This weekend was fun. A ferry trip out to Orcas Island, the beaches of Bellingham Bay, and the tail end of the Tulip Festival in Skagit County.
Saturday was supposed to be bright and sunny, but like the typical Pacific Northwest, it rained. Not a lot, just a drizzle.
That didn’t stop me. I went out to the farmer’s market in Bellingham but was uninspired and disappointed. It was grey and dark. There seemed to be no life. So I went to Squalicum Beach on the shores of Bellingham Bay to shoot.
The tide was super low and the exposed sand had cool ripples. My first impression was to take some long lens shots around. But those ripples kept taunting me.
So I slapped my camera and wide-angle onto my tripod and tried a few shot. No luck. I felt that the camera was too high as I couldn’t get close to accentuate the cool ripples.
With a bit of bravery, I turned the center column upside down so I could get the camera several inches above the wet sand.
Using the “live view” and “artificial horizon” tools built into the camera, I composed my shot, metered, and took a few frames. I then looked for a different set of ripples and shot some more.
CAUTION: One thing to be aware of when shooting like this: the formation of small water droplets on the front of the lens from both the drizzle and splashes. AND be super careful not to dip your camera into the saltwater.
It can be instant death to your gear.
After a quick foray into the danger zone, I packed up and went to a beach clean-up scheduled a little further north at Locust Beach.
But what I found more interesting was a cool set of rotting pylons from an old dock. They go well with a theme I’ve been working on: Remnants of the Puget Sound’s Nautical History.
With the low tide, the pylons jutted out of the mirror like surface of the pooled water like a rocket ship at Cape Canaveral. Or something like that.
As the exposed rocks were covered in moss and slime. I had to step delicately and carefully. I didn’t want to deep six my camera gear.
What turned out to be a quick shot, turned into a 30 minute session. I shot both horizontals and verticals.
My girlfriend Heidi helped me edit and she picked this photo, which I also like best, because the reflections are nearly perfect and you can barely see the horizon line. Thank you Heidi.
There was no tripod used for the shot, although one would’ve helped. Instead, I held the camera vertically and rested it on an exposed rock. A bit risky.
But if you’re not taking risks with your photography, you’re not extending your creativity.
Sunday was fun. Heidi has never taken a ride on a ferry.
So we planned a short trip from Anacortes to Orcas Islands. The ferry sails through the San Juan Islands in the north end of the Puget Sound.
It was an extraordinarily clear day. You could see Mount Baker in the distance, clear as a bell. Beautiful.
As Heidi watched for whales, I shot photos. Of the passengers and passing scenery, I found the combination fun to watch.
As we steamed towards our destination, I put the cameras away to enjoy the scenery. This helps keep my eyes fresh, but the big bonus is I can enjoy the views with Heidi.
As we were sailing, I kept tabs on potential images. For one, I noticed all the work being done at the Anacortes Terminal.
I liked the leading lines, the freshly painted iron, the tunnel-like feeling created by the plastic, but it was missing one thing: people.
So I kept an image in the back of my head of this with a group of passengers as they went through. A shot to try as we returned from the trip. The result is below.
You have to keep pushing yourself to capture wonderful images, you have to keep pushing yourself to improve and extend your creativity. Only you can stop you.
Just remember when photographing: Wide, Medium, & Tight, Then Stretch.
Using this technique will help you cover all your angles and help you get a better image.
There were some other photos I shot which I’ve not posted. One of an almost empty car deck with a hatch reading “Emergency Escape Hatch: Keep Clear.” Made me fell like I was back on my old ship or aboard a starship.
Others included flowers from the side of the road, more from the market and the ferry.
Thanks for stopping by and reading.