Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Justice League of Photographers -vs- Venice Beach

It was a strange day out at the beach. The weather was hazy and gray when we first got there, but the sun poked through every now and then.

Even if we hadn't seen the sun at all, there was more than enough going on to make for another great day of picture taking.

Clearly, one of the biggest advantages of having these photo meetups is that we get to practice and add to the sum total of our experience as still photographers.

If you don't shoot for a living, I think most people are content to wait for opportunities to present themselves.

I like that we aren't waiting for vacations or family events to snap pictures.

We're going out and making our own opportunities for taking pictures.


Plus, there's also the idea that you greatly increase the number of good shots by snapping more pictures.

Shooting digital mean I never have to worry about the ratio of good shots to total number of shots taken.

you know, I've taken somewhere around seventy-bazillion shots.

The beach was pretty crowded and you really have to love the kind of dirty ocean/carnival combination of smells that you don't get anywhere else.

I'm talking about that mix of salt water, sweat, cotton candy, beer, vomit, hot dogs, cigarette smoke and good gosh, something that was coming off a touristy guy that I'm thinking was something he stepped in.

We met a lot of interesting characters. . .wait, no, that's one of us.

Maybe yesterday wasn't so much about interacting with people anyway. Our meetup time was set for 5:00pm, but I'd gotten word about a bikini parade that was taking place a little earlier.

I caught the tail end of the parade and I'm a little curious to see what kind of shots the other photographers managed to catch.

In addition to the street performers and artists, surprisingly the Hare Krishnas were out on the beach.

After being the butt of so many jokes in the 70's and 80's, they seemed to have vanished like an endangered species.

Obviously somebody has been breeding them and reintroducing them into the wild.

So much cool stuff was going on and I don't think any one photographer could capture everything. I tried. I got a lot, but I've already seen some of the shots being uploaded from other group members.

Note to self: Next time, try and get at least one shot of the ocean.

At least I got the drum circle. It was like all the cool people on the beach got together and were making music and some were getting high and everybody was just having a really good time.

Of course, I stopped having a good time when they asked me to leave after I tried getting some shots from inside the circle. I can't say I blame them. I could see where I was kind of crossing a line.

I'm just glad they all didn't stop playing and chase me off by throwing things at me. I don't think that would have been cool at all.

People, buildings, animals, signs. . .

. . .it was just another good day out in the world.

I'm a better photographer than I was the day before just for having taken more pictures and I gained a little more experience.

Some of the shots I took might never see the light of day and just float around on my computer's hard drive.

Other shots might become part of my portfolio for a while or might make an appearance online (like maybe here).

I'm just happy to have the opportunity to share some of the day with people who might be interested.

It's awesome that I practiced what I already know about how to take pictures. I learned from my experiences and from the experience of other people that came out for the day.

One of the best way to get better at taking pictures is to go out and take more pictures.

That's what I'm going to do.
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