First, let me say that the beach is always wonderful. I realize I could be sweltering through another San Antonio summer with temperatures in the upper nineties and humidity to match. And oh my god, thank goodness I'm not.
The whole year is beautiful here and summer is no exception. But summer is not my favorite time to go to the beach. The beaches are beautiful but crowded and hot. But I think I figured it out yesterday. The secret to Southern California beaches in the summer is to avoid the main spots. Don't hit places with easy parking and recognizable names (Laguna and Newport, I'm looking at you).
Yesterday, we joined some friends at Aliso Beach just south of Laguna (which was a traffic nightmare with all sorts of art festivals going on and the end of summer tourism at a high). It's still a pretty big beach with a huge parking lot off of PCH and although it wasn't as crazy as Main Street Beach in Laguna, it was crowded.
After a little while of playing, we took a walk around a bluff where the waves were crashing on some tide pools. We rounded the corner and we were on a new beach. It was less than three blocks away but it felt like a totally different world. The breeze was cool and the people were scarce and I immediately felt zen.
I brought my camera along and snapped something like a thousand photos. When I got home, I realized most of them didn't turn out for one reason or another (it was so bright, I couldn't really see the previews of what I was taking - but I just kept snapping away on manual). I sat down and forced myself to edit a few just for the practice. I'm learning that simple things, like adjustment layers for brightness/contrast and saturation, coupled with layer masks, can make a huge difference in the quality of photos. For instance, I spent about ten minutes editing these photos (after watching at least thirty minutes of Photoshop tutorials on You Tube because I have no idea what I'm doing) and I'm blown away. They're not perfect but they're pretty good, don't you think? Just a few minutes of editing makes a noticeable difference when it comes to snapshots.
What do you think? Do you have favorite editing tips? If so, I'm all ears, please share!