A few of my favourite things..

Things I Learned at the Beach

If the skilled and knowledgeable members of the photographic community care to run their collective eye over the pictures here and offer helpful words of wisdom, I’m all ears.  Learning by trial and error is a slow and painful process!

Taking photos of buildings should be easy.  They don’t move or change expression: how hard could it be?

It was trickier than I thought.  Wandering about the place I found a good angle, composed the shot so there was a little more interest than just the actual building and…voila!


Q1 in the morning

See that nasty, no good shadow on the bottom of the building?  Not pretty.  So I tried again.

Q1 late afternoon

The afternoon shot was an unmitigated disaster.  The sun was blinding, there was lens flare galore, the beach was in shadow, and nothing at all was right about the picture. Sigh.

Q1 midday

Midday had to be the answer.  I failed to overcome the lens flare issue, and in this particular shot the lack of people makes it seem a little bland, but it is something to remember, this not getting shadows all over the subject.  I might also add,  if you are standing in the surf juggling your camera, shoes, and hand bag, don’t wear a long skirt.  Focused on the building, your attention is distracted from the odd killer wave that can sneak up on you.  Everyone say, “Wet, sandy, walk home!”

white skirts are outThe observation deck presented further challenges for this novice.  I had read in my big red canon book of things to want that there is a filter that will block reflections.  Thinking ahead to this photo opportunity, and knowing I was desirous of one, my sweetie went to buy it for me.  I can assure you that after finding that Mr Beyondbluestockings had paid a tidy sum for the filter, and that it made not a skerrick of difference (see my favourite white skirt in the picture?) I was grieved.

In the light of day, my unhappiness faded as I learned that the sales assistant, not comprehending what my husband had asked for,  had sold him a polarizing filter.  It’s not a non-reflective filter, but, hey,  sunnies for my camera – cool!  I can use that.

against the glassThe next day was my last at Q1, and it occurred to me to put the lens hard against the glass.  Why it didn’t occur to me the previous night, I can’t imagine.  But it did solve the reflection issue, though limited the angles I could shoot from. You live and learn.

8 responses

  1. Nice trials, as you said photographing buildings are not that easy! But you’ve done well. Which camera do you use? canon?
    The last shot is really cool! 🙂


    May 23, 2009 at 5:08 pm

  2. I don’t think these are as bad as you think they are…. there is something I like about every one!
    In the first one, the shadow doesn’t bother me at all. If I had taken the picture, I would have cropped it a little tighter, leaving out the building on the left (cloning out part of it if necessary)
    I LOVE the sun between the buildings, and the long shadows in the second one!! The flare you could probably clone out pretty easily if it bothers you.
    The third one is VERY nice. I don’t mind the sun flare, but again, I would have cropped just a little tighter. And I like that there are no people on the beach. Personally I prefer no people on the beach unless it’s people I know.
    The fourth would have been great, if it wasn’t for those annoying reflections. A polarizer doesn’t completely eliminate reflections, but it helps (depending on the camera angle! And it won’t do anything at all for metallic reflections)
    The last one is gorgeous!(I need a vacation!!) The only thing I would change is the crooked horizon.
    I think you did pretty well with these 🙂


    May 23, 2009 at 8:16 pm

  3. Nivin, yes, it’s a Canon 1000D. I have only had it a few months, but it has had a hard life. Being used to a point and shoot, I lose lens caps all over the place and forget that it is maybe not so robust as the little one I used to keep in my pocket..

    Michaela, you’re too gentle with me, lol!

    I don’t have photoshop or lightroom. I know that makes me a hillbilly of a photographer, but I wanted to learn to use my camera first (long way off that goal!) and I want to have to take the shot carefully. Thanks for taking time to consider each and offer your conclusions – I value your thoughts 🙂


    May 24, 2009 at 7:43 am

  4. I don’t have Photoshop or Lightroom either, I use PaintshopPro Photo X2…. MUCH cheaper than PS or LR, and you can do a LOT with it.


    May 24, 2009 at 11:22 pm

  5. Shoot, you have a Mac, don’t you? Then no need to even consider PaintshopPro, they don’t have a Mac version, as far as I know.


    May 24, 2009 at 11:25 pm

    • Mmm. I don’t know what’s out there for Macs.

      I still have a lot to learn about my actual camera functions yet, though. Other than the occasional experiment with the Tv function, I mostly do everything on the default program.

      What I would really like is, you know how people play photoblogging games like Sunday Stills, and Photo Hunt etc? Well, I need one for babies! A kind where the assignment is working out how to use a particular function and presenting an example rather than a particular theme. I know everyone else probably learns that by themselves, but (wincing!) I find it overwhelming.


      May 25, 2009 at 10:29 am

  6. Sorry I’m just now getting back to this…. what’s the default program, auto? Forget that, and dive right into manual 😉
    Have you heard of the book Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson? It’s a really good book, and you can learn right along with it, step by step. I’ve tried to talk Melissa into reading it, after I gave her my old DSLR, but she refuses. Of course she thinks she knws everything already!
    The best is to just take it a little at a time. Experiment on subjects where it won’t matter if the picture doesn’t turn out (I hate messing up pictures of the kids!!)
    Tackle one function at a time, and experiment with it, then add another function until you’ve mastered your camera. Take your time and have fun with it 🙂


    May 28, 2009 at 9:22 am

  7. Michaela, I don’t know what the default program is called, but.. it’s a little green square that works out things for you.

    Dive into manual? What a lot of crummy shots I’ll have! lol! 😛

    I haven’t heard of Understanding Exposure, but I will have a look for a copy. I know I need to learn how to use my camera, and I do want to, but, oh to be honest, I must just lack discipline or something. But I’ll hunt up a copy of the book and have a go with it: thanks for the recommendation 🙂


    May 30, 2009 at 12:01 am

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