Square Cropped Beach Photography from Hawaii
In medium format photography the 6×6 image dimension is one of the most popular with professional photographers. So I decided to take a different approach and depart from my usual panoramic cropping of wave action photos.
The following snapshots were taken on 2 separate days during a total of 10 hours on my favorite Sandy Beach on the east side of Oahu in Hawaii.
I am not sure if this experiment worked. I took about 1000 pictures and I did like a few. I have been cropping all my Hawaiian boogie boarding and wave photos in a panoramic format. The long crests of waves, the long spray of water shooting from under boogie boards seem to have favored long rectangular shaped pictures.
But if I have been preaching about breaking the basic rules of photography I cannot myself get stuck in one way of thinking!
While cropping the pictures in a square format I had to decide how much background to include in every photo, also had to experiment with the best position of the subject in order to tell the story most effectively.
The golden ratio and the Fibonacci Sequence are 2 time tested fundamental rules which of course can be broken but definitely deserve respect.
Otherwise I just used my intuition to make most decisions. The action photos had to reflect the dynamic elements of those awesome shore breaks, the candid portraits had to be a bit more personal than just ordinary snapshots.
All these had to be achieved with often one take and minimal time to frame he subject.
Another point of these photo shoots was to prepare myself for an upcoming photography trip. I feel I am still very much in the mindset of structured modeling portfolio photography. I am still used to having the luxury of many takes, having time to find the best angles and having quite a bit of control over the subject matter.
Photographing boogie boarding kids on the beach represented some one of the fastest action I ever experienced. Definitely no time for second guessing or trying to control the elements of the photos. After positioning myself I had to act in a rapid fire style because the waves break almost non-stop and there are about 5-20 kids catching those waves at any given time. I missed a lot of great moments but I paid attention why and tried to correct the issues on the spot.
Some of my findings:
- anticipating what will happen – when an event is seen it is already too late to capture it
- taking immediately a second (or third) photo after the “perfect” moment – often something much more interesting happens right after the shutter is clicked the first time
- looking for extremes – both action or something peaceful can be dramatic and eye catching
- finding the most skilled boogie boarder and following his every move – often one person gives the majority of useful frames
- OK to miss shots – if a shot is missed I still saw it and enjoyed the viewing experience – not all fantastic events have to be captured
- finding something special in the most ordinary – all moments are extraordinary, to say otherwise is the lamest excuse for not being productive
See 25 more photos from this shoot on the Hawaiian Beach Photography Squared page.