I heard a quote once, not entirely sure who said it, but it goes “You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” I love this because it is exactly what I do when I wake before dawn, grab my camera and coffee and set out towards the ocean to discover what mother nature will reveal to me as the sun rises and the moon sets. Or jump in the car, GPS somewhere I have not been, or scale a mountainside, nature in all her glory – my muse.

I use several Outdoor Apps I have on my phone for the weather, sun & moon, tides and light pollution. I even have the live feed for Scripps Institution of Oceanography Pier Cam bookmarked for when I shoot locally in San Diego! Checking the conditions before I head out helps me determine where I want to adventure although, I always enjoy being surprised by the beauty that is revealed to me as the world awakens or settles in at the end of the day as night falls.

Much of my photography is a meditative process in which I silence my mind and allow my soul to feel the moment, the story being told. I apply long exposure techniques using a

  • Neutral Density Filter 6 or 10 stops which limits the amount of light entering the lens allowing for longer exposures
  • A remote release
  • Set the camera to Bulb mode
  • A sturdy tripod
  • Patience
Sony Alpha a7 r iii

This technique results in the feeling of dreamy motion and also helps if there are people in your frame. On this particular day, there were early morning surfers out, but with a 72 second exposure they completely disappear. Having knowledge of Photoshop as well is definitely a plus, but the more you still your mind, breathe, capture the feeling in that moment, the more that feeling and story are conveyed through the photograph. It becomes an experience, a moment of awe, a moment of gratitude for the beauty in the world around us, after all,

Photography is a Feeling Captured in Time

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