Exploring Color, Line and Pattern

by Kerry Drager

A lineup of rental ocean kayaks caught my attention the other day — for two very good reasons:

1) Color contrast: Check out the warm tones (mostly yellows) vs. the cool greens.

2) Graphic design: Lines and patterns were the attractions here. Also, I slanted the camera slightly to make the already strong lines even stronger — as diagonals.

With my telephoto zoom lens, I zeroed in tight on the best parts of the scene, while leaving out surrounding distractions (see the overall view below). A tripod, by the way, let me frame my composition precisely (no need for post-cropping!), while also letting me get a deep depth of field (via f/22 for maximum front-to-back sharpness) and use a low ISO (100) for the best in image quality.


As always, lighting was just as important as subject. Here, the light was just right — soft and diffused from an overcast sky.

More Info: Photographed at San Simeon Cove, William Randolph Hearst Memorial State Beach, California Central Coast. Nikon D4. F/22 @ 1/6th second. 100 ISO. 70-300mm zoom lens set at 170mm. Tripod.

By the way, here’s a “before” image that shows the overall view:


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Surf, Sand and Shadows

by Kerry Drager

A high vantage point is often a unique photo viewpoint! From atop a coastal pier, I pointed my camera straight down in order to catch these long diagonal lines created by the low-angled sunlight of early morning. The sudsy ocean curve also made a very nice contrasting element in this light-and-shadow show. In addition to shadows, a low sun — whether early or late day — also creates great texture in sand.


More thoughts:

– A telephoto zoom let me zero in tight on the best parts of the scene, while letting me keep out any distractions. BTW, I don’t post-crop, preferring instead to compose the image just the way I want it at the time of shooting.

– I took multiple shots of this scene, since with the ever-changing surf, it’s hard to predict exactly what you’ll get. Some images had too much water, others not enough, but this picture — to my eye — was just right

All the Details: Photographed at San Simeon Cove, William Randolph Hearst Memorial State Beach, California Central Coast. Nikon D4. F/22 @ 1/15th second. 100 ISO. 70-300mm lens set at 145mm. Tripod.

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