Warm, Sunny, Relaxing Day at the beach? Not the story behind this shot…
True this was a warm & sunny day, but getting this shot was anything but relaxing. Wanting to take advantage of a such a beautiful warm spring day in May 2022, I cruised listening to my 90’s rap throw backs with the windows down to Washington Park Beach in Michigan City. Anticipating I was going to catch the gorgeous ball of fire that warms our planet setting behind an iconic Michigan City staple, my excitement grew. Little did I know what frustration and exfoliation that was ahead I was about to endure.
As expected upon arriving the parking lot was packed. I gathered my pack with my gear and set off to find a quiet spot on the beach. Getting out of my car my first thought was “Wow its quite windy”. As I got closer to the beach, that is when I realized my skin was about to get an extreme, free exfoliation from nature that I couldn’t even purchase at a spa. Hence, probably why people were hanging out in the parking lot compared to the beach.
Still, I trekked on to find a good spot. Wind and sand swirling around me I popped a squat and attempted to set up my what I soon realized was a flimsy tripod. (I ordered a heavy duty one as soon as I got home). Battling the wind I set up my Canon and tried to make the best of it. Trying to switch my lenses, my tripod kept blowing over. The struggle to keep my equipment and my bag as sand free as possible, my frustrations were already starting to grow. Attempting to get my tripod secured and trying to get it adjusted, it decided to break and become unusable. #mad
Then enters the awful creatures that also occupy the beach, the flies. I thought with the wind they wouldn’t be around but oh they were out in force. Even with fly spray, my legs and toes were no match for those biting suckers. They were biting so bad I had little specks of blood (I know gross) from their repeated attacks. Between my legs being destroyed, wind knocking over my equipment, sand all over my camera , lens, and in my eyes, I was truly straight up not having a good time. In fact it was miserable. I still waited it out snapping through it and spent the next hour or two catching the full range of the sunset. Although as you can see in the unedited version of the shot below, most of my shots were not quite lined up and I didn’t even care at that point.
Shot on Canon 2000D with EF-S18-55MM Lens. ISO 100, 55MM, F/6.3, 1/400s
Feeling defeated by nature and disappointed it wasn’t a relaxing experience I had hope, I made my way home with inches of sand in my bag and plastered to me. (It took a couple hours to clean up that mess off my gear and out of my car.) I was still pretty new in my journey, but if I didn’t already know that not every experience shooting nature photography wasn’t ideal, I was humbled by it now.
Having no confidence that I really got any noteworthy shots, I still immediately opened up my laptop and starting going through the images when I got home. When I saw this image, I was surprised and again excited. I didn’t even realize I captured it at the time. My love of taking pictures was instantly renewed again.
Personally, even though I am being quite dramatic about this story, it is why I love photography. Not only do I get the memories and the experiences taking the shots, good or bad, but I get to share the moment how I see it as well. It is quite an addiction for me. Moral of the story, don’t let anything stop you from taking your shot, it could lead to something beautiful.
Thank you for reading and look forward to seeing you at the next Behind the Shot!
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