I was enjoying a cup of coffee with a friend at a local restaurant the other day and I saw this hill covered with dead weeds in a neighboring lot. Thought to myself – that might be interesting at sunset.
When I returned that evening, the restaurant’s outside patio was full, providing an awkward audience and a great soundtrack for me to work with. As I framed my shot with the weeds, toward the coffee shop and the sun beyond it, I laughed, wondering what the crowd on the patio was thinking of this 6’5” guy doing a really bad job of hiding in knee-high weeds with a camera pointed their way.
Concentrating on the shot, I knew I wanted to lose the background, but shooting into the sun doesn’t normally lend itself to shooting wide open. Enter the handy neutral density filter! In the end I shot this at ISO 200, 1/4000 of a second with my Nikon Micro-Nikkor 55mm at f2.8. The reddish bokeh (center, bottom) was from a car in the parking lot.
Ok, so I’ve added a bunch of photos to a gallery, figure I should take some time to describe them.
I’ve grouped these two photos together because they were taken in close proximity and are similarly themed/composed.
The first is this shot of the pier at Hueneme Beach park in Port Hueneme, Ca. Twenty years ago, I was stationed at the Naval Construction Battalion Center here (not as a Seabee – but attached to Naval Support Force Antarctica (A.K.A. Operation Deep Freeze) – we called NCBC our summer home and the Aviation Squadron (VXE-6) was based out of nearby NAS Point Mugu.)
I used to grab a burger and chili at the nearby Wendy’s and come down here to see the sunset. I met the woman who would eventually become my wife while stationed here and we shared an apartment with a couple other sailors nearby. Needless to say, this area has good memories and we regularly visit her family who live in the area.
I had imagined this shot, a sunset slow exposure to capture the motion in the waves, and was looking forward to shooting it, And when I got down in the sand was kinda not impressed with the sunset, but shot anyway. The thing I hadn’t counted on is what for me makes the shot – the fishers on the pier and their captured movement.
The other photo is the iconic Mugu Rock. Another shot I had imagined in advance and when I arrived on site – was a little shocked to see the Sun in the wrong place. I hadn’t accounted on the seasonal movement of the sun and how it would not exactly line up with the composition I had in my head. I like the shot, but figure I’ll have to go back in the summer to capture the composition I have in my head.