My entry to #AFOFA contest! entry code - Po31lT
Location: Te-Arai Point, New-Zealand
Sunset was due to ~17:30, and Itay from the mushroom farm told me about a good spot called Te-Arai point.
His advice was good, but I knew it's not going to be easy.
2 huge rocks standing next to each other, between them quiet, deep blue, tiny bay, and spread to the left, a lovely golden beach with a few surfers in the water. finding a composition when surrounded by sheer beauty is somehow extremely difficult for me, and as usual I was late and so in a hurry.
the sea, beach and sunset were great to watch, but no photo there. rocks were impressive, but couldn't find anything either. I was running and jumping on the rocks, and the best i could come up with was this, Nothing to be proud of:
Thoughts like "A real photographer would have found 20 compositions here, what are you doing running around with a camera and a tripod, pretending like you know something"... starts crawling in the back of my mind. I'm used to them, can easily ignore and set aside.
Perhaps it was being surrounded by other people?
I have issues photographing while being among people, I know it.
So, I wandered into the next beach, which was completely empty, and had some really nice rock formations in the water. I decided to try a more intimate photo.
Here is the results:
Pretty good, right?
Except it's crap.
composition is good, water cooperates and create those cool tidal shapes, but man the technical side is awful!
It was so dark at this point, that I had to raise my iso to unreasonable levels, and STILL it was underexposed. (underexposure is a repeating issue with my photos in general).
By the time i took it to Lightroom, I had to raise blacks and shadows to +100, and by that point it was so grainy, I had to raise sharpness and luminance all the way up, which totally killed any detail still left. the result looks fake, smeary and over processed.
I decided I HAD to go back to the same spot, and this time, learn from my mistakes - Don't photograph in bad light conditions (which means be there ahead of time), and pay more attention to technical side - don't just point & shoot, do everything methodically.
2 days later - I'm there again.
this time it was after a rainy afternoon, and no one was there, so I decided to go to the main beach first. Again i wandered looking for composition, but best thing I found is shown in this test photo , and I didn't like it very much - it misses the sun which was setting 90 degrees to the left, and I was sceptical about the sky developing good colors:
But when I was packing and getting ready to go back to "my" small beach, the most amazing thing happened!
A flock of sea-birds (Don't know the kind) landed right next to me( I mean 2-3 meters away!). They didn't seem to care about me at all, even as I was quickly setting my gear again.
It was real magic, to watch these birds right next to me, bathing in the golden sun light, and so I was able to take the first photo that I was happy with:
afterwards, I headed back to the remote beach. I knew there was a photo there, with the raging waters communicating with the rocks in every kind of way.
Right when I got there, this one pointy rock caught my attention:
at times, the water would create this beautiful vortex shape around it.
all I needed was to catch that moment:
This is a nice photo, but not the Wow photo that it could have been. I feel I just missed that precise moment by a fraction, and that is merely close-enough. and, I didn't know how to compose it the right way. More focus should have been brought to the rock itself, probably at different angle as well - but I was really restricted by the sea, which was pretty wild and kept me at distance.
Here is another photo I took of it, with better composition but the vortex wasn't quite there:
Later i found another composition, and was able to capture this lovely sea/rocks dynamics image:
I later climbed the rock and sat there quietly for some time. I was too pumped up to properly meditate, and since the sun has long gone, and my mind felt a bit dry, I went down shortly after and drove back to the farm.
I'm very pleased with these 3 images. I know it could be better, and my post processing can be improved as well, but comparing to the ones I took some time ago in Coromandale, I can see vast improvements.
more important lesson for me was to implement the right state of mind - don't show up late, don't force the photo, if nothing is there, simply enjoy the sunset. And most important - attention to details, especially the technicality, at least until it becomes automatic.
I can't wait to start travelling with my sister - should be around 2 weeks from now - expect some great photos from new-zealand!
Hope to see you soon, thanks for reading, and may we all have peace, happiness and success in all that we do.
- next episode is here