Photo © CRAIG LITTEN / All Rights Reserved

Waiting for the Moment

Sometimes photography is just like surfing: You must be a keen observer, you must be ready when the moment is right, but most of all, you must be patient. I was drawn to this scene because everything seemed to fall together all at the right time; the slight tilt of the umbrella, the warm, late afternoon sunlight, the unusual (for summer in Florida) cloud formations as its backdrop, and the wonderful colors. I always keep my camera set to shoot both RAW & JPEG, and the vast majority of the time I have the jpegs set for monochrome--it helps me visualize the scene better, plus I prefer B&W. But when I came upon this scene, I changed the camera settings to color so that I could better see what I was getting in-camera. I immediately recognized that what I was seeing was all about the color. I shot a few photos, changed the f-stop, and then shot a few more. I looked around to see what may be coming 'through' my frame, waited, shot a few frames, waited again, then shot a few more. At this point, I thought I may have a decent photo, but since nothing had changed within the scene in front of me (the light, backdrop, etc.), I waited a bit longer. Finally, the man with the red, yellow and orange surfboard approached--bingo--now I was sure I had a photograph. I shot several frames, and then anticipated that he would walk across the scene along the shoreline, on the opposite side of the umbrella, just like everyone else was doing. He suddenly turned and was heading straight towards me. I shifted my position, and my focus (I was manually focusing), and shot as he was passing by. I liked what I saw on my camera’s rear LCD screen, and felt that I had gotten "the" shot of the day. This photograph made my few hours at the beach worthwhile...not that time on the beach photographing surfers riding Hurricane Cristobal's wake was a real hardship.