Week 11 – Texture

The eleventh Challenge in my 52 Week Landscape Composition Photo Challenge is Texture. I have seen some outstanding photos where texture was used brilliantly to convey a message or portray a story. I have been awestruck by some of the photos where the use of texture has made me feel like I am there touching what’s in the photo.

Photography is a visual medium but the use of texture in images can suggestively invoke other senses. The point of any photo is to convey a message and draw the attention of your viewers by using key compositional techniques. By cleverly using textures you can bring a tactile dimension to your photographs and make they come alive; become three dimensional. When light hits your subject at interesting angles, all the textures come into play.

Photographing Texture can often be quite challenging; you not only have to consider the texture you are working with but also how light, contrast, depth, and patterns work in conjunction with texture. I definitely have and continue to struggle with effectively utilizing texture in my photos. To be honest, I haven’t gone to places where I could have used texture as a primary compositional technique. I am sure I will before the end of this year and I may add few more photos to this challenge.

The goal this week was to experiment with different angles and use texture as this week’s primary compositional technique. So, for this week’s challenge, I took this shot at Four Mile Beach. It was a tide pool and the texture was very interesting to me and drew my attention. I decided to use it in my foreground while taking this seascape shot after Sunset. I don’t think it’s the best example of texture but to me, looking at this photo brings back memories of me standing in this tide pool and waves constantly hitting me.

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Golden Glow!

Location: Four Mile Beach, Santa Cruz
Time: Sunset
EXIF: Canon EOS 7D | Sigma 17-50mm 2.8 | 23mm | f/16 | 95s | ISO 100

This was shot during my visit to Four Mile Beach. This shot was taken moments after the Sun set behind the horizon. We were pretty close to the water and waves were very unpredictable. It kept hitting us hard. A couple of times, small driftwoods and rocks would come hit my tripod and move it slightly but enough to cause blurred photos. I have quite a few blurred photos from this series.

I experimented with this rock in the foreground quite a bit. For this particular shot, I saw the reflection of the rock when I used long exposure. So, I decided move back a little bit to capture the entire reflection. I went for a minute and a half exposure to make sure that the waves were completely smoothed out.

There colors were there but I had to work a bit on this one to bring it to where I liked it. I worked primarily in Lightroom. Apart from my usual workflow, I did a bit more with Vibrance and Saturation. I played a bit with Camera Calibration too.

Sunset Stacks!

Location: Four Mile Beach, Santa Cruz
Time: Sunset
EXIF: Canon EOS 7D | Sigma 17-50mm 2.8 | 35mm | f/8 | 25s | ISO 100

The first Photo Shoot of 2017. One of my Photography buddies and I decided to go to Four Mile Beach for Sunset. We’ve been there before but for Sunrise. The last time we were there, it was a ‘sendoff’ shoot for someone from our group who was going back to India. About half a dozen of us decided to meet for Sunrise at Four Mile Beach. The person going back to India was the resident expert of Drones in our Photography Group. So, one of the main purpose of the meetup was for him to showcase and demo his drone. A couple of Photographers were really interested in getting a drone.

Until last minute, I wasn’t sure if I would actually make it for Sunrise as I came home from a business trip pretty late at night. I didn’t set my alarm. I decided that if I wake up in time to head out, then I’ll go. I woke up and made the trip out to Four Mile Beach. Getting to the Beach from the parking lot is a short hike. Once down at the beach, we started shooting right away. There were lot of Sea Stacks. I moved around quite a bit and got some good shots during the Sunrise trip.

For the Sunset visit to Four Mile Beach, we decided to go close to the big Sea Stack that’s a prominent feature of this beach. The walk took about 10 minutes but it wasn’t really difficult. Waves were pretty rough and unpredictable as we got pretty wet but that’s nothing new. We moved around a bit to get different shots by placing the multiple Sea Stacks in different places of the frame.

This particular shot was one of the best from that day. I shot this pretty late; actually, just a few minutes before we packed up. One of the last shots that I took. The colors were subtle but spectacular. I was above a big flat Sea Stack and waves were crashing in. I took a few shots and this came out really well.

In terms of processing, I did my usual Lightroom workflow. There were no spots to remove but there was a small rock sticking on the bottom left of the frame that I removed in Photoshop.  Overall a great day shooting in a beautiful location.