Sometimes the assignment you are on doesn’t really pan out as you hoped. Sometimes the best image isn’t from the actual assignment. It comes from random inspiration while you are shooting. For me, that’s exactly what happened while shooting Arkansas State University’s homecoming game against the University of Louisiana at Monroe Saturday, Oct. 4.
I’m a sucker for a good sunset image. I love them. They make for great shots, they are easy to shoot, and I enjoy shooting them. As I was down on the field shooting action and other photos, I caught a glimpse of pink streaks in the sky over my shoulder. I knew instantly I needed to get on the other other side of the stadium and up into the stands. While I took many photos of the sunset, this one is my favorite. It was the last shot I took before heading back down to the field for halftime.
There is little to no editing. It’s cropped and that’s it. I played around with the HDR toning option and while it looked neat, this what it looked like at that moment, and I wanted the photo to be true.
I stand at the waters’ edge while the last of the tide’s energy splash over my feet. My newly painted toenails match the sea foam colors of the water. Over my shoulder, children screech with laughter and joy as they charge full speed into the calm, warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Some are content playing chase with the breaking waves, giggling with joy from the ceaseless game. The bigger kids covered from head to toe with beach gear including hats, goggles, swim trunks, and sunscreen — SPF 50 — charge the gentle waters with boogie boards in tow while mom and dad setup the umbrellas and chairs for a day in the summer sun.
My wet feet collect the small white grains of sand for which this area of the Gulf is famous. The cloth material on my chair matches my toes and the waters before me. Such a beautiful, rich color. As I settle into my chair and reach for my sunglasses, I find peace in the music of my surroundings. The music from the waves reaching the shore, children laughing and enjoying the water, and the sound of the wind as it reaches my ears and pushes my ponytail sideways. It’s all music.
This is my room with a view. It’s a never ending view. It is my peace; my happy place.