Talk About Going Off!

 By Susan Greene

Not since January of 1983 had the waves been as big as they were in the South Bay of Los Angeles county a couple of weekends ago. big surf redondo beach, CAA major rain storm brought a large swell with it, resulting in huge waves. On Saturday the 1st of March, the waves were so large and walled, or breaking without much chance of riding the face, that there weren’t any surfers in the water when I was there. But Sunday things changed.

surfer watching surf, Redondo Beach,CAThe waves were still large; so large they were crashing over the break wall in the harbor of Redondo Beach.

wave breaking over break wallThe surfer on the crest of the wave gives an idea of just how big those waves were.

big surf Redondo Beach, CAThe shape was better on Sunday.

surfer riding big waveYou could feel the waves’ energy in the air.

surfer riding big wave Redondo Beach, CAWatching the surfers riding the waves with their grace and athleticism is great fun.

surfer riding big wave, Redondo Beach, CAWhen one is in the barrel, it is always thrilling.

surfer riding big wave, Redondo Beach, CAThe beach was crowded with people coming out to see the show.

It’s good to be reminded of the beauty and power of nature every now and then.

~ Susan

News “Flash”

Here we are in May all ready, a new month, and therefore a new photographic term to explore here at backyard sisters. This month we will be investigating flash. It may seem like an odd choice for me since I don’t have flash capability with my current camera set-up. However, I have in the past and am going to examine some of the the benefits and drawbacks of the use of flash. At this point, in my photography, I prefer to use the available light but, especially in the house at night, I find limitations to my ability to capture what I want. For the photos this month, I am borrowing my daughter’s Nikon D3000 which has a built-in flash.

The first scenario I want to consider is when your subject is in a darker area in front of a brightly lit area, such as a person in the shade of a tree with a sunny area behind them or inside the house in front of a window. In these cases, if you would like to have your subject and background in focus and visible it is necessary to use a flash.

monkey in windowLet me introduce today’s subjects – they are two well-loved monkeys which have been members of our family for twenty plus years. Chester and Sam, as we call them, were a gift to our sons from their great-grandparents. Through the years, they have turned up in various locations and poses throughout the house. Just recently, I found Sam resting in the window. In this first photo, I didn’t use a flash and in order to achieve the correct exposure of Sam, the background is blown out and unrecognizable.

monkey in window2You can have your subject slightly under-exposed and the background will come into focus a bit more but some times that is not the look one wants. So, the solution is to turn on your cameras flash.

monkey in window3This allows the subject to be well lit. A word of warning here though, when using a flash in front of a window you need to be careful to avoid the flash reflection from the window in your photo. The way to do this is to stand to the side of your subject or take the picture from a lower angle.

Not wanting to be left out, Chester joined the photo shoot.

2monkeys no flashThe first one without flash and then with.

2 monkeys in windowAs you can see, the yard is much more visible in the second.  Perhaps, they are taking a break after mowing the lawn with that mower out there. . .


~ Susan