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Gray day at Will Rogers Beach

What to do with a cloudy, chilly day at the beach in So Cal? Go minimalist! 
This is one of those photos you either love it or hate it. At the moment, I'm in between -- but by morning I'll probably be putting the hate on it. For now, it gets some love on the blog. (Sorry about the watermark; click above to see a larger version of the photo on SmugMug). 

One compositional note: I purposefully put the horizon line between the "rule of thirds" line. It's always good to try different ways to break up the frame and create balance -- and tension. 

A somewhat different take with a little more light, color, actual subject matter and processing: 

One observation: I generally like things going from left to right in the frame. Which is another reason I think I may like the first one better: it doesn't try to please! It's like the girlfriend who doesn't actually like you. 
A couple other shots -- just screwing around with the ol' Nikon D5100:   
I can take decent shots of birds when they're standing still. I'm practicing at getting better at photos of birds in flight. In other words, I'm practicing my focus technique. The obvious mistakes above: wrong lens (35mm) and too shallow depth of field for a shot with a ton of background -- and this is cropped. I shot it at f/4. Should have been f/8 or smaller.
The beach was profoundly empty for a Sunday afternoon. If the fog didn't wash out the sea's color so much, this wouldn't be a terrible photo. Wait! Maybe everyone was staying at home to watch the Bengals 49-9 dismembering of the New York Jets. Ha ha ha. Screw you, Jets fans! 
All photos taken with the D5100 and the Nikon DX 35mm 1.8 lens. Processed in Lightroom using VSCO presets. 
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This photo is ©Steve Hymon 2013 and may not be used elsewhere without my advanced written permission.

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