This photograph was taken at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum, https://btarboretum.org. It’s a great place to photograph plants, trees, birds, flowers, old buildings and some great scenery.
I liked the patina on the bell, and the texture of the rocks. The shadows from tree branches also added a touch of mystery. I used the rule of thirds to get good composition, and to make blank space on the right. This space can be used by a business to add text to the image for a sales or marketing campaign, or in a magazine article.
If composition allows, take several photos of your subject, each with space on a different side. And shoot both horizontally and vertically. This increases the usability for any potential buyer.
Here are some more photos I took at Laguna Beach, California. These are several shots of kelp, also known as seaweed.
Seaweed washes up on shore after a storm breaks it loose, or after a sea urchin eats through the base of its stalk. You can sometimes find barnacles or other ocean life attached to the seaweed. And it often has a fluid or serpentine look to it when on the beach.
A few tips about shooting at the beach.
1 – Always keep an eye on the waves. You don’t want to get knocked over by a wave, or get salt water on your gear. After you have some experience shooting at the beach you get a feel for how far a wave will travel on the sand. Waves come is sets of two to fifteen, with five to seven being normal. And the last one or two waves in a set will be the largest. Before you start shooting, watch the waves for a while to see what they are doing.
It was nice to know that even though I had not been to the beach for 25 years, I could still tell just how far a wave would come up on the beach.
2 – Depending on where you and the sun are, you can use a polarizing filter to cut down on glare, and to darken the sky and foliage near the shore. It also works great for shooting in tide pools.
3 – It’s easy to add a human quality to the photos by including footprints in the sand or people in the background.
4 – Watch the background. You can be so focused on what’s in front of you, that you forget about the background. There could be buildings, people and offshore oil rigs that you don’t want in your photo.
5 – Use water on the sand to reflect things, like I did in my last beach post with the bird.
6 – If you walk around the beach barefoot, and you should, when you’re done you’ll find that sand sticks to your feet like it’s glued there. To easily remove the sand, rub talcum powder or corn starch on your feet. The sand will slide right off.
If you find yourself shooting in Laguna Beach, when you’re done head a little north on Pacific Coast Highway and stop at the Crystal Cove Shake Shack for a date shake. The shakes and view are both great.
Let me know if you have any questions or comments about these photos, or photography in general.
The circumstances around this photograph are strange.
We were at Laguna Beach, California, walking around main beach. We went around a tall rock, and my wife, Linda-Ann, spotted these sunglasses. They were sitting on the rock exactly as you see them in the photograph.
At first, I thought someone put them there as they roamed around, but there wasn’t anyone else in the area. And why would someone put two pairs of sunglasses on a rock and leave?
I’ll never know why they were there, but I liked the composition and took this photograph. And yes, I left them there as we continued exploring the beach.
It’s not all that uncommon for me to find things lying around. I’ve found money on the ground, including a $20 bill last week. The most I’ve found was $80. I love windy days that blow money around.
I’ve also found large store-bought crystals, jewelry, wallets with nothing inside but cash, tools, hiking gear, lens caps and filters, fossils and more.
It’s nice to look up, but it pays to look down.
I processed this image in ON1 Photo Raw as I no longer use Lightroom or Photoshop. I find ON1 to be faster and easier to use, and it gives sharper images. It costs less than Photoshop too.
Let me know if you have any questions or comments about this photo, or photography in general.
I took this image at Laguna Beach, California. The Bird of Paradise was in a planter next to the sidewalk.
I processed the image in ON1 Photo RAW by running it through the NoNoise AI, and adjusting things like contrast, highlights, midtones, whites, vibrance and saturation. I now use ON1 instead of Photoshop, Elements and Lightroom.
When I was done, the flower looked great, but the flat blue sky wasn’t to my liking. So I used the Sky Swap AI in ON1 and dropped in a nice cloudy sky at sunset. This module does a great job of selecting the sky, but there are adjustments you can make if you want to change the original look and placement of the new sky.
When doing composites, you want to make sure the light on all the layers is coming from the same direction. Since the flower was lit from the right, the sky had to be lit on the right. Fortunately it was, but Sky Swap AI lets you flip the sky horizontally, and make other adjustments. I could have easily made the light for the sky come from the left.
With the sky added, the photo really came to life, and I was very happy with the end results.
Let me know if you have any questions or comments.
This shot of the Wukoki Pueblo was taken at Wupatki National Monument. The main ruins are interesting, but I prefer these ruins, as its isolation gives me a better feeling of what it was like to live there.
I set up my tripod as low as possible to get this shot. The photo was taken close to sunset. While you can get great shots at any time of day, at sunset the red sandstone almost glows.
I could spend all day shooting here. The ruins offer great distant shots, like this, but there are also great detail shots of the rocks and ruins that are amazing.
Wukoki Pueblo reminds me of a lone ship at sea, but the sea is made up of sand and rock. You can walk around, and in, this ruin.