Sunday, September 28, 2014

Play Day on the Bay

It has been awhile since being in the canoe, so much so that I overlooked the 10 knot easterly winds and lack of low tide. I hoped to spend time with the wading birds but that never happened. But, I was prepared to set up the tripod and capture the rainy season clouds as the sun rose behind them. I was on the water one hour before sunrise. Headlamp on, I loaded the boat and paddled into the wind toward deeper water so that I could paddle easily along the shoreline toward my mangrove heaven.

The clouds were large in the easterly sky but blues and oranges served as their background. It would not be long before the clouds became illuminated and the colors became saturated with the morning sun light. I set up the tripod and at first composed a shot or two without filters. With a slow shutter speed, the water current that was pushed by the winds made the water look dreamy. To slow it down even more, I added 6 stops of filters and began to compose vertical and horizontal images with a mangrove tree or two or three.

The clouds did not disappoint. While I worked with the light and colors, I realized that any image with a mangrove would have blurred leaves given the windy conditions. Oh well, you can't have everything.

Soon, the sun was high above the horizon. I paddled on toward the creek where a pelican rested on the post that remains standing, even after the memorial plaque that was attached to it disappeared years ago. Today, I decided to simply play with the camera, disregarding a rule or two. Here's an image of the bird, in side light. Thought black and white would suit this one.

The pelican took off and dove into the restless water. It was soon joined by another. I stood in the water and metered for a +1 2/3 compensation and attempted to capture the backlit birds as they dove. A couple shots turned out nicely showing the silhouetted pelicans. I decided to combine them to create this image. I liked the four different shapes that seemed to work together for a nice composition that highlights the diving skills of the brown pelican.

Not a bad day after all. But then again, Biscayne Bay never disappoints. Enjoy these images from a beautiful day on the water.

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