Going with the Flow

We’ve all had those times when things work against us.  When we traveled recently to Delaware, even though water scenes are among my favorite subjects, I did not take all my “good” equipment that I normally use to capture those scenes.  There were a total of 19 different family members  gathering that week. I knew that the week was mostly about family so kept it simple and only took my small Canon G-16, a great point and shoot that still allows  a good deal of control with image making.  I also happen to have a waterproof covering for that camera so thought I might get in some play time with that.  I had it so well planned.  🙂

The second or third day in to the week, I went to take a picture and the lens on my camera stuck.  No matter what I did the lens would not open fully.  I determined pretty quickly that I needed to stop trying to get it to work or I could cause further damage.  I was afraid that a grain of sand had made it’s way into the lens mechanism.  I was feeling more than a bit sick. Meanwhile memories were being made so rather than spend time stressing about my camera, I put it away and got back to flying kites and playing in the sand.

The rest of the week, I took just a few images with my phone, definitely not my preferred equipment, but I was just capturing a few moments.  It was a great week with many great memories created.

Our last night at the beach was the best of the week.  It was a perfect evening with gorgeous soft colors to the sky and water.  I admit I was feeling just a bit sad that I didn’t have a camera to capture that softness.  My son-in-law could tell how I was feeling and offered his camera to me.  It’s a great camera and I was quite happy to accept.  Still, normally when I work on images like this, I’ve used a tripod, my Nikon D800 camera, a large lens, a remote shutter and timer, among other things.  Now I had just a camera and one I was not accustomed to at that.  But I was so happy to just play and see what I could make work given what I had.  I took 30 or 40 images playing with 1 and 2 second exposures.  It’s difficult to hand hold a camera for that long of an exposure and not have it just look blurry.  Many of the images were just that, bad blurry images.  With the 3 images below, though, I carefully panned the camera during the exposure, dragging it slowly and steadily across the scene during those 2 seconds.  It seemed, at the time, that this was working but I couldn’t really tell until I received the image files this past week.

Sometimes you have to just go with the flow.  It can be a good exercise in creativity as it forces you to get out of your normal way of doing things and try something new.  I’m glad that I had that experience and pleased that these 3 images match my vision for the scene.  The soft colors and flow capture the mood on the beach that evening.   I will definitely give that technique a try another time.

Beach Flow 1  ©GailHaile

Beach Flow 1 ©GailHaile

Beach Flow 2  ©GailHaile

Beach Flow 2 ©GailHaile

Beach Flow  3  ©GailHaile

Beach Flow 3 ©GailHaile

 When have you had to go with the flow?  Was it a good experience?

PS  My camera was sent in for repair and returned in full working order and it was all under warranty. 🙂

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13 thoughts on “Going with the Flow

  1. Millie Sigler

    Hi Gail,
    My favorite was the first, lightest one. The soft blue and violet shades are gorgeous! It almost looks like a painting. Frame it, or make an Inner Aperture out of it with a beach, peace, or serenity verse.
    :o) Millie

  2. Susan

    These are lovely! I’m a painter. Many of my paintings tend to be atmospheric abstract landscapes so these really resonate with me. How nice that you were able to capture them and yet still have quality vacation time with the family.

  3. Kelly L McKenzie

    Yes, I am going to roll with the first one as my favourite as well. Love the contrasting flow between the sand and water and also the upward line of the shore.
    Your post reminds me of the time I visited my Ottawa cousins over New Years. A woefully amateur photographer at best, I took ever so many pictures of the snow. Love snow. We don’t get much of it here on the west coast. Was so looking forward to seeing the developed pictures. Opened camera to remove the film only to discover there was no film …

  4. PR Brady

    I feel your pain. This past winter during my adventure trip season my expensive business camera was submerged in water and wrecked 3 days into my 4 month trip. After completing the grieving process about it, I “went with the flow” and bought a cheap interim camera, which was dropped and broken by my helper the 2nd time out. Another round of go with the flow, and back to the store for a replacement under warranty, this one survived for about 2 months. Then on my trip home it was stolen from my vehicle at a rest stop, along with my card full of pictures that I hadn’t dropped onto the laptop yet. I cried for quite a few minutes…wasn’t ready to go with any more flow. Now I have another higher end camera in my possession. Hopefully I’ve flowed enough that this one will be safe for awhile. 😉

  5. Nancy Jambor

    What a great reminder to go with the flow. Sometimes when life throws us a curve ball, the answer is to step outside our comfort zone and catch that ball. Going with the flow helps me to be flexible, creative and resourceful. Thanks for sharing Gail!

  6. Deborah Weber

    What fabulous photos. I’m truly in love with the first one. So glad you got to enjoy your family gathering and also got a chance to play so brilliantly in flow. And now you have your camera back, fixed under warranty. How perfect is that?

  7. Linda Watson

    Those photos are beautiful. It can be so frustrating when things don’t go as planned. Thanks for remind me to play. but, especially, thanks for those photos.

  8. Sara

    I LOVE this. Not only did you get a beautiful shot…you were taken out of your comfort zone. I always see that as a positive thing – to challenge yourself with something new. In fact, when I get a new lens, I only use that lens for about 2 weeks. It’s annoying at first. But it allows me to see through a different lens, literally AND figuratively.

  9. Michele Bergh

    I love these images. They really speak to going with the flow and have such a soft and gentle sense about them. The first one is my favorite. I love the colors.

  10. Harmony Harrison

    Those images are so soft and lovely. I’m especially entranced by the first one. It draws me in. I want to fall asleep upon it. I’m so glad you found a solution by going with the flow, and I love that you shared how your images were made.

    I take photos on the beach all the time, most of wildly happy dogs in the waves. My camera isn’t fancy, but it’s a very good small device — a Panasonic Lumix LX7. One of the things I love about it is that it doesn’t have an automatic lens cap. Because sand gets everywhere, I want as few moving parts as possible. This way, I can brush sand carefully away from the lovely lens, and only manually replace the cap as needed. Like most cameras, it retracts its lens when it hasn’t been used for a couple of minutes. I make sure to brush any errant sand grains from the telescoping parts now and then to prevent sand from lodging inside.

    I just had a thought about your Canon G-16. I’m wondering if it was having problems not with sand or grit, but a change in humidity. Perhaps its workings just got a bit sticky near the beach. Things do tend to get humid here by the ocean!

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