While vacationing at Gulf State Park, Gulf Shores, Alabama recently, I almost lost my camera. Thanks to an alert server, luckily that didn’t happen.
We had just biked many miles in the park on their boardwalk-connected trails. For lunch we stopped at the Food Craft restaurant, located on the beach at the state park. It was a beautiful blue-sky day. Not a cloud in the sky, barely a wave on the Gulf of Mexico. And this was mid-April!
Biking in “tourist mode”, I had taken my camera with me - something I rarely do - and therefore had it with me at lunch. Looking out over the dunes and boardwalk from the deck, I took a few “tourist” images of the area. Nothing special, just capturing the scene that was before us for lunch.
To keep my camera out of the sun, I placed it (in its camera bag), beneath a chair, shaded by the seat. Believing I would never forget my camera, I went on to enjoy the view and lunch. It was one of those glorious days, and yes, we easily became wrapped up in the Alabama weather.
After paying for our lunch, we (fortunately) casually walked out to get our bikes. Just about the time we were at the bike location, our server came out - my camera in his hand. “Sir, I think you left your camera.”
Boy, was he right! This camera is a professional Canon 1DsMIII with a 50mm f/1.2 L lens attached. It is expensive, and worth every penny. Although it is very well insured, most importantly, it has also been with me for the past 13 years, and it is like a friend. I know how it works in almost any situation. To say he saved my vacation is an understatement.
The above picture was one taken before lunch from the deck. And as mentioned, it isn’t anything special. I actually like the panoramic version of this (see below), better. However, this image will always remind me of the day our server at the restaurant at Gulf Beach State Park went over and above the call of duty. Yes, we then went back for lunch each of the next three days.
Normally I would take images with a tripod. However, on this trip, I was somewhat in the “tourist” mode while riding my bicycle, and shot hand-held. (I enjoy the tripod much better, as I can take my time with the composition).
This was captured just around 11:00 am, looking south. The boardwalk in the foreground leads from the Lodges hotel, restaurant and convention center to the beach. The Gulf State Park fishing pier extends out into the Gulf of Mexico in the background.
I only had the 50mm lens with me at the time, and because the dunes are “off limits”, I knew when I took the image I would be cropping it to a panoramic view. Doing so provided a limitation to both the sky and dunes.
Don’t you find your eye naturally following the boardwalk to the left to the beach? Perhaps you notice the building on the pier first, and follow the pier out to the Gulf, after which do you then view the boardwalk? In either case, the leading lines provide a visual passage through the frame.
File ID: PHP_IMG_14824
1Ds Mark III, Canon 50 mm f/1.2 L USM
focal length 50 mm
ISO 200, 1/1250 second, f/8
Evaluative Pattern metering, Aperture Priority, hand-held
As a side note, I normally would use (and prefer to use) a tripod and shoot at ISO 50..
Gulf State Park, Gulf Shores, Alabama