Postcard from Roatan

In News & Stuff, Pep Talks, Travel by David61 Comments

Mangroves in the waters just outside my front door in Roatan. Spent 20 minutes last night sitting in the warm shallow waters. Gitzo Ocean Traveler tripod, small aperture, long exposure, Singh Ray Gold’n’Blue Polarizer, and a gin on rocks waiting for me beside the hammock 30 feet behind me. For all my bitching about how hard this craft can be, including my last post, there are days it just all comes together. Hard to do anything but be grateful right now. These are the days I love my art more than almost anything.


  1. I’ve read some posts from your blog, mostly interested in pictures πŸ™‚
    You’re incredible photographer, I’m sure you know that already.
    Your pictures are breathtaking!
    Thanks for the pleasure of seeing them.

  2. Hi David,
    I have a Marumi, Japan.
    It’s the variation that puts me off using it, if it was consistent then Ok.
    Have taken on board your advice re keeping an eye on exposure. I have the D90 set +0.33 fulltime.

    Maybe you can help with this.
    I have a Nikkor 28-85mm from my Nikon F801 film camera.
    Excellent lens, good enough to do a food/garden book with.
    Tried it on my D90, well a Coke bottle would do better.

    Oddly enough I have a 70-210mm same vintage and it works a treat.

    Thanks for getting back and good work on your websites, they are refreshing and honest compared to some other nameless ones.

    Regards Alan.

  3. Alan, if you’re shooting digitally then you should consider learning to read your histogram so you can shoot, adjust your exposure, and shoot again if need be. As for soft, I imagine that’s a function of how good your polarizer – or any filter, for that matter – is. They range from very poor to extremely good, and you definitely get what you pay for. Try Lee or Singh Ray.

  4. Hi Dave,
    Fantastic shot. Beautiful soft colors.
    I used a Polarizer in the film days but am having varied and indifferent results with my D90.
    They either come out underexposed or soft.
    I always use aperture priority.
    Can you enlighten me.
    regards Alan.

  5. really pretty shot, and whatever else it is or isn’t, it made me really want to go to the beach, and sit, relax, and have a nice cocktail. And zone the heck out!
    Thanks David

  6. okay, this is one of the reasons why i admire you so deeply. you keep going. it is evident to me that you indeed have magical powers. true. (if you ever doubt this, just email me and i’ll remind you – okay?)

    this photograph is so beautifully serene that i can’t see any of the meltdowns you have been experiencing when i look at it.

    it makes me want to sit in the water, and stare outwards, whilst also looking inwards. i can almost feel how warm that water is, and those beautiful roots and reflections are making me forget for a moment that it’s all dark and cold and foggy outside my window.

    i’m struggling to work out what all the buttons do on my camera, so playing with filters doesn’t even cross my mind yet.

    …then i look at your photos and think ‘huh. filters eh…’ and nic sighs the sigh of a long-suffering husband whose wife is about to buy something else!

    keep going david. you truly are an inspiration.
    hope our paths cross again someday soon

  7. Great image David. Isn’t it wonderful to have friends who give us strong encouragement to pursue our craft when we ourselves feel otherwise.

  8. Absolutely stunning David. Sounds like thought work but…you know…somleone’s gotta do it. LOL.

  9. Author

    Marek – Not sure I understand the question. I used a variety of Singh-Ray filters, from ND to graduated ND to the Gold-n-Blue polarizers. Exposure will depend on the light in the scene. If you’re metering with a DSLR, just go with what the camera tells you, then check the histogram.

    Everyone else, thank you. It was one of those magical moments that comes as a gift and all we can do is show up or let it pass us by. I almost let it pass me by, but had some strong encouragement from a friend who slapped a camera in my hand – literally – and told me to go make something beautiful.

  10. Hi David

    Can I kindly ask you what filters did you use in Venice and what exposoure is best to set ?
    Thank you

  11. Lovely shot David.

    And don’t you think that your best (or at least, most pleasing) work happens when you’re not worrying about the whole thing? To me, that’s the pinnacle; we should be enjoying more, stressing less, and let our art do the talking.

    (ps it’s not bitching, it’s keeping it real, talking over your struggles; without that the illusion of “pros are different, they have magic the rest of us don’t” prevails)

  12. Very nice shot man,

    I do have same struggles and Happyness that you talk about. When you cross an artistic desert, you just have to keep walking until you find an oasis.

    And this image is pretty refreshing…



  13. Beautiful photograph, I love the soft color, it has a romantic feel which I have never associated with mangroves before.

  14. it’s good to see the ups and downs of the craft, thanks for your honesty and the images you make are very nice… i feel almost as relaxed as if i was there.

  15. Author

    Liat, the gin was on the shore, the girl was in the water with me, assisting and collaborating. But that’s a story for another time. Or never. We’ll see. πŸ™‚ Some things, like relationships, are best left outside of the private realm. Ya know? πŸ™‚

  16. Author

    Marek – I named the filter specifically by name. Point your browser to the Singh-Ray Filters site and look for the Gold-n-Blue Polarizer. It’s easy to go over the top with it, so I usually pull back the magentas in post-production, as I did here.

  17. Hi David please could you point out which filter are you tallking about?


  18. The soul needs these magical moments so it can endure the rest of the stuff that comes our way…. only one missing/mismatch ingredient… a Corona with a slice of lemon instead of the gin…

  19. I read it as “a GIRL on [the] rocks waiting for me beside the hammock 30 feet behind me.”

    ..and I thought, wow, David, what aren’t you telling us?!

  20. wonderful the way your relaxed and happy emotions are reflected in this beautiful image – thank you for sharing

  21. FABULOUS image, although the not-pictured gin on rocks adds another subtle, perceived layer of relaxation. πŸ™‚

  22. I know those days: “These are the days I love my art more than almost anything.” I’m having many of them stringed together right now and I have the most wonderful ache inside of me. Hope you have a string of them too.

  23. fascinating! ..trying to figure out how it could be stretched into November wallpaper:)

  24. Fabulous capture. You really know what you are doing David and you keep giving me inspiration. Thanks. Take care of yourself.

  25. Fabulous image, David! – you get the best out of that Gold’n’Blue filter. Glad to read that you”re enjoying yourself.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.