Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Serendipity Shot

While this isn't much of a photo, there is a funny story behind it.  I had gotten to the beach at North Beach (a town on the edge of the Chesapeake) before sunrise so I could be set up to shoot the sunrise when it occurred.  Crossing the beach to the spot where I wanted to set up, I didn't see another soul anywhere.  Not only did I have the camera and telephoto on a tripod, I had also brought a small collapsible stool to sit on.

I was readying the camera and hadn't been there more than a minute or two when I heard a fairly loud distinct noise directly behind me.  Since I hadn't seen anything only a moment earlier, it startled me and I quickly looked back over my shoulder to see what could have made the noise.  There were three Canada geese standing there looking at me only a few feet away and it was as though they were asking me if it was okay if they passed me in that nasally voice that (even domestic) geese make. Stupid geese!  If they had just walked by me, I would have never even known they were there.

I decided to try to get a picture of them, but there were a couple of problems.  I had a telephoto mounted on the camera and, I knew if I did much moving around, they would spook and I wouldn't get the picture.  So, without moving, I simply rotated the camera on the tripod in their direction and tripped the shutter remotely, trying to estimate where to point the lens.  It was then I realized the shutter speed was going to be way too long.  I think it ended up being something like twenty seconds.

Amazingly, I did catch one goose and it moved very little in that twenty seconds.  Yeah, there is a little ghosting of it's upper body, but you can make out what it is.  But, it became an altogether different photo after it was finished.  I was also using a blue and gold polarizer, one of the few filters that can produce effects that just cannot be "digitally" reproduced in a photo editing program.  It enhanced both the warmth of the street lights and the blue light of the water.  And, because the shutter speed was so slow, the water became a pleasing blur, ending up looking almost painterly.

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