TWO DAYS, TWO VERY DIFFERENT PHOTOGRAPHS

The first thing I noticed was the bare feet and the half empty bottle of liquor as this couple approached me on the boardwalk in Virginia Beach. That was enough for me to turn around and follow. When I noticed the dog, I had all I needed for an interesting photograph. I followed for about five minutes before the crowd thinned enough for me to isolate those elements. Fujifilm X-Pro2 with a 16mm, 1/340 @ f2.8, ISO 200.

The first thing I noticed was the bare feet and the half empty bottle of liquor as this couple approached me on the boardwalk in Virginia Beach. That was enough for me to turn around and follow. When I noticed the dog, I had all I needed for an interesting photograph. I followed for about five minutes before the crowd thinned enough for me to isolate those elements. Fujifilm X-Pro2 with a 16mm, 1/340 @ f2.8, ISO 200.

Part of me is jealous. I sometimes wish I could settle on just one genre of photography; landscape, street, portraits, weddings, etc., and become great at it. Instead, I find myself photographically all over the place. 

Take for instance a few weekends back. I was in Little Creek, Va., on assignment for the Navy photographing autonomous surface vehicles when weather canceled Saturday operations. Instead of calling it a day, I headed to Virginia Beach to photograph what was remaining of the annual Neptune Festival.

Since it was late in the day and the weather was not great, I decided to walk the boardwalk looking for street photos and then maybe a sunset. Sunset never really came, but I did walk away with one solid street photograph.

With sunrise or sunset photos, I like to have a foreground element. In this case, I used the pier which helps lead you into the photograph. The sun provides some backlight at the end of the pier and adds a subtle warmth overall without overpowering the photograph. Finally, I used a slow shutter speed to smooth out the surf, which further draws you in. Fujifilm X-Pro2 with 16mm, 1 second @ f16, ISO 200.

With sunrise or sunset photos, I like to have a foreground element. In this case, I used the pier which helps lead you into the photograph. The sun provides some backlight at the end of the pier and adds a subtle warmth overall without overpowering the photograph. Finally, I used a slow shutter speed to smooth out the surf, which further draws you in. Fujifilm X-Pro2 with 16mm, 1 second @ f16, ISO 200.

Then on Sunday with a scheduled day off and much better weather, I rose early and headed back to Virginia Beach to photograph the sunrise. Even though I was 100 yards from where I made the street photograph the previous day, it was a completely different scene. 

It was just me, a few surfers, and another photographer, so instead of the crowds and mayhem, it was just great light and the sounds of the surf.

I suppose I'll never settle on just one style or genre of photography. Why would I? After all, the only thing that seems to be affected by these ever-shifting genres is my Instagram numbers as those that followed me because they liked a landscape photo, unfollow as soon as I post a street scene. 

However, those are just numbers from mostly anonymous people. What matters to me, and keeps me shooting after all these years is the variety. So even if I never become known for a specific genre of photography, I am fully satisfied that I can come away with a decent photograph from any situation.