usually less crowded with people and more populated with birds. Each time, I’ve arrived at this point, worked my way through the rough path and stopped to see pelicans, herons, and cormorants resting in a tidal pool. And, each time, after just a few snaps of the shutter, I’ve heard a clap of thunder and looked up to see enormous, dark clouds moving quickly towards the shore. “Flash showers” the TV weatherman called them. “Dangerous” to my camera is what I’ve called them. Luckily for me, there is a hotel with a beach bar not far from this spot that has been an easy spot to retreat to until the showers flashed over — or until I was “rescued” by my beach-lounging chauffeur.
When I saw that Ailsa’s travel theme this week was wood, I knew that a few of these shots would be a good fit for the theme.
Ailsa’s Travel theme this week is “Distance”. I immediately thought of the many shots I have taken across water. When I scrolled through my archives, this was not the shot that I thought I would post, but I really like it despite the fact that it isn’t a very good photo. No wonder it is grainy: I took this from a moving vehicle! Don’t worry though: I wasn’t the driver!
I did not like driving across the Pensacola Bay Bridge, as we went out to Santa Rosa Island for dinner. The bridge seemed to go on forever, although it is only about 3 miles. So, after enjoying a nice meal with my son with whom I was visiting, I made him take the wheel on the return trip. Besides avoiding the driving, that allowed me to snap a few photos. By the time we crossed to the mainland, the sun had already set but a deep red glow hung on the horizon. The deep blue of the sky was quickly fading. It was one of those autumn nights where the sky would not remain blue as the light faded; it would immediately turn black as the last rosy glow vanished and the waves below the bridge would become an inky black.
As the sun sets across the bay and the enormous cranes of the shipyards and docks are lit up in the distance, a rather ugly, industrial coastline is transformed into beautiful, glimmering lights.
I will likely be back in Pensacola one more time before my son is transferred to his next base. Perhaps, if the weather, light, and the timing of our itinerary are in our favor, I will walk out on the pedestrian walkway of the bridge to take a few shots the way sunset shots should be taken: on a tripod, not handheld through a car window at 60 mph! It won’t be quite the same perspective as the walkway does not extend that far out into the bay, but it will still provide a panoramic view of the coastline — the city, other bridges, waterfront warehouse, boats in the distance.
Ailsa’s theme last Friday (I’m getting this in just in time before the NEXT theme is announced tomorrow – whew!) was RIPPLES.
I immediately thought of this picture, taken on a Florida beach many months ago and likely posted here previously:
As I was looking for the above photo, I found a few others that fit the theme as well:
I love watching water ripple. I had to stop before I displayed a large portion of my photo catalog in this post!
Well, OK. One more:
I took this photograph about six weeks ago, but it wasn’t until this evening that I returned to this set of shots. The challenge this week in Kim Klassen’s Beyond Beyond course was to shoot from above. Ahhhh! This is a favorite angle of mine. Just for kicks and grins, I reviewed all of my posts since Jan 1. In 34 posts, I used images shot from above 17 times. Yes; I think it is a favorite!
So, instead of taking another photo, I thought I would post this one. I think items on a beach made perfect sense to shoot this way, although I’ve taken some shots of shells that I really like from other angles too. I’m curious what you think: Do you think a particular subject suits itself well to shooting from above? What is your favorite “go-to” angle to shoot? Does it vary with your subject?
Cool bonus feature of this photo: As I was shooting, the Florida Fighting Conch began to move. It’s Alive! The gastropod moved out of its shell enough to get a bit of leverage to roll over, away from the sea fan and out of the frame. I think he was tired of the hot sun — and maybe he wasn’t ready for closeups! If you look to the left of the shell, you can see lines in the sand that he had made. The critter isn’t easy to detect from his shell, but it’s the lighter brown area just to the left of the bright orange. If you find these creatures on the beach, especially at low tide, do NOT throw them back into the surf. They’re snails and they work their way out of the sand daily. They aren’t in any danger. Look at them, don’t throw them in the water, and always leave live sea animals on the beach where you found them!
DWMBBTS*(*Detail Which Might Be Boring To Some)
Taken with Canon REBEL xSI, Canon EF-S 55-250 f/4 IS lens, @ ISO 100, f/11, 1/200
My processing recipe in case you’re interested:
Minor color adjustment & sharpening in ACR,
1. Isolated shells and made copy.
2. added kk_chase, Blending mode screen, Opacity 42%. This added some beige to counterbalance the grey sand (which is white IRL), added a Gaussian blur, erased texture over the shells.
3. Added kk_1402magic, Color Burn, 58%, removed over shells.
4. Moved the layer containing only the shells to the top, then merged all layers.
5. Made a copy of the layer, added a Gaussian blur 15 pixels, Soft Light, 20% opacity & merged with background layer.
6. Made a copy of the layer, Multiply, 25%. Used Marquee tool to select a large portion of the image. Used Refined Edge feathered to 200. Removed this area from the layer, and merged down, creating a slightly darker “frame” around the image.
7. Added kk_1612 create a border, with a slight blur to make the tones a little bit more subtle.
8. Added a solid color screen using a color I selected from the sand. Using rectangular marquee tool, removed all of the screen except for the outer border. Didn’t like the color, so adjusted it to a brown tone.
9. Added signature and ready to post (….and wondering what steps I’ve already forgotten!)