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Technical Details: Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 24-105mm @ 105mm, f22, ISO 100, @ 2.5 sec.
This post is about being flexible and aware of your surroundings. The image above is from the Lutsen Resort at the mouth of the Poplar River on Lake Superior. I was planning on shooting the Poplar River as it empties into Lake Superior and the shoreline/lake/sky across the river as darkness approached. I figured the incoming waves and rocks would make a nice foreground scene with the blue & pink post sunset sky. As started to set up for the shot out of the corner of my eye I noticed the two Gulls land on the rock directly to my right. I had seen the rock as I approached but without the gulls I didn’t see much of a shot. With the gulls I saw some potential in the scene. I immediately turned my tripod 45 degrees and began to shoot as long of an exposure I could get without fiddling around with filters as who knows how long they would stay on the rock. When a potential shot like this suddenly develops the adrenline can get flowing and it seems like everything goes in slow motion (at least it does for me). Fortunate for me I was on the tripod when the gulls landed and my cable release already plugged in. I managed 10 exposures in 4 minutes, (that’s how long the birds stayed put). Each exposure was 2.5 seconds and I had to wait for the gulls to stop moving as they changed position on the rock. I liked one out of the 10 images more than the others mainly due to the position of the gulls. I didn’t quite feel like the scene isolated the subject well enough so I added a Gaussian Blur giving the appearance of fog. This eliminated the horizon line and added the mood I think the image needed. So in a nutshell be flexible, aware of your surroundings, and willing to take an image where your instincts feel it needs to go in post processing. And of course as always realize that sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good so be prepared to take advantage of that luck :-)
Have fun and keep shooting,