Inside the minds eye

by Douglas Hoffman on October 10, 2022

When I go to the beach to create landscape portrait I look around the location and take in the rocks, sand, ocean conditions, rhythm and size of the incoming waves, and the sky in the background. Next I evaluate the ambient light in front of me and on the horizon. I want to get a feel for the range from highlights in the sky to shadows on the beach.

As I look for compositional elements within the scene a finsihed image starts to form in my minds eye. This is the image I want to create and the task becomes how to make it happen. I know that if I manage the light with graduated and full neutral density filters that I can can control the amount of light going into the camera. This means I can control the speed of the shutter and thereby the emotion of an image. I can set the optimum depth of field and manipulate the ISO in order to control the Shutter speed and F-stop.

All of this happens in inside my head and once the math is done I know what settings and filters to use and can concentrate on composition. Thats when I grab the camera and fine tune what I saw in my minds eye. Then it’s a matter of waiting for the moment to press the shutter.

There was not a lot of color in the sky, the waves were small, tide was incoming. These facts help me decide to only include 1/4 of the image as sky and make the rest water. I saw the wood stuck in the sand and knew a slow shutter speed would result in a silky flow.

I lead private photo tours and workshops around the island. I look forward to showing people the island and helping them improve their skills.