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One Good Shot Equals a Successful Shoot - Jul 20, 2021
One Good Shot Equals a Successful Shoot - Jul 20, 2021

If I do a photo shoot and come home with one good photo, it's a successful photo shoot.

This has always been one of my favorite sayings when I think of photography.  Yes, I always hope for more than one good shot, but if I can come home with one, regardless of the number of photos I take, I consider it successful.

I was finally able to get out and do a photo shoot this week.  To a degree, the weather cooperated.  I always like to have a plan in place before I leave home and then do my best to stick to my plan with the hopes of coming home with the photos that I had envioned.  With that said, I also understand that often, the best laid plans plans don't always work out and you must be willing to adjust on the fly.  That was the case when I took a ride down to the Jersey Shore this week.

My plan was was to first visit Manasquan, which is a great surfing beach to do some surfing photos and then head to aPoint Pleasant to capture some boardwalk photos after the sun went home.

I packed my Tamron 150-600 for the surfing photos and my new Canon R 24-240 for the boardwalk shots.  This would be my first time doing anything serious with the 24-240 and I was eager to see what it could do.

Well my first change of plans occurred as I was about to pull out of my driveway.  I noticed a beautiful butterfly playing around in my garden and quick jumped out of the car to grab a few photos.  The butterfly was very cooperative, staying in one place long enough for me to grab some decent shots.  I used the 24-240 and was very happy with the results.  

Saw this guy in my garden as I was getting ready to leave and had to snap a few shots.


Once I was satisfied I had my shots, I headed to Manasquan in search of surfing photos.  Well, when I got there, the ocean was like glass with no waves or suffers.

Also, I could see some thunderstorms forming out over the water and to my south.  I took a quick peek at the weather app and it was showing that any storms would pass quickly.  

I went to a local restaurant to grab a quick bite to eat before heading back to the beach.

I noticed that a beautiful rainbow had appeared over the ocean and took a few long exposure shots.  I was successful in blurring the water, but even with the rainbow,  the shots were very boring.  Oh well,  I tried.

  Having a rainbow doesn't necessarily make it a good  photo.


I moved to a second spot and saw some very interesting clouds that had formed.  I again tried some long exposure shots.  Again I was able to blur the water but the long exposure made a mess of the clouds.  Plus, I had nothing of interest in the foreground.  I wasn't happy with these either.

Interesting sky, like the water, just feel like it needs something in the foreground


it was getting close to sunset and there were still storm clouds in the area, so I gave up on my idea of going to the boardwalk.  Instead, I took a quick drive a little lagoon that I'd shot  sunsets at previously.   The sun sets behind the lagoon and I knew it could produce some epic sunset shots.

When  I got there, I saw a heron on the dock and snapped a few photos.  They were tack sharp but still boring.  More throw away shots.

Nothing exciting about this shot.  It's just a cool bird on a dock.


I set up my camera on a tripod and used my wide angle 16-35 with a neutral density filter.  Same results as before.  Beautiful soft water, but the long exposure again made a mess of the clouds.  

We're getting close.  Like the reflections but with the long exposure, it's not giving me what my eye is seeing

I really wanted to capture the amazing clouds.   took off the ND filter filter and did a few shots at 1/30 of a sec.  I knew the water wouldn't be softened but I was able to capture some amazing clouds, reflections and color.

Finally, I got a shot I was happy with!

I ended up trading the blurred water, to give me  the 'epic sky' I was seeing.  Success!


To summarize the shoot, I had to completely change my plan from what I wanted to do and try some different things based on the conditions I was faced with.  I recognized that the first several spots didn't produce the results I wanted.  I continued to make adjustments until I got a shot I was happy with.

In the end, one good shot equals a successful shoot!!  



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