Although southern California was supposed to have been in the midst of a significant high-pressure heat wave, the night before last these clouds started to move in. We had planned a trip to Santa Barbara just to escape the heat but with the slight cloud cover, I guessed that even in mid-afternoon, I could catch some nice light.
I took with me my Oly OMD E-M5 with the Panasonic 25mm (50mm equiv) f/1.2, the Hasselblad 500 C/M and 80mm f/2.8, and my tripod. Both kits cover roughly the same field of view on their respective cameras. My intention was to continue to work as I have been doing, meter and judge composition with the Oly and take a roll of beach scenes on the Hassy. I’ve been wanting to limit myself to B&W, but when I got to the beach and experienced the wonderful peaceful pastel blues, I knew I was going to load the camera with color. I’m currently exploring Kodak Ektar 100 for the outdoor color work.
Using a little bracketing and a polarizer filter, I shot 4 scenes on my 12 exposure roll, plus a few scenes of some kids playing in the surf. I told myself I wouldn’t use film for my street stuff, but I just couldn’t help myself. When I get the film back and scanned I will post a comparison between the two setups. I am hoping to see both the change in perspective (25mm vs 80mm covering roughly the same field of view) and the difference between my best digital color balance versus the colors captured on film. Even this image show above was difficult to obtain a good color balance between the sky and the land and took a fair amount of tweaking and some selective color balance adjustments.
I filled up my 12 exposures and then started back to the car. We were on the sidewalk when I saw the composition above. I didn’t take this image in medium format, but I wish I had. With a simple composition and expansive view, this image represents all that I am looking to create with my exploration of medium format photography.
This is what I saw in this scene that triggered my exposure. The reeds on the right mimic the shape and create a balance with the land forms coming from the left. The slightly diagonal strip of sand provides movement and direction leading the eye through the image. The gulls sitting on the left are balancing to the cluster of boats on the right. The darker hues below the horizon balance out with the large area of baby blue sky. The greenish moss floating on top of the water lead the eye into the image from the bottom and the clouds bound it from the top. And last, but not least, the people on the sandbar, with their brightly, colored towels add just a touch of context, human interest, and scale.