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Photographer's Note

Last weekend, I attended Terri Hendrix's "Life's a Song" workshop. It was fabulous fun and I'll try to post some scenes from there in the days to come.

But here's the one I wanted to share first. Before dawn on Saturday, I walked the few hundred meters from the workshop to the beach. I had a small tripod and a piece of plastic to sit on so my butt wouldn't get wet. I knew that the "New Moon" phase (no visible moon) was due the next day, and that the final crescent moon would rise shortly before the sun this morning.

The wind was howling, as it will often do at a beach. I'm prone to a chill, but tried to tough it out and apply many of the lessons I have tried to learn here at TE: choose a low ISO, stop down the aperture, get the camera stable, open the shutter, and let the camera soak up what little light there might be.

The box score results tell the sad tale of a man with much to learn: 110 frames shot, maybe 5 usable images! The biggest lesson I learned was that when shooting in low light at a subject with point sources of light (such as the lights on a jetty), we are well-advised to use the timer setting -- to trip the shutter AFTER one's hand has left the camera. I have dozens of nice shots of the jetty, each one showing every light on the pier tracing the identical small set of movements that the camera suffered as a result of my finger pushing the shutter button. (6 Nov 2013 -- I have posted an example of this as a WS.)

So this shot may be the pick of the litter. The surf has gone fuzzy in the ten-second exposure, but the wet sand is vibrant and the sky is saturated with dawn color. I have dodged that sliver of a crescent moon to make it more apparent, but otherwise there is little PP here.

I solicit your thoughts and ask for the benefit of your experiences.

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Additional Photos by Russ Ham (EstudioChispa) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 258 W: 90 N: 498] (2182)
  • Baja California Sur photo
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  • Baja California Sur photo
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  • Baja California Sur photo
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