"Wow, I never imagined there was so much beach on this side."
This is what one Facebook friend said about this photograph captured at Scotts Head, Unknown Beach. I received other reviews that were quite similar, so I'm happy to give a little back story about it.
A gloomy day at Scotts Head
The image Unknown Beach came from a day of shooting that I had discarded as 'a waste'. Why, you ask?
Weather conditions were generally poor and the sky was overcast for the entire time I was in Scotts Head. Some days are like that though, and as a landscape photographer, I've learned to take the good with the bad.
Side note: overcast days aren't bad for all forms of photography. For example:
- If I had booked an outdoor portrait shoot (family, birthday, headshots, etc) for during the middle of the day, overcast conditions would be better than harsh sunny conditions.
- Or if I had intended to capture black and white landscape photographs, overcast skies would have been preferable as well.
But for the type of footage I had in mind, a blue sky day was required.
Getting the shot
Despite the foul bad weather, I scouted the pinnacle of Scotts Head, known by the Kalinago name, Cachacrou. This is the southernmost tip of Dominica, and was the site of a British fort in the 1700s.
I came upon the scene that would become Unknown Beach and loved it from the start.
What caught my attention was the short strip of sand at the back of this rock structure (known as a Tombolo). It had been recently cleaned and looked fit for bathing and snorkeling.
One Scotts Head native said that the location is well known by fishermen and divers, but I'm pretty sure that most people have no idea this exists.
I figured that the key to capturing this image was limiting the amount of sky included within the frame. But I did not want to cut out the sky completely, because that would mean cutting out the village as well.
Ultimately, I opted for a compromise.
Processing the image
My main concern during post-production of this image was preserving the intricate details of the rockface. I also tried to balance that rugged texture with the smooth sand and relatively calm waves.
Finally, I made sure to emphasize varying depths of the water with darker blues for deep areas and light turquoise for the shallows.
On that day, I captured another image that I'm very happy with. I call it, Scotts Head Village, because most of the village is clearly shown on the strip of land it's famous for.
© 2020 Yuri A Jones | Scotts Head Village captured at Scotts Head, Dominica (canvas prints are available)
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