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My first seascape photo

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In my early years with the camera I came across this video from Karl Taylor where he shoots a seascape.

Fortunately I saw this video at a time of the year when the skies in Goa are gorgeous and it inspired me to try my hands at seascape photography. I do not stay near the beach; quite far from any actually. Back in those days, I didn’t own a vehicle and would commute via the local bus. I had to catch 2 buses to reach my nearest beach. I had already been watching the skies and knew that the sunset would be beautiful that day. The beach was empty, unlike these days, with only a couple of fishermen. I took some time to frame my composition, dial in my settings and then started clicking away. Here is one of my favourite images from that day.

I kept shooting till late dusk that day. Later, I had to run up the hill to the nearest bus stop but by then I had missed the last bus. I hitch-hiked half the way and managed to get a bus home at another station. It was all worth it and I was excited to see the images when I got home. Years later I have tried replicating this composition but the beach has become over crowded making it impossible. Even the rock formations and the colours of the waters have changed. Today on a good sky day, it would be impossible to find this beach empty.

Unless there’s a lockdown of course 🙂

 

A coast uglified

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We do not have a lot of sea stacks in Goa. These are on the coast of a popular tourist belt. The presence of the shack constructions on the edge of the hill really blemishes the natural beauty of this scene. Beyond this hill, is a small beach and a sweet water lake; so these constructions have only come up as a result of the few travellers that hiked to the lake over the years. In my younger days, it was very different to what it has become of late. The cemented path resembles an ugly maze through what feels like a construction site with the occasional views of the ocean through the gaps in the concrete walls. Clear indications of poor planning, lack of vision and greed. The ideal way would have been to preserve the natural path to the lake devoid of all these constructions. And why make it so accessible to tourists who don’t really understand hiking culture? The shacks and rooms on the hill and along the path have only been increasing over the years and are now moving up the hill. On the top, the paragliding companies have already started making their roads. It won’t be long before the whole hill is covered with constructions. Not to mention the garbage collected here and the stench of sewage water that greets you as one approaches the hill.

These sea stacks and rocks are beautiful, they are the only reason I choose to photograph in this area. But the beach has now become more crowded and less comfortable to work on making imagery. The rocky area has selfie-seeking dare-devils climbing to the top oblivious to the dangers.

Back to the photography, I always shoot closer to these formations trying to get more intimate frames. On the rare occasions when the beach is not too crowded, I walk down to get a wider view of the scene. The sun sets behind these stacks almost all the time, but the ugly shacks always force my composition to avoid the hill completely. Last September, the cloud formations in this scene and it’s reflection on the wet sand are what attracted me to capture this shot and try to achieve a kind of symmetry. I avoided a long exposure for this or else the waves would cover the reflections. I would have loved for smoother and less murkier waves though. This is a raw downsized file of the scene during golden hours without any edits shot on my Fuji X-t3.

Here is one during blue hours.

Not too satisfied by the results but unsatisfying results are one of good reasons to revisit a place. With the current changes in the scenery though, I’m not sure when. As a photographer of the coastline, it felt necessary to highlight the issues mentioned at the start.

 

Clubhouse nay

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And suddenly my stories are filled with these positive Clubhouse reviews … has the FOMO bug bitten you yet? Google tells me thats it’s best for people who like to talk and like having an audience. That’s the exact opposite of me. Anyway there’s so much quality information already out on the web where I can really get inspired and I still need to keep up with those.

 

Music moods while editing images

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Music has always been a big inspiration for my creative work, it is also a part of my process while working on my images in post. Since the world changed and we were locked inside, discovering new music has helped keep my mind sane. I wonder if what I listen to has an overall effect on how I treat my images. I may have to conduct an experiment to find out. I love watching all my photos of a trip on a slideshow with music playing in the background. It can be very inspiring as the stories reveal themselves. Sometimes my I-tunes playlist on shuffle mode just seems to go with most my work. While editing, if it gets too monotonously dreamy or zoned out, I like to switch the mood a bit. Sometimes maybe going nostalgia mode to some old favourites. Anything from Tiny Desk is always fresh and great for discoveries. Lately, these are my go to albums – peaceful, thoughtful or inspirational. I also let the youtube algorithm open the doors to more quality music.