Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Life's a beach

I have a slew of beach photos I plan to post over the next day or two but I felt this one deserved its own post because I just love it.


And I didn't even take it.

Okay, so now it's time for some photography babble (for those of you who are interested.)

When I hand the camera off to Rich, it is still set to manual. I simply refuse to use any other settings because I don't believe the camera is smarter than a human. I set the ISO, aperture, shutter speed and how I wanted the camera to meter or read the light. In order to set the shutter speed, I test metered by acting like I was going to take a picture of the girls.

Here's what I reminded Rich when I handed the camera to him:

  • Make sure the focal point is on my head/face. He knows how to move the focal point if need be. 
  • Check the meter. The light was changing and although I had already set the shutter speed, it could possibly need to change. I've taught him how to read the meter and how to change the shutter speed. 
  • Make sure my entire body is in the photo.  (Don't cut my feet off!) 

So the point of this isn't to say, "Hey, look. Anyone can take a picture," but to give you an idea of my photography thought process.  Rich captured the moment and that isn't anything that can be taught. (Just like he captured this one of me and the girls one morning a few years ago. The idea/composition behind that one was mine but Rich was the one pressing the shutter button.)  I think we make a great team!

Here are a few things to keep in mind regarding composition:

  • There were other people at the beach and in the water. Frame your photo to exclude unwanted people/objects. 
  • Beware of the limb chop and don't cut off feet, hands, etc. 
  • Remember the rule of thirds when framing. Most of the time you don't want your subject(s) to be smack dab in the middle of the photo. 

As for bringing my DSLR to the beach... This was a residents only beach. So while not exactly "private" it wasn't as crowded as a public beach and I was able to comfortably keep an eye on my bag when the camera was stowed away. I wrote this blog post about beach photography tips a few years ago. (Kind of funny because I think this is my most pinned post and I didn't even pin it.)

More beach photos coming soon...


Christi said...

Rich did an awesome job of framing this shot! I hope you enlarge and frame it. It's wonderful.

It is so hard for me to hand over the camera because I know most people will frame the faces smack in the middle of the frame or cut off limbs in a funny place.

Anonymous said...

This picture is awesome. I love Emily's(?) face on the left. Pure joy and fun!

Laurie said...

Great picture, Rich (and Sarah)! Thank you for continuing to do photography posts - I love them. Out of all the things I read about Manual Mode, it was your posts on shooting in Manual Mode that made it click for me.

One quick photography question - do you use (or have you tried) back button focusing? I'm considering trying it out for photographing my always-moving-toddler. But, it would make handing off the camera that much more difficult :)

Sarah said...


Laurie - I don't use back button focusing. I haven't really given it a chance though. I'm more likely to focus/recompose if I need to.

Anonymous said...

Nice picture, you do make a great photographer duo!
And Sarah, I really like your dress and hat!