Tag Archives: water

Lighting Changes – Sailboats on San Diego Bay

I wanted to share some captures I took of sailboats on San Diego Bay last October. What the pictures show is a change in look of the same subject matter in the same location by the lighting in the sky.

These pictures were all taken from an area near downtown looking across the bay at Coronado Island. There is always some type of craft movement in the bay be it small sailboats, larger yachts, military air carriers or cruise ships. This particular day I was focused on sailboats and the sky. I noticed the cloud structures were changing as the day went from morning to afternoon. There was a remnant of a tropical storm coming from the Baja of Mexico just south of San Diego.

San Diego Bay Sailboat

In this first capture, the sun is out and the fluffy clouds from that system make a great backdrop.

San Diego Bay Sailboats 2

This shot was taken within about an hour of the first one. The sun is still out, but notice the change in the clouds. There is a high level of gray coming in on top of the fluffy clouds.

San Diego Bay Sailboats 3

I added this shot for a couple of reasons. The first reason was I love the look of this restaurant sitting on peers jutting out into the bay and the second reason is because at this point it was lunch time. I want to point out that this shot was taken very shortly after the last shot and notice the change in color of the bay. The sun was beginning to go under the approaching high level clouds…see the difference .

In the time I took for lunch and came back to capturing some sailboats, the last capture is what I took.

San Diego Bay Sailboats 4

Same area as the first shots, but see the difference in the color of the bay? It goes from a deep blue to more of a gray color. Even in the sails, the brilliant white of the sails is subdued. I thought this would be a great example of how important lighting is to the final outcome of a picture when shooting outdoors. There are subject matters that look better in indirect lighting and some landscapes look better with horizontal lighting (sunrise or sunset timeframes).


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