Earthbound Light - Nature Photography from the Pacific Northwest and beyond by Bob Johnson
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Making Lemonade From Lemons

Following a meeting this past weekend of the Nature Photographers of the Pacific Northwest at which George Lepp was the invited speaker, I stopped by the Oregon coast for a couple of days. If you've never been there, it's definitely worth a visit. The sea stacks around Cannon Beach and Tillamook Head rival those of Washington State's Olympic Peninsula.

At sunset, however, Cannon Beach can be one of those places that photographers congregate, like moths to a flame. It's not uncommon to find at least a dozen photographers there, all jockeying for position to get the best shots of Haystack Rock and the surrounding sea stacks in the last light of the day.

Such was the case on the evening I was there. I found it difficult to get the composition I was looking for with a wide angle lens as I kept picking up other photographers around the sides of the frame. Even when I would move, they would too, inadvertently stepping back into my viewfinder image since we were all after the same reflections on the wet sand. Such are the difficulties of using wide angle lenses.

Cannon Beach, ORAfter being frustrated over this for a while, I realized that their presence was trying to tell me something, and that in fact they were the image. By merely getting down low so that one of the other photographers became a silhouette against the sunset sky in the same way the sea stacks were, I had a great image. On this particular occasion at least, I managed to use the very thing that was stopping me from getting the shot I wanted, to turn the image into an even stronger composition. Made me happy, let me tell you.

There's an old adage that "if life gives you lemons, make lemonade." Kind of nice that it applies to photography too.

Date posted: November 10, 2002


Copyright © 2002 Bob Johnson, Earthbound Light - all rights reserved.
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