Sunrise Series to come

….anatomy of coming light.

Sunrise for Florida, January, is roughly a quarter past 7 am. Most mornings this year I was on the beach for a morning, pre-dawn, walk camera in hand. This day, the 9th, the clouds were promising, no to heavy on the horizon and scattered, cumulus clouds otherwise. For the promise I brought the full frame Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, Canon lens 24 mm f/1.4L II USM fitted with a graduated .6 ND filter sitting on top of a Manfrotto BeFree Carbon fiber tripod.

A graduated neutral density filter has a portion shaded with gray to produce a “2 stop” difference in exposure between the darkest shade and clear glass with, between, a gradual feathered reduction in shade. In this way, the dark foreground and bright sky are balanced.

A carbon fiber tripod folds into a compact shape. At about 2.5 pounds it fits into a suitcase with the least weight possible for a reasonably stable platform. Using it, I am able to take a sequence of frames of the identical scene, changing camera settings as I go along.

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Sunlight, low in the western sky, was perfect for mirror-like reflections in the retreating surf.

In a few weeks, after the “Slievenaglogh View” series now underway, I will present a week of these images moving from pre-dawn to sunrise.

A slide show of these images. Use is to compare the effect of longer vs shorter exposure time and f-stop.

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Passing…..

….strangers on the beach

After 2 pm check in we interrupted unpacking for a sundown beach walk, IPhones and Sony Alpha 700 camera in hand on the last evening of 2019. There is a business on A1A, the main road through town, advertising “beach weddings” and “elopements.” Here, using the 18 – 200 mm f3.5-6.2 lens, I spied this grouping of a mature couple holding hands, minister in attendance, for a wedding ceremony witnessed by young adult children on the right, parents (?) left. The groom’s shorts contrast with the bride’s white gown.

Click photograph for the slide show. To do this from WordPress Reader, you need to first click the title of this post to open a new page.

Sunlight, low in the western sky, was perfect for mirror-like reflections in the retreating surf.

A given of the Atlantic beach is the late afternoon light, best for capturing figures against the ocean.

Written below the high tide mark, a message inscribed, impermanent in spite of the deep cuts.

I have practice framing sunsets against beach development. Cannot complain as we enjoy our beach side condo.

A slide show of these images.

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Lady Feeding Gulls, Cocoa Beach Dawn

unflappable lady hand feeds seagulls

When my wife read my post “Black Skimmers Feeding” she asked, “Where is the photo of resting Skimmers?”

To answer her question I looked through Cocoa Beach photographs and discovered I did NOT capture the Skimmers resting.  Instead, here are a related species, the Royal Tern (scientific name: Thalasseus maximus), whose behavior is similar in that it exclusively feeds from the water. There was a wind that morning and these individuals face into it.  These birds are, from a human point of view, well behaved, unlike the opportunistic gull.

Royal Terns at rest – CLICK ME for more Florida photography.

I searched around the web for identification of this gull without success.

Scavenging Gull – CLICK ME for more Florida photography.

It dines on a dead fish washed up by the surf.  In my previous posting I used the word “grifting” to describe gull behavior, again this is from the human point of view.  Gulls are notorious for stealing food from unwary beach goers, brazening walking over to unguarded chips (any kind), for instance, grabbing them and flying off.  If the chip stash is large, this sets off a nasty feeding frenzy when tens of gulls swoop in and grab.

Here is a series of photographs, demonstrating this behavior.

Click this link or any image in this article for my Fine Art Gallery from Florida.

The dawn flowed over Cocoa Beach as a lady attracted a crowd of hungry gulls, reminiscent of scenes from Hitchcock’s “The Birds.”

Lady and Gulls – CLICK ME for more Florida photography.

She is obviously an experienced gull feeder, unflappable with a steady hand.

Lady and Gulls – CLICK ME for more Florida photography.

She had come to the shore at dawn for a photo shoot.  Her male companion (husband?) was there with a camera.

Lady and Gulls – CLICK ME for more Florida photography.

Pam and I were there for the dawn, me with the Sony camera.
Lady and Gulls – CLICK ME for more Florida photography.

At first, I stood there amazed at the spectacle.  She was in such control of the situation, not a victim, more like a lion tamer.

Then, Pam said, “You have to get this.”  And I did.

Copyright 2018 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved