The Last of the Summer Beach Nights and a Photography Tip.


I know it seems a little strange (and I hope not too cruel) to be sharing the last of our beach nights with you on the second day of fall, but then again, there are some of us yearning for a bit of the fall crispness that other parts of the country are enjoying while we southern californians go through the typical September heat waves.  But for all of us, there is a changing of seasons happening, subtle though it may be.  For us, it means the end of our weekly beach nights.  It means a bit of a nip in the air after dinner on the sand, enough of a chill for me to bring out the sweatpants and last year's knitted winter hats and realize they're a bit small these days.  


It means no more cousins romping together in the waves, no more excuses for Aunt Krissy to concoct another last minute creative dinner idea like the gorgeous one below.  



The end of summer here means no more watching my dad fish from the shore through the misty haze of a beachy evening.  


The end of summer means less running around barefoot, and a bit of fall sweater shopping, even if it's only wishful thinking for now.  Summer has always been my favorite season.  Then again, I certainly do love the rolling green hills above our house in Spring.  And Winter is full of excitement with so many birthdays in our house and a few days of rain here and there for puddle jumping.  

Oh, but Fall is here!  And I do so love taking the boys to the pumpkin patch to explore the hay maze.  And of course, December is my favorite month…full of excitement and "tactivities," as my nephew would say.  Okay, so I don't mind too much the moving forward of life.  There's a wonderful rhythm to the year, isn't there?  Just when we're almost tired of the sameness of a season, we're given something new to enjoy.  I hope you're enjoying your fall, wherever you are.

P.S. I'd like to share my favorite photography tip from my Creative Photography Retreat, for those of you with SLR cameras.  You probably already know how to do this, but just in case it's new to you as it was to me, here it is.  When you're shooting into a place that's either extremely light (like shooting into the sun so your subject is backlit) or extremely dark (like shooting someone standing in front of a large dark archway or something) you can adjust your camera to capture the features of the subject instead of the features of the background.  If you want your subject's face properly exposed, set your camera on one of the 'sort of' automatic modes, like P or TV (shutter speed priority) or AV (aperture priority) on my Canon.  Move close in to your subject and fill your shot with their face, so that there's none of the dark or light background in your viewfinder.  Press the shutter button halfway down and look inside your viewfinder to get the aperture (f stop) and the shutter speed recommended for their face.  Remember those numbers, then change your camera's mode to M (manual) and set your aperture and shutter speed to the settings the camera recommended.  Move back and reframe your shot and take it with the new manual settings.  Your subject's face should be properly exposed so you can capture those moments exactly how you want to.  Here are some example shots:

Tyler, without adjusting the camera to manual settings (in this case, I actually like the first photo better, but at least you'll see what I mean with the difference it makes.)

The same shot a few moments later, after I moved in close, filled my screen with his face, pressed the shutter button halfway to get a recommended exposure, moved back and changed to manual mode, putting in the recommended exposure for his face:


Sometimes you want the backlit look of a silhouette, like in this shot from the boys' party last month, where I wanted to capture the location more than the individual kids:

…but when you want the features of someone's face to stand out, try the technique and see what you think.  Here's another example from our last beach night using this technique, which blew out the background, but that wasn't the focus of my photo, so I didn't care.


I'm not sure how many of you are really interested in more photo tips, so if you like these tips, please leave a comment to let me know and I'll add some more photo tips in upcoming posts.  If you're interested in tips for better point and shoot photos, throw a comment in there, too, as I have used a point and shoot (and still do sometimes) up until about a year ago.  I love photography although I do not proclaim to be an expert, but I am happy to share any knowledge I do have if anyone out there is actually interested.

14 thoughts on “The Last of the Summer Beach Nights and a Photography Tip.

  1. I love the photography tips! And if you enjoy sharing what you have & do learn, I hope you will! Currently I use a point & shoot, but I’m interested in either. And I learn so much from the photos themselves. Very cool!

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