Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Anthony Pierpont, The Everyday Photographer: My Favorite Photos- California Beach Sea Anemone

Recently, I wrote about the best photos of 2006, in particular highlighting National Geographic’s portraits of wildlife.

I spent a day on one of my favorite sunny California beaches last year trying to photograph sea life in all its forms.

I came up with a lot of shots that I liked. I didn’t realize how much I liked this photo until I uploaded it to my notebook.

There are several reasons why this is one of my favorite photos:

  1. The texture. California beach photos often look flat, but they can also take on a life of their own. This photo captures the grainy texture of the surrounding rock and sand. It also aptly catches the spikes of the anemone, making them appear like toothpicks, when in fact they’re very flexible.

  2. The color. The pinks work well with the browns, “popping” in a way I wouldn’t have expected. I think the contrast is great and unexpected too.

  3. There’s an aspect of freshness around the sea anemone; the brown terrain looks aged next to it. This is probably the best part of the photo, because it shows that the anemone is a living thing, constantly cleaning itself by its natural movement, while emphasizing the stillness of the background.

Everyday Photographer Tip of the Day: Be cautious when deleting photos from your digital camera. You may have better shots than you know, but won’t realize their brilliance until you upload them to your PC.

If the uploaded photos are not similar to how you viewed them with your naked eye, go to your favorite photo editing application and use Hue/Saturation as well as Brightness/Contrast tools to accentuate the natural colors and contrast inherent in the subject and surrounding environment.

I do not view editing tools in a negative light as long as they’re not used to deceive the viewer. For instance, a few more notches to the left or right on the Hue/Saturation bar and the image would not have been properly represented. It is every photographer’s choice to create surreal effects as long as the viewer is notified. But rest assured. The colors in this photograph are the colors I saw while viewing this beautiful creature with my naked eye.