Photography and Luck

A large part of photography is being at the right place at the right time.  Of course, the more important characteristics of a great photographer are knowing where to be and when to be there.  The most important characteristic being the artistic and technical mastery of knowing WHAT to do when you get to a situation with amazing subjects in amazing light.

I happened to stumble upon some amazing light (referred to in the photographic community as “god beams”) last weekend when visiting La Jolla, CA.  Julie and I headed to San Diego for the weekend to see the Allman Brothers Band at Harrah’s Rincon – awesome show!  I’ve seen them a few times over the last five or six years and they sound as good as ever.  They next day we headed to La Jolla to catch a sunset and photograph the seals on the beach.  Unfortunately, they plan to move the seals by playing sounds of barking dogs from 6am to sunset every day (possibly for years) – see this link for more information.  We must remember they have lived along our beautiful California coast longer than humans.  Respect, respect, respect these beautiful creatures.

So, the light was behind the clouds, creating these amazing god beams, making photographing the seals less interesting (and more difficult in the lower light).  Therefore I concentrated on some waves crashing on some very cool brown rocks.  Here is the result:

Waves crash under god beams in La Jolla, CA

"Mystical" - Waves crash under god beams in La Jolla, CA

I was certainly not expecting to see such spectacular light when we headed for La Jolla that day.  However, I was “lucky” to find myself witnessing such an amazing light show.  The only way I was able to take home these images was my knowledge of composition (I utilized leading lines and the rule of thirds to evoke a three dimensionality to the images) and exposure (I blended multiple exposures of the same shot to cover the large dynamic range of the image without blowing out the highlights and maintaining detail and color in the shadows on the rocks in the foreground).Hope you enjoy these shots!

A black and white conversion from La Jolla, CA

"Raw" - A black and white conversion from La Jolla, CA

~ by aaronburdick on June 1, 2009.

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