Above shot: Malibu beach, Malibu California
Below shot: Sunset over Santa Monica Pier on a foggy day, Santa Monica California
While on vacation it is a natural reaction to take a ton of photos worth with a phone and not really think about the lighting or any technical aspect. It is quick and easy rather than what most photographers do, bring a full camera with equipment and stage all of their shots by scouting locations and waiting for the perfect light out of the thousands of photos they take.
These are two amazing shots that I happened to get lucky while shooting with my phone in California. I wasn’t able to take my camera or any equipment with me, even though I wanted to because I expected to see beautiful beaches and piers in the sunny California weather, but it wasn’t possible. Instead I got a wonderful surprise of foggy weather and eary lighting over the harbors of Santa Monica and Malibu that took me off guard because realized what natural lighting and photo technique habits have been ingrained within me over time.
I will be completely honest that for both of these shots I wasn’t trying to take them. I saw something and took a photo and didn’t really think about it for framing or anything, but instinctively that framing and looking for the proper lighting or as many will call it, “honing that photo eye” without even realizing. This was really incredible to realize because it had me reflecting on my past photography experiences and helped me to realize how much I have actually grown and learned over the several years of school. Neither of these photos have any sort of editing or, as I said, any forced technique.
My favorite of the two photos is the top one taken in Malibu. As I arrived it was a perfectly sunny day and I was very excited for the potential. Then after a nice lunch that lasted maybe forty five minutes the weather had completely changed due to the mountains and atmospheric temperature and other science, weather stuff, it became incredibly foggy and cloudy with the sun barely shining through. Which turned out to be an even better surprise for me to get a shot that looks almost black and white without any real effort and is now one of my favorite shots from the trip.
Always be shooting and sometimes just shoot for fun. Go out and don’t force lighting or looking for that perfect angle. It will help to show you how much growth you have achieved as well as expose areas that may be weak in your skills and should be focused on. Obviously this is not something to do all the time since technical skills are important and will add to a portfolio, but still great idea for photography friends to spend time together or just to blow off some steam and get back to enjoying the roots of photography.